10 entries categorized "quilting"

Here's the Disappearing Nine Patch Tutorial

A friend of mine mentioned my Disappearing 9 Patch quilt instructions to someone on Facebook, but she needed the link, so I went to get it.....and I realized that it's not very easy to find this thing on my site!  I'm going to add it to the sidebar with a little graphic, but I thought I'd also mention it to you in case you've been searching for this, the perfect quilt project (even for beginners)...

image from www.flickr.com

Here are the Disappearing Nine Patch instructions! Have fun with it, and please send me a photo if you complete this project.


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A Really Pretty Disappearing 9 Patch Doll Quilt

Whee!  I'm so excited about this Disappearing 9 Patch quilt!  I didn't make it and it's not mine, but I'm just as excited as if it was mine because it was shared by a reader who created it using my Disappearing 9 Patch Quilt tutorial.  "My" and "quilt" and "tutorial" together in a sentence never fails to make me giggle.  I'm such a quilting amateur that I still can't believe, even 2 years later, that I had the nerve to write up a tutorial on how to create a quilt. 

When someone sends me a link and a photo of something as beautiful as this....

Disappearing Nine Patch Quilt

...I'm in awe.  It is amazing to me how far a little nudge and a bit of inspiration can go.  That's all I was trying to do when I wrote the Disappearing 9 Patch tutorial...I was just trying to share something exciting to me, saying, "you can do it, too!" 


The Disappearing 9 Patch Tutorial that I wrote (giggle) is located here.  (It's by far my most popular blog post here at Just Pure Lovely.  Wow.)

The beautiful Disappearing 9 Patch above was created by Star @ A Load of Craft.  Visit her blog to view a larger shot of the quilt and to get a link to a binding tutorial (awesome!).  Star has quite a few other crafty tutorials on her site.   Pretty ones.

Let us know if you create a Disappearing 9 Patch, too, so we can all peek at it!

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Quilting is on My Mind

Disappearing 9 Patch Quilt tutorial

 Amy left a comment saying she followed my Disappearing 9 Patch tutorial to make a quilt for her neice for Christmas.  (note later today:  I tried to post a link to, and photo of, her quilt, but it's not working this afternoon/evening, so I'll keep trying and post when able.)

I'm so proud of her for sewing her first quilt, and proud that I - a beginning quilter- was able to help another beginning quilter out.    I'm especially tickled that Amy was able to understand my instructions!

Quilting has been on my mind lately, thanks to the arts & crafts display at our local library.  On display, along with a smocking book and a how-to-make-books book I discovered the Elm Creek Quilts series by Jennifer Chiaverini.  Don't tell me you already knew all about those books!  I wish I had known of them years ago.  They are well-written, inspiring, and twaddle &  smut -free! 

Have you ever become interested in something, only to find yourself surrounded by it all at once?  Or maybe it's just that we're finally paying attention, and it was already there. Anyway, that's the way it has been with quilting lately.  I keep bumping into quilting conversations, fingering my grandma's 60-something-year-old quilt, finding extra moments to read about the Elm Creek quilters, and today I took a nearly-forgotten doll-size quilt top to the movies (to stitch on the way, not in the dark theater!  I prick myself often enough as it is).  Quilting has been on my mind!

I'm wondering:  what's interesting you?

Friday Afternoon Quilting

Our 10 year old ballerina handwrote the entire book of Philippians out of the Bible recently, a project that took 20 pages of wide-ruled paper and a month of writing 5 verses each week day. 

Her incentive was this fine prize, which she received with the biggest grin.

Her very own sewing machine. She no longer has to share my 15-year-old Singer that runs with a rumble, not a hum (but, still, it can sew!). 

When asked what her favorite verse from Philippians is, she replied that she has two, one of which I taught her as the tiniest tyke:  Philippians 2:14, "Do all things without murmuring and disputing."  I got such a giggle out of our toddlers trying to pronounce "murmuring and disputing," that I admit I had them say it more often than their arguments or grumbling required.

Two Friday afternoons a month, our ballerina and I drive to the home of an older woman to learn quilting from her.  Several other women and their daughters also attend. I love it  when mixed-ages of women get together for handicrafting.  There is just nothing cozier than that. 

She is working on her first quilt, a strip-pieced quilt, using scraps from our teacher's bin.  The method is very simple: strips of fabric are sewn together onto a square of muslin, then squared off once the muslin square is covered (ie. the extra fabric hanging over the edge is cut off) . 

This gives our 10 year old practice with 1/4" seams and the other bits of sewing without having to worry over precise cutting yet.

(photo views: 1. Sewing, 2. Sewing, 3. Strip Quilting )

Meanwhile, I'm off in a comfy chair on those Fridays, working on the embroidery and quilting of a wee doll-sized quilt for my new nephew, who was born Saturday. 

Yes, I am quite slow at finishing this tiny quilt.   Soon, Baby, soon, it will be in a box on its way to you along with a few softies for your brother and sisters. 

p.s. The Disappearing 9 Patch Tutorial is located here, if you'd like to sew along.


I consider Just Pure Lovely to be a wee bitty community of sorts. I love the readers who come through here and remind me of the people I see in my quaint little bayside town when I take our ballerina to her ballet classes every Monday afternoon.  I usually stop at the bookshop/ice cream shop/coffee shop/stationery shop/art shop (all-in-one) to grab a milkshake (they make a good one) or a coffee (I keep hoping, but, nope, they don't make a good one) or to get a kid an ice cream cone.

Each time I mosey in there, I see many faces I don't know, but there are always a couple of faces I do recognize, even if I don't yet know the person behind that face.  And with every visit, we start to say a few more things than "hey."  With some, I'm at the "how's the weather" small talk.  With some, we're at asking about the kids. 

This community, Just Pure Lovely, is as pleasant for me to visit as that quirky bookshop.  I like to see all of your faces, er, stats & comments each day, from the ones I don't know yet to the ones I visit in return. 

This blog has been a positive thing in my life.  It helps me focus on the pleasant (just pure lovely) things in life, which has been good for me, but the fringe benefit - the benefit I didn't expect - is that I've found a wee bitty community that I love to visit.

Sometimes I get on here and have no idea I was going to type what I just typed.  When I sat down tonight, I meant  to simply say...

Thank you to one of our fellow blog readers, Renee Ollis*, who sent me a photo of a Disappearing 9 Patch quilt top she created for her daughter's dolls. 

Isn't it beautiful?  I love her choice of colors. 

Renee was inspired by the Disappearing 9 Patch tutorial that I wrote up a month or so ago, so she wanted to share her progress.  I am so glad she did! 

I love every bit of this community of women: the lurkers, the commenters, the chatters, the emailers, but I think I love most the sharing: our words, our photos, our ideas, our recipes. 


*She's working on her website, which I'll post here when it's ready for you to visit.  Yay, more time spend online reading! 

Shots: New Photos of the Disappearing 9 Patch Quilts

Our beautiful Gulf Coast sun came out again, after a day and a half of hiding.  Oh, how I missed it, sun-spoiled-soul that I am.  I was able to get some better shots of the Disappearing 9 Patch quilts for you. 

Above are thumbnail peeks at the photos.  Click them for larger views, or....

Go to these posts to see the new photo additions and full instructions.

Blue Quilt:  the first Disappearing Nine Patch


Pink Quilt:  my second Disappearing 9 Patch (the one with a tutorial)


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Project: A Tutorial for the Disappearing 9 Patch Quilt Top


There has been quite a bit of interest in the Disappearing 9 Patch quilt top I made a couple of weeks ago.  That humbles and surprises me, new quilter that I am (thank you.) When I started a new one for our Little Gal who is turning 5 tomorrow (sob), I thought I'd photograph the process more closely for you.  I only recently learned the Disappearing 9 Patch from another blog, but I'll include how I went about the process in case it's helpful to someone.



First, select your fabrics.  If you're like me, the decision takes a while, so just hang fabric swatches up like laundry on a clothesline, adding one/taking one down every time you walk by until you notice that you're not taking any off anymore.  That's what I do.

Quilt Swatches


Or you could be less indecisive and just go to the fabric store and choose quickly.


Cut the fabric into squares.  I cut 4" squares, but you can choose another size. I forgot to take a photo of the little squares.  Sorry.  You can imagine 4" fabric squares, right?


If you want to make a doll quilt like mine, which is about 18"x13", you will need 27 squares.  I used 9 different fabrics (see them above), so I cut 3 squares of each fabric.


Is that too much math for you?  It is for me.  Let's not do any more math.


Sew the squares together, to make "9 patch" quilt blocks, which are each 3 squares wide by 3 squares long.  You'll see what I mean in the photos below.


Quilt 2


Square up each 9 Patch.  I like this part.  It allows me to get the piece back into a square shape.  After the way I iron (lumpily) and the way I sew (crookedly), it is a lucky thing indeed that I can square up the piece.  I squared my pieces to about 10-11", I think.   Just get them square again.


Quilt 5


Cut the 9 Patch in half.  Oh, yes. I did just say that.  You can hold your breath but don't close your eyes. 


Quilt 3


(I used a rotary cutter. That's what that pizza slicer-looking thing is doing there.)


Cut the 9 Patch in half again.  Yep, again.  Keeping the pieces together in their original position (as if you hadn't cut it already), cut it again, this time across).


Quilt 4


See? They are cut and they look still pretty.  Now catch your breath again.


Quilt 6


Turn the cut pieces in any direction you fancy.


Quilt 7


Arrange all of the pieces in the order you find most pleasing.  Indecisive person that I am, I spend quite a while turning the squares, adjusting, counting (oops, I mentioned math again), and worrying over them.  This time, our 10yo daughter said, "Mom.  It's fine."  And I said, "I'm obsessing again, aren't I?"


She wisely kept silent.


Quilt 8


Sew the pieces together.


As in the other quilt I made, I worry that you experienced quilters might giggle-snort into your coffee when you see my multitude of blips, tucks, and, ugh, a complete misalignment (I don't like to pin things before I sew them).  Look at the photos below after you set down your cup.



I love the Disappearing 9 Patch for the way it covers up glaring errors, like those I make while quilting.  It's a good design for new quilters like me.




Quilts on Grass copy Quilt Pink Full Fence copy


Add embroidery (if you like), batting (if you like), a backing fabric...then machine or hand quilt the pieceThen bind the edges as you like.


I've loved embroidery for years, so hand quilting is appealing to me.  Blissfully ignorant of any quilting rules (there are some, right?), I am freehand-quilting, going in a square here, creating a little trail there, making tiny plus (+) signs there.  I know I have much improvement to make in my stitches, which should be even & tiny and not wonky & big like they are. In embroidery, we don't deal with such thick layers.


Here's a peek at the quilting and embroidery progress so far:


Quilt Pink Stitching Closeup copy Quilt Pink Belle Closeup copy


Photos by Lori Seaborg, February 2008


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Shots: Fabric Inspiration

These fabric stacks are on a shelf in my studio*:


I spend more time opening them, admiring them, refolding them, and restacking them than I do in using them up, I think...

 Greens and Pinks

because I just love the way fabric feels, from the scratchy ones to the fuzzy ones.

 Don't you?

Photos by Lori Seaborg, February 2008

studio = *that oh-so-loosely-used-term for the back of the garage where I create stuff.  oh, why do I always feel like I have to use a disclaimer every time I use that word?

Project: A Disappearing 9 Patch Quilt Top

Note:  A full tutorial has now been written and photographed. Click to read "Tutorial:  A Disappearing 9 Patch Quilt Top."


As I mentioned, our ballerina and I are taking a quilting class soon.  But, being myself, I just couldn't wait a full week until the class, so over the weekend I used this tutorial to make a Disappearing 9 Patch incubator-sized quilt top.

The fabric:


Uncut Fabric Selection


ooooh, ahhh, oolala


Cut into squares:


Squares for Quilt


Before you look at more photos, if you are a seasoned quilter, please set down your coffee cup or you might giggle-snort into it and get coffee on  yourself.  I have uneven blocks, little blips, tiny tucks, but, hey, it filled some time with creativity.


The three 9-patches:


9 Patch for Quilt


What's more fun than filling time with creativity, I ask? Certainly not giggle-snorting into coffee.


The pieces are then cut (ack!), turned (ack!), ironed (ick!), and then sewn back together (whew) to make this:


Finished Quilt Top Close




Finished Quilt Top Close


and here it is in full (-ish):




I learned something during this patchwork process, besides that quilting requires ironing. A lot of ironing.  I learned that I like quilting.  I really, really like quilting.  I know, I haven't actually started the real "quilting":  hand-stitching the layers together.  But I already know I really, really like quilting.


I just know.  You seasoned quilters understand.




p.s.  It's February 21st.  Later today, this evening if all goes well, I hope to have posted a full tutorial complete with even more photos of this Disappearing 9 Patch quilt process. This time in pink!  Check my main page tonight or tomorrow morning.   Done!  Click here to see a second Disappearing 9 Patch that I made, with more photos and instructions included.


p.s.  Oh, you know what else is super fun about the Disappearing 9-Patch?  Making the men in my life (ages 8, 12, and their Daddy) figure out how I did it, after giving them only one hint:  that I cut all the fabric squares the same size.  Heehee, it's fun to puzzle those puzzle-solving guys.


Photos by Lori Seaborg, February 2008


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A Hand-Tied, Hand-Embroidered Blanket Project

 Our little guy, who turned eight this month, had his first sleepover last weekend.  To help him feel at home (and remember his mama) while he was away, I made him a cozy blanket.  He chose the fabric:

Stone's Fabric

Perfect.  A cowboy print for my tiny Cowboy. 

I sewed the fabric print onto a chenille fabric backing, with batting in between for extra coziness.  Then, I hand-tied the blanket with 4 strands of off-white pearl cotton (details provided for you detailed-minded and curious souls).

Balloon was a complete surprise to this photo shoot.  I was trying to get the most of the natural lighting I could find today (it's a gloomy, rainy day here on the Gulf Coast), so had the blinds up, and she jumped onto the window sill.  I think she wants to come in.  But she gets to wait a while because now she needs to be my model!

Oh, and yes, Balloon is the sort of name a cat gets when owned by a 4-year-old.

Embroidery Close Up

I only had a few very short minutes to get the embroidery done before we had to leave for the sleepover, so I did it freehand.  Ugh, the "O" looks too much like an "e."  To an 8-year-old boy, who cares? 

I still might fix it.  Things like that bug me.  You detail-minded souls understand that.

Photos by Lori Seaborg, January 2008