Traditional Tuesday - Block 59

Disappearing Nine Patch
Block 59 - Disappearing Nine Patch
This block has been around for a while, but it still holds a lot of appeal to quilters. It's a fun twist on a nine patch and it's easy. There are no seams to line up except at the corners, which is very simple. It also give you endless options - you can go controlled or scrappy and either novelties or elegant fabrics look great done this way.
I have an old Moda Charisma charm packet laying around that I pulled from for my block. I used 9 different fabrics. You can do that or go more controlled with only one color family or a combination of one color and neutrals. Make sure you have a variety of values from light to dark. You want some to pop out at you.
From each fabric, cut 1 - 2 1/2" square.
Jan. 7 Update: Thanks to Cyndi for catching a mistake. Cut the squares 2 3/4" to make this block work. It will finish a bit larger than 6 1/2" but you can trim it to 6 1/2" easily. Sorry for the confusion!
Lay out the fabrics any way you chose. I wanted the center to be a strong color so I put the red there. Sew into a nine-patch block.

After your nine-patch is sewn, cut it in half in the center on the horizontal and vertical to make 4 equal units.

Once your units are cut, you can arrange them any way you like.

For a super-controlled look, place the small square in the same place for all blocks. This will give you the look of large squares with sashing and cornerstones on the finished top.

For a more chaotic look, alternate the small squares so two face in and two face out. Keep experimenting - you can place that small square anywhere. This one block could make numerous quilts that look nothing alike!
Once you determine your placement, sew the block together like a four-patch. It will be slightly larger than 6 1/2" (about 6 3/4") because of the math. Just trim equally on all sides to get it to 6 1/2".


  1. I'm baffled as to why mine ended up at 6". I think I'll try one with " squares and see what happens. I'll let you know.

  2. Okay. It ends up at 6 because there are 3 seams. 2.5 x 3 = 7.5, 7.5 - 1.5 = 6. If you use 2.75" squares, you'll end up with a trim-able 6.75. The one I made with 3" square is usable but not the same.

  3. Love this! So smart. Anything not to have to sew tiny pieces! Would you happen to have a photo of a finished quilt made like this that you can post or send me? I'd like to see the "big picture". Thanks! I don't have a clue what to select for" Comment as:" so I'm selecting Anonymous. Sorry.
    Melba Hayes

    1. Hi Melba, I've never made a large quilt with the disappearing nine patch block, but if you search it in google images a lot show up. Glad you like the block! Jenifer


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