In my post yesterday, I showed a quilt top that I realized could have been done in a different way than the one I used. I find the process of piecing a quilt quite fascinating, and even more so when there are multiple ways to achieve the same result.  I thought it would be fun to show the two ways of making the same quilt top and let you decide which you would prefer to use.
Here’s the quilt top:

Method #1 The Way I Did It

I made 9 patch blocks made out of a combination of smaller blocks like this:

The corner squares were cut to 4 1/2″
The center square and the four side squares were first strip pieced using 2 1/2″ strips and then cut to size:
2 1/2 ” for the center
4 1/2″ for the sides
I sewed two of the smaller segments together to make the center square:

The fabric placement was random, but I tried to have a balance of color and scale within each block.
The squares were sewed together in rows and then the rows were sewed together to create the blocks.
Chain stitching all three rows at a time makes faster work of it.
Then I arranged the blocks on my design wall to make sure I was pleased with the layout. I stitched the blocks together in rows and then the rows together to complete the quilt top.
I have to learn to take better pics on the design wall – my camera doesn’t like all that white!
Method #2  The Disappearing 9 Patch

For this demonstration, I used leftover charm squares and cut 9 pink solid 5″ squares. Lay the squares out into two 9 patch blocks like this:
Lets call these Block A (left) and Block B (right)
For a quilt, you would need an equal number of each 9-patch block (ex. a 4 block by 6 block quilt would require 12 of  Block A and 12 of Block B).
For each block, sew the squares together in rows and then sew the rows together.
Cut the block in half vertically: 

Cut each half in half again, horizontally:
You will have four squares of equal size. Repeat cutting all the 9-patch blocks in this manner.
Now for the fun part, swap squares 1 and 3 of block A with squares 1 and 3 of block B.
It will look like this:
Then, rotate the four squares on the right 90 degrees (together as a unit, not individually) – left or right, it makes no difference. It will look like this:
For this demonstration, I only used two 9 patch blocks so the center 4 patch blocks have the same print. For a larger quilt, the pieces can be moved around to create a more random placement of the prints.  Once you are pleased with the arrangement, sew the blocks together into rows and sew the rows together to complete the quilt top.
Here’s the result:
And here’s the quilt top I did using the strip pieced method:
The resulting layout is the same!! I found the disappearing 9 patch to go together a lot faster.  And the option of using pre-cut charm squares saved a lot of time on cutting.
So, which way would you do it? Leave me a comment with your thoughts, I would love to know what you think!!
Happy Sewing,
~ Tessa Marie