Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Nine Patch Challenge

I spent Saturday evening with a few quilting friends. We weren't quilting, Pam hosted a "Girls Movie Night". It was a great opportunity to relax and laugh with friends. It was also my first chance to see Pam's wonderfully creative new home. The movies were fun, the food and wine were both enjoyable and the conversation delightful. There is nothing like getting together with "girls", no matter what your age.


Part of the conversation revolved around the summer quilting project that they are all involved in. This is the second year for the project and Jeannie, the ring leader for this event, has just announced this years details. I didn't participate lst year, but I wish that I had. I was totally captivated watching the process unfold over the summer. It was amazingly simple, yet viral at the same time.



Here are the details in a nutshell:

Browsing the Internet, Jeannie had read a blog where the blog owner had decided to ask her friends to join her in making one nine patch block each day for a specific period of time. (I'm pretty sure it was Crazy Quilting Mom's blog that started this whole thing). Just one block. The idea was that one block a day is do-able, not stressful and a simple nine patch is super easy. After about a month and a half they would have enough blocks for an entire quilt making just one block per day.




Jeannie suggested to her small circle of quilting friends that they make this their summer project. One nine patch per day, in any size, for the summer. She would then host a picnic at her home in August for show-and-tell to see what they had accomplished. Her quilting buddies thought it was a great idea. In fact they thought it was so good that they each told a few friends. Those friends agreed and told a few more friends. The nine patch project had gone viral.


As the local shop owner, very early in the summer I saw customers in the shop meeting each other before classes and clubs to show and share nine patch blocks. A few participants decided to use 1930's fabrics and make several identical blocks and then swap with friends. I was constantly overhearing conversations about how many blocks were finished, who was playing catch up and who was forging ahead. More than once customers heard each other discussing the project and were surprised to find out that others were participating. Nobody but Jeannie really had any idea how many people were at home making blocks!




Everyone involved was having great fun, using up their stash and enjoying being part of the secret club. A few people even stuck to the one-per-day mandate. Most played catch-up and made the entire weeks blocks in one evening or on the weekends. Some procrastinated and performed marathon sewing sessions so that they were not embarrassed at the end of the season picnic. Naturally there was one over achiever in the group. Bonnie actually produced EIGHT beautiful nine patch quilts made from fabrics in her stash.





The project was so popular and had grown in size so that the picnic had to be moved from Jeannie's house to a pavilion at the local community park! From what I heard and the photos I saw the project was a rousing success.

Now I am considering recreating the project right here on this blog. Do any of my virtual friends want to come out and play?



If you are interested - no more lurking! You have to post a comment letting me know that you want to participate. No pressure, I just want to know how many of you are playing along. I will post the details so that we can get started on June 1st.


I will happily provide simple setting instructions for those of you that need them. Then in August I will host a virtual quilt show so that you can show off your blocks or quilt or quilts that you have accomplished!


The quilt photos that accompany this post are quilts that were completed during the original 9 patch project online. Feeling inspired?


One simple nine patch per day - easy!


Post a comment by clicking on the "comment" button below this post. You can be anonymous if you like, but let me know what appeals to you about this project. Is it the one block per day? Is it the group event? Is it the idea of using up your stash or because it is easy? I'm fascinated by the appeal of this project. Of course if nobody agrees to participate online then I will know that the real appeal is the end of summer picnic!

87 comments:

banjo795 said...

I can't believe that no one else has posted a commment yet! I'm IN! I don't know exactly what appeals to me most - I like the "one a day" idea, and I like the fact that it is such a simple, but versatile block. I've been seeing lots of 9 patch quilts lately, so this is incentive to get started on one of my own!

sherynlewis said...

I'm IN! I like everything about it. Some of the settings on the quilts you showed are just great! I of course have a huge stash just from going to your store. It's a great place. Wished I lived closer.

See you June 1st!
Sheryn

Crafty Maine Mom said...

This sounds like fun. I might get some strips cut ahead of time so the making of the 9 patch will be even easier.

Diane said...

I'll join too! I think I NEED another quilt and 9-patch is just too fun and easy. Anyone who joins in will have a blast at the end seeing how different each quilt looks just based on fabric and settings. too cool.

macbeaner said...

I've already actually started this quilt, but I have a ton of 1 1/2 inch squares to make another one eventually. I think I will try to be in for that.

bmayer said...

OH...sounds like fun, but....sorry, I can only commit to a 4 patch a day....Wedding in July, you know......

Anonymous said...

I started this project last summer and couldn't complete so I'm almost done. I would make my weekly allotment of blocks each Sunday morning while watching a great movie. They were like potato chips ... couldn't make just one. Used 30's fabrics from my stash with white and exchanged a few with friends. Also am in for this one to use up the 9 patches but also participating in Jeannie's challenge for this summer. You're right ... it's the picnic ;-) WHAT FUN!!

Sue Ellen said...

Good way to use up some of that stash! I'm in. Love the idea of being part of an online thing. I have no time to go to a class.

SUSIE said...

I'm in - I've been rather quilt-deprived for a while so this is just what I need to get back in the groove!

Jeanine said...

I would do this. I like the fact that I committing myself to a project with an end and also the challenge to complete a project. Too many of my projects go just so far with no finish.

Deb Paris said...

Count me in. What a great way to use my stash and stay focused for the summer.

laurel mt mama said...

I am interested in participating. Will need some instructions as have only been quilting for one year. I will check on June 1st for the instructions.

bjb830 said...

I think I'd enjoy participating! I've had many commitments lately and have gotten away from my quilting. This should be a good way to get involved again! Thanks for starting this!

Anonymous said...

I'd love to do this. It does sound like an easy summer project and a great way to use up some of my sizeable stash!

Doll Lady said...

I'm in - provided it's OK to continue finishing my 2009 9 patch. I need to do the border -- which is made up of left-over 9 patches from the center -- plus I'll probably need to make a few more!!

Joanne Smisko said...

Sounds like fun and a good way to use up some of my old fabric so I can buy some new fabric. Count me in and can't wait to get started.

Anonymous said...

Count me in please. I am such a hoarder of scraps, nothing gets tossed. Need an outlet!

Anonymous said...

I would love to do this.

Anonymous said...

I would love to do this!
I am a novice quilter so I will need directions please.

Kathy B. Pittsburgh

Judy Bott said...

This sounds like a fun project. Count me in and my stash will thank you for making room for new things. Not sure which appeals to me the most of the project but it sure beats a project with no end in sight. My very first quilt was a nine-patch so this will be fun.
Judy B. in Columbiana, Ohio

Anonymous said...

Team Conard - count us in! I love the idea of using my Accuquilt machine to make the strips to cut into squares, I love being able to use up my stash, I love simple! and I want to come to the picnic!!!!

Cyn said...

Hi Karen,

How about if I say "maybe".

I'm a beginner quilter. So much of a beginner that I haven't taken my first quilt class yet as my class is scheduled to start on May 28, 2010! LOL!

If I can figure things out, I'd like to join in after I take a couple of the earlier quilt class sessions, especially the one on 9 patch blocks! My quilting class is a true beginners class and is scheduled to run until mid-August.

I like this idea as it's a great way to practice cutting and piecing skills. I'm not sure if I can do a block a day but once I start I'll try for 2 to 5 a week. This way, I'll get cutting and piecing practice and hopefully by the end of the summer, I'll have some skills and a quilt top or two.

Using up stash? I'm just starting to build my stash! :-)

Would you share the setting for the quilts in the first three pictures? I think I can figure it out but it would be wonderful if you could share with this beginner how it's done. Is the outer border created by 9 patches with the inner three squares a pattern and the outer six squares (strips) the background?

Am I motivated by the picnic? Actually, since I don't live local how about I have my own picnic here? I'll be having chocolate. LOL!

Cynthia
Windy Meadow

Anonymous said...

I would love to participate. It seems manageable and just the push I need to stop looking and start making a quilt. I really do not have much of a stash so I will need to purchase some fabric. I look forward to your info.

Lola said...

Yes, I want to participate in the Nine Patch Challenge. I love the idea of just making one block a day and hopefully by the end of summer I will have a great looking quilt.

Jean said...

Okay, Karen, I'm in. Do we need our nine-patches to be any given size?

Linda and Piwacket said...

9 patches are so great! I love all the picture variations shown. I'm a bit late to join in, but I'm eager to see everyone's creations!

Anonymous said...

Count me in. I am trying to use up stash - scraps, left overs, etc. so I can start a brand new project.

Genevieve said...

This sounds like a good project to use up some smaller pieces of fabric left over from other projects. One block a day seems totally do-able. I'm in!

Jean C said...

I'm in. My sewing group has been holding a large stash of flannel scraps earmarked for charity quilts. We went thru it last Saturday and each of us took a pile home to work with.

This may actually produce some finished quilts out of the stuff.

Anonymous said...

Count me in.
I am looking to get back into sewing & quilting -- this may be the push I need.

Marsha said...

I think I would love to try it. This will be my first quilt so I hope it will go well. I do have stash though. Wish me luck.

sewjoyce said...

I would love to participate in your "one block per day" challenge for the summer -- maybe it could be extended to a "one block per day for a year" challenge!

Anonymous said...

I'm in. Love the idea of a block a day. Joy from Virginia whose heart belongs in my birth place and hometown...go Steelers!

Purple Pam said...

I am in love with nine patches. I am currently making a quilt with nine patches. Count me in.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous

Please count me in. I have needed a push for quite a while. Maybe this will be it. Have plenty of scraps and so it will probably be a scrappy quilt.

Anonymous said...

Not only will I participate, I am excited to have three grandaughters join in as well. It is hysterical to watch their enthusiasm as they look through my fabric stash. They are ages 7, 9 and 13. Fondling of fabric is definitely in their genes! What a great bonding opportunity.

Anonymous said...

Sounds great I will try it

DonnaP said...

Sure, I'll give it a shot!

Jan said...

I would love to do this project
I have been looking for a project that I can use my stash
count me in

Sharon said...

So many scraps, so little time. I think this is something that I can get done. What fun! Count me in.

Sunbonnet Sue said...

Hi Karen.Count me in too.I'd like so much to play with you and your friends there.I love 9 patch blocks and make one per day I certainly will get to make mine.I received TheQuiltCompany newsletters in my inbox and I apreciated your invitation.
Thanks so much. I'm ready to play from here in Brazil.(((BIG HUGS))

Sheila said...

Actually I'm a fan of making 9 patches with the strip method, as it's quicker. But I RSVP'd on your FB page that talks about using 2 1/2 inch squares, so I'll use that method for this quilt. Let's have fun together!

Carol said...

I'm in...sounds like great fun!

Karri said...

I would love to try this. Looks like alot of fun!!

sewinghunter said...

I am new at quilting but this seems easy enough. It should be fun.

Sylvia said...

I have a pile of plaid 9 patches and a box full of squares to make more, I am in!

Melekini49 said...

I would love to do this and I think I can manage 1 block a day!

Mariela said...

Hola Karen, felicitaciones por el blog, me encanto la idea! Con mucho gusto te acompaƱo en este proyecto... Besos. Mariela Mendoza (Rada Tilly - Argentina)
marieqac@gmail.com

Vicki said...

I'm game. With a 10 month at home I only have the time to do one a day. This totally appeals to me. Thanks

John said...

Thia sounds inspiring! I'm going to do it! I think the strip idea makes it faster and maybe I'll be able to finish it then!

Louise

Anonymous said...

Sounds fun to me!

Anonymous said...

I think I can, I think I can. I have to clean up my sewing room this summer and I'll find lots of scraps, as I don't throw much away. It will truly be a scrappy quilt. What fun it will be to reminisce about what the pieces were originally used for.

Thanks.

Darlene CA said...

Count me in. I have been looking for a hand piecing project to do in the evening when I am watching TV. I am beginning to wonder if hand piecing even counts as quilting any more. No one seems to be doing it.

JVC_Scout_Mom said...

I can do anything for 15 minutes!

That is my mantra when exercising ... sewing .. quilting, etc.

One block a day. No problem. :)

Nancy said...

I'm game. I like the idea of using up some of my stash.

Anonymous said...

I'm in!! I have been in the process of organizing my scraps and this will help encourage me to continue. Also,I have started this same challenge with local quilters and we are planning a"graduation"party at the end of summer to celebrate our fun and suggest settings to each other.

Anonymous said...

9 Patches are one of my favorites! Count me in! Sandra in Calgary

Carol E. said...

I'll play! I have always loved 9 patch blocks. Should be fun.

Jennifer Wharton said...

As I am a procrastinator, this is a great reason to get SOMETHING done! The quilt pictures are beautiful and I love the 9-patch! I have one my Grandmother made for me and treasure it greatly. Thanks for the suggestion. I joined the FB group and look forward to seeing what gets done! ;)

Anonymous said...

I think that I can do this. I will probably one of those catch up people or maybe not.

joyce said...

I am so IN! I think I'll aim for a baby quilt or two....easy and fun. no pressure.

Jane said...

First 9-patch done. I tried to scan it but the printer didn't work for some reason. Not to worry, however. Great idea...looking forward to tomorrow!

Quilt Mom said...

Count me in! I love 9 patch blocks and one a day is a good way to start the day along with my cup of tea!

Barbara said...

I'm in, too. I love the pictures you posted. It sounds like a manageable project. I have been stockpiling blue, white and yellow fabrics ... I think I will use them here.

reggie said...

I think this appeals to me because it is a simple thing to do each day. Just 1 a day and at the end of the month I will have a nice quilt without a lot of labor.

Jo said...

I'm going to start today. Will have to catch up. Good way to dig into that batik stash I have.

daisydeb said...

Just read the blog and am I ever excited to join this challenge. Love your inspirational quilts. This is a can-do project. Thanks.

Cherry Guidry said...

Why not? Count me in!!! :)

susan said...

Hi there...I just heard about this project from a friend. She is doing it with some of her other friends and invited me to join in so I am making 9-patch units also. It sounds like a great way to make the stash smaller.

Carla said...

I`m so IN! I love the idea of doing just a bit at a time and watching the results build up gradually over time. I`ve always wanted a Christmas quilt so I think I`ll go for a Christmas Irish Chain.

Yvette said...

Im in!

I love a challenge and I would love to reduce my scrap bin. I got my first 7 done!

Happy Bluebird said...

Better late than never . . . count me in. I love my fabric and tend to hoard it - so this will be a GREAT way to use up some stash. I like the idea of anything goes - one block a day, or play catch up when necessary. I'm hoping that committing to a project will keep me motivated to finish it!

Mary Porrata said...

Hi Karen and I am in and with me a group of ladies here at Quilts n Gifts in Bluffton, Indiana.
We are planning of getting the quilts together and when you are visiting us for our reunion in September have a display of them.
How much fun!!!!!!!!!!

delovleo said...

Well, I'm setting myself up here, signing on on June 8 ~ you can see how one-a-day mounts up: I'm already 35 blocks behind from a May 4th startup. oh, oh, wait a minute. Karen's saying a June 1st startup ~ whew! Sure, I'm in. Thanks for the summertime challenge! I love seeing the quilt photos, first off, and I loves 9-patches (I know I can do 90 degree angles!).

Mary Pat said...

I love this idea! I am going to attempt to do this! I have 4 kids & a crazy summer planned ahead...it will be a nice excuse to make time for myself!

Anonymous said...

Hi! This is my first time on anyones blog and I'd love to try the 9-patch challenge.Sure hope I can find this again! Loved all the pics and also love batiks, so I guess it will be batiks for me too! Or get ambitous and do 2 a day and use some of my 30's too.

Lollipops Designer Bindings Blog said...

I love the nine patch! we did one for my son's Army Unit when he was over in Iraq - ironically the patch that the Civil War Women used when they made quilts to send off with their men...I only wish I had known about this for our Guild meeting last night - but no worries! I am in - can't wait to see the response...thank you Karen!

Jack and Chef Q said...

Roseann turned me on to this! I am a little behind, I started yesterday. I will add it to my blog tomorrow! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I'm in the "reducing my stash" mode. Little does my husband know it is so I can feel "justified" when I buy more fabric! Plus, I won't have to hide the new additions! I also love to see all the creative ways one block can be used!

Anonymous said...

Lovin quilting. I'm in in Boise.
Sounds fun and I am always working on my "stash".
See you in the fall
Rhoda
June 10, 2010

Pat said...

I just read your blog and I am all for this challenge. Great way to use some of my stash and have a quilt top by the end of summer. I'm a few days behind, but will get caught up easily.

Anonymous said...

I'm in! I'm just finishing up my "Farmer's Wife" blocks so a simple 9-patch will be a relaxing little project. I can even use it as my leader/ender project while I'm finishing up some other things.

I'm off to pull & cut fabric- Woo hoo!

longeagle@q.com said...

What a great idea. I will be away for about 10 days, so I started today. I wonder if I'll really get rid of much stash???
Carol

Becky said...

I'm ready to get started! I have so many scraps and quite a stash to get rid of1

Anonymous said...

Church Mice (Joan, Jean, Sue Ann, Jan, Nancy, Bonnie B., Bonnie F., Michelle and Lurlean) are signing up for the Nine Patch Challenge. We are excited about using our stash.

craftymbs said...

I'm a late starter - but I'm in

Nancie Anne Quilts said...

Better Late Than Never! Our local shop caught onto this and emailed us all about it including a link to your blog! It's an awesome idea...we started the first day of summer and will go to the first day of fall...so of course with work...I'm already behind, but am on the fence about whether to start gathering scraps, dive into the halloween stash or the baby quilt stash...