What a neat trick! 💡 3-at-a-time Nine Patch blocks

From Civil War Legacies IIMaking Nine Patches from squares: easy.

Making Nine Patches from long strips: easier.

Making Nine Patches from long and short strips: easiest!

Fun fact: The term “Nine Patch” refers to the tried-and-true quilt-block pattern, but did you know it also refers to an entire category of blocks? Any block that has seams that divide units equally into nine sections falls into the Nine Patch category. There are hundreds of variations, perhaps even thousands . . . and that’s why Nine Patch blocks just may be the most-made quilt block of all time.

We were recently wowed by Vintage Legacies author Carol Hopkins and her fun trick for making three Nine Patch blocks at a time, all with the perfect amount of light squares and dark squares per block. Just wait until you see in the video below . . . this is clever!


 Reading this post in email? Click here to view the video online.

Now that you know the secret, you can create any one of Carol’s gorgeous Nine Patch quilts using the same technique:

Waterfalls quilt
Waterfalls from
Vintage Legacies

Small Joys quilt
Small Joys from
Civil War Legacies II

Edward's Quest quilt
Edward’s Quest from
Civil War Legacies

Vintage LegaciesAnd like Carol says, don’t forget to save those strip-pieced scraps—perfect for extra-scrappy Nine Patch blocks!

How do you typically piece Nine Patch blocks?

  • Square by square—oh-so scrappy!
  • I strip piece mine using long strips.
  • Just like Carol—it just doesn’t get any easier.
  • I’ve yet to make a Nine Patch block, but Carol’s how-to is on my to-do list!

Tell us in the comments—and happy patching!


95 Comments (leave a comment)

  • I haven’t seen this method before! I usually use long strips unless I am going totally scrappy. Then I sew square by square.

    —Sandy Allen on October 4, 2019
  • I typically make 4 patches from long strips. I am eager to try Carol’s method.

    —Linda Stutzman on October 4, 2019
  • I usually do square by square. This is a nice method.

    —Rita Long on October 4, 2019
  • I usually use long strips. I love to try new ways for making different blocks. I am anxious to try Carol’s method.

    —Cyndi on October 4, 2019
  • I love 9 patch blocks so I have made them several ways. I usually make them from strips, but if I’m using scraps, I make them any way I can. I have that book and I love it. 🙂

    —Kay of Cincinnati on October 4, 2019
  • I usually do square by square but I have used the strip method as well.i make them any way I can.

    —Cheryl Maddalozzo on October 4, 2019
  • Really neat method
    I will have to try
    Should make some quilt tops come together much faster!!

    —Maryanne Wilson on October 4, 2019
  • I use long strips to piece mine. Thanks!

    —Karen H on October 4, 2019
  • I love nine patches. They are quick and easy. I usually use the strip method – I think it is more accurate and certainly faster, after all I’ve got lots of charity quilts to make. 😊

    —Eilene Hengen on October 4, 2019
  • I usually use log strips when making a lot of them but I have used shorter strips when just making a few. Also use my 2 2/2 inch blocks already cut from scraps and sew them one at a time.

    —Sylvia L on October 4, 2019
  • Love Civil War quilts! I’ve got to try this method Carol showed!

    Barbara Austin on October 4, 2019
  • Brilliant!
    I usually use long strips. Will definitely be trying Carol’s method.

    —karen on October 4, 2019
  • I strip piece mine, but will try Carol’s way also.

    —Angela Little on October 4, 2019
  • I use strips about 20 inches long. There always seems to be someone figuring a better mouse trap. I think Carols books are wonderful. I love making both small and large Civil War quilts.

    —Carol G on October 4, 2019
  • Thanks for the video. I usually use the long strip method but will try this ASAP.

    —Michelle on October 4, 2019
  • I make my nine-patchs with long strips, not so much fun. I would like to try a new method.

    —Mary Lou on October 4, 2019
  • When I first learned to piece, I made nine patches square by square. I graduated to strip piecing, but now I’m going to
    try Carol’s way, this is such a great tip!

    —Fran Bianchi on October 4, 2019
  • I make scrappy 9 patches with individual squares, but this method is so much faster and I can still make scrappy 9 patches by using different fabrics.

    —Celeste Delostrinos on October 4, 2019
  • I usually make long strips, but not any more!!!

    —Debby Jensen on October 4, 2019
  • I usually make mine with strip sets, but his would be a great time-saver, especially with scrap quilts!

    —Susan Morrison on October 4, 2019
  • I have always done my nine patches with long strips, but the method Carol showed with long and short strips is going to be my method from now on!

    —Carol on October 4, 2019
  • •I strip piece mine using long strips but next time I want to use Carol’s method – seems so easy

    —Carole on October 4, 2019
  • I like to strip and then mix and match.

    —Mary Kastner on October 4, 2019
  • Clever!!

    —Karen D Martin on October 4, 2019
  • Almost always make 9 patches from strips – both short & long. Rarely scrappy from little squares, but have done them that way.

    —Joy B on October 4, 2019
  • I love this book! I usually make nine patches using long strips or just individual pieces if I’m using scraps…which I often do with leftovers.

    —Loris Mills on October 4, 2019
  • I usually make my nine patch the same way, it seems the most logical. I love civil war fabric and quilts and make most of my quilts scrappy. I just love your book and would love to own it.

    —Donna McTague on October 4, 2019
  • Great method! Will try it today!

    —Cheri Bergeron on October 4, 2019
  • I have tried every method out there

    —Hilda Krebs on October 4, 2019
  • Depends on the application so either piece by piece or strip.

    —Kris Pierce on October 4, 2019
  • I use all different methods to make my 9 patches and all are great but making them a square at a time may take longer but it means I can use my scraps right to the last inch.

    —Sue on October 4, 2019
  • I have made nine patch blocks both ways. The scrappier the better. I will definitely use her other method.

    Kristie on October 4, 2019
  • I am eager to try this method. Love learning new tricks.

    —Sue on October 4, 2019
  • I have done 9 patch block all ways. This book looks very interesting.

    —Peggy on October 4, 2019
  • In the past, I’ve used a strip method but from now on, I’ll be using this one! Cool!

    —Becky Bynum on October 4, 2019
  • Until now I’ve used long strip, but can’t wait to try Carol’s way.

    —Vickie Keith on October 4, 2019
  • I made an entire lap quilt the "hard" way! Can’t wait to do this!

    —Marion Lisko on October 4, 2019
  • Nifty trick for piecing nine-patches! I recently made 102 nine patch blocks and the instructions sad to join 9 squares of fabric. No way, I thought, so I strip pieced them. They are not all different by that method, but they will be distributed throughout the quilt. I will have to try this method when I make a quilt with nine-patches that are all the same!

    —Sandy on October 4, 2019
  • I have just used lenders and sewed two beginning blocks together technique.
    This tip looks like a fast, accurate strip method.

    —carol on October 4, 2019
  • I usually use strips that are similar to Carol’s…but that is only accidental.

    —Rochelle Summers on October 4, 2019
  • Square by square

    —MS Barb on October 4, 2019
  • Like many commenters, I use long strips for making a bunch of matching nine patches, and short strips or squares for scrappy. This method was interesting!

    —Linda W on October 4, 2019
  • I think I have used every method, it can depend on the fabric/block identical blocks or if you are using scraps.

    —Jenny on October 4, 2019
  • I strip piece ,but I’m going to try this method today! Why didn’t I think of this???

    —Sharon on October 4, 2019
  • I either strip piece or piece by piece. I am definitely going to give Carol’s method a try.

    —Jacqueline Hale on October 4, 2019
  • Thank you for the wonderful 9-Patch strip set tutorial! Genius!

    —Kathleen D on October 4, 2019
  • Will definitely try Carol’s method. Sounds like it will save me time most strip quilts I make. Looking forward to this new method.

    Gayle on October 4, 2019
  • Just like Carol—it just doesn’t get any easier. It’s so easy

    —Rommy on October 4, 2019
  • I have not done a 9-patch but Carol’s makes it look so easy. Will be trying this method soon.

    —Judith Carlon on October 4, 2019
  • Thanks for sharing this great way to make 9 patches!!! I will definitely give it a try.

    —Alice on October 4, 2019
  • Well it depends, but I have not tried Carols way. Looks good and easy. I’ll have to give this a try next time. If I’m using scraps it goes piece by piece. This is not a fast method.

    —Stephanie Woodward on October 4, 2019
  • I use strip sets for 9-patch blocks except when doing scrap busting on my 2.5″ square inventory. Will be trying Carol’s method.

    —SandyMay on October 4, 2019
  • I`ve used square by square and also strips but learnt how to use my smaller strips by watching the video. I will use that method when I can.

    —Clare on October 4, 2019
  • I like to do square-by-square (to increase the scrappiness), but I sometimes use strips if I’m trying to keep my colors consistent.

    —Teri D. Gailey on October 4, 2019
  • I’ve made nine patch blocks from strips and from squares. Have never seen this clever trick. Thanks for sharing.

    —Betsy on October 4, 2019
  • I usually use strips to piece my 9-patches.

    —Barbara McDonald on October 4, 2019
  • I make mine with individual squares if I’m going scrappy or with long strips, but I love Carol’s method! I’ll have to try it.

    —Dottie MACOMBER on October 4, 2019
  • I make my 9-patches using strips. I love your idea and will use it when I make some that are not so scrappy. Brilliant!

    —Sharon Lowy on October 4, 2019
  • I strip piece mine so much faster and more accurate than making individual blocks.

    —Sharon Cirillo on October 4, 2019
  • strip piece then cut etc.

    —Donna F on October 4, 2019
  • I’ve made 9 patches all sorts of ways, but this method is new to me. Looks awesome! I will be sure to try it the next time I need 9 patches.

    —Phyllis Beneditz on October 4, 2019
  • Good idea and it helps avoid those swayed block problems

    —Sheila Frey on October 4, 2019
  • I do it the old fashion way—square by square.

    —Joyce Carter on October 4, 2019
  • I love the way Carol makes the stripy nine patches. I usually sew dark-light-dark strips and then fill in with light-dark-light squares. I will definitely have to give her way a try. It looks to be so much faster. And faster is better because you can make more quilts that way. Thanks so much!

    —Ann West on October 4, 2019
  • I use the same cutting as Carol does, but mine does not look as great as hers. I don’t sew or save extra fabric as she does which is a neat thing to start doing.

    —Althea Klosterman on October 4, 2019
  • I do love nine patches and will try this "aha" way of assembling them. Thank you so much.By the way I’ve been looking for a pattern for the cover quilt blocks ! Noel.

    —Noel Taylor on October 4, 2019
  • A lady showed this tip to me, about 15-20years ago – perhaps I met Carol?
    She said, to be sure to cut from the ends, leaving a larger (more useable) piece at the middle of the strata.
    Great video/tip.
    Thank you for sharing. 💕

    —Christine in Los Angeles on October 4, 2019
  • Most often I make them from long strips, but occasionally I go all "scrappy" and make them from individual blocks–I just did that, with >1000 individual pieces. I was glad I did, once they were all pieced together.

    —Beth T. on October 5, 2019
  • I usually strip piece, but I’d like to try this method.

    —Joan M on October 5, 2019
  • Since I’ve only made a lap quilt, I did it square by square, but it seems that Carol’s method is so much easier!And less stressful!

    —Carol L. on October 5, 2019
  • I use 1/2 strips – 22″. Gives me a little more control and I can get a better variety of colors.

    —Linda Ahn on October 5, 2019
  • I want to follow Carol’s method. I love nine patch quilts. Make them piece by piece.

    Martha Followill on October 5, 2019
  • A neat idea! I always like to try a new idea.

    —Juanita Decquir on October 5, 2019
  • I strip piece mine using long strips, but now that I’ve seen Carol’s method, I’ll be using that!

    —Jay on October 5, 2019
  • The easiest way to do it is by using strips. When I’m looking for fast and easy, that’s my "go to"

    —Geri on October 5, 2019
  • Love it! It’s great learning tips and tricks!
    Thank you!

    —usairdoll on October 5, 2019
  • I usually strip piece long strips but I’m excited to use up some fat quarters using Carol’s tip. Thanks for the info.

    —Sandie G on October 5, 2019
  • I enjoyed learning your unique method for nine patch quilting. My first quilt was a nine patch, strip pieced for a doll bed, many, many years ago. I love making all kinds of quilts with nine patches in the patterns. I’ll be using your method from now on, Carol. Thanks.

    —Carol H on October 5, 2019
  • I strip piece mine using long strips. I love Nine patch quilts!

    —Patricia Anderson on October 5, 2019
  • I do square by square, makes me feel good!!!

    —bobbie rumler on October 6, 2019
  • Scrappy nine patch blocks are so sweet ~ so piece by piece with all kinds of great combinations of fabric.

    —Marlene Sickles on October 7, 2019
  • I’ve used the long strip method but not Carol’s method. I’m going to use it the next time I need to make nine patches, which I love to do.

    —Donna K on October 7, 2019
  • Strip piece. I have several of Carol’s books. Great directions and just plain wonderful quilt books! 💟

    —Tamara Williams on October 7, 2019
  • I strip piece, like Carol does, but had not thought of the half-length pieces like she does. Awesome technique. I’ll try it!

    —Susan B on October 7, 2019
  • Typically, I make nine patches from long strips, but I’m going to give this new method a try!

    —Tracey Holzer on October 8, 2019
  • What a great idea Iam going to try this method thanks for the video

    —irene on October 9, 2019
  • I usually sew them square by square

    —Linda A Foust on October 9, 2019
  • Just like Carol—it just doesn’t get any easier!!
    Her video is very helpful!

    —Cindy Landis on October 10, 2019
  • I am excited to use Carols method. I usually use the long strip method. Never thought of dividing them like that. How simple is that??

    —Sue on October 11, 2019
  • Since you need twice as many dark sided strips as ligh, I If you cut your dark strip 2/3 the length and your light strip 1/3 the length instead of both at 1/2, you can probably get 4 nine patches instead of three.

    —Kathy on October 19, 2019
  • I usually use strip sets but can’t wait to try Carol’s method. I love quick and easy

    —Donna M on October 20, 2019
  • I typically use long strips but Carol’s method is one I will use from now on!

    —Pam on October 21, 2019
  • I usually use long strips, but now will use Carol’s method. Thanks for the tip.

    —Darliss Peabody on November 2, 2019
  • It has been square by square in making a patched block. Just last month the guest speaker at our quilt guild meeting showed the sewing strips method as she doesn’t toss any scrap. So that’s something I’m going to try.

    Jan on November 5, 2019
  • I haven’t seen this method before but am anxious to try it out ASAP. So much easier than the long strips I usually use.

    —Diana on January 16, 2020

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