Floating Nine Patch Baby Quilt Pattern

  • 01 of 05

    Meet the Floating Nine Patch Baby Quilt

    Nine Patch Baby Quilt Pattern
    Floating Nine Patch Baby Quilt. © Janet Wickell

    This baby quilt pattern is sewn with a combination of nine patch and snowball quilt blocks. If a portion of the image appears to be missing, click it to see a full image.

    Overall, the quilt finishes at about 38" x 63", and blocks finish at 9-inches square.

    Blocks are placed on-point. Jagged edges around an on-point quilt's outer perimeter are typically filled-in with setting and corner triangles cut from a single fabric, but we'll use partial quilt blocks instead.

    I wanted nine patch blocks to pop out just a bit, so I chose two hot fabrics for their outer squares, one darker than the other. The center square is a neutral, light but still a bit warm. The same light is used for the center of the snowball quilt blocks, which have a mottled orange fabric at their outer corners.

    • The Snowball's orange comes forward a bit but doesn't overtake the hot fabrics in nine patch units.
    • Using a very light fabric in the Snowball centers would make the snowballs pop out more, but I wanted the nine patches to be the focus.

    My tutorials about color value and using a color wheel might help you choose fabrics.

    Fabric Requirements & Other Materials

    Yardages are a bit generous to allow for cutting irregularities and shrinkage.

    Lighter Hot Fabric: 1 yard

    Darker Hot Fabric: 1 yard

    Light, but somewhat warm, neutral fabric: 1-1/2 yards

    Mottled orange: 3/4 yard

    Quilt Backing: 2 yards (should not need to be pieced - see How to Make Quilt Backing)

    Quilting Batting: approximately 44" x 69" of thin batting

    Binding: about 225 running inches of doublefold binding to sew on with a 1/4" seam allowance (How to Make Quilt Binding)

    Cutting Instructions

    Never cut all of the fabric required for a quilt before sewing a test block or two, because we all make errors. I could have a typo (even though the patterns are checked before going live). You could make a cutting error, or perhaps sew a wider-than-normal quarter inch seam allowance. Always test first, no matter whose quilt pattern you are using.

    Nine Patch Quilt Blocks

    Lighter hot fabric:

    • (1) 3-1/2" x selvage width strip
    • (2) 3-1/2" x 29" strips
    • (1) 3-1/2" x 26" strip

    Darker hot fabric:

    • (2) 3-1/2" x selvage width strips
    • (2) 3-1/2" x 26" strips

    Snowball Quilt Blocks

    Neutral print:

    • (1) 3-1/2" x 29" strip
    • (15) 9-1/2" x 9-1/2" squares

    Orange mottled print: (60) 3-1/2" x 3-1/2" squares (cut from four to five 3-1/2" wide selvage width strips)

    Patchwork Setting Triangles

    Setting and corner triangle fabric requirements are split, to make it easier for you to use different fabrics. Fabrics will be the same if you make a quilt as shown.

    Lighter hot fabric: (2) 3-1/2" x selvage width strip (might need one or two additional 3-1/2" squares)

    Darker hot fabric:

    • (1) 3-1/2" x selvage width strip (might need an additional 3-1/2" square)
    • (6) 5-1/2" x 5-1/2" squares

    Light neutral print:

    • (3) 5-1/2" x 5-1/2" squares

    Patchwork Corner Triangles

    Lighter hot fabric: (4) 3-1/2" x 3-1/2" squares

    Darker hot fabric: (2) 5-1/2" x 5-1/2" squares

    Light neutral fabric: (2) 3" x 3" squares (can cut slightly oversize and square up after sewing corners)

    Continue to 2 of 5 below.
  • 02 of 05

    Sew Nine-Patch Blocks for the Baby Quilt

    Nine Patch Quilt Blocks
    Sew the Nine Patch quilt blocks. © Janet Wickell

    The Floating Nine Patch baby quilt has eight nine patch quilt blocks within the interior area of its diagonal rows. The top and bottom rows of each block are the same, and the inner row differs. We'll use strip piecing techniques to assemble the quilt blocks.

    Make Nine Patch Quilt Block Rows

    1. Gather two 3-1/2" x selvage width dark hot strips and a lighter hot strip of the same size.
    2. Sew a dark strip lengthwise to each side of the lighter strip (top left illustration). Press seam allowances towards the center strip.
    3. Square up one end of the strip set. Cut as many 3-1/2" segments from the strip set as possible (probably 11 or 12).
    4. Use the (2) 3-1/2" x 26" dark hot strips and the lighter hot strip of the same size to make another strip set just like the first. Square up one end and cut more 3-1/2" segments. You'll need a total of 16.
    5. Gather the two lighter hot and one neutral 3-1/2" x 29" strips. Sew a lighter hot strip lengthwise to the neutral strip (top right illustration). Press seam allowances away from the center strip.
    6. Square up one end of the strip set and then cut eight 3-1/2" segments.
    7. Gather two segments cut in step 2 and one strip cut in step 6. Form three rows with the segments, placing the segment with the neutral center strip in the middle (lower left illustration).
    8. Sew the rows together, butting seams for a perfect match. Press. The nine patch quilt block should measure 9-1/2" x 9-1/2". Repeat to make a total of eight nine patch quilt blocks.
    Continue to 3 of 5 below.
  • 03 of 05

    Make Patchwork Setting and Corner Triangles

    Patchwork Setting Triangles
    Patchwork setting and corner triangles for Floating Nine Patch baby quilt. © Janet Wickell

    Patchwork Setting Triangles

    Assemble twelve patchwork setting triangles to place at the ends of diagonal rows. If you are a beginning quilter, reading how to cut setting and corner triangles will help you understand why the small triangles we'll use to create the partial blocks are cut in different ways.

    1. Gather one each of the lighter and darker 3-1/2" x selvage width strips reserved for setting triangles. Sew together lengthwise (top left illustration). Press seam allowance towards the darker fabric.
    2. Square up one end of the strip set, trimming off as little as possible to make the end square. Cut (12) 3-1/2" segments from the set.​

      If the strip produces only 11 segments, make another by cutting one 3-1/2" square of each fabric. Sew squares together along one edge, carefully matching edges. Press seam allowance towards the darker square.

    3. Cut (12) 3-1/2" x 3-1/2" squares from the remaining lighter hot selvage length strip. Cut another square from scraps if the strip does not produce the number required.
    4. Find the (6) 5-1/2" x 5-1/2" squares of darker hot fabric cut for setting triangles. Cut each of the squares in half twice diagonally. You now have 24 triangles with the fabric's straight grain along their longest edge.
    5. Cut each of the three 5-1/2" neutral squares in half twice diagonally.
    6. Arrange components into three rows, top to bottom as shown, top middle illustration.
      • (top) Strip pieced segment to the left of a dark triangle
      • (middle) Lighter square next to a neutral triangle
      • (bottom) Dark triangle
    7. Sew components of top two rows together. Press seam allowances towards the lighter hot squares.
    8. Sew all three rows together to create the patchwork triangle shown, top right.

    The setting triangles are actually split nine-patch quilt blocks -- the same used in my Carolina Byways quilt. They can be quick pieced, but the method used in this pattern is usually best for beginning quilters.

    Patchwork Corner Triangles

    Make a patchwork triangle for each of the quilt's four corners. The two drawings in the bottom row illustrate the quilt's pieced corners.

    1. Cut each 5-1/2" x 5-1/2" dark square in half twice diagonally. Sew two dark triangles to each lighter square as shown, taking care to position the long edges of the triangles as illustrated. Press seam allowances towards the square.
    2. Cut each of the light 3" x 3" squares in half once diagonally. Center and sew a triangle to create the corner of each unit produced in step 1. Press seam allowance towards the new triangle (if sheer, press the other direction). If you used slightly oversize neutral triangles, square up to match remaining patch edges.
    Continue to 4 of 5 below.
  • 04 of 05

    Sew Snowball Blocks for the Floating Nine Patch Baby Quilt

    Snowball Quilt Block for Baby Quilt
    Snowball Quilt Block for Baby Quilt. © Janet Wickell
    1. Draw a line on the reverse side of each 3-1/2" orange square, from one corner to the opposite corner.
    2. Use the quick pieced snowball method to sew a square to each corner of a 9-1/2" x 9-1/2" neutral square. Trim corners and press as explained in the linked instructions.
    3. Repeat to assemble all 15 snowball quilt blocks. Each completed Snowball block should measure 9-1/2" x 9-1/2".
    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Assemble the Floating Nine Patch Baby Quilt

    Floating Nine Patch Quilt Diagonal Rows
    Floating Nine Patch Quilt Diagonal Rows. © Janet Wickell
    1. Stack the different blocks and setting components into unique piles.
    2. Use both illustrations as a guide to create diagonal rows on a design wall or any flat surface. Take care that blocks are placed on point and setting components are aligned as shown.
    3. Sew components of each diagonal row together (ignore the four corners for now). Press new seam allowances towards the snowball blocks.
    4. Join the rows, carefully matching seam intersections. Press.
    5. Sew a patchwork corner to each corner of the quilt. Press the quilt.

    Borders are not shown, but are easy to add if you like, and are an excellent way to square up a quilt that's slightly skewed -- use my straight quilt border instructions.

    Mark the quilt for quilting if markings are needed for your planned design. Sandwich the quilt with batting and backing. Hand or machine quilt and then sew binding to the quilt.