I finally finished this quilt. I bought the panel a couple of years ago but had no idea how to turn it into a full sized quilt. But then my daughter asked for a quilt incorporating this panel and as mothers do, I obliged. I looked around for ideas and found some other panels with 9patch borders. I really liked that. And I had a second panel of Manhattan. So I made some borders – with parts of the second panel in the 9patch border and voilá – it worked out perfectly. I backed the top with batting and dark grey polar fleece and had a perfect birthday gift for cold winter nights.
If you want to make a quilt with a 9patch border the best way to calculate the size of all parts needed is to work from the inside out and then from the outside in. What does this mean?
I started with the size of my panel and then added borders until I reached the quiltsize I wanted. And then I worked backwards, adapting the width of the borders for easier cutting. The 9patch border was planned 8″ (20 cm) wide which means cutting the patches 3⅙” (8,17 cm). So I adjusted the 9patch border to a width of 6″ (15 cm) and I could cut the patchtes 2½” (6,5 cm). Much easier to do. But of course I had to adjust the outer grey border and make it 2″ (5 cm) wider. If you work back in from the outside you can finally adjust the size of the center panel so that everything will fit together perfectly. As a final step I sketched the whole top on graph paper with one square representing one patch of the 9patch.
If you still have a beautiful panel somewhere in your stash and you don’t know how to make a quilt out of it – consider this way of enlarging it. It’s quick, it’s fun and it only needs a few calculations.