This easy and efficient way of making two mirror image nine patch blocks was demonstrated at our May meeeting by Clarice Erickson. She has kindly shared the directions with us.
Cut two 9″ squares of contrasting fabrics.
Stack one square on top of another with right sides together. Sew a 1/4″ seam on the left and right side of the stacked squares.
Cut this unit from top to bottom into three 3 inch strips. You will have two seamed units and two single strips. Press the seam of each seamed unit toward the darker fabric.
Sew one single strip to the contrasting side of one seamed unit. This will yield two block made of three strips: one that is light-dark-light, with the other dark-light-dark. Press the seams toward the dark fabric.
Lay the 2 blocks on top of each other with right sides together. Rotate the stack 90 degrees. Sew a 1/4″ seam on the right and left side crossing the previous seams.
Cut each block into 3″ strips perpendicular to the new seams. You will have 2 six patch blocks and 2 three patch strips.
Swap the center strips between the two block. Sew these units together with 1/4″ seams. You will now have two alternating Nine Patch blocks.
This method can be used to produce blocks of any size from miniature to extra large by adjusting the size of the squares you start with. This photo shows the Nine Patch that results from starting with a 9″ square and a 3″ square