Hidden Pockets Nine Patch Quilt Block Tutorial

This fun twist on a traditional nine patch block is fun for pillows and hiding secrets in a quilt! This Hidden Pockets Nine Patch Quilt Block tutorial can easily blend in with other standard nine patch blocks and have fun surprises. While I’ve opted to use this block in a pillow, this would be perfect for a baby blanket (just attach toys to ribbon inside the pockets, or a quilt for watching movies (no more losing the remote!).

This block is simple enough for a beginning quilter and has nice clean lines.

Materials to Make a Hidden Pockets Nine Patch Quilt Block

  • 2 types of complementing cotton fabric (for the pillow I used 1 yard color A and 3/4 yard color B)
  • Rotary Cutter, Ruler and Mat
  • Sewing Essentials ( Pins, thread, scissors, etc.)

How to Sew a Hidden Pockets Nine Patch Quilt Block

Step 1 –  Calculate the strips and Cut out

Decide on the final size you want your block to be (for me it was 19.5 inches by 19.5 inches). Divide your measurement by 3, and add .25 inch to each side for seam allowance. This will give you the final measurement for the width of each strip to cut. The length of your strip will be the final size measurement plus .25 inches to the top and bottom for seam allowance.

For my measurements this formula looks like this: 19.5 / 3 = 6.5 + .25 +.25 for seam allowance = 7 for the width the length is 19.5 +.25 +.25 + 20.

From fabric A cut out 5 strips (in the pillow example I cut out 7″ x 20″ inches).

From fabric B cut out 4 strips of the same size.

If you’re making a pillow you will need to cut out the back as well. I opted for an envelope closure. I cut out 2 additional strips of fabric A, that are 7″ by 20″  and one strip of fabric B that was 15″ by 20″.


Hidden Pockets Nine Patch Quilt Block Tutorial

Step 1 –  Calculate the strips and Cut out

This quilt block is basically three quilt blocks folded together. We will need to make three blocks and then sew them together in a long strip.

For block one sew 3 Strips together in a A B A pattern with a .25 seam allowance. For projects like this I love to use my Patchwork foot #73 – it makes keeping the .25 seam allowance easy and accurate.

For block two sew strips in a B A B pattern.

For block 3 sew strips in a A B A pattern again.

With quilting and a 9 patch it’s traditional to nest the seams, but because we’ll be sewing through all those seams later I’ve found it’s better to press the seams open on all the blocks.

Step 2  – Sew the blocks together

Now that you have each of those blocks sew them into a long strip, starting with the A B A block then the B A B block and ending with the remaining A B A block using a .25 inch seam allowance. So you should have a long strip that is 20 inches wide by 59.5 inches long. Note: While it’s nice if the corners line up it’s not imperative at this point, if it’s a little off it’s OK!

Step 3 – Accordion fold the Hidden nine patch quilt block

Now it’s time for the magic to happen! Accordion fold each block into thirds, forming a lined pocket. Use a ruler to check your work. I like to mark out the square on a ruler with washi tape.

Do this with each block until a nine patch is formed.

This is where you can line up your corners perfectly. Pin your folds into place

Step 4 – Sew the Block

Now it’s time to sew the folds down to make the pockets permanent. Stitch in the ditch to sew down your folds.

Step 5 – Make the pillow or add it to your quilt

Fold under the edges of the envelope pillow about 1 inch and sew down.

With block facing up lay the back on top layering the envelope pieces, right side facing down. Pin them sew using a .25 inch seam allowance. Be mindful of all the folds and pockets, that they lay flat and in the right direction.

Hidden Pockets Nine Patch Quilt Block Tutorial Step 1 - Calculate the strips and Cut out

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