How to Sew a Nine Patch Chain Quilt Block (Free Pattern)!

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Learn to sew the fabulous 9-patch chain block! This block may look a little odd by itself, but put it together with others just like it, and it comes alive!

When you mix it with other classic quilt blocks (like in our Kitchen Sink Quilt), it will add movement and excitement to your quilt. Enter your email below to receive this nine patch quilt block pattern as a free downloadable file!

The nine patch chain block also looks amazing repeated 16 times in this beautiful throw quilt.

nine patch chain quilt block

This block may look like you have to cut lots of tiny squares, but actually you don’t! Let me teach you my fast and easy strip piecing method for sewing multiple nine patch blocks at once.

Instead of cutting squares at first, you will cut narrow fabric strips. The strips are sewn together in sets of three. Then you will cut your strip sets to make small 3-patch units that will be sewn into small 9-patch blocks. These little 9 patch units are sewn together with larger squares to make the 9-Patch Chain Block.

After you learn this strip piecing technique, you’ll be able to use it in lots of different blocks, including others in our Kitchen Sink Quiltalong. I demonstrated strip piecing with more strips than just 3 in a video tutorial too.

Download the 9 Patch Chain block pattern as a free printable PDF file.

Enter your email address below to download the free nine-patch quilt block pattern (which is pages 15-16 of the Kitchen Sink Quiltalong Quilt Pattern).

Then check your inbox for a link to download the free PDF file. It may take 5-10 minutes to arrive. If you do not see the email with a download link in your main inbox, please check your junk folder in case it went there.

By entering your email address you are signing up for my SewCanShe newsletter. That way you won’t miss any of our block patterns! If you already read my newsletter – thanks so much! You will still recieve an email with a link to download the file.

Instructions for a 12” (finished size) Nine Patch Chain Quilt Block

These instructions make Nine Patch Chain Quilt Block. Finished block size: 12’’ x 12’’ (it is 12 1/2’’ x 12 1/2’’ before you sew it in a quilt).

You will need:

  • 5 different colors or prints of fabric to cut the strips listed below (I used two light fabrics, two dark fabrics, and one medium value fabric)
  • a rotary cutter acrylic ruler, and mat
  • sewing machine
  • thread (I suggest thread matching one of the light fabrics)
  • ironing board and iron


Light Gray (or other light fabric):

  • cut 1 strip 1 7/8” x 13”
  • cut 2 strips 1 7/8” x 7”

Navy (or other dark fabric):

  • cut 1 strip 1 7/8” x 13”

Deep Coral (or other dark fabric):

  • cut 1 strip 1 7/8” x 13”
  • cut 1 strip 1 7/8” x 7”

Peach (or other light fabric):

  • cut 4 squares 4 1/2’’ x 4 1/2’’

Turquoise (or other medium value fabric)

  • cut 2 squares 4 1/2” x 4 1/2”

Variation: If you want to make more than just one block, sign up above to get the free PDF file that goes with our Kitchen Sink Quiltalong quilt. It includes cutting instructions and a tutorial for making 10 blocks.

Quilt Block Assembly:

Use a 1/4’’ seam allowance and a short stitch length such as 1.5-2.

First Make Mini 9-Patch Blocks

1. Combo #1:
Place a 1 7/8” x 13” light gray strip and a 1 7/8” x 13” navy fabric strip right sides together. Sew along one long edge. Open and press the seam toward the darker fabric.

Place a 1 7/8” x 13” peach strip on top of the light gray fabric and sew along the long edge. Open and again press the seam toward the darker fabric.


  • Pressing your seams toward the darker fabrics enables you to nest the seams in step 4.
  • Sewing with a scant quarter inch seam allowance will ensure your blocks are the right size, plus you’ll have enough to square them up at the end.

2. Combo #2:
Place a 1 7/8” x 7” light gray strip and a 1 7/8” x 7” deep coral fabric strip right sides together. Sew along one long edge. Open and press the seam toward the darker fabric. 

Add the third strip: place another 1 7/8” x 7” light gray strip on top of the deep coral fabric and sew along the long edge. Open and press the seam toward the darker fabric.

3. Trim the ends of the strip sets to make them even.

Sub-cut Combo #1 into 6 pieces that are 1 7/8’’ wide.

Sub-cut Combo #2 into 3 pieces that are 1 7/8’’ wide.

There will be a bit of fabric leftover from each strip set.

4. Sew three pieces together as seen above to make a mini nine patch block.

By pressing the seams in your strip sets away from the light gray fabric in the previous steps, you will be able to nest your seams and not use pins!

You may now press your seams as desired (to the side or open).

Repeat to make 3 blocks (I was following the directions for our Kitchen Sink Quilt, so I made 30). Trim and square your blocks to 4 1/2” square, if desired.

Sew 9 Pieces Together to Make the Block

1. Arrange 3 mini nine patch blocks together with 4 peach fabric squares and 2 turquoise squares as shown. Sew together in 3 rows. Sew the rows together to make the Nine Patch Chain Block. Use a 1/4” seam allowance

2. Square the block to 12 1/2” x 12 1/2”, if desired.

Tip: I have used my 12 1/2” square ruler to square up every block in this quiltalong quilt so far and I love it!

This is Block #9 in our Kitchen Sink Quiltalong

Get ready to sew all your favorite quilt blocks this year! This is the year that we are going to sew everything but the kitchen sink in our Kitchen Sink 2022 Quiltalong.

This bold graphic quilt is perfect for learning new quilt making skills that build on one another, or for putting skills you already have into a big beautiful quilt.

Tips: As you work block by block on your kitchen sink quilt, save your scraps because you will be able to use them later on.

These awesome scrapbooking bins are perfect for keeping your finished blocks safe until it’s time to sew them together into a quilt top.

These are the 10 free quilt block patterns in the Kitchen Sink Quiltalong:

  • Four Patch Block
  • Nine Patch Quilt Block Pattern
  • Half Square Triangle Block
  • Quarter Square Triangle Block
  • Friendship Star Block
  • Flying Geese Block
  • Variable Star Block
  • Ohio Star Block
  • Nine Patch Chain Block (this post)
  • Pinwheel Mosaic Block

The last block pattern in this 2022 quiltalong (the Pinwheel Mosaic Block) – will be released sometime in October.

Our Kitchen Sink Quiltalong Page contains all of the Quiltalong Blocks and bonus quilt patterns. Bookmark it so you can easily find them!

Links to all of the other available Kitchen Sink Quiltalong Quilt Block Patterns will also be placed below. In the meantime, check out all of my free quilt patterns.


Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂