I've been thinking of doing a series of building blocks type tutorials for a while now.
I'll be doing mini-tutorials on different types of blocks that are typically pieces in larger more complex blocks.
This block is the 9-patch. I'm starting off with smaller pieced blocks, but I'm sure you can imagine this as just plain fabric.
If you're cutting pieces for the block, you'd cut each piece the finished size plus 1/2".
Here are your 9 pieces all laid out and ready to go.
First I sew the pieces of the outer column to the middle column.
Pressing is the key to a successful 9-patch. I make sure that the pressing on the middle row goes in the opposite direction of the upper and lower rows. This way you can butt your seams together and get nicer corners. Usually I press towards the dark if I'm making a plain 9-patch. If it's a piece 9-patch like this one, I look at the seams. I press towards the least amount of seaming to help the block lye flatter. I'm not sure if you can see the pressing in the block below.
Now sew one row to the middle row. For pressing, my first consideration is what am I sewing the block to. Do I need to make sure the seams work for this? Otherwise I'll press towards the side that has the least amount of seams or the most dark pieces.