Farmer’s Wife 1930’s block 79 – Patience – the versatile 9-patch

Hello and welcome to all the wonderful participants in the Farmer’s Wife 1930’s Sampler Quilt sew-along, hosted by the lovely Angie of Gnomeangel, the Fat Quarter Shop and Marti Michell.

I am here to share with you the tutorial for the delightful block Patience, which without a doubt is the simplest block in the entire book. If you missed them, Angie’s tutorial for Patience is HERE and Marti Michell’s tutorial is HERE.




Patience is based on a 9-patch, where you have a single block made of 3 equal square shapes across and down, for a total of 9 pieces. It is one of the most fundamental of all the patchwork shapes, and, as I will also show you, one of the most versatile.

Although you could easily rotary cut this block, or even use a die-cutting machine if you had the right size square template, I chose to use the Marti Michell conversion chart and templates.


Farmer's Wife 1930's Patience Cassandra Madge


Marti has added a clever twist that removes 2 seams from this block. I am all for those sort of tricks, why sew a seam (and lose 1/2 an inch of fabric in the seam allowance) if you don’t need to?


Farmer's Wife 1930's Patience Cassandra Madge


Simply press your fabrics, and using your B12 template to guide the distance between your ruler and straight edge of the fabric, I cut one strip each of my two fabrics. The centre contrast strip (red in my sample block) needs only 3 squares cut from it using the B12.


Farmer's Wife 1930's Patience Cassandra Madge


To cut the four other pieces (grey in my block), rather than use two smaller strips of fabric, I folded a longer one in half. This allowed me to make the largest piece of waste, because I hate wasting fabric! From your double strip, you cut out the B12 square once, giving you two pieces, then using the width of B8 to cut one rectangle which will also give you the two pieces needed. I used my B12 template to trim the corners off after the rectangles had been cut to length.


Farmer's Wife 1930's Patience Cassandra Madge


You can see here the amount that was left from this strip – ready to be used in the next block!


Farmer's Wife 1930's Patience Cassandra Madge


Here are all seven pieces ready for piecing after just a few quick cuts. Fabric placement and colour contrast can make a huge difference to this block, so feel free to play around and see which look works best for you. This block also lends itself to some awesome fussy cutting!


Farmer's Wife 1930's Patience Cassandra Madge Farmer's Wife 1930's Patience Cassandra Madge


I initially sewed this block together in rows. I have put arrows on each row to show you how I pressed my seams. I press to one side as my primary preference, as I love nesting my seams to give me the most accurate intersections and corners. Here I have pressed the adjoining seams in opposite directions. You could also simply press each alternating row – left, right then left again which would have the same effect.


Farmer's Wife 1930's Patience Cassandra Madge Farmer's Wife 1930's Patience Cassandra Madge


When sewing the rows together, first you nest, or closely align, your intersecting seams – above shown by the green highlight. I chose to also pin the other seam and the end of the row to keep it stabilised when going through the sewing machine. Some people chose to pin on both sides of a nested seam, or use a special forked pin, however I find that pinning the seam that will go under the needle first is enough. Keep the pin in there right up until it goes under the presser foot, only removing it right before the needle will go over it. This means that it won’t shift at the last minute.


Farmer's Wife 1930's Patience Cassandra Madge Farmer's Wife 1930's Patience Cassandra Madge


Repeat the pinning and sewing process for the second seam.


Farmer's Wife 1930's Patience Cassandra Madge


Give those two row seams a good press – open or closed by your own choice.


Farmer's Wife 1930's Patience Cassandra Madge Farmer's Wife 1930's Patience Cassandra Madge


You can see here how nesting those two corners makes for super accurate sharp corners all across this block.


FW79 Patience Cassandra Madge FW79 Patience Cassandra Madge




Now that you have mastered this sweet little block, let’s see what else you can do with the amazing 9-patch!



I hope that you are inspired to take a second look at the humble nine patch block and how many wonderful ideas there are to use it.



The Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt: Inspiring Letters from Farm Women of the Great Depression and 99 Quilt Blocks That Honor Them by Laurie Aaron Hird for Fons & Porter/F+W; RRP $28.99 – Click here to purchase.


Farmer's wife 1930's Book




As always, thank you so much for stopping by! Make sure you check back on Saturdays for my regular Farmer’s Wife block posts, and sign up for my newsletter for crafty fun, patchwork hints and the occasional freebie!




**Disclaimer** I received the Marti Michell templates as part of my participation in the sew along – all opinions are my own.

 Happy Crafting - Cassie.

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6 Responses

  1. Cathy ewbank

    What a fun video Cassandra! So many possibilities from such a simple block 😊

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