Monday, 28 June 2010

Dear Jane’s M-9 Fan Dance alternative tutorial

Okay, so we all know that there’s always more than one way to skin an orange (don’t want to offend any one ;)).
Here’s the way I did my M-9 without using paper piecing.
First lightly spray starch your print and background fabrics.
Then cut 3 strips from each fabric (Background and print)as follows:
3 backgrounds: 1 x 6"x 1+1/8" and 2 x 6”x 1+3/8ths" and the same for the print. 
Lay them out as here:-
M-9 Tut 1 
(with the narrower strip in the middles)
M-9 Tut 2M-9 Tut 4Then machine them together one set of 3 with background in the middle and the other set with print in the middle. Press your seams toward your print. then lay one strip on top of the other butting in the seams nicely together.

Straighten one narrow edge.

M-9 Tut 5M-9 Tut 6The width should be 2+3/4 inches but if it’s slightly bigger don’t worry you can square up later. If it’s smaller recheck your seam allowances.
M-9 Tut 7Meanwhile whatever the width then cut at that figure… say it’s 2 +7/8ths then cut your squares that. And here are the squares set out.
You can breath a little now ;)
M-9 Tut 8

Then you need to cut these on the diagonals… as shown. It is important you follow the direction of the cuts… you want them to be going the right way.  M-9 tut 9Lay them out like this… this is the fun bit.;)
Carefully stitch the halfsquare triangles together. Pin, Pin, Pin…making sure those seams are butted together and you stitch an even as possible scant 1/4 seam allowance.
This is how the should look on your pressing M-9 tut 11mat. Set the seam with your iron then trim the dog ears (see one on right) M-9 Tut 12
before opening up and pressing again. They should all be pressed identically so the seam will go in the same direction. You can now trim those squares to 2 and 3/4 inches if larger. Just make sure to centre the ruler on the diagonal and in the centre of the middle strip.
Set them back in order of the pattern and sew them together as for a 4 patch. Making sure all the while that those seams are butted, including the diagonal ones. After the first pairing press seams so the go in the same direction as the diagonals,
When you come to join the last seam you want to put a pin in straight through the center cross to match the centre seams. See pictures below. m-9 tut 14
Again. Make sure all the seams are butted together including those diagonals. Then start sewing… as you are almost at the centre lengthen your stitch a little till you past the centre then reduce back down. Check from the front how it is laying, if you’re happy go back and stitch m-9 tut 13directy over those larger stitches with a smaller one.
If not re-stitch that center with smaller stitch then remove those larger stitches if you mess up first time ;)) and yes I did…and had tiny wee stitches to unpick whichm-9 tut 15 is why I suggest changing your stitch length up for the middle…
When you are happy press your seams going in same rotating direction… to do this you’ll need to unpick the seam allowance stitches in the middle. See my picture.m-9 tut 16
And this is it from the front.
I had to trim mine to square it up and make it the right size. The centre should be 4 1/4 inches.
Add your outer strips (I cut mine a little larger than needed 1 +1/8th inches) and courthouse stepped them to opposite sides. And here is my finished one:-m-9
PHEW!!! That took some doing!! The Tutorial not the stitching.. LOL..
Happy Sewing
N.B.  Update, just looking at this post and something has happened to some of my pictures.  I hope this doesn't detract from the tutorial.  I will try sort it later.  Elly 10/16/2010 


  1. nicely done. I haven't attempted this one yet.

  2. Thanks for showing! You did a good job, your block is very accurate.

  3. Super tute, Elly! What a great way to make this block... can't wait to try my luck with your technique!
    Thank you... hugs, /;-)