I was sewing the first block of my Kitty in the Middle Quilt – Puss in the Corner. There are several versions of this block most of which are based upon a nine patch. I am not sure if the name of puss or kitty relates to a cat’s nine lives, but it seems to make sense. Then again, it could just be a coincidence. This version is a nine patch with nine patches in the corners. It makes a nice center point for the quilt. It’s original name is Five Patch by Ladies Art Company (1897). It is also called New Nine-Patch (Jinny Beyer, 1980) and Puss in the Corner (Gutcheon, 1973).

Look at the center of the nine patch

Everything was going well. I was cruising along with strip piecing and chain piecing. Each unit of the nine patch was complete. I had put two of the three rows together, when I realized that I should be taking pictures of the block assembly. Given there is only one block with this construction, I decided to stop and take pictures at this point with the intent of taking more of the future blocks. I put the units on my design wall, straightening them for the photos. I was just about to take the picture, when I noticed it…. The block is made with black, white and gray prints from Dear Stella’s “Les Chat Noir.” Three of the prints non-directional (Moonscape). One of the prints is bi-directional (little kitty faces), which was not an issue because of the strip piecing. However, the fifth fabric was VERY directional. It was black with cats outlined in white….. The cat silhouettes in the top row where perpendicular to each other! Thankfully, I hadn’t sewn the bottom row together. To avoid taking the top row apart, I needed to have the silhouettes in the bottom row perpendicular as well to ensure symmetry.

Phew! I don’t know about you, but I really like symmetry and will take quilts apart to achieve it. I also really detest ripping out seams. In fact, extensive seam ripping ruins my day. Putting those pieces on my design wall helped me to see what I hadn’t seen when I picked the fabric or was chain piecing it. It reaffirmed that sometimes slowing down and taking a second look can saving lots of aggravation later.

Note the symmetry of the nine patch centers 🙂

And that was how my design wall saved my day! Do you have a similar story? If so, please share it!

Happy Quilting,