For those who haven't heard of disappearing nine patch pattern before, it is a nifty and simple way to make some very interesting blocks. There are probably hundreds of tutorials on this block, but I didn't find one that mentioned how to use directional focus fabric! So I wrote my own.
This tutorial will help you keep those directional fabrics going the right way.
The Disappearing Nine Patch pattern allows you to take your basic nine patch (first photo below) and turn it into a much more interesting block by cutting along the center of the block both horizontally and vertically and swapping two of the corner blocks (second photo).
Wonderful! Except two of my focus fabric squares are now sideways. I ripped them out and put them in right side up. Now here is a little how to on doing it right the first time.
I have two focus fabrics I want to use and they are both directional fabric.
And a lovely selection of fat quarters from Connecting Threads.
I cut them into 5.5 inch squares, leaving out three or four of the light colored FQs. The very dark ones I kept in a separate pile to use as center squares.
Arrange the squares into nine patch. Keep the focus fabric squares upright! Focus fabrics must go in the corners or they will get chopped in half.
Stitch together nine patch block.
Cut block in half vertically and horizontally.
Trim blocks to 7.5" square.
And now swap two opposing corners.
Voila. Stitch together or make a lot more and mix and match your blocks to get a more random look. Using 5.5" squares and trimming to 7.5" for the subunits will give you a 14" finished block.