By Edie McGinnis
I love working with honey buns. Those rolls of 1 1/2” pre-cut strips look so cute while resting on my shelf, waiting to be made into something magnificent. And I can’t say or think about the name honey bun without having music from “South Pacific” by Rodgers and Hammerstein running through my head.
Not only does the music run through my head, but I also can see Nellie Forbush (Mitzi Gaynor) singing and dancing to the rollicking tune. There she is, wearing her oversize white sailor outfit with the tie hanging past her knees, looking like she’s having the best time.
A hundred and one pounds of fun,
The honey buns I sew with don’t exactly weigh 101 pounds, but they are tons of fun to work with. I pulled a pile of honey bun strips out of my scrap bag the other day. I had already taken the roll apart and used a few strips in another project. The rest got crammed into my scrap bag and, as you can see, they are a bit messy and need to be pressed.
That’s my little honey bun!
I sorted them by color, a pile of strips that have blue as the predominant color, another of green, one of cream and the last of pink. I began sewing strips together: pink, then cream, then pink. I made two sets of strips like that, then I reversed the order, so I had cream, then pink, then cream.
I did the same with the blue strips, then the greens. As soon as I had three sets of strips from each colorway sewn together, I cut them into 1 1/2” increments and sewed them together into 9-patch blocks.
Get a load of honey bun tonight.
It didn’t take long to come up with a stack of blocks. Out of the nine strips I used of each color, I came up with 29 or 30 blocks. Granted, the blocks have a finished size of 3”, and that’s small. But I think of all the quilt patterns that use 9-patches, and I am pleased that I can make them so quickly.
I’m speakin’ of my Sweetie Pie,
Sometimes I lose sight of the fact that a simple pattern can be the perfect choice when I want to make a sweet quilt. It’s nice to be able to relax and enjoy the process, rather than making something difficult or complicated. The stacks of blocks grow quickly, and that’s another plus when using the pre-cuts.
Only sixty inches high,
I can set my 3” blocks together into a double 9-patch block and have a lap quilt in no time flat. All I need to do is alternate the 9-patches with 3” squares. And that would not be my only choice of how to use the blocks. There is a multitude of ways to use 9-patches, and you can count on them to add movement to any quilt, especially when used as alternating blocks.
Ev’ry inch is packed with dynamite!
I’m not sure how I will set my 9-patch blocks together. Maybe I will make double 9-patch blocks. I could alternate them with snowball blocks. Or I could use them as three squares that would chain through the center of a double 9-patch. So many choices! I am sure of one thing: No matter how I use my 9-patches, I’ll end up with a quilt that is dynamite.
Edie McGinnis is an author and editor for Kansas City Star Quilts. She writes every Friday.