• Sarah Marcina

Diary of a Patriot- Clue One

I love starting a new mystery! I really wanted to get ahead and share weeks ago.

Clue One is simply nine patches and strips using red and white fabrics.

The instruction PDF download will be in my store (free) and also in the Facebook group. If you download from my store, use to code 2020 to get it free.


Before you start cutting your fabric, especially when working with fairly small strips, starch! This is one of the best tips anyone has ever gave me. If you've followed me much you already know I pre-wash. When I press my fabric post wash I go ahead and give them a good starching.


To get a good accurate cut, always lay your ruler where the line is on the fabric rather than beside the fabric. This couple threads can make a big difference in accuracy.

I knew the grand total of the strips, so I chain stitched until I had all the red & whites partnered up. To finish out the strips, I worked with the red-white-red first. With my red fabric cut and counted, I added one to the white side of the already pieced strips. With the remainder of the red & white partners, I sewed a white strip to the red.

Once you have all of your strips cut, I encourage you to count out the White-Red-White strips you will not be using in this clue and put them aside. You don't want to accidentally cut them up.



I have found the easiest (and fastest) way to make nine patches is by nesting two whole strip sets and cutting them at once. I lay them out on a large ruler then chain piece away. Make sure the nesting hasn't shifted by feeling the pair. It will be smooth and not have a bump at the seams. Press them open using starch or a spritz of water. You may want to check the units to make sure they are the proper size before moving on.


To add the third block, you will need to slice them up by themselves. To keep organized, I cut one strip then pair the units together placing them on my ruler. I chain stitch them all at one time though. Press the nine patches open and then trim them if needed.


Count and recount to make sure you have the correct number of White-Red-White strips and Nine Patches. I like to clip mine together in sets of ten, so I can easily keep track of how many I have. Lastly, if you haven't already found a way of keeping all of your clues together now is the time to do that!


We would love to see your clue come together. Share your pictures in the Facebook group!


Past Diary of a Patriot Post links:

Fabric Requirements

Mystery Prep

Diary of a Patriot Fabric Alternatives


Still need to buy your fabric? I used Connecting Threads "Hometown Americana" collection. If you use my link to make a purchase, I will receive a small commission which cost you nothing. The money earned helps keep my small business running.


When I put in my last fabric order, I took advantage of their batting sale. Until February 11th, it is 30% off. My favorite is Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 Fusible Batting. I never need pins or spray, I even use it to hand quilt.




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