Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Four-Patch 101

I know experienced quilters out there already know this, but since I'm still working hard on completing some projects before embarking on the Dear Jane journey, I thought I'd offer a refresher course.

If you need to make a bunch of identical Four-Patches, there is a better way than sewing four little squares together. Now, if you need random Four-Patches like in the quilt-a-long quilt's borders, you'll probably need to cut a bunch of little squares.

In the example we're making 4"x4" finished Four-Patches, i.e. four 2" squares per block. We're making 2 color Four Patches.
Cut a strip of fabric 2.5" wide by the length required to make the quantity of Four-Patches you'll need. Then cut another 2.5" strip exactly the same length out of the second fabric.
To calculate the length of the strips: No. of Four-Patches x 2 x 2.5"
If you need 2 for example, you'll need to cut the strips 4 x 2.5", i.e. 10" long.

Sew the two strips together length-wise and press the seam to one side.

Cut this strip into sections 2.5" wide. There will be 4 sections for our 2 Four-Patches.

Turn two of these sections 180 degrees and sew one to each of the other 2 sections.


Voila, you have two lovely Four-Patches!

You can make 4 color Four-Patches by cutting four 2.5" strips and sewing them together in pairs. You will have to give some thought to the final result you desire in order to determine which fabrics to sew together.

You can also make a checkerboard border by joining as many Four-Patches as you need to get to the desired length.

And, of course, you can change the size of the squares to anything you like. Just add 1/2" to the total size of the squares you want in your block and use that measurement instead of the 2.5" measurements I used.


  1. I just wich i had fabric to make that! Why didn't i brougth all the fabrics from Portugal, Why? Now it is very dificult for me to buy again!

  2. Thanks for the great tip. I'm always looking for ways to speed up my quilt making!

  3. 1, 2, 3, 4, test, test. Thanks Anina for your refreshment!

  4. As a person considering making her first quilt, I appreciate any tips I can gather.

  5. I'm still working on the sashings of the quilt-a-long top. While working on that I use the leaders & enders method to get a head start with all the little squares for the borders.

    Do you have any plans for your Four-Patches?

  6. Thank you for the tip. I've yet to make a quilt but I'm stocking up on all these tutorials and advice.