Four Patch almost done

Many quilt blocks incorporate a four patch.  I know and use three different methods.

To make a 4 inch finished four patch, you need a 4.5 inch unfinished four patch.  This allows for a 1/4 inch seam allowance on all sides.

Four Patch - Method 1

Four Patch – Method 1

Four Patch – Method 1

One method is to cut 2 1/2 inch squares from your fabric.  I chose a red/light brown with a country blue floral.  Take one blue and one red square and sew together.  Now, do it again with two more blue and red squares.  Press the seams to the darker fabric.  Nestle or nest the seams together and sew your pieces together.  Press open and you’ve got a four patch.

Four Patch – Method 2

Four Patch - Method 2

Four Patch – Method 2

A second method, which is very handy when you’re working with remnants or scraps, is to cut 2.5 inch strips of each fabric.  Sew the strips together and then cut 2.5 inch pieces from the sewn strips. Press seams open.  Nest the seams together and sew together.

Four Patch - Method 3

Four Patch – Method 3

Four Patch – Method 3

My personal favorite method is the 5 inch square method.  Cut 5 inch squares from your fabrics.  On the wrong side of the lighter fabric, draw a light pencil mark down the center, which would be 2.5 inches from the edge.  Put blue and red fabrics right sides together and using the light pencil mark as your guide, sew a seam 1/4 inch to either side of the pencil mark.  I will change my stitch to a “piecing” stitch and by using my guide foot right on the pencil mark, I get a lovely 1/4 inch seam.  A quick press and then cut along the pencil mark.  Press the seams to the darker fabric.

Next, lightly draw a line down the center of one of the pieces.  Nest your seams on each side.  I find pinning very helpful.  I learned the hard way that fabric will slip and move, creating uneven and mismatched corners.  Stitch 1/4 inch on each side of the line.  Quick press and then cut down the pencil marking.

Press your pieces open.  Looks nice right? But you’re not quite done yet!

Another lesson I learned the hard way — square your four patches before sewing together or to another block component.  Each one should measure 4.5 inches in both directions.

Measure your four patch — there should be 2 1/4 inches of fabric from the center seam to the edge of your fabric.  Using your ruler and cutter, trim away any excess from each side.

Now you have lovely four patch pieces!

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