Fast Scrappy Four Patch Baby Quilt

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Materials needed:

1 Charm Pack (or 40 – 5″ inch squares of whatever fabric you choose, 20 squares should be a light value and 20 squares should be a medium/dark value)

5 white strips 2″ x 24 1/2″ – to sew between sections of four patches

2 white strips 2″ x 31 1/2″ – for sides of four patch sections

2 solid color strips 4 1/2″ x 27 1/2″ – for top and bottom borders

2 solid strips 4 1/2″ x 32″ – for side borders

Use a 1/4″ seam allowance for all sewing.

Please note that I made up this pattern as I went; which means I didn’t pre-measure the white strips or borders.  Once I made my rows of four patches and sewed them together I would measure the length and cut my white strips to fit. Since I forgot to write them down at the time (duh) I actually took the measurements listed above AFTER I sewed everything together making these measurements approximate.  I would recommend you measure and cut as you go for accuracy.

Quick Four Patch Method

  1. Sort your charm squares so that you have 20 that you consider light and 20 that you consider medium or dark so that they provide contrast to your light squares.

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I chose 20 patterned squares from the charm pack and sorted 10 that I considered light and 10 medium/dark.  I then cut 20 solid color squares from yardage I had using four different colors, 5 squares of each color.  I choose my solids based on the color palette of the charm pack so that they would all work together.  You can certainly use just the squares in the charm pack and still get a nice result since there are a total of 42 squares in the pack.

2. Pair up one light square with one medium/dark square.  In the picture above you can see an example of how I paired the squares in the column on the left with the ones in the right column.  I just wanted to make sure that there was good contrast between the two.

3. Take each of your pairs and lay them right sides together.

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4. Take one pair and sew them together by sewing a 1/4″ seam down the left and right sides of the set.  Continue to sew each of your pairs together in this way.

Four Patch Seam Picture

5.  After all pairs are sewn, take each pair and cut them in half by lining up your ruler with the outer edge of the square and measuring in 2 1/2″.

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Open them up and you’ll now have blocks made up of two rectangles.

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6. Press the seams on all of your blocks to the darker fabric.

7. Lay out your blocks end to end rotating every other block so that you have one block with a dark half on one side and the next block with a light half on that same side.  Because I also made sets of solid blocks I did one patterned block, one solid block, another pattern block, etc. until I had them all laid out.  You want to make sure you have contrast between the rectangles where the blocks meet at the ends.

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8. Sew each block end-to-end to make a long row.  You can sew all the blocks together and make a really long string of blocks or just sew a few together if it will help you handle them better.  Because you pressed all of your seams to the dark side and have now rotated them you will be able to “nest” your seams to line them up nicely when you sew your ends together. Just bump them together.

Tutorial Nest Seams-1

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After all your blocks are sewn together you can press all of the seams to one side; whichever side you choose.

9. Lay your long string of blocks horizontally on your cutting table and fold the block on the left end on top of the block next to it, right sides together.

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10. Lay a ruler on top of the blocks you’ve folded together and measure 2 1/2″ in from the left edge. Cut through the blocks.

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You’ll have one two patch and one full four patch from this cut.  Lay the two patch aside for now.

11.  Fold the two patch that is still connected to the next block back over on top of it so they are right sides together.

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12. Lay your ruler on top of the two patch.  It should measure 2 1/2″ from the left edge. Cut along the rulers edge through the block laying under the two patch.  Don’t cut into the two patch that’s on top.

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Open the block and you now have another four patch ready to go.

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13.  Keep cutting the entire string of blocks this way until you have a stack of four patches.  You will end up with one two patch at the end of your string.  You can sew that to the first two patch that you started with to make a four patch.  You should end up with a total of 40 four patches that measure 4 1/2″ square.

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14.  Lay your four patches out on a table, floor, bed, design wall, whatever you have available in a manner that you find pleasing.

Below is a picture of the first way I laid them out without any white strips.  I had 6 rows of 6 blocks using the 4 extra four patches as cornerstones.

NOTE:  I don’t cut my border strip lengths when just designing.  I cut the width I know that I want to the length of the fabric then tuck and pin the longer ends (if needed) under the border strips to hide them as I’m trying things out.

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This is really cute as well, but I wanted to make it a bit bigger without making more four patches so I added the white strips.  However you could add multiple borders of various widths as well to make it bigger if desired and leave the center alone.

15.  To add the white strips sew two rows of 6 four patches together then sew one white 2″ x 24 1/2″ strip to the top and bottom of the set.

Sew one row of 6 four patches and sew it to the white strip.  Sew a white strip to the bottom of that row.

Sew another row of 6 four patches and sew it to the white strip of the set you just completed then sew a white strip to the bottom of that four patch row.

Sew together two more rows of 6 four patches, sew it to the last section you made then sew a white strip to the bottom.

Press all of your seams towards the four patches so that they don’t show through the white strips.

Sew one 2″ x 31 1/2″ strip to each side of the section you just made and you’ll now have this:

Inner Quilt Section

16.  Add your border strips by first sewing one 4 1/2″ x 27 1/2″ strip to the top and bottom of the quilt.

Then sew one four patch on each end of the 4 1/2″ x 32″ strips that you will add to the sides.

Sew the two side borders on and you’ll get this – a scrappy, colorful quilt top:

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I hope that you find the cutting technique for the four patch a time saver.  Have fun making your own four patch quilt!