Monday, August 5, 2013

Strip Piecing 4 Patch Quilt Blocks...

Hi everyone. Thought I would share a quick tutorial for strip piecing quilt blocks...four patches in particular. If you are new to quilting, any little tip or trick is helpful.

I'll be sharing another block this week for the Block of the Month Club and four patches are one of the elements.

Here is a simple four patch...

strip piecing quilt blocks

There are 2 ways to sew a four patch, so come on in and see...
The way I've been making them for my sample blocks is just cutting the desired measurement for each this case 2 1/2 inches.

I do it this way, because I am desperately trying to use up my scrap basket of all my reds and tans.

The first way is to take four squares cut at 2 1/2 inches...

strip piecing quilt blocks

Sew the top 2 right sides together with a 1/4 inch seam, then sew the bottom 2 squares.

strip piecing quilt blocks

Then sew the 2 rows together, matching the center seam.

Four patch done!

strip piecing quilt blocks

Now for the faster way...

Strip Piecing!!

If you are using the same 2 fabrics throughout in your 4 patches, strip piecing works great.

For this example, I will be using 2 1/2 inch strips which will give me a 4 1/2 inch four patch (unfinished measurement)

I am only using small strips in this picture below (again, from my scrap basket), but imagine your strips to be the width of fabric which is 42-44 inches.

Take 2 strips. One dark fabric and one light fabric cut at 2 1/2 inches wide and as long as you have available.

strip piecing quilt blocks

Place fabric right sides together.

strip piecing quilt blocks

Sew one long edge with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

strip piecing quilt blocks

1/4 inch seam

strip piecing quilt blocks

Press seam to the dark fabric.

strip piecing quilt blocks

Square up the left short edge first.

To do this, line up the the left short edge on a vertical line on your cutting mat letting the edge hang over a little bit. Then line up the bottom edge of the fabric on the horizontal line of the mat. Trim with a rotary cutter using the vertical line to cut.

strip piecing quilt blocks

Now place your quilt ruler on the stripped piece.

Line up the 2 1/2 inch mark on the left side and a straight line of the ruler on the bottom of the fabric to keep it square.
strip piecing quilt blocks

Cut the 2 1/2 piece.

strip piecing quilt blocks

and just keep cutting all the way down the strip. Every once in a while, check to see if you need to square up the end again.

strip piecing quilt blocks

Now just take 2 of those pieces and sew them together....matching center seam.

strip piecing quilt blocks

Easy Peasy 4 patch!!

strip piecing quilt blocks

If you use a full width of fabric which is about 42-44 inches, you can get 17 two patches that are 2 1/2 inches wide...which will give you 8 four patches. Works great with Jelly Rolls of fabric!!

This works for all measurements. Whatever the width of your strip, is what you will cut the 2 patch at. For example...if your strips are 3 1/2 inches wide and you sew the 2 strips together, you will cut the 2 patch at 3 1/2 inches wide. When you sew the 4 patch together, your final block will be 6 1/2 inches.

Hope this was helpful!!

The next Block of the Month will be on Wednesday!

Happy sewing,

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  1. I'm very new to all of this, so I'm really learning alot with these kinds of posts. Thank you for doing them!

  2. I love this technique. I'm actually using it in a quilt that I have in progress right now.

    Wonderful tutorial you prepared for us, thanks!


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