Perfect Four-Patches

In BOM I demonstrated how I like to make 4-patch units. After much trial and error (like posting to my old blog site and then trying to figure out how to get it here!) I think I have a document that will be helpful! Forgive any grammar or spelling errors – I was stretching my brain to get this far!

Now for the meat and potatoes!

Start with 2 fabrics for your 4-patch units.

Cut strips desired width. In my sample I cut 2” strips. I also have my fabrics layered right sides together and I am using my stripology XL to cut perfect strips. (if you are following this to make your block – your pattern wants you to cut your strips 2-1/2″ YOU SHOULD! or your block won’t work!

Look at those pretty strips. I used FQ and I layered my fabric right sides together so I can just pick them up and sew after cutting the strips.

Check your 1/4″ seam allowance and get ready to sew those trips. At home I use my Jan Krentz tool, but we have a very similar tool available at the shop to check your 1/4″. On my Juki machine I also like to use this great seam guide that screws in place.

Press your strips carefully (when you get to the end of the blog you will see why I said to press carefully!). I pressed towards the dark fabric to prevent shadowing.

Now place your 2 strips sets right sides together and nestle them at the seams.

Set your stitch length to a basting length – approx 5

If you are using a seam guide – move it to the side or change your presser foot. Line the nestled strip sets together – and use that long stitch to baste them together – just next to the existing seam. On my Bernina I use a long serpentine stitch that goes side to side over the seam.

The basting stitch is the cream thread!

After you baste the strip together it is time to sub-cut the units. Because I started with 2″ strips I will sub-cut these 2″. If you started with 2-1/2″ you will sub-cut 2-1/2″ (unless you want rectangles instead of squares). I had a brilliance moment when I realized I can use my Stripology to do do my sub-cuts too!

Look at all those units that are now ready to SEW!

Friendly reminder to set your machine back to regular stitching mode!

Look ma – no pins! Because these units are basted together I can just pick them up and sew and sew and sew!

I love chain piecing and the basting stitches insure no slippage!

Here I gently pulled the unit apart after stitching and I can just pull those basting stitches out. Once in a while I might have to use the scissors or seam ripper but they usually just come apart.

I love to “spin” my seams to I have a very flat center!

I lightly press the back of the unit to “train” the seams to go where I want them to!

Oh My GOODNESS! Look at that pretty center! Remember no pins were used.

Now that you have reached the end of the blog I will confess – my sample block didn’t line up on the edges – even though that center was perfect! Well I didn’t PRESS carefully and my blue fabric has an extra fold over near the seam. (It’s really hard to see in the photo!)

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3 thoughts on “Perfect Four-Patches

    1. Thanks Whitney – there was a big re-learning curve for me! Didn’t help that I have an OLD blog and a NEW blog (that we imported all the old stuff). I think I have it figured out now!

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