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To sew a double four patch quilt block, you will need the following materials:
- Fabric for the patches (two contrasting colors or prints)
- Rotary cutter and mat or scissors
- Sewing machine and thread
- Iron and ironing board
Here are the steps to sew a double four patch quilt block:
Cut your fabric into 2.5 inch squares. You will need a total of 16 squares of each color.
Pair up the squares into groups of two, with one square of each color in each group. You should have eight pairs.
Sew each pair of squares together with a 1/4 inch seam allowance, making sure to keep the colors alternating. Press the seams to one side.
Arrange your sewn pairs into two rows of four pairs each. Make sure that the colors alternate in each row.
Sew the pairs in each row together with a 1/4 inch seam allowance, making sure to match the seams as closely as possible. Press the seams to one side.
Arrange the two rows of four pairs each so that the colors alternate across the rows.
Sew the two rows together with a 1/4 inch seam allowance, matching the seams as closely as possible. Press the seam to one side.
Trim the edges of the block to 8.5 inches square.
Repeat these steps to create as many double four patch quilt blocks as you need for your quilt. Once you have all your blocks, you can arrange them into your desired quilt pattern and sew them together.
The secret to the perfect four patch is all about ironing seams so that they butt together when the seams are joined. You may make the four patch by cutting individual squares if you want to make a scrappy quilt or only a few blocks to make with pre-joined strips. I'll take you through both methods.
Cut two A squares and two B squares in your required size. Chain piecing, join A square to a B square, right sides together, with a scant 1/4 inch seam allowance. Press towards the dark fabric.
This is your result:
This is also the result of cutting across pre-joined strips to create two units.
To make a standard four patch, the width of the unit cut from pre-joined strips is the same as the width of the original strips.
Press all the seams towards the dark fabric so that the seame butt-up.
Take the two A/B and place them right sides together, butting seams. Pin if required. Join with a scant 1/4 inch seam allowance, then press.
You can apply this technique to all kinds of four patch blocks. As long as a block has a 4x4 grid, no matter how many pieces, the basic principles apply. It is repeated over and over again each four patch laying adjacent to the next. As long as you keep pressing seams in pairs of opposite directions, piecing will become easy.
All of the following blocks have 4x4 grids and can be pieaced as a four patch.
How to Resize Quilt Blocks:
The first step in modifying any quilt block is to decide on the size of your finished quilt block. You can come to a decision based on a number of factors: doubling a pattern, cutting your pattern in half, or choosing the size based on your available fabric.
NOTE: When working from a pattern’s cutting instructions, make sure you remove the seam allowance before doubling or tripling the size. For instance, if your pattern calls for 3-1/2″ squares, first you’ll subtract the sum of the seam allowances (1/2″), double the finished block size (from 3″ to 6″), and add the seam allowance back in (1/2″). So, when all is said and done, you will cut a 6-1/2″ piece of fabric.
Resizing Square Blocks:
Square blocks are the easiest to resize. Simply add to your finished block measurement. For example, if you’d like your finished block to be a 4″ square, you’ll need to cut a 4-1/2″ square of fabric.
Resizing Rectangular Blocks:
Similarly to the square, for rectangle blocks, you’ll add to the length and width measurements of your finished block. If you’re doubling block that measures 3″ x 4″ in your quilt, you’ll cut a 6-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ rectangle of fabric.
Resizing Half-Square Triangle Blocks:
When you want to change the size of a Half-Square Triangle block, add 7/8″ to the desired finished block size. To make a 4″ finished block, you’d cut 4-7/8″ squares.
Resizing Quarter Square Triangle:
Since there are two cut lines and two seam lines in a Quarter-Square Triangle block you’ll need to add 1-1/4″ to the desired finished block size. For a finished block that’s 4″, you’d cut your squares 5-1/4″.