Four Patch

The secret to the perfect Four Patch is all about ironing seams so that they butt when they are joined.

Istruzioni Italiano
kindly translated by Lilliana Soli of Fantasy Quilt.

You may make your Four Patch by cutting individual squares, if you want to make a scrappy quilt, or only have a few blocks to make; or with pre-joined strips. Let me take you through both methods.

7 BABA
Four Patch

Cutting Individual Squares

Cut two A squares and two B squares in the required size.

Chain piecing, join a B square to each A square, right sides together, with a scant ¼” seam. Press towards the dark fabric. This is your result:

6 2

Cutting Individual Squares

This is also the result of cutting across pre-joined strips to create two units as discussed above in Using Strips

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!

Pressing Seams

Press all seams towards the dark fabric so that the seams butt-up.

Take the two A/B units and place them right sides together, butting seams. Pin if required. Join with a scant ¼” seam. Press.

6 1

Viola! The direction of the final, central seam is optional. Be guided by the placement of the block in the larger scheme, and wherever possible, iron to facilitate butting the seam joints.


Wider Application

You can now apply this to all kinds of Four Patch blocks. As long as a block has an underlying 4 x 4 grid, no matter how many pieces, the basic principle applies. It is merely repeated over and over, each Four Patch laying adjacent to the next. As long as you keep pressing seams in pairs of opposite directions, piecing will be smooth sailing.

All the following blocks have 4 x 4 grids, and can be pieced as a Four Patch. Do you agree?

Zig Zag
Zig-Zag
Shoo Fly
Shoo Fly
Mosaic
Mosaic
Old Maids Puzzle
Old Maid’s Puzzle
Old Tippecanoe
Old Tippecanoe
Annas Choice
Anna’s Choice
Reverse X
Reverse X
Arrow Crown
Arrow Crown

Block Reference:
Brackman, B. (2012) BlockBase Version 2.2
The Electric Quilt Company: Ohio, USA

Sometimes, it’s not obvious which direction is the ‘dark’ with complicated blocks like those above. Just remember the basic ironing plan is:

1 True Blue Iron 1