Four Square

Before I left town on my current teaching trip I found some time to quilt! This is number two of the ten charity quilts I am making to celebrate ten years of quilting as my full-time profession. I love scrappy quilts and this one is going to be great!  I’m calling it Four Square after the children’s playground game I remember playing about fifty years ago! So dig out those stash fabrics, cut some 5″ squares, and join in with me as I make this fun scrappy quilt!

Finished Four Square Block

To make one block these are the fabrics you need:

One 5″ square of a dark or medium to use in the four patch

One 5″ square of a dark or medium to be cut into 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ rectangles

Two rectangles that are 2 1/2″ x 8 1/2″

Three 5″ squares of background fabric

Actually you could use 2 1/2″ strips for all of your dark and medium fabrics in this block but since I’m the “Nickel Quilt Lady” I’m using 5″ squares where I can!

pieces needed for the block

Using a square of the dark or medium and a square of the background fabric make four patches.

2 squares

You will be making two four patches at a time; use one in this block and use the second one in another block.

2 four patches

Cut rectangles from the remaining square of dark or medium fabric by measuring over 4 1/2″ and trimming away 1/2″.  Then in the opposite direction measure over and cut on the 2 1/2″ mark; your two rectangles should measure 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″.

Short rectangles cut

Sew these rectangles onto the four patch, always having the dark squares in the four patch in the same orientation.

Adding short rectangles

Set the seams and press towards the rectangles.

short rectangles sewn on

Now sew on the 2 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ rectangles. Set the seams and press towards the rectangles.

Long Rectangles

Long Rectangles sewn on B

Cut the remaining background squares in half on the diagonal. I first draw a mark (about 1/2″ long) on the center on the back with a pencil; then I cut in the opposite direction. By doing this I have easily marked the center of the long edge of the triangle and this mark can be useful when sewing these triangles on in the next step.

Squares cut on diagonal

Sew the triangles onto the sides of the pieced square.

Corner triangles ready to sew on

Press towards the triangles.

Corners sewn on

Square this block up to 10″

Finished Four Square Block

OK now it’s time to make a bunch of these and play around with the settings!


Four Patches

My next anniversary celebration charity quilt includes Four Patches and this blog posting contains the basic information you need to make Four Patches from 5″ squares that will finish 4″.

Using 5″ squares, select one dark or medium square and one background square. In this example I’m using a white, but many quilts look great with a dark background.

2 squares

1. With right sides together, place a 5″ square of the background fabric on a 5″ square of the main fabric. Stitch  scant 1/4″ wide seams (just shy of 1/4″) on opposite sides of the unit.

Side edges stitched

2. Measure over 2 1/2″ and cut the unit in half so that each piece measures 2 1/2″ x 5″.

Cut in half

3. Press to set the stitching; then press the seams toward the darker fabric in the unit.

2 two patches

4. Place two units right-sides together with seams aligned horizontally and the dark and light fabrics opposite each other; stitch scant 1/4″ wide seams on opposite sides of the unit. Be sure the stitching crosses the first seam.

2 patches right sides together

2nd stitching

5. Measure over 2 1/2″ and cut the unit in half.

2nd Cut

6. Press to set the stitching; then press the seam to one side in each Four Patch unit. Each Four Patch unit should measure 4 1/2″ x  4 1/2″ unfinished.

2 four patches

Four Patches can be used in hundreds of different ways and in my Half-Square-Triangle and Four Patch workshop we can work on fifteen of my quilts that use these units.  Have your guild schedule a Nickel Quilt workshop!