The Four Patch
The 4-Patch considered to be
the easiest quilting unit to construct. However, it can still be
difficult for the beginner. Here are some tips to make it perfect.
Patch is made from four squares of fabric. This picture shows a simple Four
Patch, which usually makes use of contrast with a dark and
a light fabric in opposite corners.
In the picture you can see that what is important is that the corners of the
squares all line up equally in the middle.
Just as important, as illustrated in the
picture, is the direction you press the
seams. Notice how the seam going vertically down the middle is
pressed to the right on the top half, and the bottom half is pressed to
called "nesting the seams". This is very important. When you follow
quilting patterns, they will tell you which way to press the seams.
When possible, you always want to turn your seams in opposite
Too many seams pressed the same way make unsightly
bumps on the front of the quilt. It also makes the quilting at the
end of the project more difficult.
Most experienced quilters carefully plan
the direction of their seams so as to keep the front appearance of the
quilt as smooth as possible.
When two seams are going to cross each
other, it is not necessary to back stitch when you begin stitching.
No matter how careful you are, you are going to be using your seam
ripper A LOT...and backstitching makes ripping seams apart much more
Sew together four 4-inch squares by first
sewing the top row and then the bottom row. Press the seam in the
top row to the right, and the seam of the bottom row to the left.
When you join the two rows, they should be going in opposite directions.
Another advantage of nested seams is
that they make your sewing easier. The fabric "lock" in place and
don't shift. Most quilters do not use pins very often.
Practice until your 4-squares lay
flat, measure the correct 7 1/2 inches, and all the points in the center
is an example of one of the ways to use a 4-patch in a large project.
Alternate it with a square. The picture shows part of a very large
quilt that was made with a homespun print. The alternating
squares were cut the same size as the 4-patch. Very easy, and a good