Picture of Quilting Basics : 4 Patch Block
4 patch block.JPG

The four patch block is one of the simplest pieced quilt blocks.  It is made by sewing 4 squares the same size together to make a larger square.  Four patch blocks can be made using 2, 3 or 4 different fabrics depending on the effect you are after.

The 4 patch block is a good starting place to make sure your 1/4" seams really are 1/4" and to get to grips with learning to align seams where they meet.  In this instructable I also show how to press your seams in opposite directions so you don't get a big lump when you sew the sections of the block together.
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Requirements

Picture of Requirements
4 squares of cotton fabric the same size

sewing machine

or needle and thread if you hand piece (i.e. no sewing machine)

Ironing board

Rotary cutter (not absolutely necessary, but makes cutting squares much faster)

My sewing instructions will all be for machine piecing, but the basic idea, cutting, pressing and layout are the same for hand piecing.

Step 2: Sewing the block

Picture of Sewing the block
sew qtr inch seam.JPG
quarter inch seam.JPG
Take 2 different fabric squares and put them right sides together, matching the raw edges.

Sew along one edge with a 1/4" seam.

Repeat for your other 2 squares.

Step 3: Press the seams

Picture of Press the seams
flip and press.JPG
seams in same direction.JPG
Heat your iron up to cotton setting (3 spots), or a lower setting if you have used polyester thread. Most quilters recommend a dry iron for this i.e. no steam.

Put your pairs of squares on the ironing board with the darker fabric on top and then place your iron on the seam and press the iron down on the seam for a few seconds without sliding the iron around.  Remove the iron from the fabric and press the seam of your other pair of squares the same way.

Now open the squares up like a book by folding the dark fabric over the seam and press it back in place, again try not to slide your iron about more than necessary as this can distort the fabric.  You want the fold of the fabric to be as close as possible to the stitches.