Disappearing Four Patch–Creating the Basic 4-Patch

First off, I must say a Happy Happy Birthday to my younger and only brother and only sibling for that matter.  We are 19 months apart almost to the day (technically 19 months and 5 days apart).  Today then begins the 6 months out of the year when his age is exactly 1 year below mine.  Happy 31st DJ, you are the best brother a girl could have!

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Alrighty down to business who is ready for our next project? I know I am!  I’ve listed the materials below; let’s do this!

Disappearing 4-patch featuring Dori by Mitzi Powers for Benartex

Disappearing 4-patch

Materials:

  • 2 Printed Charm Packs
  • 2 Solid Charm Packs
    • Keep in mind white or black will have the most impact.
  • Border Fabric (optional)
  • Backing Fabric
  • Binding Fabric
    • I prefer backing and binding fabric that matches

Steps:

1) Layout all of your blocks.

Whether you choose to use the Dori charm pack or a different print you should have two printed charm packs and two solid charm packs.  Taking the printed charm pack lay out all of your squares keeping in mind that they will be a 4-patch later.  Notice that I didn’t lay out any of the the white charm pack.  That is a step that isn’t necessary since every other square will be solid. 

Disappearing 4-patch

I decided that I didn’t want to go super random on this quilt.  I like the idea of having similar prints together, but not matching.  It will give it dimension without turning into a hot mess.  We’ve all seen them right? The girls that had a great style going, but added that one accessory that took it from cool to ‘oh honey!’.  That is what I am trying to avoid here.  There is such a thing as too random.  Anyway, I digress. Note, these are just for initial block lay out; no need to decide where the final blocks need to go yet. 

Yes, you caught me…I did a couple of the blocks ahead of schedule, but hey I really wanted to see what they looked like!

Take your photo! Time to get sewing…

2) Chain stitching 2×2.

I found it easiest to lay out both charm packs and just chain stitch them together. Honestly you can skip step 1 if you don’t want to match them up yet as you can do it after these are completed as well.  I just love seeing all of the fabrics laid out before I begin.  As always we are using a 1/4” seam (per your individual machine’s specifications).  This step goes pretty quickly even though you have ~80 pairs to get together.

Disappearing 4-patch

3) Step 3 – Setting & Pressing.

Time to set your seams and press.  Make sure you are always pressing away from the solid fabric.  This will allow us to ‘nest’ the seams and will almost always ensure a perfectly matched block. Nifty right? I fell in love with this tip when I learned it too!

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4) Step 4 – Matching Seams & Completing the Basic 4-Patch

Once you have all of your seams pressed you will want to consult your photo or lay out all of your blocks on your work surface wall, carpet, spare bed…you know the drill.  (here’s just a few…)

Disappearing 4-patch

Then, gather them all up in corresponding tops and bottoms. I made one pile of tops and one pile of bottoms like the photo below.  You should be able to pull one top and one bottom from each pile, match them and stitch.

Disappearing 4-patch

You guessed it, we are going to chain stitch these as well. The beauty of pressing to the dark side above means that in this particular 4-patch we are able to ‘nest’ out seams. What this allows you to do is match your 4-patch centers with little to no effort.  All you need to do is nest the seams  by rubbing them together and they will settle into their natural place which also happens to be where the seams line up perfectly.  Just remember to stitch the correct side.  You will read in the outtake below that it is easy to stitch the wrong side and then things get a little off kilter if you know what I mean.

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Alright, we are down to sewing 40 blocks.  Let’s meet back here next week (sorry for the couple week hiatus, back on track now) to cut and assemble the final blocks. Exciting! Check out the center matching using ‘nesting’, ah perfection! One thing to note when pressing.  Usually you would split the center seam and press both to their consecutive dark side, but since we will be cutting this block up and moving pieces around just choose the darker of the two printed squares and press to that side. (it will make more sense next week)

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Oh! Before I forget;  I have been working on something really great that I think will take this blog to the next level (also another reason why you haven’t seen a post in a week or so). Stay tuned! I can’t wait to reveal it…hopefully next week & hopefully you like it!


Outtake:

I thought I would show you that, yes, I have to rip out too. I started pressing some of my blocks and realized something was off. You see I was trying to line up straight edges and lost the block integrity.  I think those vines are supposed to run up and down?! I had to not only take out 1, but 10 different blocks, but it didn’t take too long. Winking smile

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Have a great week!

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