4-Patches the Quick Way

I always get asked about how I get so much done so I thought I would show you how I make 4 patches.  I often just assume everyone makes things the way I do but have found that some still piece the with out taking advantage of strip piecing.  Here’s what I do….

First off, I sew strips together..in this case- 2″ strips.  I ironed all to the green.

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I cut the strips in half so they are only 21″ long.  Then lay them out on the cutting board as shown.  The first strip is laid right side up with the color that the seam was pressed to, in this case green, at the top.  Then I layer another piece on top with right sides down.  I but the seam together.   This way, when it’s time to sew very little re positioning has to be done…and no pinning needs to be done.

Here I have two set layered together.  Typically I will cut four sets at once staggering the units as shown.

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Then cut them at the 2″ mark.  Cutting like this really saves on time at the cutting table.

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It also saves time at the machine.

Now that it’s time to sew, the pieces are already matched and turned the right way.  Just one little wiggle to make sure the seams are still butted and I send them through…no pins at all…chain piecing in long units.

Notice that the seam is turned towards me so that when it feeds through the machine, it won’t catch.

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Now to the ironing board, I chain iron.  I don’t cut the pieces apart.  I lay them down and press open.  (I know, I know..some people twirl their seams…I typically don’t.)  I lay another chained pieced section over the top and press them open too.  Sometimes I put as many as four layers on top of each other.

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Then I take my scissors and clip all of the pieces at once saving lots of time.

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In no time at all I have a wonderful neat little pile.

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That’s the speedy way to make four patches.

By no means is this the right or perfect way.  It’s just something that works for me…and is speedy quick.

8 thoughts on “4-Patches the Quick Way

  1. Lisa B in AK

    My method is very similar except I feed the pieces through the machine opposite of how you do it. I always got a small gap, the fabrics didn’t match, when I did it the way you described and the seam on the bottom would want to flip towards me so I feed the matched pieces through with the seam on top facing the presser foot and I can ensure the seams match better and the seam on bottom naturally goes the correct direction. It is great of you to share with such detail your method. I agree with your comment about assuming everyone does it a speedy way, until I go to a quilting class!

  2. Kathy G

    Love it, almost 40 years ago my first quilting teacher had me do the same thing, I love chain quilting and ironing cutting etc. save lots of time. Thanks for the smiles of remembering.

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