Four Patch Mini Quilt with Free Tutorial

I’m on a roll finishing up things that have been lying around in my sewing room.  This has been a top for some time and I had the intention of finishing it immediately after I had sewn the mini top together but alas, I didn’t.  As I have been cleaning the sewing room with the express intention of finishing up projects, I unearthed this and immediately put it on the longarm.

This quilt top originated after a blog reader sent me a pile of four patches.  I played around with them and came up with this idea.

The pieces it’s made of are pretty small.  Here’s my hand for comparison.

I used this brown for both the backing and the binding.  I used a light tan on the front for thread and a brown on the back.  A simple stipple was what I used for a motif.

It’s found a home in my living room…

I decided to put together a quick tutorial for the quilt..or rather block.  Here goes…I have overflowing scrap buckets.  Seriously over flowing!!

You’ll need strips that are 2 1/2″ and 1 1/2″.

For each block you make you will need two 2 1/2″ squares.  You’ll also need some 1 1/2″ strips.

For the strips, randomly grab a light and dark strip and sew them together.

Iron the seam to the dark color.

At the cutting table, sandwich the strip sets as shown.  You can see the bottom piece is right side up with the dark to the top.  The next piece is right side down the light strip to the top.

You can see that I lined up the seam so they nest.  This way they are machine ready.

I layer and nest another set of strips on top of this so I can cut them all at once.

Square up the edge.

Slide the ruler over to the 1 1/2″ cut line and cut.

Carefully take your already matched and cut sets to the machine and feed them through.  You can see in the picture that the pieces are ready to feed through so you have no need to worry about matching seams.

You can see that they will feed through the machine nicely and not catch on the previously sewn seam because the seam is facing away from the machine.  That is why it’s important to put the strips on the cutting table with the dark side to the top and facing upwards as I said in the cutting instructions.

I chain-piece the units together.

At the iron, I press the seam.

Back at the machine, I laid out a block so you can see how the 2 1/2″ squares are paired with the four patches.

I sewed a 2 1/2″ square to a four patch.

At the iron, press to the dark.

Then sew those newly created units together.

Here’s my first block.

In the original quilt, the lights are all a muslin fabric.  In my sample blocks, I used scrappy light prints all different.

Here are a few of the blocks all laid out.

I made 56 blocks in a 7 x 8 layout.  That left me with a mini quilt that is 28 1/2″ x 32 1/2″.  These blocks are 4″ finished.

If you’re not into small…no problem.  You could use 3 1/2″ blocks with 2″ strips and get the same effect only with larger blocks.  That combo would give you 6″ blocks.

or…4 1/2″ squares with 2 1/2″ blocks.

It’s simple…but cute.  I would really love to make a large-sized quilt.  That might actually put a dent in my overflowing scrap buckets!!

…and that’s the tutorial for today.  Many thanks to the blog reader who originally sent me the four patches.  That was so sweet of you.  The mini quilt now hangs in my living room.

20 thoughts on “Four Patch Mini Quilt with Free Tutorial”

  1. Thank you for showing this tutorial. It has inspired me to get off my duff and just go through the process of using the scraps I have to contribute to my guild’s charity donations.

    BTW – is your longarm a manual or computerized machine? I think I need one. Even using my industrial Juki takes a lot of pushing and pulling to get the quilts finished.

    1. Mine is manual. I’d love to get a computerized one someday. I have an APQS and LOVE it! I’m had zero problems with it.

  2. Jo, thanks so much for the tutorial for this lovely quilt! You make it look so simple but the finish is brilliant.

  3. Your mini is so pretty and it looks great where you hung it. Thanks for the tutorial and the tips to make things faster and easier!

  4. Super cute. I love the rich colors in this quilt. I made one similar but on point. This layout seems so much faster. Happy Easter weekend!

  5. Nancy Van Roekel

    Ah-Ha! Now I know what I am doing with my Frolic leftover 4 patches. Like usual I was just overthinking the possibilities. Thanks, Jo!

    1. HA. I’m a crazy person and love everything small scale so if I were doing it, I would still use the same size I did in the mini version only make LOTS more blocks. If I was recommending to someone else I would suggest looking at your scrap bins and see what needs to be used up. Whatever size that is, that’s what I’d use.

  6. Do you piece on a Pfaff Grand Quilter? I was thinking about getting a Juki. Love this idea, I hope I can remember to use it!

    1. Vicki Sue O'Neill

      My bobbin cover on the bed extension has chipped & is very discolored. The plastic hinge has broken and is ready to fall off. It has been taped for many years! Still a great straight stitch machine tho.

  7. I am very interested in your scrap quilting as I very much a traditional quilter. Anyone can make new fabric and a new pattern look great, but it is much of a challenge with a container of scraps to design a great quilt the way a traditional quilter does it. Keep up the great work Jo!

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