Monday, February 16, 2015

Four Patch Quilt Block Tips



It's been four-patch after four-patch around here--I hope you're not tired of them. I'm still having fun with them. I change up color combinations pretty frequently, and I alternate between cutting, sewing and pressing. I'm well past the half-way point, so soon I'll be able to start putting these together into blocks! But I did want to share a couple of tips that I mentioned in my last American Patchwork & Quilting Quilt Along post. I'll give you the specifics today with some photos to make it a little more clear. 




  
When sewing two-patch blocks into four-patch blocks I begin by pressing seams toward the darker fabric.



When I sew these two units together the seams of the dark fabrics will meet and "nest" together.



When sewing these units, I chain piece as many sections together as I can. It saves thread and time...



 Before pressing the units open I remove the end stitches above the seam I sewed when joining the two units (you aren't removing any stitches in the horizontal seam pictured above...just stitches in the vertical seam that are above the horizontal seam). I have the tip of the seam ripper pointing at those stitches in the photo above.


 And here is a close up. There are usually 2-3 stitches above the seam line. After loosening them with my seam ripper I turn the unit over and also remove the stitches above the seam on the other side.

Although I'm showing just one unit here, this goes really fast if your units are still joined together after chain piecing. I can take a string of 100 or more and get them all ready while watching television.


When the seam is pressed you will be able to press one half of the seam one direction and the other half of the seam the other direction. The middle pieces will open flat and create a mini four-patch.


By pressing the center seams of your four-patch unit in this way you can eliminate bulk and have a more "flat" block. It takes a little bit of extra time, but does make a big difference.


 Finally, I want to share three pillows made with my Scrappy Patchwork Pillow Tutorial from last month. Above is Janet's Fig Tree version...


And here is Mindy's Boat House variation which goes along with her mini Shine quilt!






And here is Hildy's beautiful Bonnie & Camille fabrics version...love them all!


I'm working on a new Simply Small project tutorial and hope to have it ready this weekend.  Thanks so much for stopping by!

21 comments:

Hildy said...

Thanks for the tips for the 4-patch units!

Filomena Crochet said...

beautiful works!!! congratulacions.

KathyinMN said...

Aha-so that's the secret to flat 4-patches.

Linda Cates said...

Thanks for a great tip!! Can't wait to see your King size quilt!!

Sigi G said...

Thank you for showing and explaining which stitches to remove to have a nice flat seam to iron. I especially found it hard with pinwheel blocks - now, with your tip, I can enjoy sewing them again.

Deb said...

Thank you! My hand pieced projects automatically do the flat seams but, I never have been able to figure out my machine sewn seams!

Needled Mom said...

Great tip. They do lie so much flatter when pressed that way.

PBee said...

Thank you for the tip of removing the top stitches so that the blocks will be flatter. It's the little things that make a big difference. I'll try it right away!

Jennie in GA said...

GreT tips and lovely "shares".thx!

Laura Chaney said...

Great tips! I do the same thing when I'm sewing lots of the same blocks, mix up colors to keep it interesting even when the sewing remains repetitive.

CandyR said...

Thanks for the tip! And above all thank you for keeping me inspired!! Love your blog and your work!

Pierro said...

Rosemary B here:
Sherri, this is great.
I am so confused. So people say, "I press all my seams open, all the time, every seam"
Others do not. They counter "press all of your seams to the darker side. always always always"
So.... I am inconsistent.
I do like this nesting technique very much, it works for me every time, even with putting HSTs together, and other seams that need to be precise otherwise I am picking the night away. haha
Your blocks looks so adorable and perky

Hildy said...

Sherri, thanks for adding my pillow:-)

jinsnapp said...

Thanks for the great tips!

lovetoquilt said...

Sherri, you always have such great advice and beautiful work. I am always checking in to see what you are up to and I always get inspired!! Thanks a bunch!

Julie Beard said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julie Beard said...

Oh sew pretty! Oh sew pretty! It's look mighty fine from here. I can't wait to see it in full blooming glory!!!!!Heehee.

Donna said...

Love the four patches. Glad to be reminded of the tip for a more flat junction of the seams.

Mine-rSewFun said...

Thanks!!

Claudia said...

Great reminder ! I am just doing a bunch of little 4 patches.
Thanks

Tami Bohlman said...

Great tip for nice flat blocks! thanks for sharing.

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