Wednesday, June 01, 2005

I Spy A Four-Patch!

I Spy A Four-Patch!  


Make someone you love a snuggly I spy quilt with collectible and fun novelty prints!

 Finished size 38"X49"

Block size: 4''

Click HERE for Printer-Friendly PDF.

Cutting Directions:

Four patches: From orange print cut (3) strips 2.5" X 44" (width of fabric) From purple print cut (3) strips 2.5" X 44" (width of fabric) From white on white print cut (5) strips 2.5" X 44" (width of fabric) From novelty prints cut (40) 4.5" squares. (you can use several different prints, or use one special novelty print throughout for a different look!) Inner border: From black/white check or stripe cut (4) strips 2" X 44" (width of fabric) Outer border: From rainbow stripe cut (4) strips 3.5" X 44" (width of fabric)
Assembly: 4 patches!

For the orange color way of 4 patch you will need 2 full strips of orange print, and one 1/2 strip of orange print. Fold one of the three orange strips in half, cut in half and set the extra aside. Place the Orange and White strips with right sides together and stitch along one long side with a 1/4" seam. Sew all 2 1/2 orange strips to the white strips in this fashion. Press the seam allowance towards the dark. Rotary cut the strips into 40 2.5" sub-sections. You will need 20 orange/white 4 patches. To make the 4 patch units, take two subsections as shown, place right sides together with the orange of one section on top of the white of the section underneath. Sew with a 1/4" seam along one edge. Press towards one side.

Repeat the above steps with 2 1/2 strips of the purple print, and the remaining 2 1/2 strips of the white on white print. Make 20 purple/white 4 patches as shown above.

Now the fun begins! You will notice that in the quilt shown above that the 4 patches alternate so there is a purple diagonal chain alternating with an orange diagonal chain. On your floor or a design wall, lay out your 4 patches and novelty print squares in the way you want them to go. Sew the blocks into rows, and then sew the rows together forming the quilt top center. 


(These directions show a different quilt top, but the border instructions are the same!)

We are going to add the long sides of the inner border first. I like to join my narrow border strips on the diagonal the same way I do for making binding. The only exception to this is if the fabric is a stripe...I have better luck just stitching them end to end. It is less noticeable that way.

I form an "L" with the end of two strips with right sides together, and sew from corner to corner. If you look at the diagram above, you will see that the top strip is moved inside the end of the bottom strip, and just a bit up from the edge of the bottom strip...this leaves you two little "V" areas. You want to stitch from the exact V at the top to the exact V at the bottom. I position mine just a bit 'off' this way so that I have a target to shoot for when stitching the seam. Then I trim the excess and press the seam open. 

Measuring Borders:

For small quilts such as this, I like to lay the quilt top on my ironing board. Center the quilt top lengthwise on the ironing board, and smooth it out. Not stretching or pulling, just flat. Then take the border strip just stitched and pressed, and lay it also down the center of the quilt top. Smoothing with your fingers and not stretching....be sure that the left edge is right at the left edge of the quilt and it hasn't crept away on you. 

I cut ALL my borders this way, using the border strips to measure across the center of the quilt, instead of using a measuring tape which may stretch or lay differently than the fabric I am using. My borders always turn out square and straight this way with no ripples. Cut 2 strips the length of the quilt top. Pin the border to the quilt, matching the center and top and bottom.

Stitch the two sides in place, one on the left, one on the right. Press seams towards the borders. Now you are going to do the same thing for the top and bottom inner border. Lay the quilt top on the ironing board centering the quilt on the board, with the borders you have just sewn on your left and right. Smooth. Lay the border strips down across the quilt (including the first borders you just added) and cut two pieces, one for the top, one for the bottom. Pin them to the quilt top with right sides together, matching centers and ends. Stitch. Press seams towards the borders.

For the outer borders, you are going to follow the same procedure, only using the four 3.5" strips. When strips get wider than 3.5", I like to sew them together straight end to end instead of on the diagonal or bias. This is mostly due to the fact that a bias seam is going to be longer than a straight seam, and because the strip is wide, it will be even more noticeable. There is also a lot of waste when you are joining wide strips on the bias. The choice is up to you! If joining stripes, I like to join them end to end instead of on the bias. Sew the outer borders to the long sides of the quilt first, then add the final top and bottom borders. 

Your top is done! Now you can finish it any way you want to....you can tie it, you can place buttons in the corners of each block and tie through the buttons, you can machine quilt through the diagonals or meander the whole quilt, or you can hand quilt, whatever you desire! Pat yourself on the back! You have just created a one of a kind I-spy-a-4-patch quilt that anyone would love! Here is another version using only ONE novelty print for a different look! (just off the quilting machine, still needing binding!)



  1. Anonymous6:21 AM EDT

    I'd like to make this pattern but for a larger quilt (kingsize bed). Do I need to enlarge the blocks, or just make more of them?


  2. I think it would be easier to just make more blocks unless you want to change all the measurements.


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