The 4 Patch square block is made of 4 small equal sized squares. It is a very versatile block that can be used to create a variety of other patchwork blocks.
This is usually made of fabrics of contrasting colors, resulting in a checkered pattern.
How to sew the 4 patch square – The traditional method
The most simple method to create this block is to sew 4 equal sized squares, two of one color and two of another contrasting color. Then sew them together to form the 4 patch block. But another easier way is to sew fabric strips in each color and then cut and join them again to form the block. Here is the method.
Decide on the size of your block. Say you want a 6 inch 4 patch square block. You will be using two types of fabric pieces for this.
Cut 2 numbers of 3 1/2 inch wide strips to make your blocks. (1/2 inch extra is the seam allowance).
The length of one fabric strip should be 7 inches for one block. For making more than one block increase the length accordingly.
Sew these 2 pieces by the long edge. You can sew with a 1/2 inch seam allowance if you have everything in exact size but if you use a 3/8 inch seam allowance, it will give some ease.
Press the seam allowance towards the darker fabric.
Cut the joined strip across the seam (the red line)
You have two pieces.
Now flip the other piece so that you have alternating colors.
Make sure that the middle seam is aligned for both the pieces.
Join. Sew with a 3/8 inch seam allowance. There is your 4 patch block.
You can flip to the back and open the seam allowance a little bit at the middle seam ( you are not opening up the seam, only the extra stitching across the seam allowance ie outside the seam line).
This is done so that you can open up the seam allowance. Press the seam allowance open.Your block will look like this at the back.
How to sew the 4 patch square – fast method
When you want a lot of 4 patch square blocks, here is an easy method.
Cut out 7 inch square pieces – equal number of alternating colors. So I have 4 light blue color squares and 4 dark blue color squares. This will give you four 4-patch square blocks of 6 inches.
Join them by one side alternating the colors – ie join light blue to dark blue and so on; when you reach the last square, join the end to the first one so that you get a tube. Use a 3/8 inch seam allowance.
Now you have to cut this into pieces with two colours.
For this, mark and cut through the middle of the squares – you will get a piece with the two colors and the seam will be in the middle.
You will get fabric pieces with two colors like this.
Now keep these in front of you so that the seam is horizontal – flipping the pieces to join alternating colors together (picture below).
Join them into a tube again
Cut through them as you did earlier – through the middle of the pieces, so that the seam comes in the middle.
You have your multiple 4 patch square blocks. I got 4 four patch square blocks.
Do not forget to press as you sew.
You can sew different types of blocks with this block.
An Arkansas cross roads block.
A checkerboard pattern.