Friday, March 19, 2010

The Magic Four-Patch!

Well, yesterday was our big day, altho it was actually not as long as most of our big days are. But, we visited and sewed a bit, and had some very delicious food (thanks for bringing such great cheeses and bread and lemon loaf, and veggies/dip). Because it has felt so much like spring lately, I even made lemonade!

 Now, for the magic four patch, you start by making a checkerboard of squares, any number of squares you like.  If you start with 100 squares, you will end up with 100 four-patches. 
And re. size.  Whatever size of square you start with, you will end up with a finished four-patch that is 1 inch smaller. 
So, if you start with 64 5-inch squares, you'll get 64 4-inch finished four-patches.  Right? Right.
Here, I had 4-1/2" squares to start with, and so my finished four-patches measure 3-1/2", or each small square in the four patch is 1-3/4".
As I may have mentioned (more than once), just sew all your squares into one big piece. 
Then, you will cut exactly through each patch, both vertically,

 And then, with each strip, turn it sideways and cut through each square that way too...
 I mean, that is just so incredibly easy.
The side strips, you will sew together, and then cut apart...
 and the ends of each strip you'll just sew together too:

and then you'll have all these four patches to play with:

Although this is not the most imaginative use for these units, I like the size of them better than what I had before,
The other way of making four-patches - using strip sets in pairs cut cross-ways, is very fast too - But, it is nice to have another option of making them fast, especially if you don't have long pieces of fabric.  It is nice to use a charm pack for this, or you might have a bunch of odd-shaped scraps.
I hope you give this technique a try. 
I still have some four patches left, which I have another idea to use, which I hope to get to soon.

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