Thursday, September 20, 2012

'Will Sew for Free Scraps...

My friend Randy let me paw through her scrap bag last week.  Now, Randy is a long time, prolific quilter, consequently her scrap bag is deep, wide and full of lots of wonderful surprizes so this was not just any foraging event!
 By the time I got home I was feeling more than a little guilty about how greedy I had been.  Randy had mentioned she was in a block swap of 4-patches.  The pattern is called Dipped -in - Chocolate.  The 4-patches finish at 1.5" !  To ease my quilty conscience and say thank you I emailed Randy to say I would make some 4-patches for her.  With the scraps already cut there were lots that I could use without having to cut first so I whipped her up a bunch.
Here's a really neat trick for making 4-patches real quick-  this size 1.5" finished.
-Take 2 - 2.5" strips, minimum length I would say is 2.5" (yields 2,  4-patches) but for every 1.25" in    length you get another 4-patch
- put the strips right sides together and sew down each side with 1/4" seams.
-Cut the tube down the middle, (1.25") don't open seams or iron yet!
- now cut 1.25 units from each strip unit, no don't iron yet!
-Take the 2-patches, open and finger press to the darker fabric.
-flip the patches so's to nest the seams, with opposite prints touching - right sides together.
-sew along the edge that makes the seam flap pointing away from you. You know the drill.
-OK now you can iron.
I think by cuting the strips before you open the seams you get a more accurate cut and because the patches are so small,  finger pressing is suficient at that point and saves a lot of time too.
I made 120  4-patches this way in about 3.5 hours.  It's easy and it's fun and they are so cute.  Of course working from a free scrap bag makes it even more fun and the first cuts have already been made which saves time too!  cheers, CW


  1. I like the teeny tiny squares - quilting in inch always makes everything look so huge. 1" is 2,5 cm and I learned that you need to be a bit nuts to sew something smaller than 1 cm and in inch land everyone'S complainign at how tiny and fizzly it is to use 1" squares.

    And the no ironing part looks like it's written for me - I avoid ironing if I can. Sometimes it backfires, but mostly it safes time. Did I mention that I really don't like ironing?

  2. Claire, you can come and help yourself to scraps any time you want!! Can't wait to see the 4-patches. I love your simple method. All this time I've been cutting my pieces one by one!!! OY

  3. I recently received some scraps from Randy--I recognize some of those fabrics. That is a slick trick!

  4. Very productive, love the 4-patch block!

  5. What a great technique for 4-patches! I'm off to try it for myself. Thanks for sharing it.

  6. I recently made 20 four patch blocks and almost did them your way. I did wait to iron, but I love your tip of stitching on each side and then cut down the middle. I will try that next time.

    Love all your 'thrifty' quilts. I could pay the higher prices on fabric, but just refuse to pay them.

    blessings, jill
    new follower, found you on quilting qallery

  7. First time I stumbled onto your blog and so enjoyed it!

  8. Great idea for the four patches. I have a special ruler for half square triangles that has you do the same - sew down each side. I'm sewing Bonnie's "Midnight Flight" as my leader/ender project and I think it's time to make more four I'll be trying your four patch method soon. ( I love the dipped in chocolate pattern. Tiny is so fabulous)