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4 Patch Quilt Blocks

clipart picture of 4 patch quilt blocks with larger patches


The 4 Patch quilt block is one of the first blocks that quilters learn how to make.  You can strip piece this block very quickly, or you can sew them together one-by-one using 4 squares of a similar size.


If you want to piece them one at a time you start by sewing two blocks together.  Then you sew another two blocks together.  Then you sew the long seam to connect both of them.


When you strip piece 4 Patch you sew two long strips together, and then cut them apart the same size as you cut them.  If you used 2 1/2 inch strips, then after two of them are sewn together, you cut them apart every 2 1/2 inches.


After making another similar sized strip set with different fabrics, and cutting it, you then join the units.


If you want you block to lay flat, you need to pull a few stitches on of the rows you just crossed.  See the Pinwheel Block for a view of which stitches to remove.  With the 4 Patch Block you are only looking at 4 pieces of fabric coming together.  With the pinwheel block there are 8 of them.  However, the stitches that you remove are the same ones.


The 4 Patch block is often used in the center of a more complex quilt block.  It is used to break up quilt squares into smaller units.  Another popular layout is placing 4 Patches and Blocks alternately, as in the picture at the top of the page.


Value is important with 4 Patches.  It is important in the block, and in the design layout.  Again, in the above picture notice how the placement of the dark part of the squares creates vertical movement.

The pictures below illustrate the front, back, and a close-up of the pinwheel center at the back when the stitches are removed and the seams are pressed in opposite directions.


Not all quilters go to the extra work of splitting the long seam.  Try it both ways.  If you don't need to do it, you can save the time.

picture of a 4-patch quilt block

the back of a 4-patch quilt block

closeup of the pinwheel back of a 4-patch quilt block



Center Pinwheel






Bear Claw Quilt Block

Quilt Sizes


Miniature      <36"
Wall Hanging any size

36x36 up to 52x52


52-68 x 52-78


64-72 x 86-96


70-88 x 88-100


88-99 x 94-108


94-108 x 94-108


Pre-cut Quilt Squares



Many beginning quilters like to buy quilt pre-cut quilt squares. While it is convenient, be aware you will need a lot of them. Here is approx how many 4-inch squares you need for the following size quilts without borders.


Crib 168
Twin 529
Double 624
Queen 728




Borders and Sashing
Pinning the Layers
Quilting Your Project



Resources for Frugal Living


Like Frugal Living?  Visit these Sites...


Eagle for

Squirrel for

Wood Stove for

Churn Dash Quilt block for

4 patch quilt block for


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