Quilting Blog

How to Sew 4 Classic Four-Patch Blocks With 4 Charm Squares

Sewing four-patch quilt blocks is fun and fast! This classic block is a favorite of quilters, and I’m going to show you a tutorial on making four beautiful four-patch blocks from four charm squares. They are great to use in quilt borders or interspersed with solid blocks to make charming quilts.

Four Patch Quilt Blocks

One of the hardest parts of making this quilt block is matching up the seams and making them look precise. After this quick lesson, you’ll be sewing up perfect four-patch quilt blocks in no time! These blocks measure 4¼” unfinished (3¾” finished).

How to make a four-patch quilt block

Four Charm Squares

What you need:

Note: I chose to work with blue and pink prints for this tutorial, but you can use this method with any color or even solid charm squares. Remember that your four-patch will stand out the most if you choose colors that really pop against each other.

Step 1:

Charm Square Sewn Together on Two Sides

Stack the contrasting charm squares on top of each other, right sides together. Do this with both sets. Sew a scant ¼” seam (just a hair smaller than ¼”) along the left and right sides of each set.

Step 2:

Cut Charm Squares Down Center

Use a ruler and rotary cutter to measure halfway across each set, cutting a vertical line 2½” from the edge of the block. Be sure you do not cut through the two lines of stitching!

Step 3:

Seams on Half-Rectangle Squares

Open up each fabric unit and press the seam toward the darker fabric. Make sure not to drag your iron, so you won’t distort the seam, but simply press down on top of the seam (here’s a little more on why it makes a difference!)

Step 4:

Assembling Four-Patch Quilt Blocks

Stack the matching units on top of each other, with the right sides of the fabric facing. The contrasting (blue/pink) fabrics should be opposite each other, as pictured. Nest the seams (butting them up against each other) and pin the block units together.

Step 5:

 Sewing Four-Patch Quilt Blocks

Stitch a scant ¼” seam along the two edges of the block, sewing perpendicular of your previous center seam line and thus crossing over it. Repeat with the other block.

Step 6:

Cutting Fabric into Four-Patch Quilt Block

Next, cut a straight line down the center of the block, cutting through the other center seam and parallel to the two seams you sewed on the sides of the block. Use a ruler to measure 2½” from one side, and cut along this line with a rotary cutter. Repeat with the other four-patch block.

Step 7:

Wrong Side of a Four-Patch Quilt Block

Press the center seam to one side.

Step 8:

Trimming Edges of Quilt Block

Next, trim the finished four-patch blocks to 4¼”. To do this, align the  2-1/8″ mark on your ruler with the center seam, and trim everything beyond that on every side of the block.

Four-Patch Quilt Blocks Hanging on Clothes line 

That’s it! You’ve turned four charm squares into a quartet of classic quilt blocks. If you’d like to make larger four-patch blocks, simply start with a larger starting square. You could try a pre-cut 10″ square, for example.

I’m going to work on a fun patchwork project with these blocks, and will be back soon with some more classic quilt block tutorials.

6 Comments

Sarah

When squaring up the block, do you use the 2 1/4” mark on your ruler or the 2 1/8” mark? The text and the picture show two different things.

Reply
Lindsay Conner

Hi Sarah! You’re right–The directions should say 2 1/8″ mark on the ruler (so that the finished block is 4 1/4″) to match the photo!

Reply
Suvan Ginn

Thank you for this idea. I am going to use this same method with 10″ strips of fabric and then subcut until I have a four patch. This will save me “SEW” much time.

Reply
marci

Love this Sew Quick method. I can’t wait to try it out on some of the leftover square scraps that I have from other projects.

Reply
Karen

why 4-1/4″? Shouldn’t this come out the same as cutting each 5″ square into 4 – 2/1/2″ squares? “Scant” is an intentionally imprecise term used to accomodate variations in thread and fabric thickness in the seam. So 2.5+2.5=5. Minus the scant quarter inch in each direction =4.5

Reply
Lindsay

Hi Karen! Your blocks may come out to 4 1/2″. For the beginner sewing this tutorial, I think it’s more likely to come out at 4 1/4″, when accounting for the variation in seam allowances and the pinked edges of charm squares. If stated this way, no one will be counting on larger blocks for a specific pattern, and the blocks can be trimmed to size as needed. Thanks!

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