Four-patch units are really quick and easy to make from strips. This method is ideal for those times when you need to make a lot of units.

cut strips

 

Start by cutting a strip from each of the fabrics you need - I'm using a green and a white here. The strip should be 1/2 inch wider than the finished square (not the unit, the individual squares). My unit will finish at 4 inches, so my squares will be 2 inches; I'm cutting my strips 2 1/2 inches.

 

 

join strips

 

Join the strips together along the long edges. Use a 1/4 inch seam allowance, right sides together.

 

 

press to one side

 

Press the seams to one side - usually the darker fabric.

 

 

cut slices

 

Cut slices from the joined strips. They should be the same width as the original strips. In this case 2 1/2 inches.

 

 

two slices cut

 

Keep cutting slices - you need two for each 4-patch unit.

 

 

invert one

 

Take two slices and invert one, so it looks more like the four-patch you are trying to make.

 

 

butt seams

 

Place the slices right sides together and make sure the seams butt up to each other. Put a pin at this point if you wish.

 

 

stitch

 

Stitch this seam. For really speedy piecing just keep feeding the pairs of slices through the sewing machine one after another (chain piecing). You can snip the threads between them afterwards.

 

 

 

undo part of seam

 

Now comes the nifty bit. Undo the tiny bit of the first seam within the allowance of the seam just stitched on one side of the pair of slices. The pencil is pointing at the relevent seam.

 

 

undo seam other side

 

Turn the slice over and undo the small part of the seam on the other side. Don't be tempted to cut the threads, just tease them loose.

 

 

move seams to opp side

 

You should now be able to push the seam just sewn to opposite sides so that the centre, where four seams meet, will lie flat.

 

 

press

 

Press these seams. Remember - don't iron (quilters don't do ironing!) always press; there's less chance of stretching and distorting the pieces.

 

 

wrong side complete

 

You should end up with a beautiful looking mini-four-patch on the wrong side of your unit.

 

 

right side complete

 

And a fabulous looking Four-Patch unit on the right side!