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Machine Minute: Super Fast Four-Patch Block

Four-patch blocks are a common unit in many quilts. Make them super fast with this method!

Hi, I'm Jennifer, here with another Machine Minute brought to you by Baby Lock and the Crescendo machine. Four-patches--they're a very popular block or unit in many quilts. And when you want to make them in multiples, I've got a quick technique that will help you make them in multiples super fast. Let me show you how to get started. I begin by cutting fabric strips and I cut them from salvage edge to salvage edge, and the width is determined by the pattern that you're making. So for this example, I've got 2"-wide fabric strips. Now, I like to use  a quarter-inch foot with a guide,  because that helps me keep my seam accurate. And on this method of making four-patches, it's  very important to keep your seam consistent. You want to sew straight. So I'm going to sew down the entire length of these two strips together, and I've used a contrasting thread so that you can see it, but I would normally use one that matched my fabrics better. I just continue all the way down until I sew these two strips together. From there, I'll take them to the ironing board and I'll press the seam allowance toward the darker fabric. Bring it back to my cutting board and again, using the instructions for however big your four-patch is supposed to be. You can cut them in that dimension, but I cut my strips at two inches, so I'm going to cut these pieces at two inches, as well. So I line it up with the 2" mark on my ruler and I cut the individual strips.  So half of my four-patch unit is already together in that one long seam that I've sewn, and I'll just sub-cut that strip into all these smaller pieces. Then the magic of having pressed those seam allowances toward the dark is how you get your super-fast four-patch to go together. Because you simply place them right-sides together. You can see here, if I just give it a little tug. how the seam allowance locks together in the center. So when I'm ready to sew those four-patches together (I always like to start with a little leader or ender in my  machine, so I can sew right up to the edge). And then with my quarter- inch guide in place, I'll sew across the seam. And if you have multiples to do, you can just feed them in. You don't have to cut your thread every time. You can just chain piece them together. Once you've sewn that last seam, open it up--your four-patch is done.  A quick press and you can make them in multiples super fast!