Friday, June 17, 2016

What the Four Patch is Going On Here?

So I finished these two baby quilts this week.
This one has a cute owl print for the main fabric.
These are two more of the "baby shower table cover quilts".
The second one has an adorable whale print.

Notice anything?  Of course you do!  Both quilts were made with exactly the same pattern.  I was in a hurry to use up these fabrics, so I cut myself a kit of each one, based on the Quilts for Kids patterns.  These quilts are going to Quilts for Kids to cheer up little ones in hospitals.  (To find out more about Quilts for Kids, click here .)
I can't even remember how many 4 patch quilts I've made for Quilts for Kids, starting from a kit they sent me years ago.  So I wasn't worried about repeating myself.  After all, charity quilts are meant to be made quickly.  I'm not doing art here.
But here's a top I finished last weekend:

The first blocks of this quilt were made from 4 patches I found in a bag in the closet, where I had stashed them a few years ago.  They didn't necessarily match, but that was okay.
 I put four 4-patches together.  When I used up the blocks from the closet, I made more from my box of bright colored 2.5 in. squares.
It was fun mixing and matching them.  These new blocks were mostly just 2 fabrics, light and dark.
Some of the fabrics have special meaning.  The sail boat fabric here was left over from the quilt I made for my first grandson nearly 11 years ago.  There are scraps in here of fabrics from several quilts I have made for all four of my grandchildren.
I'm keeping this quilt at my house, for sleep overs.

It occurred to me to worry a little when I found myself sewing so many 4 patches.  I've been quilting for 40 years.  I know and love lots of other patterns.  What the four patch is going on here?

There is a lot to be said for the 4 patch.  It is probably the simplest quilt block anyone could make.  There are only 4 pieces, all exactly the same size, and only 3 seams.  It's got great diagonal movement, depending on how you place the colors.  

 Generations of children have learned to sew quilts by starting with a four patch. The four patches in the quilt above may very well have been made by a mother and daughter back around 1900.  I found them in an antique store and set them into the quilt above.  Some were well sewn by hand, and some had to be reinforced with machine stitching before I could use them.

Double 4 patch is just as easy, with a few more pieces.  And now you can chain fabrics or colors from corner to corner.
I even made this top from pieces I left out of a Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt.  (It's not quilted yet, though.)

I don't really know why I'm stuck in Four Patch Land at the moment.  But now that I know where I am (like on a map where it says You Are Here) I can take a look around and find my way to Somewhere Else.

Wonder where that will be?

I'm wishing you great journeys this week, in quilting and otherwise.



  1. Replies
    1. Thank you! I started using them in kids quilts, and now use them all the time.


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