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Fast Four-Patch Quilt Tutorial

Fast Four-patch quilt tutorial

This is one of my favorite go-to quilt patterns for a quick baby quilt. It works really well to show off a main ‘focus’ print contrasting with a variety of prints in scrappy four-patch blocks.
For this quilt I am using the new Riley Blake collection Trendsetter. I really love the color palette in this collection. The collection includes some versatile basics like the stars ad the mini houndstooth print. I’m especially smitten with those multi-print circles. I added in some coordinating solids in Seafoam and Coral as well as the Navy Swiss Dots for variety.
This quilt design is great for showing off a big print and then pairing it with a variety of fabric that contrast well. I chose the big toile-looking print in Mint for the ‘background’ squares and then used the navies, corals and a few of the mint pieces as the contrast. (I personally chose to avoid the other light-background fabrics as they didn’t contrast as much with the toile.)

Finished quilt: 40″ x 56″

Fabric requirements:
  • 1 1/4 yard background print
  • At least 8 different 1/8 yards for contrasting four-patch blocks (you can use more if you want)
  •  OR a couple of packages of 5″ precut squares
  • 1 3/4 yard backing*
  • 3/8 yard binding
*this yardage will be tight on the sides (selvage edges). If you’re a careful quilter, it should be enough. If you want more wiggle room get 2 1/2 yards.

Cutting:

  • From background print cut 5 strips 8 1/2″ x width of fabric. Sub cut into 17 squares 8 1/2″ x 8 1/2″.
  • From four-patch prints cut 72 squares, 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″
  • From binding fabric cut 5 strips 2 1/2″ x width of fabric
Match 72 squares up into contrasting pairs. Sew squares together using a 1/4″ seam.
You can ‘chain’ them through quickly without even cutting the thread. Press seam to one side.
Match each pair with a contrasting pair and sew together to create 18 four-patch blocks. Press seam to one side. These blocks should come out as 8 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ unfinished.
Layout quilt blocks into seven rows of five blocks each. Start with a four-patch block in the first row and an 8 1/2″ square block in the second row. (see photo.)

Sew squares into rows, pressing seams toward the 8 1/2″ square blocks. This will create nesting seams when you go to sew the rows together and make the assembly much easier as well as matching up points. Sew rows together and press seams all the same direction.

Layer quilt top with batting and backing and baste together. Quilt as desired. I pieced my back using prints from the collection.

I had fun showing off some of the focus prints on the back and adding the Swiss dot in Navy worked so well as the binding. Yum. Quilting by Sew Shabby Quilting. For Binding sew 2 1/2″ x wof strips end to end. Binding tutorial here.

And voila! A super quick – and very cute – crib quilt!

Here is a previous version of this simple quilt design. It’s a great one for using up fabric and showing off fun prints. You can order prints from the Trendsetter collection from The Little Fabric Shop.

This is a easy pattern to adapt to other size quilts. Here are the fabric requirements:
TWIN (64″ x 88″)
  • 2 3/4 yard focus fabric – cut into 44 squares 8 1/2″ x 8 1/2″
  • 10 different 1/4 yards of fabric – cut into 176 squares 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ for 44 four-patch blocks
  • 5/8 yard binding
  • 5 yard backing

Make 44 four-patch blocks. Layout quilt 8 rows across by 11 rows down, alternating focus fabric and four patch blocks

 DOUBLE/QUEEN (80″ x 88″)
  • 3 1/2 yards focus fabric – cut into 55 squares 8 1/2″ x 8 1/2″
  • 13 different 1/4 yards of fabric – cut into 220 squares 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ for 55 four-patch blocks
  • 3/4 yard binding
  • 6 yards backing

Make 55 total four-patch blocks. Layout quilt rows 10 squares across by 11 rows down alternating focus fabric and four-patch blocks.

KING (120″ x 120″)
  • 6 3/4 yards focus fabric – cut into 112 squares 8 1/2″ x 8 1/2″
  • 14 different 1/2 yards – cut into 452 squares 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ for 113 four-patch blocks
  • 1 yard binding
  • 11 yards backing

Make 113 four-patch blocks. Layout quilt rows 15 squares by 15 squares alternating focus fabric and four-patch blocks.

(King size alternate: if you’d rather have borders to eliminate some of the piecing:

  • 5 yards focus fabric – cut into 84 squares 8 1/2″ x  8 1/2″
  • 13 different 3/8 yards of fabric – cut into 340 squares 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ for 85 four-patch blocks
  • 2  3/4 yards border fabric
  • 1 yard binding
  • 11 yards backing

Make 85 four-patch blocks. Layout quilt rows 13 squares x 13 squares alternating focus fabric and four-patch blocks.. Cut 10 border strips 8 1/2″ x 42″ for outside quilt border.)

(This tutorial was originally published at Riley Blake Designs.)

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46 Comments

  • Reply
    Linda Powell
    September 10, 2014 at 5:47 am

    Those fabrics are beautiful Amy, I love this colour palette too. I am a beginner to all this as you know so thank you very much for the tutorial which I have shared on my G+ page (so I can find it again when I attempt this haha) The coral colour really makes this I think, stunning 🙂

  • Reply
    Frankie Carson
    September 10, 2014 at 6:46 am

    I love your colour palette! <br />Frankie<br />http://knitwits-owls.blogspot.co.uk/?m=1

  • Reply
    Heidi
    September 10, 2014 at 7:39 am

    Beautiful quilt! Love the colors your chose!

  • Reply
    A Quilter's Mission
    September 10, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    Great fun quilt! Yes, this color pallet is wonderful.

  • Reply
    Carmen Lee
    September 11, 2014 at 8:12 am

    Ammy, I love your choice. These quilts are really wonderful , it&#39;s fabric is beautiful as well as designs are very nice.

  • Reply
    Rebecca Barnes
    September 11, 2014 at 9:53 am

    I love the back – thanks for the tutorial

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  • Reply
    Rozina
    May 22, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    I have a question, I have a yard of main fabric I want to use, if I were to order a 1/4 of a years more in order to have enough to do this quilt would that totally screw me up? This is my first quilt so it’s probably a silly question. Thanks!

    • Reply
      Lindawithani
      October 9, 2015 at 2:20 pm

      I would say, just to be on the safe side, order more than the 1/4 yard you are missing. I would go for at least 1/2 yard. And good luck with your first quilt!

  • Reply
    emmalee
    June 6, 2015 at 5:11 am

    This is beautiful….

    Perfect to showcase a fabric collection I have my eye on,

    Can I Ask is the twin size equivalent to
    single ?

    Im in Australia and our sizes go bassinet ,
    cot , single , king single , double , queen king.

    I have v

    • Reply
      emmalee
      June 6, 2015 at 5:12 am

      *have never made a quilt, my mum is the quilter I make baby / toddler clothes for my miss 2

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      June 8, 2015 at 1:46 pm

      I’m guessing it’s the equivalent. I don’t know the measurements of a single, but I’m sure they’re very similar.

  • Reply
    Janine
    June 17, 2015 at 5:57 am

    Thank you for adding the other measurements and requirements!!! I love the quilt and it hate having to figure out what to buy for a bigger one! LOL…
    Thanks again,
    Janine

  • Reply
    Kelly
    September 6, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    Wondering if the King size requirements are correct. How can the double/queen be 3 1/2 yards of focus fabric and the king size require double that?

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      September 8, 2015 at 10:48 am

      Thanks for your question. I went back and checked my math. I was off slightly and have updated the measurements. But still, that King size is almost double the Queen requirements. Those King-size quilts are just exponentially bigger. It’s crazy.

  • Reply
    Judy
    October 7, 2015 at 8:46 pm

    Thank you for making this pattern available free.
    Love your choice of fabric, will be making this in
    baby colour maybe adding embroidery/applique.
    Again thank you

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  • Reply
    Linda
    October 15, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    Love the tutorial. I’ve not done to much quilting but like to do embroidery. Your directions are very clear and anxious to try this! Thank you.

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  • Reply
    Lorena
    October 20, 2015 at 8:16 am

    I have a question about the quilting. What color thread was used for quilting the three pieces together? I’m making this quilt with different fabric but since there are so many colors I’m not sure what color to use when quilting.

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      October 20, 2015 at 10:47 am

      I just had the quilter use a cream/neutral thread that would blend with most of the prints.

  • Reply
    Michelle
    December 5, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    There seems to be a little something off with the measurements — after sewing the 4.5″ squares with the .25″ seam, they won’t match the 8.5″ blocks anymore like in the pictures, but rather be off by .25″. Were either of the squares cut to different dimensions, perhaps?

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      December 5, 2015 at 8:13 pm

      Hmm. I’m sure that’s right. Because four 4″ x 4″ squares (finished) will create an 8″x 8″ finished block. So unfinshed the blocks would be 4.5″ and 8.5″. Check your seam allowance. Even if it’s only slightly bigger than a 1/4″, it could skew things and the block will end up slightly smaller. Let me know.

  • Reply
    Amy
    January 23, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    What is the square by row layout for the twin quilt? Second quilt so still a beginner. Really excited to try this quilt.

  • Reply
    Amy Baird
    January 23, 2016 at 10:53 pm

    How many blocks by rows for a twin? Want to make sure I do it right. My second quilt so I am still a beginner. 🙂

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      January 25, 2016 at 4:37 pm

      Layout blocks 8 blocks across by 11 rows down.

  • Reply
    Leanne
    January 30, 2016 at 1:47 am

    Thanks so much for these easy to follow instructions. I’d purchased some fabric quite some time ago and didn’t have a project in mind only that it was going to be some sort of patchwork. This is my first ever quilt, I started making it today and it’s looking fabulous so far!

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      February 1, 2016 at 11:49 am

      Awesome! I’m so glad to hear! I hope you’ll enjoy it.

  • Reply
    Jane
    February 2, 2016 at 8:42 am

    Will this quilt look ok with a few random small squares of another fabric that goes well with the others. I am not sure I have enough of the 13 that I need, they cut my pieces too small when I bought them. Thank you.

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      February 2, 2016 at 8:49 am

      Oh, that’s so frustrating. But yes, I would just add other fabrics in colors that go well. I think it will look even better with more variety. 😉

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Michelle B
    February 10, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    Hi! I am so excited to try this pattern, in a twin size, but I can’t figure out how to cut the focus fabric. At 1 3/4 yds, 44 in wide, I can only get 35 8/5″ squares out of it. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong. Any help would be appreciated!

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      February 10, 2016 at 8:24 pm

      Ahh! You’re right. There’s a typo – should say 2 3/4 yards. THanks for the heads up! I’ll fix it right now!

  • Reply
    Francine Skoglund
    March 2, 2016 at 9:00 am

    This was my first quilt EVER and now I’m totally quilt crazy. I made a lovely pink quilt for my granddaughter for Christmas and she and her parents love it. Thank you for your great instructions!

  • Reply
    Gerry Robideaux
    March 2, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    Some of terms used for fabric are confusing to me. For instance, what is a “layer cake”?

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    Stephanie Lunn
    May 25, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    Hello! I am hoping to try this pattern out for my first quilt. I see these really cute Fat Quarter fabrics at JoAnn and was wondering if those would work ok for the four-square patches? I’m not sure how many “Fat Quarters” I would need to equal 1/8 yard. Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Steph

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      May 30, 2016 at 3:02 pm

      Hi Steph!

      Good question- you can get 16 4 1/2″ squares from 1 Fat Quarter. So if you are making the crib size quilt, you would need at least 5 Fat Quarters.

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  • Reply
    Jenna Stamas
    July 9, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    Could you tell me the dimensions of each block for the backing? I’m trying to mimic your design with the fabrics I picked out and would like to know dimensions for each block. I know it’s 40 inches across for each fabric.

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      July 10, 2016 at 9:36 pm

      Just making sure I understand your question – do you mean the 4-patch block measurements? They should measure 8″ x 8″ finished (8 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ unfinished.) Let me know if that is not the information you are looking for.

  • Reply
    Bobby Jo Oliveras
    August 5, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    Just made this quilt using the new Star Wars fabric as the focus piece with contrasting 4 patch. It came out beautiful. I made the twin size and the directions were easy to follow and accurate. Now I’m making a double size with John Deere fabric as the focus. Love this pattern.

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      August 6, 2016 at 3:52 pm

      Those sound awesome! I’m glad the directions were helpful!

  • Reply
    Brenda
    September 16, 2016 at 8:37 am

    I’m having trouble getting you links to social media working.

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      September 16, 2016 at 1:50 pm

      Thank you SO much for letting me know! I think I’ve fixed them. I didn’t realize they weren’t working so I really appreciate the time you took to tell me!

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