This quick and easy quilt is one of my most popular quilt tutorials of all time: a fast, beginner-friendly Fast Four Patch Quilt. This simple patchwork quilt is perfect for a scrappy look and showing-off a fun feature print fabric. It’s also a great project for a beginning quilter.
It’s been 9 years since I first published this pattern and felt like it was time for an update. If you are brand-new to quilting, be sure to check out my Beginning Quilting series for all the basics on supplies, cutting, piecing, and quilting!
Four Patch Quilt Tutorial:
This is one of my favorite simple quilt patterns for a quick baby quilt. It works really well to show off a main ‘feature’ print contrasting with a variety of prints in scrappy four-patch blocks. The quilt shown here finishes at 40″ x 56″.
If you would like a printable version of this Crib-size pattern you can find the PDF Pattern here.
I have fabric requirements, cutting and piecing instructions for Throw, Twin, Queen and King sizes below.
Tips: Choosing Fabric
For this four patch quilt I used the Riley Blake collection I designed called Portsmouth. It’s a nautical, summer-y collection. This quilt is so versatile that you can use whatever color scheme or palette you want.
Here are some tips on choosing fabric. (None of these are hard, fast rules. You can use what ever suits your fancy. Just some tips that I use when choosing fabric for a quilt.)
This four patch quilt design is great for showing off a big print and then pairing it with a variety of different fabrics that contrast well.
If you’re stuck trying to choose fabrics, start with your “main” feature print. This can be a larger scale print (if you want) because the blocks are larger scale and can show off a busier print.
I chose the toile-looking Seacoast print for the feature fabric squares and then used the navies, blues, reds and a few of the coral pieces as the contrasts prints for the 4-patch blocks.
(I personally chose to avoid the other light-background fabrics in the four patch blocks as they didn’t contrast as much with the light background print.)
Finished four patch quilt: 40″ x 56″
Fabric Requirements for your Four Patch Quilt:
- 1 ¼ yard background print
- At least 8 different ⅛ yards for contrasting four-patch blocks (you can use more if you want) OR a couple of packages of 5″ precut squares (you will need to trim the squares down to 4½ ” x 4½ ” but precuts are a great way to get a variety of prints)
- 2½ yards backing fabric (If you are careful with the width of the backing and choose something wider that 42″, you may be able to get by with 1 ¾ yards and not piecing a back.)
- ½ yard binding
Cutting the fabric for the Four Patch Quilt:
- From background print cut 5 strips 8½” x width of fabric. (The pattern instructions assume you will only get 4 squares 8½” x 8½” from each strip, but if your strip is longer than 42½” and you cut very carefully, you could get 5 squares per strip. It’s okay if they include a tiny bit of selvage that will end up in the seam allowance.)
- Sub cut into 17 squares 8½ ” x 8½ “.
- From ⅛ yard prints cut 72 squares, 4½” x 4½” – you can cut 9 squares 4½” x 4½” from each ⅛ yard
- From binding fabric cut 5 strips 2½” x width of fabric
Piecing the Quilt
Match 72 squares up into contrasting pairs.
Sew squares together using a ¼″ seam allowance. (IMPORTANT NOTE: A consistent ¼″ seam allowance is key to consistent piecing.)
You can ‘chain’ them through quickly without even cutting the thread. Press seam to one side.
Match each pair of 2 squares with a contrasting pair of 2 squares with seam pressed in opposite direction.
Place right sides together and sew to a four-patch blocks. Press long seam to one side.
Make 18 four-patch blocks.
Layout quilt blocks into seven rows of five blocks each. Row 1 Start with a four-patch block in the first row and alternate with feature print squares.
Sew rows together and press seams all the same direction.
Layer quilt top with quilt batting and backing and baste together into a “quilt sandwich”. If you’re new to quilting, you can find details to walk you through the basting and quilting process here.
For Binding sew the 2½” x wof strips end to end. Binding tutorial here.
And voila! A super quick – and very cute – four patch quilt!
This is a great quilt for using up fabric and showing off fun prints. Here is a previous version in a brighter color palette:
Here is another previous version of this simple four patch quilt design.
You can find the free printable PDF for this Crib Size Fast Four Patch Quilt here.
I have an expanded version with fabric requirements and piecing instructions for Throw, Twin, Queen and 2 different King size options here for purchase in a printable PDF format.
Quilt Kits Available
AND I have put together a limited number of kits to make the 40″ x 56″ version of this quilt.
Quilt Kits are available in my shop and includes 18 different strips for the four-patch blocks, precut strips of the feature fabric, and ⅜ yard navy gingham for binding.
Big thanks to Baby Lock Sewing Machines for sponsoring this free pattern and lots of other content on my site. I love my Baby Lock sewing machines and have loved working with them as an ambassador for Baby Lock for over 6 years now.
You can read some of my sewing machine recommendations for different budgets and preferences here. And check out Baby Lock for their latest promotions and specials going right now.