Monday, September 20, 2010

BOW #16 Four Patch

The Four Patch is another one of my favorite blocks because it is so simple but so versatile.  It's a great first block for a new quilter, but it's useful for experienced quilters and designers, too.   It's the integral part of a Double Four-Patch--but that's another story for another day.

You will see the Four Patch as part of other blocks.  Take a look at your Buckeye Beauty block and you'll see Four Patches built into it.

Only a one-patch is simpler than the Four Patch.  To make a 6" Four Patch (you can make a 12," but that makes from some pretty big pieces; if you make two 6" Four Patches you'll be ready to put them into that Double Four Patch I promised you):

(2) 3-1/2" light squares
(2) 3-1/2" dark squares

Just alternate the light and dark squares in a 2x2 grid:

One of my favorite things to do with a Four Patch  is to make a checkerboard pattern--of any length or width you wish.  It can be a primary design element of a quilt, or sashing, or a border, or a filler block or section.

Here are some quilts that feature Four Patches in one form or another.  The sky's the limit with the Four Patch--and it's hard not to love that!!

This is one block of a larger quilt, and you can see Four Patches in the corners, and in the center--that 16-patch is really 4 Four Patches.   (Sorry that it's a little blurry; you get the idea.)

Here the four patches make up filler pieces in an Orphan Block quilt.  An orphan block quilt is made up of blocks that that never found a place in other quilts.  I have a very short attention span so I have MANY orphan blocks.  When I've made one block once I'm satisfied.  Been there, done that, let's move on!  :-) 

This time the Four Patches step in to make two edges of a small quilt; I generally don't like square quilts, to the Four Patch strips serve to add an extra design element while making the quilt a rectangle.

Finally, here's an unquilted "scatter quilt," what I call small quilts that are designed to serve a specific function around the house--and add a little style to the purpose.  This one is going to be the holiday "home" for my TV remote.  (My remote is resting on an autumn version of such a scatter quilt, though it is with flying geese and a Courthouse Steps.)

Notice that both the blocks are 4-patches (2 x 2 pieces), and that means they have the potential to interact and form new, secondary patterns.  I like the way the pinwheel blades flow into the squares in the Four Patches.  If I were to add more blocks around it would create a terrific pattern.  That may have to be my next Scatter Quilt, or maybe a larger quilt...

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