Strips and Four Patch Quilt Tutorial

Jenny Doan

Strips and Four Patch Quilt Tutorial

Quilt Size: 75" x 88"
Jenny Doan shows us how to make a Strips and Four Patch quilt using yardage and 2.5 inch strips of precut fabric (jelly roll). We used Transformation by Sarah Vedeler for Benartex Contempo Studios. Learn how to chain piece and sew a four patch quilt block.
Supplies list
  • 1 roll x 2.5" Strips (Jelly Rolls) - Print
  • 1 roll x 2.5" Strips (Jelly Rolls) - Solid
  • 1-1/4 yards x Border Fabric

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video transcript

Hi everybody. It’s Jenny from the MSQC. And I’ve got a great project planned for you today. Take a look at this quilt behind me. Isn’t this beautiful? I love the fabric. It’s happy. It’s just really, really a pretty quilt. I love the patchy look to it. And it’s so easy to make. So to make this quilt, what you’re going to need is one roll of 2 ½ inch strips. And we have used this Transformation by Sarah Vidler for Benertex. And I mean it’s just gorgeous. You’re going  to need one roll of 2 ½ inch strips of background fabric, 40 of them. For your border you’re going to need a yard and a half for your border. And that’s it. Two rolls and a little border fabric and you’re ready to go. So let me show you how to make this.

So what we’re going to do is we’re going to take our strips off the roll and every single one of them is going to get sewn to a white strip. So we’re going to lay those right sides together. We’re going to sew a quarter of an inch all the way down one side of all of them. Every single one. You’re going to have 40 strips. Then we’re going to split those piles in half. So you have 20 strips here and 20 strips there. Out of one strip set you’re going to cut your four patches. So I have one here that’s all sewn together. And I like to leave it like this. I don’t want to iron it open until I do my cutting. I want to cut first. And what I generally do with this is I will fold them in half like this. You have to be careful and line them up very straight. But I fold them in half like this, trim off my selvedges. And I’m going to cut the two patches for my four patch. So what we’re doing is we’re making a four patch. So four squares together. And I’m going to cut 2 ½ inches. And you’ll see right here, we’ll get two little pieces like this. And so as we put these together you can see that’s going to make a four patch. So you’re going to cut the whole strip. And I’m going to go ahead and cut these for you guys here. And you just come in 2 ½, 2 ½ . And just cut all along the whole strip. And you’re going to do this to 20 of your strips. So half of them are going to be four patches, just like this. Let me just flip this around and cut it on here. I have this nifty 2 ½ inch ruler, I can just lay along the edge and cut. Alright, so now I have this whole stack of them. When you are ready to put your four patches together you are going to want to mix those up. And you’re going to want to iron them open. So we’re going to go to the ironing board here and iron a few of these. And what I like to do is just lay my dark fabrics on the top because I want to keep my seam to the dark side. So I’m just going to lay these on the top like this. Set my seam and then I’m going to roll them back. Just like this. And this is the first unit of this quilt that we’re making is the four patch. There’s two separate little blocks. The first one is these four patches. You’re going to do this to all your blocks, every single one.

Then you’re going to mix them up like this. You’re going to put these together so that your color butts up to the white and the white butts up to the color, just like that. You’re going to lay them right on top of each other. And if your seams are always pressed to this dark side, they’ll just nest up perfectly. So then we’re going to sew those together. We’re going to do a quarter inch seam. And we’re going to come right over here and line this up. Make sure that our needle is in the right place for our quarter inch . Whew! We had a burst of speed right there. Alright now I’m feeling this to make sure that my seam is still together in the center. Ok so I’ve just finished this one. But you’re going to do all of yours. So you’re just going to feed them through one after the other after another. You’ll clip them all apart. And then you’ll press them open. So once you get this all pressed you’ll see it’s a perfect little four patch.

And so I thought I would take a minute and walk you through some of the chain piecing in case you don’t know what that is. And, and what you’re going to do is you’re going to take your little stack of all these little pieces that you’ve cut and ironed open. And we’re going to go sit at the sewing machine. We’re going to lay them so that they go color to color or I mean color to white and white to color. So  opposites like this. Just like this right on side, right on top of each other. You’re going to make sure this middle part right here, they’re all nested and there’s no space in between. And then you’re going to sew. And instead of doing one at a time, with chain piecing before you take that piece out you’re going to add another piece. And so I’m going to go through and find a piece that’s different. Again lay them on opposite sides. And I’m just going to slide another through just like this And that’s chain piecing. That saves you some time because you’re not, you don’t have to cut and press as you go along. You do it, this is called assembly line sewing. And we’re just going to keep adding another one and adding another one. And that’s how you do chain piecing. And I like to always take a few anchoring stitches. Then make sure my two middle seams and lined up and sew down the side. So you’re just going to do that over and over and over. You’ll clip apart your, your little four patches like this. And then you can iron them all at once. And then it’s kind of, you know, it speeds up the process because you’ve got, you’re doing everything, all these four patches at one time. And I honestly, I actually don’t do all my four patches. I’ll do a stack of them at a time. And that gives me up and down and up and down. If you do all of them, it’s, it’s a long time sitting there. But, and I probably do about 20 at a time. And so that will help you speed up the process.

So the next block is a bar block. And again the other set of our 20 strips is, they’re going to be a colored one with a background. Sewn a quarter of an inch down the side. And then all of these are also going to get cut the same. And these are going to get cut in 5 ½ inch pieces. So I’m going to trim off my, my selvedges right here. Just trim them off. And then I’m going to come along here and cut 5 ½. And I’ve made sure that my strip is lined up on my mat so that I know that it is straight. And I’m going to count one, two, three, four, five ½ and make a cut. And five and make a cut. And one, two, three, four, five ½ and you’re going to do that to your whole strip. And let me see this piece right here what I have left. I don’t have quite 5 ½ so you’re going to open up this last piece right here and I’m going to count over five, one, two, three, four, five ½ and cut that as well. So you’re going to do that to all the, the other set of strips. All of them are going to get cut in 5 ½ inch pieces. And then they all have to be ironed open as well. So I’m just laying them with the dark color on the top and then I can set the seam and roll them back. Oop, there we go. Set the seam, roll them back. And it seems to work easier to not press them until you’re cut your pieces. For me anyway. It keeps my blocks a little bit straighter. Just like this . That’s your whole block.

So then what we’re going to do is we’re going to start assembling rows. The rows start and end with a four patch. So you’re going to actually have eight four patches in every row. So this is a row right there. This little one right here, this is a row. So we’ve got, here’s our four patch, here’s our bar block. And we’re putting them together in a long row. So we’re going to have a four patch and a bar block.And make sure that this right here, this color is with the background. So you have opposites. And then you’re going to put your next four patch in there and you’ll make sure, you want to use a different one. You want to mix them up. So you’re going to make sure that your, it’s always color to white. And we have lots of other bar blocks. Let me grab some of those so we can show all the different. Here we go. So then we’re going to put our color to our white like this. We always want to make sure that we have them, you have a good mix up here. And so when you put yours together you’re going to have eight four patches and seven bar blocks in each row. And you’re just going to assemble row after row after row. What that does when you put them together is it gives you this look of all the four patches and all the bar blocks and all the four patches and all the bar blocks. And it just goes together so quickly and so easily. Because the only thing you have to check on this is making sure that you have your colors against the whites and that this center seam lines up.
So when you go put these together you’re going to lay them right sides. And again you’re going to feel to make sure this is nested up nice and tight. And you’re just going to stitch a quarter of an inch down that. And that center seam, that little, that little junction where they come together is going to look just perfect. So you feel to make sure there’s no space in there. And then you get a piece where it comes together just like this . You know everytime I open that I’m always so glad it worked. I’m like Whew! That actually worked. So I know it will work for you. So when you put all these together you’re going to get a quilt that is 75 by 88 so that’s a pretty good sized quilt. And I mean it just goes together quick and easy. I think you’re going to really love it. Sometimes the simple quilts are the best quilts. And we hope you enjoyed this tutorial from the MSQC.

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