Welcome to the second week of Charmed, I'm Sure! A series of tutorials designed to be simple enough to use for comfort quilts to be donated, that will also help you build skills and learn new tips and ways to work quickly and efficiently!
Last week, I shared this quilt...
...along with a link to Amy Smart's fantastic tutorial for a simple charm quilt on point! This was such an easy quilt to make, and a great scrap buster.
Today I want to share a pattern I've seen around a lot, so it's an oldie, but this was actually the first time I've ever tried it myself. You may have made a disappearing nine-patch in the past (most of us have!) but have you ever tried a disappearing four-patch? I don't know about you, but I really like cutting up blocks to create something new and different. So it was about time to try a D4P!
I started with a bunch of two-patch blocks made using some batik charm squares paired with a black and white "etch-a-sketch" print. While not scrappy, the batik squares had been in my stash f-o-r-e-v-e-r, and this was the tail-end of the black and white print. I feel virtuous!
FYI, I pressed all the seams towards the B&W print.
I chose two of the two-patch blocks, a blue and a green, and sewed them together into a four-patch block, with the black and white squares on opposite corners. I "spun" the center seams (click here for a great quick tutorial on the process by Beth Sellers) and then laid it on my cutting board.
Placing the 2" mark of my ruler vertically along the center line, I cut to the right side of the ruler. Without moving the pieces, I repeated the process to the left side and also horizontally above and below the center line.
And this is what I ended up with! Now it's time for the magic to happen. Experiment with moving pieces around! In the picture below, I took the top center and bottom center pieces and swapped them, and did the same with the right center and left center pieces.
And here's a sample layout that you could make with this block...
But I decided to try something a little bit different. I took the same center outside blocks and just turned them around in place, and ended up with this block.
I made a few more, then started playing with layouts and ended up with this one...
I sure was happy to get to church and a functioning design wall!
And here's a tip - when you are trying to figure out how to lay out your colors with this layout, lay out your two-patch blocks so the colors match, then decide what colors you want to be on the other side. Place the four-patch blocks in place before cutting and re-sewing to see how the colors will work. As you can see, I figured this out late in the game, or I wouldn't have two blue blocks on the top half of this layout! Alas - live and learn!
After making all the four-patch blocks on Wednesday night at church, I headed home with a picture and a plan! I sliced-and-diced all the four-patch blocks and put them back together again, then assembled the whole top.
And voila! A sweet little top just large enough for a baby or small child, or for a comfort item for a foster child. The blocks finish up just slightly larger than 8" (finished), so this top made with 20 blocks is about 32 x 40. It would be easy to make almost any size quilt, just increase the number of blocks made. Time constraints limited this one, but I may make a larger one soon, because it is quick and fun!
And now, I want to know - - - am I the only person in the world who has never made a disappearing four-patch block before?
Come back next Sunday for another fun charm pack quilt. Because those charms aren't going to sew themselves up by themselves!