A Better Method for Making Four Patch Units

I have been working on several projects that need four patch units. The way I usually make four patches is to use the strip cutter. This is my strip cutter. I use a ruler to carefully place Painter’s tape for aligning my strips for a second cut.

  • Here I have sewn two strips together,

  • Fold the sewn strips in half and cut into 8-inch strips,

  • Press the 8-inch strips open and layer on the strip cutter using the Painter’s tape as a guide to keep the strips perfectly perpendicular to the blades

  • Carefully place the mat and cut into subunits. If you look closely, you can see the cuts in this image

  • Then place two subunits together and stitch to make a four patch. I am always careful to place the subunits together the same way for every quilt so that no matter how I use the four patch units, the seams are pressed in the same direction and all units will go together like a puzzle.

In the past, I cut the subunits before pressing the 8-inch strips open. However, pressing those subunits open requires me to pick each one up, open it, and press. This is a quick process but requires some real repetitive motion and aggravates the tendonitis/arthritis in my hands.Thus, I decided to press the 8-inch strips open before layering on the strip cutter. The reason I don’t usually do this is because it takes extra care to keep them perfectly straight on the strip cutter. This timeĀ I did it anyway and took the extra care and WOW – it was worth it. Pressing the 8-inch strips open is so much easier on my hands and stitching the subunits together is really easy too.