Easy Four Patch Quilt Block for Beginners

This easy four patch quilt block uses a strip piecing method.  When you want to make a lot of four patch blocks, this method will save you a ton of time!!!

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I’ve recently designed a red and white quilt that includes using a number of four patch blocks to produce an adaptation of a traditional Burgoyne Surrounded design.

portion of scrappy stars quilt where easy four patch quilt block is used

The adapted Burgoyne Surrounded design are the chains of small squares that move diagonally across the quilt.

It might look complicated and intricate to cut out and sew together all of these itty bitty little squares to create the Burgoyne Surrounded design.  But by using this easy strip piecing method the four patches come together very quickly! 

I love quick and easy quilt making!!! Don’t you?

Using Easy Four Patch Quilt Blocks…

There are so many ways you might want to incorporate four patch blocks into a quilt!  I’ve included four patch blocks to create an adaptation of a traditional Burgoyne Surrounded design in my Scrappy Stars Quilt.  Can you find all of the four patch quilt blocks in this pattern?

Another great use of four patch blocks is to sew them sew them together to create a border for your quilt.

Four patch quilt blocks can be used as separate quilt blocks within a quilt, as cornerstones of quilt blocks, in sashing, or incorporated within a quilt block.  You can rectangle them straight on rectangle them on point. 

Here are a few examples of four patch quilt blocks used in some quilts.

variations of quilts using the easy four patch quilt block

They are such a cute and versatile quilt block!!!  When you start using four patch quilt blocks you’ll come up with all kinds of ways you’ll want to include them in your quilts!

You’ll need to choose the colors of fabrics you want to use for your easy four patch quilt blocks!  Maybe you want your colors to contrast, or maybe you want them to complement each other. 

For my Scrappy Stars quilt I’ve chosen reds and light creams which produce a clear contrast.  Don’t the reds just pop?! 

If you’re unsure what colors to choose, check out this post on Choosing Fabric Colors.

Cut the Strips for Easy Four Patch Quilt Block

The size you want your four patch quilt blocks to be will determine the size of strips you need to cut.  The chart below gives a few measurements of common sized blocks for you to follow.

Chart for Sizes of Easy Four Patch Quilt Block

Size of Unfinished Four PatchSize of Finished Four PatchSize of Strips for Easy Four Patch Quilt Blocks
(WOF = Width of Fabric)
2 ½” x 2 ½”2” x 2”1 ½” x WOF
3 ½” x 3 ½”3” x 3”2” x WOF
4 ½” x 4 ½”4” x 4”2 ½” x WOF
5 ½” x 5 ½”5” x 5”3” x WOF
6 ½” x 6 ½”6” x 6”3 ½” x WOF
7 ½” x 7 ½”7” x 7”4” x WOF
8 ½” x 8 ½”8” x 8”4 ½” x WOF

Cut the strips that will produce the size of easy four patch quilt block you’re looking to make!

In this post I’m making easy four patch quilt blocks that will measure 2 ½” x 2 ½” “unfinished”.  These blocks will measure 2” x 2” once they’re “finished” and sewn into the quilt!  I’ve cut my strips from fat quarters so my strips measure 1 ½” x 22′ (WOF for a fat quarter). 

You can either cut these strips from full widths, from fat quarter widths, or from widths that you have within your stash!  There’s no hard and fast rule to how long the widths need to be.  But the longer the width the more two patch rectangles you’ll get.

If you’re cutting strips from a full width of fabric (usually about 44” wide) you’ll end up with approximately 28 two patch rectangles.  When cutting strips from fat quarters of fabric (usually 22” wide) you’ll end up with approximately 14 two patch rectangles. 

Sew and Cut Apart the Strips…

All sewing in this tutorial uses ¼” seam allowance.

Place your two strips right side together.  Pin and stitch them together, removing pins as you come up to them.

sewing fabric strips together to make the easy four patch quilt block

Press the dark side of the sewn strips to rectangle the stitches.  Then carefully open up the sewn strips and press the seam toward the darker fabric.

Using a smaller ruler, like the Easy Square, Jr., line up the center seam with one of the horizontal lines on the ruler.  Square off one end of the strips by cutting along the edge of the ruler. 

squaring up the end of the sewn strips to cut units for the easy four patch quilt block

This way you’ll have a squared line to measure from as you cut the strips apart!

Using a rotary cutter, cut the strips apart to create two patch rectangles.  Cut the rectangles the same width as when you cut the two strips to sew together.  My strips were 1 ½” wide so I’ll cut my two patch rectangles 1 ½” apart.  Because I used fat quarters I get 14 two patch rectangles.

Sew the Two Square Rectangles to Make Easy Four Patch Quilt Block…

Next, line up 2 two patch rectangles with the center seams nested together and the colors facing the direction you need them to be. 

I want my four patch blocks to have the reds in opposite corners diagonal from each other.  If it doesn’t matter to you what order you want your colors to be it makes it even easier to sew all your four patch blocks together!!  Less thinking!!! 

Pin at the center and sew the rectangles together, removing the pin as you come up to it.

sewing the two patch rectangles together for the easy four patch quilt block

Press the four patch block open. Even the back side is pretty if pressed carefully all the way along!

Viola!  You’ve just made an easy four patch quilt block.  Use the remaining rectangles to make as many four patch quilt blocks as you need for your project.

easy four patch quilt block in red and cream color fabric

Happy quilting!!!


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