After a month of stormy weather, broken arm blues, and family “vacation”, I sat down to complete the fourth block in the Curve it Up series.
The four patch block was one of the earliest “block” styles used by quilters. It enabled them to use small “scraps” of fabric in their designs. I could see this lending itself to the use of old clothing, especially dresses or shirts that were not being up cycled to other clothing use. Can you imagine what early generations would think of our tag of “up cycling”. They would think it is funny how much we simply dispose of!
The curved four patch is certainly not a simple stitching design due to potential stretching of the curves. Attention to detail for matching your corners is important, as is pressing and squaring the final blocks.
No fear, the pattern designer did leave enough “extra” on the background sashing to allow you to square up the wonky final shape. (Whew!)
I selected colors from my previous block, turquoise/blue and purple, to help tie the designs together. Funny, I must have picked colors for my mood, but even those are beautiful, life can’t always be rainbow!
The squares in the pattern are 4 1/2″ and the strips are 2 1/2″ wide. This could be easily adjusted to be “charm pack” and “Jelly Roll” friendly. A whole quilt of this block would have sashing that looks like flower petals or leaves!
Step One: Cut your fabrics. You will need 8 focus squares, and 8 background fabric squares. You will also need 16 of the 2 1/2″ wide sashing background fabric.
There are lot of ways to lay these out. Pick oneyou like and stitch them together like four regular four patch blocks.
Step 2: Sew the four patches and trim each edge of the blocks using the curve it up ruler.
This is a great time to use a spinning rotary mat, the lazy “susan” of quilting. Several manufacturers sell these, Olfa, Fiskars, Martelli to name a few. I love them while working with small pieces and when cutting multiple directions. I used it for the initial curve trimming shown here and for squaring my blocks after stitching the sashing.
Step 3: Sew the sashing…
Your block will not look like this (After trimming it will).
It will probably look like this! Breath! You are fine.
It is important to sew the opposing edges (left/right , top/bottom) to help keep the curve edges stabilized. After each curve is sewn, press the seams open to help reduce the bulk at the points.
Step 4: Trim each curved four patch with a squaring template. Use your seams to help center and align the block with the ruler.
Step 5: Make a larger four patch with your new blocks!
Note: I again used the Terial Arts – Terial Magic to give my blocks better shape hold and to help prevent fraying as I store them for the rest of the year!
Give this one a try!