I spy a 4 patch!

Make someone you love a snuggly I spy quilt with collectible and fun novelty prints!
finished size approx 38"X49"

Cutting Directions:
Four patches:
From orange print cut (3) strips 2.5" X 44" (width of fabric)
From purple print cut (3) strips 2.5" X 44" (width of fabric)
From white on white print cut (5) strips 2.5" X 44" (width of fabric)

From novelty prints cut (40) 4.5" squares.
(you can use several different prints, or use one special novelty print throughout for a different look!)

Inner border:
From black/white check or stripe cut (4) strips 2" X 44" (width of fabric)

Outer border:
From rainbow stripe cut (4) strips 3.5" X 44" (width of fabric)

Assembly: 4 patches!

For the orange color way of 4 patch you will need 2 full strips of orange print, and one 1/2 strip of orange print. Fold one of the three orange strips in half, cut in half and set the extra aside. 

Place the Orange and White strips with right sides together and stitch along one long side with a 1/4" seam. Sew all 2 1/2 orange strips to the white strips in this fashion. Press the seam allowance towards the dark. Rotary cut the strips into 40  2.5" sub-sections. You will need 20 orange/white 4 patches. To make the 4 patch units, take two subsections as shown, place right sides together with the orange of one section on top of the white of the section underneath. Sew with a 1/4" seam along one edge. Press towards one side.

Repeat the above steps with 2 1/2 strips of the purple print, and the remaining 2 1/2 strips of the white on white print. Make 20 purple/white 4 patches as shown above.

Now the fun begins! You will notice that in the quilt shown above that the 4 patches alternate so there is a purple diagonal chain alternating with an orange diagonal chain. On your floor or a design wall, lay out  your 4 patches and novelty print squares in the way you want them to go. Sew the blocks into rows, and then sew the rows together forming the quilt top center.

(These directions show a different quilt top, but the border instructions are the same!)

We are going to add the long sides of the inner border first.  I like to join my narrow border strips on the diagonal the same way I do for making binding. The only exception to this is if the fabric is a stripe...I have better luck just stitching them end to end. It is less noticeable that way.

I form an "L" with the end of two strips with right sides together, and sew from corner to corner.  If you look at the diagram above, you will see that the top strip is moved inside the end of the bottom strip, and just a bit up from the edge of the bottom strip...this leaves you two little "V" areas. You want to stitch from the exact V at the top to the exact V at the bottom. I position mine just a bit 'off' this way so that I have a target to shoot for when stitching the seam.
Then I trim the excess and press the seam open.

Measuring Borders:

For small quilts such as  this, I like to lay the quilt top on my ironing board. I center the quilt top lengthwise on the ironing board, and smooth it out. Not stretching or pulling, just flat. Then I take the border strip that I have just stitched and pressed, and lay it also down the center of the quilt top. Smoothing with your fingers and not stretching....be sure that the left edge is right at the left edge of the quilt and it hasn't crept away on you. I cut ALL my borders this way, using the border strips to measure across the center of the quilt, instead of using a measuring tape which may stretch or lay differently than the fabric I am using. My borders always turn out square and straight this way with no ripples.

Cut 2 strips the length of the quilt top. Pin the border to the quilt, matching the center and top and bottom.

Stitch the two sides in place, one on the left, one on the right. Press seams towards the borders.
Now you are going to do the same thing for the top and bottom inner border. Lay the quilt top on the ironing board centering the quilt on the board, with the borders you have just sewn on your left and right. Smooth. Lay the border strips down across the quilt (including the first borders you just added) and cut two pieces, one for the top, one for the bottom. Pin them to the quilt top with right sides together, matching centers and ends. Stitch. Press seams towards the borders.

For the outter borders, you are going to follow the same proceedure, only using the four 3.5" strips. When strips get wider than 3.5", I like to sew them together straight end to end instead of on the diagonal or bias. This is mostly due to the fact that a bias seam is going to be longer than a straight seam, and because the strip is wide, it will be even more noticeable. There is also alot of waste when you are joining wide strips on the bias. The choice is up to you! If joining stripes, I like to join them end to end instead of on the bias. Sew the outter borders to the long sides of the quilt first, then add the final top and bottom borders.

Your top is done! Now you can finish it any way you want to....you can tie it, you can place buttons in the corners of each block and tie through the buttons, you can machine quilt through the diagonals or meander the whole quilt, or you can hand quilt, whatever you desire!

Double-Fold Binding:
Carefully remove basting threads or safety pins.  Baste around quilt 3/16" from the edges if desired. Trim batt and lining even with the top.Cut binding strips 2 1/2" wide on lengthwise or crosswise grain of fabric. Place end of two strips perpendicular to each other forming an 'L', right sides together. Stitch diagonally and trim to 1/4". Join all strips end to end. Press the seam allowances open.

Cut the beginning of the binding strip at a 45°angle. Turn the edge in 1/4" and press. Fold the binding strip in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, and press. Lay the binding strip, longer side down, on the right side of the quilt top, aligning raw edges of the binding and the quilt. Begin sewing at the second fold, stopping 1/4" from the first corner; backstitch. Remove the needle from the quilt and cut the threads.

Fold the binding up, then back down even with edge of the quilt. Begin stitching at the edge of next side, backstitch to secure and continue sewing. Repeat at all corners. When nearing starting point, trim binding at double-thickness fold and tuck the end into folded strip. Continue sewing and backstitch. Blind stitch the folded edge to the tucked strip.

Turn the binding to back of the quilt and blindstitch to the lining, covering the previous line of stitches. Fold the corners as shown and blindstitch.


Close up version of blindstitch:

I work my stitches from right to left on the quilt back. Keep the needle parallel to the fold on the binding, and the stitching line on the back of the quilt. Take small stitches, directly across from where you exit the previous stitch. Pull thread.
When the thread is tightened the stitches should be virtually invisible.

Pat yourself on the back! You have just created a one of a kind I-spy-a-4-patch quilt that anyone would love!

Here is another version using only ONE novelty print for a different look!
(just off the quilting machine, still needing binding!)

Questions or Comments? I would love to hear from you!! Bonnie@Quiltville.com
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