Edit - see the end of the post for some great information on what size squares to start with and what size block you'll end up with - thank you to Beverly for providing this info. As with every new block, it is always a good idea to make a sample block first to confirm size and technique before cutting into your "good" fabric
Disappearing 9 Patch and Disappearing 4 patch blocks are pretty popular and easy to do, giving you a very interesting result. At my "Little Group" of quilting friends here in New Westminster, we were given the challenge to use a disappearing 4 patch in a project, that we would show at our wrap up dinner in June. What a great group of ladies, and oh what fun we have! Thank you Colleen for coming up with this challenge.
I thought I'd like to see what happened if I changed up the cutting pattern a bit. What do you think?
Here's how I did it.
I started with 6" squares - for each block you will need 2 squares of 2 contrasting colours. (I've chosen to work in linens).
Stitch them together to make a regular 4 patch block.
Now the fun part - instead of vertical and horizontal slicing, you need to do diagonal slicing.
Mark 2" in from each corner, all the way around the block. I used a yellow pencil, but use whatever works and shows up best for you. The marks will be in the seam allowance.
The cutting - this is where it is really nice to have a rotating cutting board, your cutting board on a table that you can walk all the way round, or use a small enough cutting board that you can turn it without disturbing any of your cut pieces, until you are finished all the cutting.
Take your ruler and line up the top upper left mark with the right hand side bottom mark. Cut.
|cut diagonally from mark to mark on adjoining sides|
The next cut will be from the Left side bottom mark to the Top Right mark. You will need to make 4 cuts in total to make all your cuts.
|you can see the cuts on the burgundy, similar cuts run through the polka dots|
The magic begins! The next step is to pick up and replace the centre edge triangle with their adjoining neighbour so that the polka dot and solid pieces switch sides.
The final step is to give that centre square a quarter turn.
|the final layout - all pieces moved and turned|
|the sewing plan|
|partially sewn - on the outer pieces I pressed the seams towards the burgundy, |
in the middle section I pressed towards the polka dots
Square up your block and trim to the largest size possible - I was able to trim to a 9 1/2" square.
I chose to make my squares into potholders, so I sandwiched and simple stitched in the ditch, and bound them by machine, with the finishing touch being adding grommets to hang them.
I've also got a plan to make a quilt using these blocks, but that is somewhere down the bucket list right now!
Edit - If you use this tutorial and make a project, I would love to see a picture!
I've had a couple of questions about how far from the corner to make your diagonal cuts when using 5" charm squares. It is entirely a matter of personal choice - you could leave the cuts at 2" from the corners, or move them in a little closer. I would probably try 1 3/4" in from the corner and make a test block to confirm I liked the proportions. There really is no wrong answer!
The following information was sent to me by Beverly - thank you! While I have not worked through the math, reading it through, the math seems to make sense. Make a sample block to be sure, but this could save you same grief and wasted fabric. Have fun!
I'm trying to figure out the general formula for what size to start with to get what size finished block (w/o seam allowances). Since you are cutting each diagonal twice, you should lose twice the amount you would when making quarter square triangle blocks, right?
E.g. you made a four-patch of 6" squares to get an 11 1/2 inch square. You lose 2 1/2" (2 x 1 1/4) to get a 9" block, or 9 1/2" with seam allowance. So to get an 8" finished block, you need a 10 1/2" four patch, which you would get by sewing 4 5 1/2" squares. or similarly making a 9 1/2" four patch from 5" squares would get you a 7" finished block. A 12" finished block starts with a 14 1/2" four patch made of 7.5" inch squares, and a 6" finished block starts with an 8 1/2" four-patch made of 4 1/2" squares.