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Thread: Four patch technique question

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2018

    Four patch technique question

    Let me explain how I'm making these and then I'll ask my question.
    First, I starched the fabrics prior to cutting them into 1 7/8" wide strips along WOF.
    I'm sewing a strip of purple to a strip of white using a 1/4" seam.
    Then I align the sewn edge along a 4' metal ruler to make sure it is straight, then press to set the seam.
    I let the pieces cool before I move them.
    Here's my question:
    Is it better to cut these long strips into 1 7/8" wide pieces now, before they are pressed open, using the sewn edge as a straight guide......
    Is it better to finger press and then open the long strips, press flat, and then cut into 1 7/8" pieces?
    I'm cutting them a little larger so I can trim them to 3" squares when finished. I need a total of 288 four patch units, and I'm looking for the most accurate method. Is there any real difference between the above mentioned methods?
    Thanks for any replies.....

  2. #2
    Super Member QuiltingVagabond's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    South Central Indiana
    With that much extra wiggle room, I don't think it will matter either way. I guess it depends on how many layers you plan to cut at a time and what you are most comfortable with.
    QuiltingVagabond aka Kathy

  3. #3
    Super Member bjchad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Southern New Jersey USA
    Lay your pressed open strips for the two sides on top of each other, right sides together, align and then cut. Then you are ready to go with the next stage of sewing, your pieces already matched up.

  4. #4
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    I think it ends up the same as "6 of one/6 of other or 1/2 doz either way". What is easiest for you? Rather than individually cut, I use the same method as bjchad. One cut has you ready for the next step.

  5. #5
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Blog Entries
    I am puzzled by the 'press them open'. I would be pressing the seams to the purple side. First, because it would be less visible and second, it would allow for nesting. But, I wouldn't cut until after pressing to aid in less chance of distortion (easier to move and handle a long piece rather than fiddly little pieces). I agree with cutting them a bit bigger. I learned long ago that the tiny bit of waste is so much better than ending up with a couple square too small!

  6. #6
    Super Member sharin'Sharon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    northeast NE
    After watching many of the 'renowned' quilters in tutorials, it appears they finger press the seams open before taking the iron to press them open. I've been doing that and find it much less tedious that way. Good luck.

  7. #7
    Super Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Central Wisconsin
    Quote Originally Posted by sharin'Sharon View Post
    After watching many of the 'renowned' quilters in tutorials, it appears they finger press the seams open before taking the iron to press them open. I've been doing that and find it much less tedious that way. Good luck.
    I agree with this post. When I had a pile to press open, I finger pressed them while sitting in my easy chair. I set them aside in a stack. When the stack threatened to fall over, I made a new stack. When I got to the ironing board, they were easy to iron quickly with no burnt fingers.
    Mavita - Square dancer and One Room School Teacher

  8. #8
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Try cutting the strips in half on WOF and then sewing making the strips about 20" . Easier to handle, press and will not bow as much!
    "In the crazy quilt of life, I'm glad you are in my block of friends."

  9. #9
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    I like layering two purple/white strips on top of each other. (Pressed to the purple) One purple side down then one purple side up, then cutting each one to the correct width. I measure the sewn seam not the edge. I want the cut to be perpendicular to the seam.

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