This four patch quilt pattern is a wonderful quilt for a beginner quilter and is a wonderful way to use charm packs. Our quilt is a child-sized quilt, but it can be resized easily into a baby quilt or a larger quilt.
What is a charm pack? A charm pack is sold in quilt stores and is a package of 5" squares. The pack usually contains around 45 squares from a single line of fabric. There are usually multiple squares of each fabric in the fabric line included in the charm pack. Using two charm packs and some yardage, a nice child-sized quilt can be made.
I received inspiration for my quilt from Diary of a Quilter - Fast Four Patch Quilt Tutorial.
New to quilting? Keep following this tutorial for instructions to make this fun and easy beginner quilt. Also, check out our Beginner Quilting Series for even more information.
This beginner quilt pattern is made with Minion fabrics from a line of fabrics sold a few years ago. Any fabrics can be used, but picking fabrics from a specific line of fabrics ensure that they coordinate well together.
I purchased these fabrics after visiting Universal Studios Florida and seeing the Minion movies. I never got around to making anything from this fabric and my kids have outgrown the Minions now.
I decided to use this fabric to make a community service project for our quilt guild. The guild is donating small quilts to Comfort Cases. Comfort Cases provides a bag for kids who are in foster care to use to carry their belongings when they move from one house to another. A blanket is included in the bag so they have an item of their own. Please read more about this great organization by clicking the link.
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WHAT YOU NEED to make this Easy charm Pack Beginner Quilt pattern:
- Two Charm Packs or scrappy coordinating fabrics to cut 72 squares at 4 1/2" x 4 1/2". (four patch blocks)
- 1-1/4 yard print for the 8 1/2" squares (blue Minion face fabric)
- 3/4 yard border print (blue fabric)
- For Faux Flange Binding - 1/2 yard each of two coordinating fabrics. One will be the accent piping (orange) and the other (Minion faces) will be the binding around the quilt.
- Backing Fabric - See below for info on options for making the backing. 2 - 4 yards.
INSTRUCTIONS for THIS Easy charm Pack Beginner Quilt pattern
The finished four patch quilt will be approximately 46" x 61". Adjustments can be made to make a larger or smaller quilt.
Some easy adjustments are:
- Leave off the 3" border around the outside of the quilt. This will remove approximately 6" from the height and the width.
- Add more block rows or columns to make a larger quilt. Each row or column added will add approximately 8" in that direction.
- Remove block rows or columns to make a smaller quilt. Each row or column removed will decrease the quilt size by 8" in that direction.
- Make the 3" border wider. For example, making the border 4" will add 2" inches to the length and width of the quilt.
- Add an additional border in another fabric. Adding extra borders of different widths is a wonderful way to expand a quilt size.
Remember: Adding size to the quilt will require more fabric, charm packs and backing fabric. Please adjust your purchases appropriately to match the adjustments in the quilt size.
CUTTING the four patch block fabrics
Start the beginner four patch quilt by cutting the fabrics or the charm squares for the four patch blocks and the larger blocks. These blocks will make up most of the quilt top.
The Four Patch Blocks consist of four smaller squares sewn together. From the 5" charm pack squares select 72 to use for your quilt top. Using a rotary cutter ruler and cutting mat, trim the selected blocks to 4 1/2" squares.
From the 1-1/4 yard fabric for the larger squares (blue minion fabric), cut 8 1/2" squares.
We have another tutorial with tips on Beginner Quilt Series: Cutting the Blocks. Click for some extra tips.
Lay the 4-1/2" squares on a table or the floor in groups of four. These will become your four patch blocks. Make sure the fabrics are distributed between the blocks evenly.
In the photo below, the four patch blocks are already sewn together. Before they were sewn, I laid them out on a table the way I wanted to sew them together.
SEW FOUR PATCH BLOCKS
Starting with one of the groups of four, take two of the pieces and put them right sides together. Take note of which side to sew the seam. Sew the two fabrics together with a 1/4" seam allowance.
Use your 1/4" sewing machine foot if you have one. This makes it easier to sew a perfect 1/4" seam. For some tips on sewing the blocks together, click the link to find our article on Beginning Quilting: Sewing the Blocks.
Below, the two halves of the four patch blocks are sewn together at the top.
Press the halves open, pressing the seams to opposite sides as shown. Notice the one on the left is pressed down, while the one on the right is pressed up. Pressing this way makes the seams match up nicely when sewn together.
Next, sew the two halves together in the center to make the finished four patch block. Be sure to match and pin the seams together to make a nicely finished block.
Sew the two halves together with a 1/4" seam allowance.
Press the center seam to one side or the other.
Press the front of the block so all seams are flat and the block is nicely pressed.
Below is a photo of four finished four patch blocks. Continue making all 18 of the four patch blocks.
Arrange Blocks for the quilt top
Arrange the four patch blocks and 8 1/2" blocks in an alternating pattern on a table, floor or design wall. Arranging the blocks allows you to visualize the finished quilt.
Before starting to sew the rows together, check to make sure all blocks are facing in the correct direction and that the blocks are placed randomly. Be sure there are not too many of the same color/type of fabric in one section of the quilt. Re-arrange the blocks until you are happy with the look.
If you have directional fabrics, check one last time that the fabrics are facing in the correct direction before sewing.
Sew Blocks Together into rows
Next, the blocks will be sewn together into rows. Starting with either the top or the bottom row, take the first two blocks in the row and sew them together on the side seam.
Continue across the row adding each block making a long strip. After the strip is sewn together, press the seams between each block to one side. Press the front of the strip.
Each row should have the seams pressed in the opposite direction similar to how the four patch blocks were pressed earlier. This will make the seams match up better when the rows are sewn together.
Sew all of the blocks into seven rows. Keep your rows laid out on your table, floor or design wall as you sew each one. This will keep the quilt in order and not mix up the rows.
SEW ROWS TOGETHER
After all of the blocks are sewn into rows, it's time to sew the rows together. Take the top two rows of the quilt and place them right sides together. Pin together matching the seams between the blocks.
After pinning the two rows together, sew them with a 1/4" seam allowance. Remove the pins while sewing and iron the seams to one side. Press the front of the seam also.
The photo below shows the first two rows sewn together. I started sewing the rows together from the bottom two rows. It doesn't matter if you start from the top two or bottom two rows.
Below is a closer photo of the two rows sewn together. Notice the corners of the blocks match up nicely.
Take the next row and flip it on top of the previously sewn rows with the right sides together. Sew this row onto the quilt. Pin at the corners of the blocks and match the seams.
Sew all of the rows to the quilt to assemble the quilt top.
The top of this easy beginner quilt pattern is almost complete. Next, sew on the borders.
SEW ON BORDERS
After all of the blocks are sewn together, I felt the quilt needed a border to balance the quilt and make it appear less busy. I found this wonderful blue printed fabric that reminded me of blue jeans. This seemed to fit well with the Minion theme.
I also decided to use the blue print for a part of the backing fabric.
To make the borders, measure the width of the quilt top. The top should be about 40-1/2" across. Cut two 3" strips from the border fabric. The two strips will be cut so the selvages are on each end of the cut strip. This is also called cutting by the WOF or "width of fabric".
Sew the two strips onto the top and bottom of the quilt with a 1/4" seam allowance. Press the seams open and trim the excess of the strips squaring them off.
Measure the length of the quilt with the strips attached. The length should be around 61-1/2". Since the width of the border fabric is probably around 44"-45", strips will need to be pieced to get the proper length.
Strips are usually pieced together with a diagonal seam. We have a video that shows how to sew strips together to get this diagonal seam. Note that this video is describing how to make a french fold binding, but the sewing of the strips is the same method to be used for a border.
The strips can also be pieced together using a straight seam sewn to attach each strip together.
Once the strips long enough to sew onto the sides of the quilt, attach them with a 1/4" seam. Press the strips open and square off the corners.
FINISHED TOP WITH BORDERS
Below is the finished quilt top with the borders attached. It's now time to create the backing and then prepare for quilting the top and layers.
The quilt backing can be made using many methods. If the quilt is wider than 43" across, then it's likely the backing will need to be pieced together.
60" wide fabric is available at some stores, so if you find this wider fabric, then the back would not need to be pieced. For this type of fabric, purchase a piece that is 2" - 4" longer than the quilt top.
When piecing a backing, always create a backing that is at least 2" - 4" larger than the size of the quilt top in both directions. This will be helpful when layering the quilt and give you some wiggle room.
I decided to use the blue border fabric for most of the backing of this quilt. The fabric was only 45" wide though and the quilt is around 46" - 47" across. So, the fabric is not quite wide enough for this quilt so the backing must be pieced.
To make the backing wide enough, I added a 7" strip of the minion faces fabric in the center of the backing. To add a strip, cut the backing fabric in half lengthwise.
Then cut a 7" strip from the Minion faces fabric. Two strips of this fabric may be necessary depending on how much fabric you have. Piece the strips together as necessary.
Sew the strip to each of the halves of the backing fabric to make one wider piece of backing fabric.
There are many options for adding fabric to make a backing. If you want to use the same backing across the whole back, purchase 2x the length of your quilt of fabric. Then cut and piece two pieces together side by side to make the backing larger.
An extra strip can be added to the sides or middle. If you have extra blocks from making the quilt top, these can be pieced together to make an interesting quilt back.
So, there are many options for making the backing.
Layering the quilt is called a "quilt sandwich". The three layers of your quilt are the backing, quilt batting, and quilt top. The three layers are shown below in the photo.
Place the backing wrong side up on a table. Layer the batting on top of the backing. Finally, place the quilt top, right side up on top of the batting.
Make sure everything is smooth and there are no wrinkles in the batting or backing layers. Click to learn more about how to Layer and Pin Baste through our beginner quilt series tutorial.
Once the layers are basted together by either pins or long stitching, then it is ready to be quilted.
QUILTING THE TOP
For this quilt, I decided to quilt diagonal lines across the quilt in both directions through the middle of the blocks. The amount of quilting added to a quilt can vary and different quilters will likely pick different quilting patterns to use for the same exact quilt.
Some suggestions for quilting are: Stitch in the Ditch, Diagonal Lines, horizontal and vertical lines, meandering, a combination of more than one design.
Look on the batting package to find out the minimum amount of spacing between quilting and be sure you select a quilting pattern that meets the minimum. The required quilt density can be anywhere from 5" to 10" separation but this all depends on the batting selected.
To quilt the straight lines across the quilt, lay the quilt sandwich all pinned together on a table. Read our post from our Beginner Quilting Series: Quilting the Top, for more information on adding straight diagonal lines across your quilt. We also have another tutorial that talks about straight line quilting on a t-shirt quilt.
When you start quilting, be sure to bring your bobbin thread to the top of the quilt. Click the link to see why you should do this!
To finish the quilt, a binding is added around the edge. The binding covers the raw edges left on the quilt sandwich layers. Bindings can be sewn on by machine or finished by hand sewing.
I prefer binding methods that do not require hand sewing as I do not like to hand sew.
Different types of binding methods are Quick Binding, Double Fold Binding, Scrappy Quilt Binding, faux flange binding.
We have another tutorial that discusses binding methods by clicking the link.
For this Minion quilt, I selected to use the faux flange binding method. Click the link to find out more about how to attach the binding with the faux flange binding method with a tutorial by Scrapdash. Another tutorial on this binding method is available on Karen's Quilts, Crows and Cardinals site.
The quilt is finished. See below for a photo of my finished quilt. This will be a wonderful quilt to donate to Comfort Cases.
We hope you enjoyed this free quilt pattern for beginners. I enjoyed making the Minion quilt and definitely will use this beginner quilt pattern in the future to make a quick and easy quilt.
If you have any questions about this project, contact us through the YouTube Video
comments or our Contact Us page. We respond to questions in e-mails and YouTube comments regularly.
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