Sunday, January 2, 2011

Double Diamond 4-Patch Tutorial

I'd like to interrupt my resolutions to bring the second tutorial in my Just One Charm Pack series. (See here for the first tutorial.)

  • Finished Block: 8"x8"
  • Finished quilt: approx. 72"x72"

This quilt block is as old as Moses and incredibly beginner-friendly, promise! Since you're cutting up the charm squares into even smaller squares, this quilt is particularly well-suited to a collection of charm squares with lots of small to medium-scale prints.

Supplies needed:


  • 1 charm pack or 42 (5") squares - I used Breakfast at Tiffany's by Fig Tree Quilts
  • 2.5 yards background fabric - I used Kona Cream
  • 1 yard of a solid or small-scale print for inner border and binding - the maroon print from Mill House Inn by Fig Tree Quilts
  • 2 yards of a medium to large scale print for outer border - the green and cream print, also from Mill House Inn by Fig Tree Quilts
  • 2 1/4 yards of batting (72x90) - I used Warm & Natural
  • 4 yards of backing fabric - I used a print from Aster Manor by 3 Sisters

*All seams are 1/4", no exceptions.

1. Pre-wash and press your yardage or not, according to your preferences.

2. Change your sewing machine needle, if you haven't in awhile. Your sewing machine will thank you, trust me.

Cutting the Fabric

3. Cut each charm square in half to form 2 (2.5"x5") logs from each print



4. From the background cut:
5 (5") strips
10 (4.5") strips
5 (2.5") strips

5. From the 5" background strips, cut 84 (2.5"x5") logs.

6. From the 4.5" background strips, cut 84 (4.5") squares.


Making the Miniature 4-Patch Units

7. Match 1 charm square print log (2.5"x5") to a background log (also 2.5"x5"), and with right sides together, sew along the 5" edge.


8. Open, and press the seam towards the charm square log (or press them open if that's your preference).

9. Rinse and repeat steps 7 and 8 83 more times.


10. Now, cut each log in half to form 2 (2.5x4.5) units, each with a charm square print and a background square.


Note: If you want your larger 4-patch blocks to include the same charm square print, be sure to keep all 4 little units of the same print together. I went for a scrappy look on this quilt, so I just threw all these little units in a bag and shook them up.

11. Next, take 2 of the units you just cut (2.5"x4.5"), and line up the nested seams along the 4.5" edge, so that the background and charm prints alternate. With right sides together, sew along the 4.5" edge.


12. Press the seams, and voile - a 4-patch!

13. If all went according to plan, you should be looking at a 4.5"x4.5" square. Feel free to square up any egregiously misformed squares.

Making the Larger 4-patches

14. Grab a mini 4-patch and one of the 4.5" background squares you cut back in step 6. Make sure that the charm prints on the 4-patch are positioned in the lower left and upper right corners. Then with right sides together and the background square on the top, sew the 2 squares together to form a 4.5"x8.5" log.


15. Press the seams towards the miniature 4-patches (or open if you prefer).


16. Rinse and repeat steps 14 and 15 83 more times.

17. Now grab 2 of the larger logs you just pressed (4.5"x8.5"), and align them edge to edge, so that the mini 4-patches are next to background squares.


With right sides together (pin if need be), sew along the 8.5" edge.


18. Press the seams whichever direction you please. I'm sure the Quilt Police have a preferred method, but at this point, I throw caution to the wind

19. Now it's time to talk layouts - all the ones I've shown below use a 6x6 block grid, meaning that you'll have 6 blocks leftover.

You can follow me and make an echoed diamond shape


Or you can make a big echoed X


You can arrange them all pointing in one direction


Or in alternating directions


You can even make an off-set echoed diamond.


The possibilities are endlessly exciting. Play around with layouts, and pick the one that most strikes your fancy with your particular blocks and fabric.

20. Once you've decided on a layout, start quilting together rows of (6) blocks at a time. I usually press the seam before I add the next block to the row. I find it leads to fewer obscenities and gritted teeth later on down the road.

21. Once the rows have been assembled, label your blocks accordingly.


Then start sewing the rows together. I become fanatical about pinning at this point. Again, I take care to press the seams between each row before adding the next row of blocks.


Creating and Attaching Borders

Disclaimer: Please don't sic the quilt police on me. I don't attach borders the "right" way, and I know it. If you have a different preferred method of attaching borders, please ignore me, and do your own thing.

22. From 1 of the 6 2.5" background strips you cut in step 4, cut out (4) 2.5"x10.5" strips.


23. With right sides together, sew one of the 10.5" strips to a 2.5xWOF strip along the 2.5" sides. Press the seams.
Repeat again with the remaining background strips.

24. Using pins, attach the 2.5" background strips along two opposite sides of the quilt,

and sew together.


25. Press the seams away from the border.


26. Then trim any extra tails hanging off the edge


27. From your inner border print, cut 6 (2.5"xWOF) strips.

28. From two of these strips, cut 2 (2.5"x11.5" strips) and 2 (2.5"x13.5" strips)


29. With right sides together, match up an 11.5" long strip with one of the 2.5"xWOF strips. Sew together along the 2.5" sides. Repeat with the remaining strips, and press the seams.

30. With right sides together, pin the inner border to 2 opposite sides of the middle of the quilt top, then merrily sew along.


31. Trim the extra border tails, just like you did with the background mini-border in step 26, and then press the seams towards the border.

32. Take th3 2.5"x13.5" border tails, and attach one to each of the remaining 2.5"xWOF inner border strips along the 2.5" edge. Press.

33. With right sides together, pin the inner border to 2 remaining sides of the middle of the quilt top. Then sew away.

34. Trim the extra border tails, then press the seams towards the border.

35. From the outer border print, cut (7) 8.5"xWOF strips.
[Apologies. This is where I ALWAYS stop taking photos. I'll do better next time, y'all, promise.]

36. Take 2 of these strips, and with right sides together, sew along the 8.5" edge to create a super-long border. Iron the seam.

37. Repeat step 31 once more.

38. With right sides together, pin the inner border to 2 opposite sides of the quilt top, then merrily sew along.

39. Trim the extra border tails, then press the seams towards the outer border.

40. Take those extra border tails, and attach one ot each of the remaining 8.5"xWOF outer border strips along the 8.5" edge. Press.

41. With right sides together, pin the outer border to the 2 remaining sides of the quilt top, and then sew away!

42. Trim the extra border tails, then press the seams towards the outer border.

Your quilt top is DONE - Time to make the backing!

43. Since I have a whole row's worth of leftover blocks (6 of them), I'm going to piece those into my backing. Feel free to save yours for an orphan quilt or a set of throw pillows.

44. Sew together the row of orphan blocks, then press.

45. From your backing fabric, cut a 8.5"xWOF strip. Then cut that strip in half.

46. Sew each half to one end of the row of orphan blocks.

47. Take the remaining backing fabric, fold it in half to find the middle, then make the tiniest of cuts to indicate the halfway point.

48. Carefully line up all backing pieces, then pin the row of blocks to one piece of the backing print, with right sides together. Sew and press the seams towards the backing print.

49. Pin the other piece of backing to the row of blocks, with right sides together. Sew and press the seams towards the backing print.

50. Trim the ends of that are hanging off the sides of the row of orphan blocks.

51. Baste the quilt - I use Oh! Fransson's method found here.

52. Quilt it out!


Here are a few tutorials:

53. Bind! Again, a few tutorials:

(My previous tutorial linked to other binding tutorials, if none of the above suit your fancy.)

54. Wash (gentle cycle, minimal detergent), dry (low heat).

55. Enjoy!

If y'all will give me a day or two, I'll get a PDF link posted for this tutorial, promise. :)


  1. yay...another cute quilt out of only one cp! thanks, megan!

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  3. thanks for the 2 tutorials !! you did a nice job on them and I like the quilts VERY much !@! will you be doing more ????

  4. I love it. Especially all those setting options. Makes me want to use some of my old charm packs... one day when I don't have a deadline to meet!

    Fig Tree

  5. What a great tutorial and I love that you showed all the different settings! Thank you!