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Stack and Whack Four Patch Quilt Tutorial

I'm in the mood to make a fast, funky quilt and I have a new stack of fat quarters. Learn how I stacked and whacked fat quarters to create an awesome set of Fractured Four Patch Blocks:

Quick links to the tools and supplies shown in this quilting video:

Just in case you’ve never heard of a fat quarter before, this is a ¼ yard cut of fabric that’s special to quilting. Instead of being cut from selvage to selvage, which would result in a very skinny 9 x 40 inch strip, a fat quarter is first cut as a half yard of fabric, then cut in half widthwise to create a rectangle roughly measuring 18 x 21 inches.

Four patch free quilt pattern stack

Stack and Whack Cutting and Piecing Techniques

I love this method of stacking up fabrics and cutting them at crazy angles. It's so easy and it instantly creates interesting effects.

I marked some guidelines on my cutting mat using masking tape to keep the cuts within the fat quarters somewhat consistent. However, this step is 100% optional. You can make every cut different and that will make your quilt even more random and interesting.

Here’s my first cut across the shorter length of fabric:

Stack and wack four patch

And the second cut across the longer length of fabric:

four patch quilt tutorial free pattern

I stacked four fat quarters on my cutting mat, all right sides up and sliced horizontally and vertically across one time. You could also slice more times to create more variety within your block as well.

This is similar to the Superstar Quilt Block I shared in the Building Blocks Quilt Along. It created a funky star block with completely unpredictable results.

Piecing the Fractured Four Patch Blocks

Once you make the cuts, you’re ready to piece! I separated the four colors so that each block would have a strong contrast of blue and pink. Depending on your color choices, you could use the same colors in two blocks or you could mix up all four colors in one block. How much and how crazy you mix up the colors is totally up to you.

I first pieced the units in sets of two, starting in the middle because the outer edges are never going to line up perfectly. I didn’t trim down my fat quarters after washing them so their edges were pretty wild, frayed, and some of the fabric pieces were bigger than others.

After piecing the blocks in sets of two, I pressed the seam allowances open (is this okay?), then trimmed down the long edges of the blocks so they would piece nicely together. Matching up the center seam is a bit tricky so make sure to watch the video for tips on that step.

After piecing the long seam, the block is complete! Give it another press to open the seam allowances flat, then trim the block down to 15 ½ inches square.

How Big of a Quilt Do You Want to Make?

If you're trying to come up with a bigger quilt, the math on this project is very simple:

4 fat quarters = 4 quilt blocks

You can also make this quilt with smaller units. I pieced this from 5-inch charm squares to create a really funky mini doll quilt.

I had eight fat quarters which resulted in eight blocks which makes for a very weird shaped quilt. I decided to add the doll mini quilt to the side to create a 9th block, resulting in a 45 inch square quilt.

With the extra scraps cut from the sides of the blocks, I pieced a 4 inch border to two sides. No, I didn’t have enough scrap fabric left over from making the blocks to create four borders. If you want borders for all sides, you’ll need to stack and whack more fat quarters and piece them into long strips.

My finished quilt measures 45 x 52 inches – the perfect size for a lap quilt or extra large baby quilt!

Four path quilt pattern from Leah Day

Do you like this stack and whack style or do you like more traditional shapes? I think this would be a great choice for a charity quilt or baby quilt. It’s a great choice if you have pretty fabrics you just can’t stand to cut into small pieces.

Click here to find more free quilt patterns!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day


I am teaching my granddaughter to quilt and this is a perfect quick quilt , for her to learn with.

she is very excited to make this stack and whack quilt with me just looking on for support only. what a proud grandmother I will be .thank you leah.

Marlene Hughbanks,

I love this idea. It will be a great way to use up some fat quarters I have sitting around for charity quilts. It will also give me lots of practice for FMQ. I will have some fun with this. Thank you.

Juanita Pierce,

This does look like a great way to make a charity quilt. I might have to give it a try.

Kathy Howard,

Hello Leah, had a lot of fun watching your video Stack and Whack four patch tutorial. I have something on wright now but I am really enthousiastic about trying out this fast a fun technique. You look really happy and I am glad for you. Let’s go quilt even in Québec. Have a happy Halloween !
Roseline, Québec

Roseline Dugas,

Thank you! Yes, Cindy, using the scrap charger stops the pieces from being sucked into the machine and reduces your bobbin thread waste so you don’t have to wind a new bobbin as often!

Leah Day,

Love the stack & wack tutorial- definitely something I am going to try! I noticed that you have a starter piece of fabric under your presser foot when you start sewing a new seam. Does this prevent your seam from getting chewed up by your machine? Thank you! Cibdy


What a fabulous idea. Thank you

Jacqueline Lawrence,

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