I'm in the mood to make a fast, funky quilt and I have a new stack of fat quarters from September's Quilty box to play with! 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.
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:
And the second cut across the longer length of fabric:
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!
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.
Let's go quilt,