Use a 1/4" seam allowance to assemble the quilt block, placing units right sides together for sewing and matching raw edges carefully. Use straight pins to hold fabric together if it helps you keep patches aligned.
- Sew two contrasting 2-1/2" x 13" four patch strips together lengthwise. Press seam allowance towards the darker strip.
- Square up one end of the strip set and cut five 2-1/2" segments from it.
- Repeat, sewing together two more 2-1/2" x 13" contrasting strips and cutting five more segments. Repeat until you've assembled and cut eight strip sets -- or forty 2-1/2" segments.
- Choose two unlike segments. Align them as shown in the illustration above, butting the seam intersection and matching edges. Sew together and press the seam allowance either direction. If the seams are too bulky, loosen a few stitches at the unit's center and fan the seams.
- Repeat to make a total of ten four-patch blocks from your forty segments.
- Sew matching 2-1/2" x 4-1/2" rectangles to opposite sides of a four-patch unit. Press seam allowances towards the rectangles.
- Sew matching 2-1/2" x 8-1/2" bars to the top and bottom of the unit you just assembled. Press seam allowances towards the bars.
The quilt block should measure 8-1/2" x 8-1/2". If your block is smaller than it should be, or skewed, press again and recheck. If it still isn't quite right, use my easy squaring-up method before sewing it to other blocks.
- Repeat to make a total of ten framed four-patch quilt blocks.
If you prefer, mix up your frames -- the frames around a single four patch do not have to match.