Archive for January, 2019

4 Patch Into 16 Patch

January 12, 2019

I joined a block swap in Tucson Estates this winter where each person makes a 4 patch, and then receives one from each participant.  I thought we were going to make 1 block to swap, and it turned out to be 4 blocks to swap.  Multiply that by 16, and that’s 64  blocks.  Good thing it’s an easy block to make.

I’d never seen this before, and it is a variation of the popular disappearing 9 patch technique – of which I’ve done, but never starting with a 4 patch and ending up with a 16 patch block.

Here is what you start with – a simple 4 patch:


These happen to be 3.5″ squares, but you could make them any size you like.

The first cut is to take 1.75″ off each side.  That is one half of each block, so if you want to start with 6″ blocks, you’d cut off 3″ from each side.  This is what it looks like when you make the first cuts:


Then you rotate the cut pieces:


And sew them together:


Now you cut 1.75″ off the top and bottom of this block:


Then you rotate the cut strips again and sew together:


Voila!!! You have created a 16 patch with not a lot of little squares to sew together.

Pat N. taught us how to do this, and she did a great job.  Thank-you, Pat.

Will I do this again?  Only with different ironing or opening up the center of the 4 patch and twirling the seams so you can iron towards the dark fabric all the time.  I found I couldn’t get perfect point matching because the seams didn’t nest for me.

I’m not a pinner, so that could also be the reason.  When I’ve made this block before, I’ve always ironed toward the dark fabric, and never had the need to pin.  I’m a big proponent of nested seams.

16 more blocks to make, and then onto the shorts/pants.





Skirt Repair

January 5, 2019

I was a member of the RTW Fasters 2018 group on Facebook, started by the blogger Sarah Gunn at Goodbye Valentino, and it wasn’t all that hard to not purchase any Ready To Wear clothing at all, but it was hard for me to sew my own clothing.  True to my procrastinator personality, I finally started focusing on clothing in 2019.  Better late than never.

This was the first time I did not pack all my clothing in our RV for our annual snow bird flight to Tucson, and when we arrived, I realized that my skirts had been shoved against a metal hinge, and had 2 slits across the abdomen.  Accidents happen, and heh, I can sew, I can fix these garments.

Yes, I repaired this skirt:


See the top yoke?  It used to be twice as long.  I measured down from the elastic to the top of the tears, and cut evenly around the entire skirt.  Then I had the joy of removing the seam that attached the yoke to the gathered skirt second tier to get the torn section off the skirt.  That took some time.  Part way through the job I managed to find the correct thread tail to just pull, and all the overlocking came out – like the top of a potato sack string.  That was a win for me.

Next step was to fold down 1/2″ from the yoke bottom, and stitch the yoke section back to the gathered skirt’s second tier.  That required sewing basting stitches, and pulling the bobbin thread to pull the fullness evenly from the skirt’s second tier to fit the yoke.

It actually went pretty fast – after I pinned, thought I pinned inside out, repinned, realized the original pinning was correct, and repinned for a third time.  Yes, that’s what happens when I sew in a social setting.  I am so happy to be visiting with friends, I don’t pay attention to what I’m supposed to be doing.

Okay, sewed the 2 sections together, and realized I needed to get some matching thread for one more sew around.  Luckily a friend offered me to shop in her thread collection, and we found a perfect match.  One more seam, and voila!!! my skirt is wearable again.

I only wear this skirt in Tucson.  Lots of people walk around wearing this style.  It’s not all that flattering, but it’s cool, and so comfortable, I don’t care.  It’s actually cooler than wearing shorts.

The upshot?  It took me longer to repair this one skirt, than it took for me to piece this entire quilt top.  That could be why I haven’t made a lot of clothes for myself.  I’m way out of practice, and it takes me forever to accomplish much, but you know what?  My next project is a pair of shorts or pants for myself.  At the rate I sew, y’all might not hear from me for 2 months.  😉

I have the pattern, tracing paper, elastic and thread for this project, so as soon as I finish making a nametag for my quilt club at Tucson Estates, and  17 more 4 patch blocks for a group project, shorts/pants it is.