Homespun Corner Units: Making the 4-patch

If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.

Mark Twain

For me, the frog in making the Homespun quilt is all those little one inch squares. I cannot begin to fathom individually cutting and sewing them. The original pattern said to cut 980 red and 850 white. Instead of cutting all the pieces at one time, and probably lose some pieces between the start and finish, I grouped the sewing, first making the corner units, then the middle cross arms, and then the center, then sewing the block together. I like to believe making all the same kind of unit at the same time decreases the chance that orphaned blocks end up in the back of a closet.

Fabric requirements

  • 2 1/2 yards red
  • 4 3/4 yards white

Start with the corner units

Each block has four corner units consisting of one 9-patch, one 4-patch, and two rectangles.

Homespun corner unit

Make 80 4-patches.

Start by cutting nine strips of each color 1 1/2″ by the width of fabric (WOF). Sew the red and white strips, right sides together, with a 1/4″ seam. Press the seam toward the dark. Set aside three of these red and white strips to use for the middle cross arms of the block.

Using the remaining six strips, cross cut at 1 1/2″ intervals.

Matching seams, make 80, 4-patch units. Save the extra red and white strips.

4-patch unit

Cut 160 white rectangles. First cut 10 strips of white at 3 1/2″ by WOF, then sub-cut strips at 2 1/2″ inches. Sew the rectangle to 4-patch square and press toward the rectangle. The remaining 80 will be used later.


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