Friday, 27 June 2014

Disappearing 4 Patch Variation

Hi again!

Some time ago I saw Jenny Doan's tutorial on the Disappearing 4 Patch (D4P). If you're into using precuts, check out her other tutorials, but be aware that your to-do-list might easily double. Click at your own risk, don't blame me, I was nice enough to warn you!

Anyway, the finished D4P block looks like this:

This tutorial is a variation on that block, which I call DD4P (Diagonal Disappearing 4 Patch).

And here is how you make it:

Fabrics Needed

You need at least two different fabrics. But if you have a nice charm pack or even a layer cake at home, that'll look great combined with a matching solid.

Cutting and Sewing

If you're using yardage, cut 5" strips the width of the fabric and sew two strips together. Press the seam to the dark side. Then cut 5" pieces from these strips.

Take two of these pieces, flip one over, so that it forms a 4 patch. Sew them together and press to one side (it doesn't matter which one). I then squared them up (4.5" from the middle) just to make sure they're all the same size.

If you're using charm packs or layer cakes, you'll have to sew them together individually, but you can at least chain piece them.

Now to the trickiest part: Make four cuts (red lines) 1" away from the diagonal (blue lines). Check at least twice that your ruler is lined up properly before cutting, as you can't uncut it!

Take the four long corner pieces and exchange them:

Now sew the block back together. Be careful when handling these pieces, as you are working on the bias. So no excessive tugging!
First, sew the white longer strips to the small hourglass in the middle, then the two triangles to the black strips. Make sure that they line up on top. Don't worry about the bottom, we'll get to that in a bit!
Press the seams on the two triangles towards the black middle strip and the seams on the middle piece outwards. Now you can nestle the seams, when you sew the three pieces together. I pressed the final two seams open to reduce the bulk in the middle of the block.

Now for the final squaring up: Line up the middle seam at the 3.5" mark and also make sure that the vertical seam is perpendicular. Then cut off the fabric on the side. Rinse and repeat on all sides.

And here is your finished block. It's 7" unfinished and 6.5" finished.

Tipps and Tricks

There are just a few things that I'd like to add:
  • Make sure you don't handle the pieces too much, as everything is on the bias.
  • Press carefully, you don't want to distort the pieces.
  • Don't cut too many blocks at once, it'll just cause chaos and you don't really want to waste time finding the matching pieces.
  • Use pins when sewing together the three pieces of the block. The seams do nestle nicely, but the ends aren't straight, so you don't want them slipping around.
  • You can basically adapt the size of the block to any measurement you like, be it 6" or 10" or even bigger. Just be aware that a 4 patch with 10" squares gets quite big and easily outgrows your cutting mat or ruler! Also, if you choose bigger squares, you might want to adjust the width of the diagonal cuts. I personally wouldn't go much smaller than 5" squares, as it might get quite fiddly and practically make the hourglass in the middle disappear.


Layout Ideas

There are two possible ways to lay out your block. This is the first one:

Here is a mock up with these colours for a bigger quilt:

Or maybe you prefer a more colourful option:

Or how about a more pastelly approach:
Here is the example for the second layout:
You just have to turn two of the blocks around so that the same colour meets up in the middle and forms a secondary design.
That's how it would look like on a bigger scale and with some more colour:

I couldn't resist and also made a mock up with borders:

As Jenny Doan would say: Isn't that a darling quilt?!
I hope you like it and try it. I'd love to see a quilt with this pattern!
All the best,


  1. This is mind blowing!!! Pure Genius. Love it!!!!
    Here is my wish - I wish you and I could get together and brainstorm new quilt ideas, ruin some fabric and have a blast :-)
    Sending you lots of best wishes and continued inspiration!!!

    1. Thank you, Preeti! You always say the nicest things!

      Oh wow, could you imagine the two of us in one room? Major destruction! *lol* But it sure would be great fun!
      If there just wasn't one of those big, wide waters between the two of us...oh well, one can hope!

  2. Hi, Cat! This is absolute genius!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! I couldn't respond by email because you are a no reply blogger. Which worked out well because I had to track down your blog! :) The new Colour Shott Oakshotts are absolutely awesome! As thick as other quilting cottons, WAY thicker than Kaffe shots (I've worked with both) You can email me at :)

  3. Thanks for the visual. Directions are one thing, seeing it in steps (for this visual learner anyway) is SO MUCH BETTER!!

  4. I am new to quiting. I want to make this one! It looks so easy. I will be sure to remember your great tips,too. I am thinking one yard of each two fabrics?

  5. Thank you for including how an entire quilt made up looks and not just 1 block.

  6. I love all the variations you've shared. Looking forward to trying this out!