Saturday, March 1, 2014

Tutorial: Wonky Disappearing 4 Patch

For awhile now I've wanted to try my hand at writing a tutorial. This month I am the quilter for the Faith Circle March quilt which means I'm in charge of selecting the quilt block, the color scheme, directions, and once I receive everyone's assembly of the quilt. So, this is a nice opportunity to try writing a tutorial. 

Tutorials are an important part of the Modern Quilt Movement. Sharing information with one another through social media has helped fuel the growth of modern quilting. Most of my quilting knowledge has been gained via the excellent tutorials I've followed on blogs. Two talented tutorial writers who come to mind are Anita @ Bloomin' Workshop, and Rachel @ Stitched in Color. I always learn something new about quilting when I follow along with their detailed instructions.

The block I chose for the Faith Circle March Quilt is a wonky block. Wonky can translate into lower stress quilting because there is not as much pressure to have everything match up just so. This tutorial will produce two matching Disappearing 4 Patch blocks.

Please note: I am not the creator of this fun block. I just wanted to try my hand at writing a tutorial and thought this would be a good opportunity since I needed to provide instructions to the Faith Circle for our March quilt.

Wonky Disappearing 4 Patch

Since it is almost Spring I want to use softer colors for the Faith Circle quilt to go along with the season. 

Color Palette

If you have a Kona Color Card here is a list of colors that match up with my fabric samples...sometimes it's hard to tell color shading on a computer screen.


  • True white (please do not use off-white)
  • Salmon
  • Mango
  • Banana
  • Azure
  • Pistachio
The fabrics can have any scale for print size, but please do not use solids except for the white. Prints can be tone-on-tone or have small bits of other color, but overall the fabric should "read" as the colors shown/listed above.

Wonky Disappearing 4 Patch {D4P} - Tutorial

Fabric Squares

(4) White squares cut 7" x 7"

(4) Print squares cut 7" x 7"

(Note the squares can be cut to any size depending on your how large you want your final block. For this quilt the Faith Circle will be using 7" x 7" blocks.)

1. Sew one white square to each print using a 1/4" seam allowance. Press seams toward the darker fabric.

2. Take two of the sewn units and sew them together with the colored fabric rotated to opposite ends. Take care to match up the center seam.

Matching Seams

3. I like to pin generously. I find I get much better results from my sewing if I pin...especially when matching seams.

Ready to sew seams

After stitching I iron this seam open to reduce bulk at the intersection of the center seam. Now there are two 4-patch quilt blocks.

4. Lay the blocks out on a cutting mat, one on top of the other. However, rotate the top block 45 degrees so a white section is over top of a print section on the block below (see picture).

Rotating Blocks

Try to make sure the seams of the top block are lined up directly over top of the seams in the block below (both horizontally & vertically). Now we are ready to make some wonky cuts using a long ruler.

Measuring for cuts  

5. Using a long ruler measure over from the center seam. The cut will be a wonky one, not completely parallel with the seam. Do not go over more than 2" from the center seam, nor less than 1". A good tip to keep in mind is, "A little wonky goes a long way." So, I try have about a 1/4" difference between the top and bottom measurements on the ruler. 

Squares all cut

6. Make a total of two vertical cuts and two horizontal cuts.

Swap pieces

7. Now take the four pieces indicated with red arrows and pull the stitched unit from the bottom and put it on top. 

8. Stitch the rows of the block back together using a 1/4" seam. Iron the seams toward the darker fabric. Keep in mind that since the cuts we made are wonky the pieces will not align perfectly.

Aligning pieces

Line up the "inside" edge of each piece as best you can and allow the edge which will form the outside of the block to be off.

9. When working with the center sections I do pin to match up the seam at the center intersection as I think this makes the final block look neater once it is completely assembled. I iron these seams open to reduce bulk.

Matching seams

10. Once the three rows are joined then finish final assembly of the block. Iron these seams open to reduce bulk.

11. Once the blocks are reassembled they should look like "twins" however, the color placement will be opposite each other. Because the block construction is wonky the blocks will need to be trimmed down to the desired size. Use the horizontal and vertical seam to center your blocks as you square them up.

Faith Circle: please do not trim or square-up your finished blocks. Send them to me as is and I will trim as I construct the quilt top.

I hope you found this to be an easy, fun block to construct! Here is an example of what the layout for the Faith Circle quilt may be:

Finished Wonky D4P Blocks

I look forward to seeing some Wonky Disappearing 4 Patch blocks cropping up this Spring! Happy sewing :o)


  1. Looks good! It'll be fun to try a new block!

  2. Great tutorial Debbie!!! I can't wait to try this.

  3. What a great idea to use a color card to clarify the colors you are looking for!! Now I have I not ever thought of that?? :) And your instructions are great. Looking forward to making this one. Thanks Debbie!

  4. I've always liked the traditional disappearing nine-patch...haven't seen it wonky before. Great blocks and colors, and the tutorial looks easy to follow, too. It will be fun to watch this one come together :)

  5. So cool! I love it. I can't wait to try it! :) Thank you, Debbie.

  6. Just made your blocks! The tute worked perfectly and was really fun!

  7. Awesome tut. I had no problems following it! xo


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