Celtic Solstice Clue 4: I knew I should have pressed them open

Ever since I saw the Billie Lauder video in this post, I’ve wanted to try this technique. Doesn’t it look like fun? This clue was the perfect time. For this technique for clue 4, start with 4″ squares. Each 4″ square is the equivalent of 4 2″ squares so divide the number of 2″ squares needed by 4 and that’s how many 4″ squares you need. I was cutting 4 layers at a time so I ended up with 32 squares of each color but only need 30. I’ll just put the leftovers in the extra parts bin.

First I pulled a few squares from scraps to test the technique. Those are the ones in the center. My Celtic Solstice squares are on the sides.

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First I sewed twosies, making sure that the 2 squares had contrasting textures.

My string of twosies

My string of twosies

Then I sewed foursies.



You get the idea. Keep sewing things together until you have a long chain. Then sew the two ends of the chain together.

The big loop of squares all sewn together, ready to press.

The big loop of squares all sewn together, ready to press.

Now you have to decide how to press. My instinct was to press them open as I prefer to do these days. I didn’t do that with Easy Street and I kept having seems on the same side rather than opposing. But, I let “do what Bonnie says” prevail and I pressed to the green. If you press the seams to one side, half of the 4-patches will have seams swirling one way and half swirling the other way. Ask me how I know. I should have figured that out from my test but I didn’t think to check.

Because I pressed to the side, I did the cutting from the front. First we measure the distance from one seam to the next. That’s 3.5″ which makes sense because that’s the size of our finished units.

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We want to cut halfway between the seams. In this case, that is 1 3/4″.

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We want to end up with a lot of these:

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The next step is to sew these together short end to short end.

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If you want maximum scrappy, be careful what you put next to each other. Everywhere the 4 fabrics touch will end up as a 4-patch. I wouldn’t put the 3 units above together as they’re shown. The bottom 2 oranges are the same fabric and would be in the same 4-patch. The next picture shows a better choice.

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Sew all the units together. When you are putting your twosies through the machine make sure they go through with the same orientation. It doesn’t matter which way, just so you’re consistent. Otherwise you end up with this situation:

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One of these things is not like the other. These units can’t be sewn together in the same chain.

I did not pay attention so I ended up with two piles of incompatible units. Fortunately, I did enough each way to get a decent length of chain for each version.

One pile has orange on the top left, the other has green.

One pile has orange on the top left, the other has green.

Keep sewing the units together until you have a long chain and then connect the ends, just like we did in the first step. If you’re pressing the seams open, do that now. Otherwise, wait until after the cut because you can’t do the spiral until then. Just like the first cut, we want to cut halfway between the seams which, again, is 1 3/4″.

We have 4-patches!

We have 4-patches!

You can see in the picture above that in the 4-patch on the right the greens are in the upper right and lower left corners and in the opposite positions in the piece to the left. That’s why they spiral in different directions.

Oops. These aren't the same.

Oops. These aren’t the same.

Now I have the scrappiest 4-patches possible for me without a lot of fussing and figuring out who went with what where.


4-patches for clue 4

See what everyone else is doing on Celtic Solstice.



One Response to “Celtic Solstice Clue 4: I knew I should have pressed them open”

  1. Vireya Says:

    That looks like an interesting way to do it! I’ve learnt all sorts of things just visiting everyone’s blogs during this mystery.

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