Step 2: Sew the strips as indicated.  The number of strips determined the width of my quilt (15 blocks).

Step 5: For each pair as above cut a strip of fabric for the solid squares between four-patch blocks: the strips should be as wide and at least as long as the pairs (in my case 4.5 inches by 60.5 inches).  Before sewing, mark equidistant notches along the edges of unpieced strips as to where the seams of the pieced strips should fall.

Step 4: Rotate half of the pieced strips around, and sew pairs of them together.  Make sure that all pairs have a dark (or all a light) square in the top left corner.

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Step 3: Cut the latest crosswise, into pieced strips of the same width as the strip width of the narrowest strips (2.5 inches in my case).  I obtained 16 pieced strips (which determined the height of my quilt: 16 blocks).

Step 1: Cut two outer strips (of opposite colors) of strip width half an inch wider than the desired final width of the squares in the four patch.  Cut the other strips at twice that width.  In my case, these widths were 2.5 and 5 inches.

Tube piecing projects

    by  Irena Swanson    

     Four-patch with enhanced strip piecing

This 60 inch by 64 inch quilt has 120 four-patch blocks and 120 solid squares, so a total of 600 squares, and it was sewn with 52 seams total.  It goes very fast.

Note how some four-patch blocks have dark diagonals pointing one way and others a different way.  If that bothers you, with double the fabrics and double the (few) seams you can get two quilts: in one all diagonals point one way and in the other the diagonals point the other way.

If you want random-look coloration, go to Four-patch with tube piecing.

Step 6: Cut this crosswise through the middles of all wide brown and yellow rectangles (in my case, at 2.25 inches from seams).

Final comment: What if you do not want diagonals in four-patches to point in different directions and you are willing to  make two quilts (identical except for the orientations of the diagonals)?

Then double the number of strips, and make two identical striped rectangles as in Step 2.  Cut them into pieced strips.  For interspersing pairs of pieced strips with solid fabrics, make two constructions: in one the pairs of pieced strips have a dark pieced in the top left, and in the other construction they have a light piece in the top left.  After you sew and cut the two constructions crosswise, group the strips according to the orientation of the four-patch diagonals.  Do the final sewing of the strips in the two groups, and you are done with two quilts.

Step 7: Rotate half of these pieced strips, and move strips around for the desired looks of the diagonals.

Step 8: Sew the strips together, and you are done.