As if one crown were not enough in this Jubilee year, this block has no less than four. It’s a right regal design for which you are sure to need a ruler. So, let’s get to it and make this crowning block fit for a queen.
FOUR CROWNS QUILT BLOCK
Finished Size 12″ (Unfinished 12-1/2″)
Four Crowns quilt block is a nine-patch block that contains both Half Square Triangles and Quarter Square Triangles and is an old favourite.
This nine-patch block is made with three colours and the background fabric.
A. Two 4-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ rectangles (blue)
B. Two 4-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ rectangles (turquoise)
C. Eight 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ squares (white)
D. Two 3-1/4″ x 3-1/4″ squares (white)
E. One 3-1/4″ x 3-1/4″ square (blue)
F. One 3-1/4″ x 3-1/4″ square (turquoise)
G. Two 5-1/2″ x 5-1/2″ squares (white)
H. One 5-1/2″ x 5-1/2″ square (turquoise)
I. One 5-1/2″ x 5-1/2″ square (blue)
J. One 4-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ square (pink)
The background fabrics for this block are C, D & G.
- All seams are 1/4″ and I use a stitch length of 1.8.
- As a rule, you would press your fabric seams towards the dark side (darker fabric) but not always. I finger press my seams before pressing with an iron. This allows me to change the seams’ direction if needed without stretching my fabrics.
- In bulky areas press your seams open as this will help reduce thickness.
We are going to make all four corner units of this block first, starting with the four Half Square Triangles (HST). We will be making them a little larger then trimming them to size. This method will give us perfect HST.
Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of one of your 3-1/4″ x 3-1/4″ white fabric squares D. Then take your 3-1/4″ x 3-1/4″ turquoise fabric square F and place it right sides (RST) together with your fabric D.
Pin to stop everything from moving and sew 1/4″ away from each side of the diagonal line.
Cut apart on the marked line to make two HST. Then open out and finger press your seams to the dark side and then press with your iron.
Now trim your HST to the correct size by placing your ruler’s 45° diagonal line along your seam line, then square your block up to 2-1/2″ and trim away the excess fabric.
Repeat this method with your remaining white and blue 3-1/4″ squares D and E. You should now have four perfect HST.
Now we are going to make the rectangle units using the ‘stitch and flip’ method, starting with the small rectangles A and B.
Draw a diagonal line, top left to bottom right on the wrong side of four of your 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ white fabric squares C. Then place one of them RST on top of your 4-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ blue rectangle fabric A lining up the top and sides. Stitch on the line.
Next trim away the excess corner fabric leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance. Then open the unit and finger press the seam to the dark side and press with an iron.
Repeat this method with your remaining small rectangular fabrics A and B and three more 2-1/2″ white squares. Make sure all your fabrics are sewn identically with the diagonal line on your white squares running from top left to bottom right. You should now have four rectangle units.
Lay out your top left-hand unit and sew the top row together. Then sew your two rows together to form your unit.
Repeat to make all four corner units
We will now make the remaining outer Quarter Square Triangle (QST) units.
You will need your 5-1/2″ x 5-1/2″ fabric squares G, H and I to make these. Take your white fabric squares G and draw a diagonal line on the wrong side from corner to corner. Then take your fabric H square and place it RST with your fabric G square.
Sew 1/4″ away from each side of your diagonal line. Then cut the unit apart along your drawn line.
Open your HST and finger press your seam to the dark side and set with an iron. Now repeat with your other fabric squares. You should have four HST.
Now we are going to turn our HST into QST.
On one of your turquoise HST draw a diagonal line down the centre on the wrong side, making sure your ruler is aligned along your seam line. This will give you a 90-deg. angle.
Then put this turquoise HST RST together with a blue HST. Make sure you butt your seams together tightly (use pins if needed to keep everything in place). Then sew 1/4″ away from each side of your diagonal line.
Next cut apart along your drawn line.
Before you open your QST take your seam ripper and unpick the two or three stitches that lie above your horizontal seam. Don’t cut them just unpick them. Do the same on the other side.
Turn your QST over and twirl your centre seam by finger pressing your seams in an anti-clockwise direction before setting with an iron. You should see a little four patch in the centre.
Then trim your QST to 4-1/2″ by placing your ruler’s 45° diagonal line along the diagonal seam line of your block and make sure your ruler’s 2-1/4″ lines are aligned with the centre of your unit (see image above). Now trim away excess fabric from the top and right.
Finally turn your unit, place your ruler’s 4-1/2″ lines along the bottom and left side and you should see the 2-1/4″ lines running through the centre of your unit. Now trim.
Now repeat so you have three QST units.
Lay out all your units to form the Four Crowns quilt block.
Keeping your fabrics in order, sew them together one row at a time. Finger press your seams in the direction of the arrows (left image) before fixing with an iron. Finally join your rows together matching your points as you go and again pressing your seams in the direction of the arrows (right image).
If you have sewn your block together accurately it should measure 12-1/2″ square but if you need to trim it make sure you leave 1/4″ seam allowance on all your points.
You have now completed nine quilt blocks, well done!