16 patches & framed 4 patches

Instructions for a small quilt I’m making from a Jelly Roll

  • Quilt size is approximately 40 x 56
  • Block size is 8 inches (8.5 with seam allowances)
  • Quilt is set 5 blocks across and 7 blocks down.


First I sorted my strips into 3 categories as best I could

  • Strips that stood out somewhat from the others for the frames – you need 17 strips
  • Light strips – used for both 16 patches and 4 patches
  • Darker strips – used for both 16 patches and 4 patches

Make (18) 16 patch blocks

I make short strip sets and alternate two lights and two darks and subcut these into 2.5 sections. Mix them up and sew 4 sections together.  

Make (17) 4 patch blocks from the same group of strips for the centers of the framed blocks.

Frame those (17) 4 patch blocks with the first group of strips you set aside. You should be able to get one block from each strip.

  • Cut two 8.5 sections and two 4.5 sections from the strip to frame the 4 patches.  Sew the sides on first and then the top and bottom.

Because of the pinked edges of the Jelly Rolls, I found my blocks were a bit wonky and undersized. I trimmed up uneven edges.  (You can always cut 2.5 inch strips from your own stash if you don’t like working with Jelly Rolls).

My blocks ended up slightly undersized at 8.25 inches which is fine because they should still go together OK.

My finished top. In an effort to calm how busy this one was, I decided not to randomly scatter the framed 4 patches throughout the top but to arrange them in more orderly rows diagonally by color.

NOTE: because my red blocks were so prominent, placed them in the corners of my quilt. That means that instead of starting with a 16 patch block, mine started with a framed 4 patch. I needed (18) framed 4 patches and (17) 16 patch blocks for this version.

My finished quilt



(c) Mary Johnson 2015 – MaryQuilts.com