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Mabel, but with a four patch

Remember sweet Mabel we made in the fall? The classic patchwork with 4" squares?? I haven't stopped thinking about how how much I love that quilt. The simplicity and scrappiness are just so scrumptious. 


I decided over the Christmas holiday to make a quilt just for fun, with fabrics I love, but I wasn't sure what I wanted to make. I knew it needed to be on the quicker, rhythmic side rather than requiring too many decisions or devoted attention. I needed it to be a bit more therapeutic in nature than challenging. And I needed to love it when I was finished. 

Sometimes when I'm sewing, I enjoy the process so much, but it can be tainted by an end result that Rather than feeling creatively satisfied, I feel anxious and unsettled, like there's an unresolved melody lingering in my mind. 

With the busy-ness of the holidays, I did not need any added anxiety/feeling unsettled. So I turned to Mabel and thought, "but what if I replaced the white squares with a four-patch, adding a chain-effect?" Certainly worth a try, and given how much I adore chains in a quilt, it didn't feel too risky. 

I share this version on IG the other day and had quite a few requests for how to make it. It's really similar to the Mabel quilt (tutorial found here and postcard found here). You just replace all the "main fabric" squares with a 4" four-patch. 

To make the four-patch, I used:

  • (19) 2.5"x WOF strips of white
  • (19) 2.5"x WOF strip of an accent fabric

1. Sew (1) WOF strip of white to (1) WOF strip of the accent fabric right sides together (RST) using 1/4" seam. Press to the accent fabric.

2. Cut strip set into 2.5" segments. Each WOF strip should yield (16) 2.5" segments.

3. Using (2) 2.5" segments, align as shown below, alternating fabrics and nesting the seams. Sew using 1/4" seam and press seam as desired.

4. Repeat with all 2.5" segments to result in a total of (8) four-patch squares.

5. Repeat steps 1-4 with all of the WOF strips to result in a total of (145) four-patch squares.

6. Using the Mabel tutorial, replace all of the main fabric squares with the four-patch squares, keeping the orientation the same for all squares so the chains will follow the same direction.

I can't wait to see your new and improved Mabel quilts! Please tag me if you plan to share them on IG so I can see your beautiful makes! I don't have mine quite finished yet because I'm thinking I might bump it up to a bed size, but when I do, I'll be sure to share the finished product! 

#mabelquilt #penelopehandmadepattern #penelopehandmadetutorial