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What I love about the Fourth and Inches Quilt

Updated: Sep 11, 2023

It's no secret that (American) football season is my favorite time of year. I grew up with a natural cadence where life accelerated this time of year into the excitement of each Saturday (and sometimes agony depending on the balance of wins and losses) while heading to the stadium to cheer for our team.

The Fourth and Inches Quilt is the first official football-inspired pattern that has crossed the finish line at Jessica Steele Design (although I'll admit there are others waiting in the wings) and I am equally as excited to share this pattern as the football season approaches.

The pattern uses a two-block layout set on-point showcasing pieced footballs and the four hashmarks, which measure distance and ball placement on the field. In American football, the term "Fourth and Inches" is used in the situation where the offense only has one more opportunity to move the ball just a few short inches or they must turn it over to the other team. Many times this situation can prove to be a pivotal point in a game and as a defensive girl, this situation is one of the most exciting (and nerve-racking) times to be on the opposite side of the ball.

This pattern is geared toward the intermediate quilter with some curve and strip piecing

experience however, the pattern was developed with the intention that anyone could master it, no matter your experience. In fact, some of my testers had never pieced curves before and their quilt tops turned out great!

I could go on and on about this pattern but I want to share the three things I love most about this pattern as an introduction before her debut.


Here is what I love most about the Fourth and Inches Quilt pattern:


Ok, by assistance I don't mean someone actually assisting in the piecing process but

included in the pattern are two features that will assist in helping make sure your curves are

as precise as possible:

1. Extra room for trimming

I'll be the first to admit, a block that has to be precisely pieced without any room for trimming is one of my worst nightmares. While I can make a block precisely with curves, that doesn't mean I always do. For this reason, I have included extra room along the outside edges of one of the templates to give you space to trim and square up after piecing your curves.

2. Video links for trimming and alignment steps

In addition to providing extra room for trimming, included in the pattern are helpful videos to guide you through the key trimming and alignment steps to ensure your football shapes sit perfectly within your block. There are diagrams included in the pattern for each step but as a visual learner I find sometimes it helps to have a quick demonstration.


The Fourth and Inches pattern is block-based, consisting of essentially two different blocks: the football block and the hashmark block. The hashmark block is constructed entirely of using a strip piecing method and comes together easily and quickly. Never tried strip piecing? Check out this blog post with tips for how I have learned to strip piece successfully.


This design was born from a desire to have a quilt that could live in my home that shared my love of football and the football season but didn't distract my eye and folded into my decor well. While this pattern is perfect for the football fan to showcase team colors and logos, it also lends itself to being modern enough to sit amongst your home decor during the season.

Fourth and Inches makes a perfect gift for the football fan with many options to customize for your own team!

Want to get started? Below are the fabric requirements for each version and a link directly to the pattern.

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