Bear’s Paw

The Bear’s Paw is a classic quilt block. While not the most difficult block in my Fourth of July quilt Old Glory, it requires a lot of baby steps.

Bear's Paw Quilt Block Tutorial

Here is the how-to for a Bear’s Paw Quilt Block

Note: These measurements are for an 8″ block. Sew using a scant 1/4″ seam allowance.

Cut fabric:

  • 8 squares 2 1/4″ white
  • 8 squares 2 1/4″ red
  • 4 squares 1 5/8″ white
  • 1 square 1 5/8″ red
  • 4 rectangles 1 5/8″ x 3 7/8″ white
  • 4 squares 2 3/4″ red

Use the 8 squares of 2 1/4″ red and white to create 16 Half Square Triangles (HSTs) trimmed down to 1 5/8″. Click here for my tutorial on how to make Half Square Triangles. If you’ve been following my previous tutorials you’ll now know why I went through the time to create bonus HSTs from Flying Geese and Square in a Square!

Lay out your HSTs and remaining pieces of fabric into the Bear’s Paw:

Bear's Paw Quilt Block Tutorial

Looking at one paw print at a time, sew the two horizontal HSTs together and sew the vertical HSTs to the white square:

Bears Paw Quilt Block Tutorial

Then sew the horizontal HSTs to the red square before sewing the vertical to the paw print:

Bears Paw Quilt Block Tutorial

Complete the remaining three paw prints and then follow my tutorial for sashing to complete the block:

Bear's Paw Quilt Block Tutorial

Sashing

Adding sashing (those pretty inner borders) to a quilt can give it a clean and completed look. It’s quick to do and actually very simple!

Heres the How-To for Sashing:

Measure your completed block. Do not cut your sashing fabric until you’ve completed all of your quilt blocks. Cut your sashing fabric into strips with a length of your block size and width of your desired sashing thickness plus ½”. For this tutorial, I’m doing a finished sashing width of 1” so these strips are cut at 1 ½”. You will also need to cut 1 ½” squares (whatever size sashing you’re using). These squares are “keystones”, you could do them as a miniature block or a different color or use the same sashing fabric like I did. These squares will ensure straight lines throughout your quilt.

Sashing Tutorial

Sew the vertical sashing strips onto the blocks, creating a row.

Sashing Tutorial

When you iron, iron towards that sashing (away from the block). I find this creates a cleaner, sharper look.

Sashing Tutorial Sashing Tutorial

Sew the horizontal sashing strips onto the keystones.

Sashing Tutorial

When you iron, iron away from the keystones. This will insure your sashings lock together nicely when you put it all together.

Sashing Tutorial Sashing Tutorial

Sew sashing row to block row.

Sashing Tutorial

Repeat until your quilt is completed.

Sashing Tutorial

For an example of a completed quilt using sashing, check out the one I made in honor of my grandmother – “Violet”.