The Bear Paw Quilt Block

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Last Updated March 19, 2018

The Bear Paw quilt block is a classic. This block looks great when set on point as well as in straight sets. This tutorial shows how easy it is to make the Bear Paw quilt block using triangle papers. First lets look at some Bear Paw quilt blocks in quilts. These pictures come from the QuiltNotesLLC board on Pinterest.

How to Piece The Bear Paw Quilt Block:  Step-By-Step

This method used Triangles On A Roll brand of triangle papers. Other papers that can be used include:

A chart at the end of this article shows the fabric cutting requirements for various sizes of finished blocks.

Step 1: Prepare the Fabric and Papers

All of the triangle papers start with two pieces of fabric placed right sides together. Place the paper on top of the fabric. I have found that using Faultless Maxx Spray Starch makes stitching easier and more accurate.

Cut the fabric pieces to fit the paper(s) needed for 64 half square triangles. Press and starch each fabric. Place a light and a dark fabric with right sides together. Place the paper on top as shown below.

bear paw quilt block triangle papers

Secure the papers to the fabric using pins. Place the pins so they do not cover any dashed lines.

Step 2: Stitch on the Dashed Lines

Use a smaller stitch length, more stitches per inch, when using triangle papers.

the bear paw quilt block

Stitch on the dashed lines. Follow the arrows. Stitching can generally be done continuously over large areas. Stitch off the edges of the paper. Stop stitching when all the dashed lines are stitched.

Step 3: Trim on Every Solid Line

the bear paw quilt block

Start with the outside solid lines. Trim on the solid lines.

the bear paw quilt block

Next, trim the horizontal solid lines.

the bear paw quilt block

Continue trimming on the solid lines. You will have 64 triangles.

Step 4: Remove the Papers

the bear paw quilt block

Refer to the image above from left to right. First, tear the triangle paper against the stitching line to remove it. Next, remove the smaller piece of paper.

Step 5: Press Seams Towards Dark Fabric

the bear paw quilt block

Press toward the dark fabric. Use the spray starch if needed. Trim off the little triangle nubs. Trimming helps gets the nubs out of the way when piecing the block.

the bear paw quilt block

Sixty Four half square triangles for 4 Bear Paw blocks.

Step 6: Lay Out the Squares and Rectangles

the bear paw quilt block

Lay out the squares, rectangles and half square triangles as shown above. NOTE: the half square triangle in the upper left should be rotated clockwise 1/4 turn.

Cutting Chart for the Bear Paw Quilt Block: 7″, 10-1/2″ and 14″ Finished Sizes

bear paw quilt block cutting chart

Bear Paw Digital Quilt Pattern

Bear Paw is a classic quilt block that is easy to piece. The cover quilt is done in almost Amish colors on a black background. The blocks finish at 7″ and the finished quilt size is approximately 63″ x 74″.

Printed papers are used to speed piece the half square triangle units: either Star Singles by Spinning Star Designs or Triangles on a Roll. Blocks are set on point.

Skill Level: Intermediate

Cover quilt pieced by Carol Thelen and quilted by Pat Doro.

The Bear Paw Quilt pattern includes instructions to complete the quilt shown here.  Upon completion of your order, you will receive a link to download the PDF file. To view the file and use the video links (if any), you will need Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. You can review the requirements and download here: Acrobat Reader

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