Bear's Paw Quilt Block Pattern

  • 01 of 04

    How to Make Bear's Paw Quilt Blocks

    Bear's Paw Quilt Block Pattern
    Bear's Paw Quilt Block. Janet Wickell

    Bear's Paw Is an All-Time Favorite Quilt Block

    The Bear's Paw quilt block pattern is a traditional favorite and a design that can be configured in many ways when you use it to make a quilt.

    Finished Block Size: 

    • 14" x 14", or
    • 35" x 35"

    Cutting Chart for One 14" Bear's Paw Quilt Block

    Change colors as desired.

    Pink Print

    • eight 2-7/8" x 2-7/8" squares for claws
    • one 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" square for center

    Brown Print

    • four 2-1/2" x 6-1/2" bars for paw dividers
    • four 2-1/2" squares

    Green Print

    • four 4-1/2" x 4-1/2" squares

    Light Neutral

    • eight 2-7/8" x 2-7/8" squares for claws

    Cutting Chart for One 35" Bear's Paw Quilt Block

    Pink Print

    • eight 5-7/8" x 5-7/8" squares for "claws"
    • one 5-1/2" x 5-1/2" square for center

    Brown Print

    • four 5-1/2" x 15-1/2" bars for paw dividers
    • four 5-1/2" squares

    Green Print

    • four 10-1/2" x 10-1/2" squares

    Light Neutral

    • eight 5-7/8" x 5-7/8" squares for "claws"
    Continue to 2 of 4 below.
  • 02 of 04

    Sew a Bear's Paw Quilt Block

    bear's paw quilt
    Make the Bear's Paw Quilt Block. © Janet Wickell

    Make the Bear's Paw Quilt Block

    Use a 1/4" seam allowance throughout, placing units right sides together for sewing and matching raw edges carefully. Use straight pins to hold fabrics together if it helps you keep patches aligned.

    Illustrations show another color layout. Refer to the description of patches, not the colors.

    Sew Four Paw Units

    1. Pair each darker 'claw' square with a light claw square of the same size. Use the quick pieced half square triangle method to make sixteen...MORE half-square triangle units from the eight pairs. Completed units for the 14" block should measure 2-1/2" x 2-1/2"; units for the 35" block should measure 5-1/2" x 5-1/2".
    2. To make a Bear's Paw, refer to the illustration, upper left. Sew two half-square triangle units together as shown in the top row. Add a neutral square to the left end of the unit (these are somewhat smaller than squares used for triangle units). Press seam allowances towards the pink square.
    3. Sew two half-square triangle units together in a vertical row as shown to the left of the larger square, top left illustration. Press the seam allowance towards the small square.
    4. Sew the vertical half-square triangle row to the left of the square as shown. Press the seam allowance towards the large square.
    5. Sew the top horizontal row to the top of the Step 4 unit. Press the seam allowance towards the square.
    6. Repeat to make a total of four paws.

    Assemble the Bear's Paw Quilt Block

    1. Sew a narrow bar between two paw units as shown above. Press seam allowances towards the paws. Repeat.
    2. Arrange two bars lengthwise with the center square between them. Sew together. Press seam allowances towards the center square.
    3. Sew the central bar unit between two double-paws units as shown, matching seams carefully. Press seam allowances towards the paws.

    The small Bear's Paw quilt block should measure 14-1/2" square, the large block 35-1/2" square. If the quilt block is smaller or skewed, press again and recheck. If it still isn't quite right, use my easy squaring-up method before sewing it to other blocks.

    Continue to 3 of 4 below.
  • 03 of 04

    Bear's Paw Quilt Blocks Arranged On Point

    bear's paw quilt
    Bear's Paw Quilt Blocks On Point. © Janet Wickell

    Blocks Placed On Point

    This example shows Bear's Paw quilt block on point, with setting squares and setting triangles placed between the blocks and at the end of diagonal rows.

    The quilt would look very different if you replaced the pink patches with neutral patches that match the setting components -- paws would appear to "float" on the neutral background.

    Continue to 4 of 4 below.
  • 04 of 04

    Straight Set Bear's Paw Quilt Blocks

    bear's paw quilt
    Straight Set Bear's Paw Quilt Blocks. © Janet Wickell

    Blocks in a Horizontal Setting

    Sewing the Bear's Paw quilt blocks side by side takes away the paws entirely since components blend into neighbor blocks to create new shapes.

    To keep the paws intact, sew pieced or plain sashing between the blocks.