QM Bitty Blocks: Bear Paw

By Kelly Eisinger, Quiltmaker Editorial Assistant

In case you’re new to Bitty Blocks, these little blocks are freebies presented the first Monday of each month on Quilty Pleasures. See earlier QM Bitty Blocks here in case you missed them. The May Bitty Block is an exception because this coming Monday, May 4th starts the 5 days of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Vol. 11 Blog Tour!

BittyBlockLogo 300px1 QM Bitty Blocks: Bear Paw

May is here and Spring has sprung! Which means animals are coming out of hibernation, flowers are blooming and the days are getting longer. In honor of all the little critters and birds reemerging to grace us with their presence, the May Bitty Block is the classic Bear Paw block. This is a 3″ x 3″ finished Bitty Block.

Get the printer friendly version here.

Single1 QM Bitty Blocks: Bear Paw

Bear Paw Bitty Block.

I love the simplicity of this block design, and couldn’t help but get carried away with making these vibrant little paws.

Group QM Bitty Blocks: Bear Paw

Pile O’ Bear Paws!

I have enjoyed all of the Bitty Block patterns thus far, however the Bitty Baskets got the best of me! Cutting and sewing individual tiny half-square-triangle units is not my strong suit. Even only making four to use in the Bitty Bear Paw block was tricky. Don’t get discouraged if it takes you a little practice…it took me a lot.

wonky QM Bitty Blocks: Bear Paw

Trying to fudge wonky half-square triangle units is not a good idea.

With that being said, I will show you two ways to construct this block. The first will demonstrate the process of making a single Bear Paw using individual half-square triangle units, like the one above.

Group pairs QM Bitty Blocks: Bear Paw

I made these blocks using Diane’s helpful half-square triangle trick, which yields 8 half-square triangles. This is a perfect amount for making two Bear Paw blocks at at once.

The second will demonstrate how to make two Bear Paw blocks at once using Diane’s helpful half-square triangle trick! By using this trick, I was able to rally through these Bitty Bear Paws quicker than I could have ever imagined!

Let’s get started! You will need two contrasting fabrics, one for the paw and one for the background.

Fabric Choice QM Bitty Blocks: Bear Paw

Fabrics paired up and ready to cut.

Single Bear Paw Block

Background: Red
2 squares 1-7/8″ x 1-7/8″
1 square 1-1/2″ x 1-1/2″

Paw: Yellow Polka Dot
2 squares 1-7/8″ x 1-7/8″
1 square 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″

cut pieces QM Bitty Blocks: Bear Paw

Background and paw pieces cut and laid out.

To make the claws of the paw, match the 1-7/8″ x 1-7/8″ background squares to the 1-7/8″ x 1-7/8″ paw squares, right sides together.

HST2 QM Bitty Blocks: Bear Paw

Each pair will yield two half-square triangles.

Mark a diagonal line from corner to corner.

HST1 QM Bitty Blocks: Bear Paw

Sew a 1/4″ out from the center line.

Sew 1/4″ out from each side of the line. Then cut on the marked line and press the seam toward the darker fabric.

HSTcut QM Bitty Blocks: Bear Paw

Cut on the center line, to yield 2 half-square triangles from each pair of squares.

HST pressed QM Bitty Blocks: Bear Paw

Press the seams and trim the dog ears.

You now have four claws.

finishedHST QM Bitty Blocks: Bear Paw

Four claws.

Arrange the block pieces as shown below:

PawLayout QM Bitty Blocks: Bear Paw

Assembly lay out.

Assembling the Block:

1) Sew two claws and 1-1/2″ x 1-1/2″ background square in a row. Press the seams towards the background square.

Assemble1 QM Bitty Blocks: Bear Paw

Sew the top claws and 1-1/2″ square together and the right two claws together.

2) Sew the remaining two claws together and press the seam toward the 1-1/2″ x 1-1/2″ background square.

3) Attach the two right claws to the 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ paw square and press the seam towards the 2-1/2″  square.

assemble2 QM Bitty Blocks: Bear Paw

Attach the right paws first.

4) Lastly sew the two sections together and press the seam towards the larger section.

seams QM Bitty Blocks: Bear Paw

Press the seams toward the 2-1/2″ block.

You now have now completed the Bitty Bear Paw! Woohoo!!

finished QM Bitty Blocks: Bear Paw

Finished block.

Double Blocks

Now back to this itty bitty half square triangle business. If  you’re not the biggest fan of sewing individual half-square triangle units, this second method may be more appealing because it will yield 8 half square triangles at once!

The cutting list below notes to cut one of each piece, however if you layer your two fabrics together when cutting, you will have enough pieces to make two contrasting blocks at once.

These are my fabric choices:

part2fabric QM Bitty Blocks: Bear Paw

Two fabrics for blocks.

Background:
1 square 3-3/4″ x 3-3/4″ – used for making the half-square triangles
1 square 1-1/2″ x 1-1/2″

Paw
1 square 3-3/4″ x 3-3/4″- used for making the half-square triangles
1 square 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″

1.) Lay the two fabrics right sides up on top of each other, and cut out the listed pieces.

cut group QM Bitty Blocks: Bear Paw

Top Left: 2-1/2″ square, used for paw. Right: 3-3/4″ square, used for half-square triangles. Bottom left: 1-1/2″ square, used for the background corner.

Making the half-square triangles:

Note: the fabrics used in this demonstration are different from my choices, since these images are referenced from Diane’s previous blog post.

Place the background and paw 3-3/4″ x 3-3/4″ squares right sides together. On the wrong side of either square, mark 1/4″ out from the diagonal center in both directions. Diane suggests using a Quarter-Inch Seam Marker, but you can use any quilting ruler that’s long enough to cover the diagonal.

hsttrick2 QM Bitty Blocks: Bear Paw

Place the squares right sides together and mark.

Sew on all four of the marked lines:

hsttrick4 QM Bitty Blocks: Bear Paw

Sew on all of the marked lines.

Cut on the vertical and horizontal centers of the squares (in other words, cut down the middle, both ways) by lining up the ruler as shown. On 3-3/4″ squares (for 1″ finished triangle-squares), halfway across is 1-7/8″.

hsttrick6 QM Bitty Blocks: Bear Paw

Make a second set of cuts between the lines of stitching as shown.

Make a second set of cuts between the lines of stitching as shown.

hsttrick7 QM Bitty Blocks: Bear Paw

This method yields 8 half-square triangles.

You’ll get 8 half-square triangles using this method. This is enough to make two Bear Paw blocks at once, woo hoo!!

From this point continue to assemble the units as noted in part one to complete the blocks. You will have two contrasting blocks!

contrastblocks QM Bitty Blocks: Bear Paw

You now have two contrasting blocks!

Group pairs QM Bitty Blocks: Bear Paw

More contrasting blocks.

We hope you enjoy this months Bitty Block pattern as much as we do! When you’re finished making your blocks, please share them with us at editor@quiltmaker.com!

Get the printer friendly version here.

Reminder: Bitty Block patterns are posted on the 1st Monday of the month. May is an exception due to Quiltmaker’s 100 Block Vol.11 Blog Tour starting on Monday May 4th. The June Bitty Block will be posted on Monday, June 1st!

Vol11 blog tour coming socialmedia QM Bitty Blocks: Bear Paw

 

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20 Responses to QM Bitty Blocks: Bear Paw

  1. Pingback: FQS Takes on a BOM Month 6 – blogdev.satellite.fm

  2. Amber says:

    yippee i finished 20 bear cub paws! I love these blocks.

  3. Beverly Fuchs says:

    I’m confused. Is the Bear Paw block part of the Itty Bitty Blocks quilt?

  4. Pingback: Björntassar och Flygande Gäss / Bear Paws and Flying Geese | Rutigt – G Adrian

  5. Emma Carpenter says:

    For the records, I know its”bear “paw”. Just trying to be cute.

  6. Emma Carpenter says:

    Thanks for the new block and instructions. Loving that basket block. Made many more than requested. All done with other months blocks. Can’t wait to get a taste of this bear claw. Sweet.

  7. Liz says:

    I used a Fons and Porter flying geese ruler to cut my HST from 1.5″ strips. They came out the correct size and the only trimming was one dog ear. Then I made another pinwheel for last month’s block with the same ruler. As the Brit’s say, my geese were spot on. I will definitely use this ruler in the future. I had forgotten about the FP ruler until I saw it when looking for something else. Yikes, too many rulers.

    • Anne says:

      Thanks for the info…can you tell me where in Fons and Porter’s I can find the visual for doing HDTV your way?

      • Carol says:

        I use the Easy Angle ruler for the HST – love this ruler. I think Bonnie Hunter has a tutorial on using it on her blog – Quiltville

  8. Dawn says:

    I think this is a great introduction to the Bear Claw block!

  9. Dawn says:

    I think this is a great introduction to the Bear Paw block!

  10. Rita says:

    where is the short version of pattern?

  11. Sharon Jack says:

    don’t see one either hope they make one

  12. Roxanne G says:

    I don’t see the PDF for this month’s block. Am I just missing it or is it not there?

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