How to Make the Classic Bear Paw Quilt Block

Join me this year as I provide instructions for how to make a different quilt block each month. Eventually, all these blocks will turn into a great quilt! For the month of October, we are making the Classic Bear Paw Quilt Block.  

Bear Paw Quilt Block 

This is a classic block that can be changed up in lots of ways. It can be made scrappy by using a different fabric for each color piece. You can also fussy cut something special for the large square. 

For a 12 inch finished block (12.5 inch unfinished), you will need to cut the following: 

Color - 1 of 8 1/2 x 8 1/2 inch squares 

Color - 2 of 5 x 5 inch squares

White - 2 of 5 x 5 inch squares

White - 1 of 4 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch squares

Squares cut out


First, create the half square triangles (HSTs). On the white 5 inch squares, draw a line diagonally, corner to corner. Match a white square to a 5 inch color square, right sides together. Stitch 1/4 inch away from the line on both sides.

Cut on the drawn line. Press open towards the dark side. Trim to 4 1/2 inches square.

Repeat using the remaining 5 inch squares.

Half Square Triangles ready to be sewn together

Layout the half square triangles and the remaining squares to match the picture and stitch them together in rows. Press. Then stitch the rows together. Press.

Bear Paw Quilt Block in Blue

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.

Check back each month for a new How-To of quilt blocks! To see the other blocks, just search my blog for Quilt Guild Block of the Month.

If you would like a PDF digital download of these instructions, check out Group #6 of the How-To Quilt Block of the Month.  Also, please check out the other blocks that are available for download here.

(This is classic block that has been designed by many people but these instructions are written by me.)  

Have fun quilting!


  • Hi Pamela!
    That is tricky. The math required to make a 5 inch block is messy.
    You need a white 2.2 inch square, and a blue 3.85 inch square. For the HSTs you need 2 2.7 squares each in white and blue.
    Good luck!

  • I need the cutting sizes for making a 5" bear paw quilt block not 7" or 8"

    Pamela J Avara

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