Elmer & Eloise Bear Paw Quilt

The sweetest bear fabric calls for bear paws! This week I wanted to share a quick quilt you can make with the Elmer & Eloise collection by Deena Rutter. I paired it up with the Lori Holt Cross Stitch basic in teal, because it felt really cheery alongside the more neutral bear prints.

Bear paws is a traditional block made out of squares and half square triangles, with strips in between. If you have not made it before, here is a photo of what it looks like:

For this quilt, I’ve made a throw size which will make a nice baby present but will also be in use for much longer as the child grows up. This quilt measures 45 inches wide and 66 inches long. I love gifting big baby quilts, as they get all nice and squishy with use over time!

Quilty maths and fabric requirements 

I’ve worked out all the bear paw maths so that you don’t have to (although if you love maths like me, you may want to do your own calculations too).

In order to make this quilt you will need six bear paw blocks, as well as sashing and borders. 

You will need 6 quarter yards of the collection prints to feature on the bear paws. I used the sand, latte and tea green colourways and skipped the darker colours. However, this quilt would also look fab with a light background like Stone POParazzi and some of the darker prints. You can always look at the coordinating basics suggested on the Elmer & Eloise storyboard for colour inspiration. 

Once you have chosen your six prints, you will need to cut the quarter yards in the following way:

  • 4 large squares for the bear paws measuring 6.5 inches each. 
  • 2 squares measuring 7.75 inches. You will use these to make Half Square Triangles using the 8 at a time method.
  • 1 square measuring 2 inches for the middle of the bear paw. This is a perfect spot for fussy cutting!

When you cut these pieces from the quarter yard, you will barely have any leftovers. Be careful when cutting, or you can also get a bit of extra fabric in case you make any mistakes.

In addition to the prints, you will need 2 yards of background fabric, which you need to cut as follows:

  • 12 squares measuring 7.75 inches to make Half Square Triangles for the bear paw corners
  • 24 rectangles measuring 9.5 inches x 2 inches for the bear paw middle strips
  • 24 squares measuring 3.5 inches to make the corner pieces of the bear paw block
  • 9 strips measuring 2 inches x width of fabric for the sashing and borders

Piecing the bear paw blocks

Each bear paw takes 16 Half Square Triangles (HSTs). You will need your 12 print squares measuring 7.75 inches and your 12 background squares of the same size to cut your HSTs following the 8-at-a-time method. 

You will need to trim them all to 3.5 inches squares (unfinished). If you need a refresher on the 8-at-a-time HSTs, you can watch this tutorial on the Riley Blake youtube channel.

You can put together your HSTs, 6.5 inch square prints, background and middle print according to the bear paw block design. I chose to mix all the different prints across the quilt, giving the design a scrappy feel.

The blocks will measure 20 inches square unfinished and 19.5 inches square finished. You can then add sashing and borders with your favourite method.

I kept the sashing and border measurements consistent with the size of the strips inside the bear paws, but you can also play with different designs to make the quilt a bit bigger.

I hope you enjoy this project! Find Elmer & Eloise fabrics at your favorite quilt shops.

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