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Arrowhead Quilt Block Pattern

From our Beginning Quilt Block Patterns Series

Arrowhead quilt block tutorial in 5 sizes

Skill Level: Beginner

Grid: 2x2

The Arrowhead quilt block is another name for a pair of stacked Flying Geese units.

This tutorial shows you how to paper piece them efficiently so that they are both fast and accurate—all without lopping off the top points of the Geese!

On this page you'll also find downloads for this basic pattern in 5 different sizes along with illustrations of several other blocks that carry the 'Arrowhead' name.

Pairs of Flying Geese such as these are used as units within many other blocks. Point with your cursor to each block below to reveal it's name.

Corn and Beans Quilt Block Farmer's Puzzle Quilt Block Triangle Quilt quilt block Whirling Pinwheel quilt block Capital T quilt block Double T quilt block


Hate paper piecing? Click here for alternative methods for constructing Flying Geese units.






Construction Instructions

Arrowhead quilt block design drawing

Block Size: 3" (3-1/2" unfinished)

Grid Size: 1-1/2"

Install an open toe applique foot for the best view of where your needle pierces the paper. Shorten your stitch length to 15-18 stitches/inch. If you find it hard to remove the pattern at the end, insert 90/14 needle. Because I use paper specifically intended for paper piecing (you can find a link to my favorites in the right column on this page), I find that my everyday 80/12 works just fine.

Best pressing technique for the flattest quilt blocks

When you are instructed to 'Press', first press the pieced unit flat to set the seam. Then open the patch, pressing from the front. You may want to reduce or eliminate the use of steam for pressing these paper pieced blocks. Steam tends to curl the paper.I starch all my fabrics before piecing. You can learn why and how by clicking here.

Take a minute to review our favorite technique to make the flattest quilt blocks ever!

It works even with the paper attached.

Now THAT'S sweet!


Step 1: Download the paper piecing pattern

To open and print the patterns you need the Adobe Reader installed on your computer. Click here to get Adobe Reader (a new window will open so you can download it without leaving this page) if you need it.

Click here for the downloadable pattern for the 3" finished block.

In order to print, open the downloaded file, and select the "Print" option.

In order to print blocks at the correct size, under 'Page Sizing and Handling' in the Adobe print menu, set 'Custom Scale' to 100%. Click here to see what it looks like on the Print Menu page.

Optional Downloads:

1-1/2" finished
2" finished
2-1/2" finished
4" finished


Step 2: Cut the fabric patches

These patches are generously sized to make patch placement as foolproof as possible. Make a couple of blocks. Fine tune the sizes to your needs and note any changes on a pattern and file away for when you need it again.

All the dimensions are for cut squares. For example, for the #1 Patch for our 3" finished block cut one 4-5/8" x 4-5/8" square, then sub cut it diagonally twice.


Finished Block Size
Patch # Fabric Total
Qty
1-1/2” 2” 2-1/2” 3” 4” Sub Cut
1, 3 A 1 3-1/8” 3-5/8” 4-1/8” 4-5/8” 5-5/8” Symbol for a quarter square triangle
2 B 1 2-1/8” 2-3/8” 2-5/8” 2-7/8” 3-3/8” Symbol for a half square triangle
4 C 1 2-1/8” 2-3/8” 2-5/8” 2-7/8” 3-3/8” Symbol for a half square triangle
Grid Size 3/4” 1” 1-1/4” 1-1/2” 2” na

Click here to see the cut patches for the Arrowhead quilt block.


Step 3: Assemble the Arrowhead quilt  block

Cut one unit from the page you downloaded, cutting just outside the dotted line. Save the others for another project.

Use a dot of Elmer's Glue Stick (the one that goes on purple and dries clear) to hold #1 to the unprinted side of the pattern. Use the dashed placement lines to position it. (Fig. 1)

With right sides together, (RST) align the long bias edge of a #2 triangle with one of the short sides of #1 (Fig. 2). It doesn't matter if you do the left or the right side first, though consistency makes it more efficient feeding the units through your sewing machine.


Position Patch #1 and add the first #2 triangle


Stitch the seam starting about a 1/4' inch before the line begins and stopping about a 1/4" after the line ends (black arrows).


Stitch on the line


Press. Since these fabrics were starched before cutting, I am able to fingerpress this small triangle open (Fig. 3) saving a trip to the iron.


Add the #2 triangles


Add the second #2 triangle in the same manner, again matching the bias cut edges (Fig. 4).

To create the placement line for #3, line-up the edge of your ruler with the solid line (at the arrow) in the middle of the block.


Align the edge of your ruler with the solid center line


Use your thumbnail to crease the pattern along the ruler's edge. Remove the ruler and fold the pattern back along the crease line. At the arrow you can just see where the stitches were pulled out of the paper to get it to lay flat. That's exactly how it should be!


Fold the paper pattern back on itself


Align the ruler's 1/4" marks (at arrow) with the folded edge and cut off the excess fabric with your rotary cutter.


Establish the placement line for Patch #3


You've just created the placement line for your next patch. Match the long edge of #3 with the cut edge (see arrow below).


Position the #3 triangle


Stitch from the right side, again starting and stopping a 1/4" off the line.

Press.

Again, trim to establish the placement line for each short side of #3. Add both #4 triangles, pressing after each is stitched.

After the sewing is complete, your Arrowhead block looks like this.


The stitching is complete


The point at the top of each goose is nice and pointy!

But the block looks pretty scruffy at this point. I don't bother to trim the thread tails at the outside edges until the block is finished unless they are in my way.

To trim the block to size (3-1/2" for our example) match the 1/4" mark on your ruler with the solid black outline of the block and trim with your rotary cutter.


Trim the block to size


Then repeat for the remaining three sides.

All those stray threads are now gone with no extra effort!

Remove the paper and your finished Arrowhead quilt block looks like this.


The finished Arrowhead quilt block

Same name, different block...

It's common to have many different blocks use the same name and the Arrowhead quilt block is no different.

Arrowhead quilt block design, Variation 1


No relationship at all to the block in the tutorial!



Arrowhead quilt block design, Variation 2


Another completely different block. This one also goes by the names: Her Sparkling Jewels, The Gem Block, Idaho, Sparkling Jewel—much more appropriate names, don't you think!?



Arrowhead quilt block design, Variation 3


Though it might look like it from the picture, this pointy Arrowhead quilt block is composed of parallelograms, not diamond shapes (as in a LeMoyne Star).




There are several versions of this next variation. The one on the far right is actually called 'Arrowheads' in the plural.


Arrowhead quilt block design Arrowhead quilt block design Arrowhead quilt block design


Arrowhead quilt block design, Variation 6


This one looks the most like 'arrowheads'!



Arrowhead quilt block design


And our final block also goes by the plural, 'Arrowheads'.



Your arrow hit it's target!

Time to decide on which quilt block to make next


You've hit the bull's-eye with the Arrowhead quilt block, but there's more blocks to be made!

Click here to find your next one in our Free Quilt Block Patterns Library.






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Both are light weight—making them easy to tear away!

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