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Indian Hatchet Quilt Block

From our Free Quilt Block Patterns Library

The Indian Hatchet quilt block tutorial starts here...

Skill Level: Beginner

Grid: 8x8

Our Indian Hatchet quilt block (AKA Indian Hatchets) design is made using the connector corners technique.

No triangles to cut. No bias to contend with...it's just squares.

These connector corners are 3/4 the size of the finished block. Since they overlap, the only place to worry about matching a seam is at the corners of the units.

Truly a beginner friendly block!

If you really want to stretch your stash, you'll learn how to get eight extra half square triangles out of each block. Pretty nifty!

At the end of this page, you'll find design ideas to make your own quilt.

Chop! Chop! It's time to make our Indian Hatchet quilt block.




Construction Instructions

For the connector corners portion of the block, I prefer to use an open toe applique foot. It provides an unobstructed view of the stitching lines.

When pressing, first press units flat, in the 'unopened' position, to set the seam and meddle the thread into the fibers of your fabric. Then press the seam open.

If you starch your quilt fabric before cutting, you can usually fingerpress most of your seams. Always give your block a final press with the iron.

Try our favorite technique for pressing for truly flat patchwork!


Step 1: Cutting

Indian Hatchet quilt block drawing

All of the measurements in the table below are for cutting squares. So 4-1/2" means a 4-1/2" square.

The example contains a block with a light #1, but there's no reason you can't swap values between the patches for a different look.



CUTTING CHART for
Indian Hatchet Quilt Block
Finished Block Size
Patch
#
F
a
b
r
i
c
Qty 4” 6” 8” 9” 10” 12”
1 A 4 2-1/2” 3-1/2” 4-1/2” 5” 5-1/2” 6-1/2”
2 B 8 2” 2-3/4” 3-1/2” 3-7/8” 4-1/4” 5”
Unfinished Block Size 4-1/2” 6-1/2” 8-1/2” 9-1/2” 10-1/2” 12-1/2”
Bonus triangles, unfinished size 1-1/2” 2-1/4” 3” 3-3/8” 3-3/4” 4-1/2”
Grid Size 1/2” 3/4” 1” 1-1/8” 1-1/4” 1-1/2”


Step 2: Assembling the units

The Indian Hatchet unit

For each Indian Hatchet quilt block, you'll need to make four of the unit to the right.

On the back side of every #2 square, draw a diagonal line, just dark enough so that you can see it. It is the seam line and you don't want your mark to show through to the front of the block.


On the left I marked with chalk, on the right with a mechanical pencil lead

With right sides together (RST) align two edges of a #1 and #2, positioning #2 as shown below.


Red arrows point to the ends of the stitching line

Stitch on the line. I like to start and stop on a scrap of fabric—sometimes called a 'bunny tail' or 'spider—so that my machine doesn't chew up the fabric.

Repeat for all four #1s.



Press.

If you find that your #2 edges extend a just smidge past the edge of the #1, give them a little trim so that they're even.

If they fall short of the edge, double check that you've marked the diagonal in the correct place. Try a pencil that makes a finer mark (I like mechanical pencils for that reason). Try sewing on the side of the line closest to the corner to accommodate the turn of the cloth.

There's no need to stress about it because, ultimately, the only place we need to match these blocks when they're set together is at the corners. Sweet!

Let's get back to our Indian Hatchet quilt block. We've got...


Decisions! Decisions!

There are two options with connector corners. One saves fabric. One doesn't.

If your #2 squares are large enough, you can easily create a bonus half square triangle (HST) from each corner. It's quick, too!

Mark a 1/2" away from the original stitching line. (1/2" gives you a 1/4" inch seam allowance for both units.)


Draw a second sewing line to make a bonus triangleYou can just barely see it, the sewing is in white thread.

Stitch and press.

Cut between the two stitching lines with your scissors or a rotary cutter.

Voila! Bonus HST!


Cut in two with scissors between the lines


When our unit is finished, we've got two bonus HST. Store this away for the next time you need scrappy units!

NOTE: In our cutting chart there's a row, 'Bonus triangles, unfinished size'. If you sewed and cut accurately, your triangles will match these measurements.


The back of the unit with two bonus HSTThe back side of the finished unit and two bonus HST

Having a bunch of HST laying around won't blow everyone's skirt up.

Here our objective is to reduce the bulk created by the connector corner technique. Simply trim away the excess #2 fabric a 1/4" past the original stitching line (closest to the corner).

Press.


Trim away the excess #2 fabric closest to the corner


After adding both #2 in this manner, you have...


The back of the unit and the two extra trianglesThe back side of the finished unit, and two spare triangles—for scrap or to make spiders out of

Now back to completing our units...

Repeat for the remaining diagonal corner of the #1 square using whichever technique you chose for the bonus triangles.

In the photo below, you can see my ratty-looking spider behind the needle as I add the second #2.  Someone told me they were called 'spiders' because they have 'hairy legs'.

So true!


Add the second #2 square


You can easily draw in the line for the bonus triangle at the sewing machine if you choose.


Draw the line for the bonus triangle at the machine if you need to


Step 3: Assemble your Indian Hatchet quilt block

Install your favorite 1/4" foot for the rest of the construction.

Lay out the units. Stitch them into two rows.


Lay out the four units into rowsSome of my #1 fabric is showing. Again, because the only match point is where the corners meet, there's no true need to go back and resew.

Stitch the rows together. Because I choose to cut away only the excess #2, there are extra layers to stitch through. I find I get a better match in the center when I pin.


Sew the two halves together


Give your block a final press.

Your Indian Hatchet quilt block is done!


The Indian Hatchet quilt block, finished


You've got options...

Seriously. This is a pretty simple block to make.

But what do you do with it?

In this first one, the Indian Hatchet blocks are rotated to form a 'Barn Raising' look. The Indian Hatchet has a strong diagonal just like a Log Cabin block does. The optical illusion of the blocks bowing out is unexpected.


Indian Hatchet quilt, design like a Log Cabin Barnraising


This would be a sweet and simple baby quilt, all X's and O's. It's made from blocks just like in the tutorial, only some have been rotated.


Indian Hatchet quilt, X's and O's


When you look at this last design, can you see a little girl's hairbows? (Tilt your head to the right a little if you can't.)

Use the same fabric in the corners of pairs of different units. To make construction and organization smoother, sew the units, lay them out to your liking and, only then, sew them into blocks.

Much easier to keep both 'loops' of the bow together that way.


Indian Hatchet quilt, Hairbows


Now that you've mastered Connector Corners...

You might want to dig into a bigger project. The size of the corners is a bit different, but the block is essentially the same.

Moda Charm Saturday quilt kit


For more block patterns, click here to visit our Free Quilt Block Patterns Library.






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