Scrappy Bear Paw Baby Quilt Tutorial

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Happy Wednesday! Today I have a fun baby quilt tutorial to share with you. I made this baby quilt last month, and it was a fun one to put together. Jacey's sister had a baby boy this Fall, and I knew I wanted to make a baby quilt for him.

This quilt comes together quickly, and takes advantage of scraps for the background. I'm also including yardage/cutting if you'd like to use a single fabric for the background. I used scraps from my all blue woven quilt, plus a few red fat quarters. I happened to have a great backing/binding combo to match which is always nice!

To gift this baby quilt, I also stitched up a Lined Drawstring Bag. For baby quilts the Artist size is perfect. When I gift a throw size or larger I make the Laundry size.

How to Make a Scrappy Bear Paw Baby Quilt

Sewing Level: Confident Beginner
Finished size: 39"x39"

- 2 fat quarters of print fabric (red)
- 1 fat quarter of print fabric (white)
- 1 1/4 yards of background fabric (navy)
- 2 5/8 yards of backing fabric*
- 47"x47" piece of batting
- 1/3 yard of binding fabric
- Coordinating thread

*Optional pieced backing: 1 3/8 yards main + 3/8 yard accent

Width of Fabric (WOF) = 42" assumed
Fat Quarter =  18"x21"

If cutting from yardage:
From each red fat quarter:
- Cut (1) 9.5"x21" strip
- Subcut each strip into (2) 9.5" squares

From white fabric:
- Cut (3) 4"x21" strips
- Subcut two strips into (5) 4" squares each
- Subcut remaining strip into (2) 4" squares and (1) 3.5" square

From background fabric:
- Cut (3) 4"xWOF strips
- Subcut one strip into (4) 4" squares
- Subcut remaining strips into (8) 4" squares and (4) 12.5"x3.5" rectangles

- Cut (4) 6.5"xWOF strips
- Trim two strips down to 27" in length
- Trim remaining two strips to 39" in length

If cutting from scraps:
From red fabrics:
- Cut (4) 9.5" squares

From white fabrics:
- Cut (12) 4" squares
- Cut (1) 3.5" square

From background fabrics:
- Cut (4) 12.5"x3.5" rectangles
- Cut (12) 4" squares
- Cut 6.5" wide strips in a variety of lengths, approximately 150" worth. Sew 6.5" strips together along the 6.5" sides. Sew together enough strips to be able to cut (2) 6.5"x27" pieces and (2) 6.5"x39" pieces from it.

*Use a 1/4" seam allowance unless otherwise noted.*

1. Using a marking pen, draw a diagonal line across the wrong side of the 4” white squares. Place one 4” white square and one 4” background square right sides together. Stitch 1/4" on both sides of the marked line. Press and cut apart on the marked line to create two half-square triangles. Press seams open. Repeat with remaining 4” squares. Trim half-square triangles to 3.5” square.

2. Arrange six half-square triangles created in step one, plus a 9.5" square and one 3.5" background square as shown in the block diagram above. Sew elements together in each row, press seams open. Sew two rows together to complete block. Press seams open.

3. Arrange blocks, 12.5"x3.5" background strips and 3.5" white square as shown in the above diagram. Sew elements together in each row, press seams open. Sew two rows together to complete block. Press seams open.

4. Sew a 6.5"x27" piece to each side of the bear paw block. Press seams open.

5. Sew a 6.5"x39" piece to the top and bottom of the bear paw block to finish the quilt top. Press seams open.

6. Prepare Backing: It’s good practice to cut your backing and batting at least 4” larger than your top on all four sides. I’ve included this overage in the backing yardage requirements. Cut your backing yardage in half. Press. Trim off the selvedges and sew your pieces together lengthwise. Press seam open.

Optional pieced backing
This is an easy pieced backing that doesn't require lots of yardage.

 From accent fabric:
- Cut (2) 6.5"xWOF strips

From main fabric:
- Cut (2) 47"x21" rectangles

*Use a 1/4" seam allowance unless otherwise noted.*

1. Sew two 6.6" strips together, press seam open. Trim strip to 47" long.

2. Sew a main rectangle to the top and bottom of the pieced unit from step 1. Press seams open.

7. Basting: Using masking or painter’s tape, tape the backing to a clean, hard surface, right side down. Spread out your batting on top of the backing. Smooth out any wrinkles. Carefully spread out your quilt top on top of the batting, right side up. Pin your top, I like to use curved safety pins, spacing the pins a few inches apart. Make sure that your pins are going through all three layers.

8. Quilting: Quilt as desired, by machine or by hand. Trim away excess batting and backing fabric.

9. Binding: Cut yardage listed for binding into 2.5” strips. Trim off selvedges and sew your strips together to form one long strip, press seams open. Fold in half lengthwise, pressing with your iron as you fold. Attach binding using your preferred method. For a detailed tutorial on attaching your binding to both sides by machine: Machine Quilt Binding Tutorial.

Share your project photos using the #jenibaker hashtag on social media or add it to the In Color Order Flickr Group!

Happy Quilting!


  1. That's adorable! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Quilt looks great, love the scrappy background!

  3. Love this!! I love the bear paw block--so fitting for a baby quilt. love the scrappy look

  4. This is really beautiful, Jeni
    What a great gift!!
    Thank you so much for the tutorial. I could make a few of these.
    Happy Thursday♥️

  5. Jeni, thanks so much for this tutorial. This is a lovely baby quilt--and maybe one my daughter will need in the future ;)

  6. Jeni!!! this is so amazing!!! I'm definitely making one. it's gorgeous in those colors!!!

  7. Making this now, having great fun seeing it come together. Thanks for the tutorial, I've been wanting to make a bear paw block for ages and I love your pattern with its three claws! Can see myself making this more than once. Very generous of you to share your work.

  8. Bear Paw, and the many variations, is (are?!) one of my fave block patterns. You've done an incredibly great job on this tutorial, clear and thorough -- not so easy to do, even and maybe especially on a classic block!!
    Love your ramping it up to a super-sized block to become a whole baby quilt. I Would expect it'll be treasured for a long time. My niece took hers back & forth daily for kindergarten naps, never forgetting it once. Good thing, she couldn't/wouldn't sleep at night without it.
    Fortunately I used good fabrics on it. After refurbishing it (new batting and requilting), it became a wallhanging for her iwn children.
    So know how precious your baby quilts can become, and thank you for this excellent tutorial for us!!

  9. Oh my gosh, Jeni this little quilt is sew cute! Love those colors and prints! Thank you so much for sharing this pattern with us.

  10. That's awesome, thanks for sharing


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