Indian Hatchet Quilt Block Pattern

Indian hatchet quilt block

Indian hatchet quilt block

The Indian Hatchet quilt block is a gorgeous four patch block but just requires a little concentration when you’re laying out the half square triangles.  Or keep your seam ripper handy – I needed mine a couple of times!  I’ve made it here as a 16″ square finished size.

Cutting requirements for the indian hatchet quilt block

3.1/2″ squares:  four brown, twelve white, four yellow

4.1/2″ squares:  one brown

3.7/8″ squares:  three each in brown and white, seventeen each in yellow and white

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Use the 3.7/8″ squares to make half square triangle units.  Place a white square right sides together with either a yellow or a brown square.  Mark a line along the diagonal and sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line. Cut along the line to produce two half square triangle units which are now 2.1/2″ squares.

Press the seam allowances towards the yellow or brown and trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.

Central area layout

Central area layout

Central area of the block

I think it will be clearer if I show you the layout in stages, beginning with the central area.  The 4.1/2″ brown square goes in the middle of the block.  Place brown squares in two corners and white squares in the other two corners.

There are two yellow/white half square triangles along each edge of the central square.  The yellow triangles face the same way within each pair of squares.

Add the next frame

Add the next frame

Add the next frame of the block

Here the layout is again straightforward.  Across each corner place a yellow square with a yellow/white half square triangle on either side to form a larger yellow triangle at each corner.  Place two white squares between each pair of corners.

Indian hatchet quilt block layout

Indian hatchet quilt block layout

Indian hatchet quilt block full layout

Try and just concentrate on the outer frame in the photo.  There are brown squares in two corners with white squares in the other two corners – same as in the central area.

In the middle of each edge place two white/yellow half square triangles so that the white triangles together form a larger triangle pointing outwards.  There are two half square triangles on either side of these pairs.  I won’t try and describe how each one is laid other than to say notice that there are two brown/white half square triangles on one edge of two of the corners with one brown/white unit on the other side of that corner.  The rest are all yellow/white half square triangles.

When you are happy that you have all the triangles facing the correct way sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the indian hatchet quilt block.

Basic quilt image

Basic quilt image

Quilt ideas

The first image uses the indian hatchet quilt block only.  It does have some interesting features but I didn’t feel that it was a quilt that I was itching to make.

With 4 patch alternate block

With 4 patch alternate block

So for the second quilt I tried a simple four patch in yellow and brown for an alternate block.

OK, but nothing special.

With diamond in a square alternae block

With diamond in a square alternate block

Finally for the third option I tried a diamond in a square alternate block.  This is made with four yellow/brown half square triangle units.

Success!  This is the only one of the three options that I would like to make.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.


Here’s the video:

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  1. The delicate yellow with the brown is so pretty – I like all three options equally. You always manage to surprise me and you just keep your quilts so fresh and original.

    • Thanks, June. I find yellow quite hard to use in quilts because it often dominates even when I don’t mean it to. This particular yellow is one of the few yellows that does what I intend it to when I begin work.

  2. Dear Rose another challenge. I do admire the way you keep coming up with new designs. Well done. This one looks like a real challenge for me. Maybe after I have managed to finish the one I am doing now.

    Thank you and all best Janny

    • Hi Janny. I know that it is quite a complicated looking block, but it really is only squares and half square triangles. At least it’s a big enough block that you don’t need many to make a quilt!

  3. Carol Tambourine says:

    I love the second one.

  4. Hi Rpse. Love the Indian quilt. Wish I could do one a year! Don’t know where you find all your inspiration.

    • Hi Lyn. I can’t lay claim to all the inspiration: many of the blocks that I show in the Quilt Block Patterns section are traditional ones that have been around for over a century in many cases. All I do is show you how to make them in the most simple way that I can see, and also show you how the blocks would look put together in a quilt. I have to agree that this particular block is a very striking one.