Old Indian Trail Quilt – Free Pattern

Old Indian trail quilt

Old Indian trail quilt

For the Old Indian Trail quilt I have used two different blocks – the block of the same name and a simple alternating squares block.  I think this is one of those blocks where you can see how it came by its name fairly easily.  I feel that this quilt looks very much like a mosaic.  The quilt uses sixteen blocks, all 15″ square finished size.

The quilt measures 64″ square and I have used 1/2 yard of blue fabric, 1.1/2 yards of red, 1 yard of yellow and 2 yards of white.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.

Completed quilt blocks

Completed quilt blocks

Cutting requirements for the old indian trail quilt

3.1/2″ squares:  forty eight red, forty eight white, twelve yellow

3.7/8″ squares ninety six red, ninety six white

For the alternate block you will need fifty two blue 3.1/2″ squares with forty eight white 3.1/2″ squares.  Some of these can be strip pieced, so don’t cut the squares until you have read the pattern.

For the border you will need to cut six 2.1/2″ strips of yellow across the width of fabric.

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Make the half square triangles

My apologies for the number of half square triangles to those of you who don’t like making them!  Place a red and a white 3.7/8″ square with right sides together.  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.  These are now 3.1/2″ squares.  Press the seam allowances towards the red and trim the two corners where fabric sticks out.

Central section of the block

Central section of the block

Make the old indian trail quilt block

The central section of this block is a simple nine patch unit.  Place three red squares along one diagonal with two white squares in the remaining two corners.  Add four half square triangle units around the central square.  Place these so that the red triangles form that large red stripe running down the diagonal.

Old Indian trail quilt block layout

Old Indian trail quilt block layout

Now it’s easy to add the outer frame of the block.  Add two white squares in the top left and bottom right corners.  Place a red and a yellow square in the other two corners.

Between each pair of corners lay three half square triangle units.  Across the top and down the right hand side place the red triangles bottom left of their squares.  Down the left hand side and across the bottom place the red triangles top right of their squares.

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the Old Indian trail quilt block.  It measures 15.1/2″ square at this stage and you need to make twelve of these.

Make pairs of blue and white squares

Make pairs of blue and white squares

Make the alternate block

For the blocks in the corners of the quilt I have used alternating blue and white squares.  Some of these can be made by strip piecing – sew together a blue and a white 3.1/2″ strip along the length.  Cut this panel at 3.1/2″ intervals.  This gives you rectangles 6.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ which are basically a square each of blue and white.

Alternate block layout

Alternate block layout

These can be used for part of the block, but as you need five squares across each row you will also need individual squares to complete the block.

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.  The block now measures 15.1/2″ square and you need to make four of these.

Row one

Row one

Assemble the Old Indian trail quilt

Sew the blocks together in four rows of four.  In the first row place an alternate block at each end.  Place the two Old Indian blocks in the middle of the row so that the red stripes form a peak in the middle.  The yellow squares lie side by side at the bottom of the row.

Row two

Row two

For the second row you need four old indian trail quilt blocks.  Place the first two so that the red stripe runs from bottom left to top right with the yellow squares in the bottom right corner.  Lay the second two blocks so that the red stripe runs from top left to bottom right with the yellow squares in the bottom left corner.

Row three

Row three

Row three is similar to row two, but the red stripes run from top left to bottom right for the first two blocks.  The yellow squares are in the top right position.  Place the second two blocks so that the red stripes run from bottom left to top right with the yellow squares in the top left corner.

Row four

Row four

Finally make row four with an alternate block at each end and two old indian trail quilt blocks.  Place these so that the red stripes form a V and the yellow squares lie together at the top of the row.

Sew the blocks together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.

Use yellow for the border

Use yellow for the border

Add the Old Indian Trail quilt border

Use 2.1/2″ strips of yellow for the border.  Make two lengths of 60.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 64.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the Old Indian trail quilt top.  It is now ready for layering, quilting and binding.  Full details of these steps can be found in the quilting for beginners section.

Here’s the video:

Dusmaston Hall

Dudmaston Hall

A short while ago I visited Dudmaston Hall, which is another National Trust property.  It was of course absolutely beautiful, but what I enjoyed most about it were the many walks in the parkland around it.

Lake in the grounds

Lake in the grounds

It would have been possible to keep taking different walks for a very long time.

An added bonus was that they had a few rose plants for sale.  One of them, called Olivia I think, had an exquisite perfume.  It reminded me that the David Austen Rose Centre isn’t too far from here.  Definitely time that I paid them a visit!

My poorly hand

My poorly hand

PS.      Since I wrote this pattern I have had an operation to remove a lump from my hand.  I thought that the consultant would stitch it up and slap a sticking plaster on it.  However my hand is quite swollen and I don’t think that I will be able to make a quilt pattern next week.  So the next one will be on Friday 11th August.

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  1. Hi Rose, I have been away with family without lap top, so missed the reason for this weeks missing pattern, Hope you’re well on the way to full recovery sans those cumbersome bandages. I loved the “Old Indian Trail ” Quilt and Looking forward to your next work of art..

    • Hi Eliza. The reason for no pattern last Friday was because of the bandages on my hand – I was unable to sew and had to miss a week. There will be a new pattern this Friday as usual. Hope you enjoyed your time away with the family.

  2. I love this pattern, Rose. I’m going to attempt to do it with mostly scraps, I have rather a lot of similar colours. Take care of yourself, and don’t worry about washing up till its better, use all your dishes.

    • Thanks, Gail. This quilt pattern would make a great scrappy quilt – now why didn’t I think of that! Good idea about the washing up. Luckily summer is great for salads and they don’t create much washing up.

  3. Hello Rose,
    God bless you. Praying for you.

  4. Jeri Niksich says:

    Having had to have things done to my hands I’ve found Great Help with “washing up” by putting an empty bread bag over my hand and securing it with a rubber band around my wrist. Never had a leak of water get in. Thank you for all your wonderful quilt creations you bring us all.

  5. Hi Rose, so sorry to see you hurt your hand, i pray the swelling will go down soon, and your up to , enjoying yourself. thank you for yet another lovely quilt.keep well love Lynne chorley Lancashire

  6. Deborah says:

    Hi Rose your hand looks painful wishing you a speedy recovery. Great pattern will be doing this one for sure.

    • thanks, Deborah. No, It’s not too painful as long as I’m careful. There’s lots of padding in the bandage, so that gives plenty of protection.

  7. Rebecca and Ron Miller says:

    I am sorry to hear about your hand. I will pray for a speedy recovery. I have a growth on the top of my right hand, the doctor told me, that it would be more damage on my hand if he operated on it. So I just massage it and it helps it a little. I love you Indian quilt design. I would like to make a quilt with Indian Navajo woman applique on it. I wonder if I can place the applique where you have the blue and white squares are.

    • Hi Rebecca. I suppose there’s less flesh on the top of the hand. My lump was on the underside of my hand and it hurt whenever there was any pressure on it. Your idea for an applique in the corners of the quilt sounds great. Lovely thought.

  8. Another lovely quilt pattern Rose – if only there were more time!
    I am sure you will take care of your hand – I can recommend the plastic gloves from petrol stations to keep it dry when washing up!! Commiserations!

    • Hi Sue. What a great idea – thanks for that. I’ve been putting a plastic bag secured with an elastic band on my hand while I shower.

  9. Irena Mangone says:

    Dear Rose. Thank you for another lovely quilt

    Hope your hand heals quickly. Hope you have a restful time whilst it heals. .

  10. Hi Rose, I really like this pattern. I see lots of Indian in it. Good job!
    Did you have your hand operated on in a hospital? You said “consultant.” Wouldn’t the lump have to be removed by a doctor who specializes in hand surgery? Just asking.

    • Hi Claire. I was admitted to the Birmingham Orthopaedic Hospital as a day patient. I think ‘consultant’ may have a different meaning over here. When I say ‘consultant’ I mean a specialist doctor – much more highly trained than a doctor and addressed as ‘Mr’ rather than ‘Doctor’.

  11. Will be missing you next week, just relax, you know we’re all there with you!

  12. Marilyn L Shahan says:


    • Thanks, Marilyn. The best way to make the quilt larger is probably to add more of the blue and white blocks.

  13. Beverly ("Bebs") Allen ............. in Adelanto, California says:

    Hello, Rose……….Praying for your hand to heal properly; had both hands operated on for carpal tunnel syndrome and had excellent recoveries……..afterwards came the trigger fingers and now those have healed, also. I know your pain and discomfort…….thank you for all the delightful patterns and the feeling of patience and calmness you express. Bye for now, Bebs.

    • Thanks, Bebs. Sorry to hear that you’ve had so many problems with your fingers. Mine is quite minor by comparison. I have a lump that had turned blue, showing that it had its own blood supply. The surgeon felt that it should come out now because if it grew much larger there would be more risk of nerve damage when it was eventually cut out.

  14. Margaret March says:

    Sorry to hear about your hand Rose. We moved to Bridlington 11 years ago , from Stourbridge – not far from you. I do so enjoy the reports of your discoveries in the West Midlands. They bring back so many happy memories. If you make it to the David Austin gardens do go when the roses are in Bloom – though it is lovely at all times. I shall look forward to your report.
    Meanwhile have a speedy recovery and keep providing your lovely patterns.
    Best wishes , Margaret

    • Thanks, Margaret. It’s a small world! My boys played rugby for Stourbridge Rugby Club for one or two seasons a long time ago. I’ll have to hurry to get to David Austin while the roses are still in bloom. I saw some of their roses in a garden centre yesterday and I’ve decided that Golden Generations (or Golden something anyway) is the one with best scent.

  15. Dear Rose ,

    I wish you a soon recovery. It is hard to be away form the things we enjoy.

    I enjoy very much looking at your quilts, as you have so many good ideas.

    Thank You Rose.



    • thanks so much, Jody. I’m lucky that I can go for lots of walks and read lots of books. Many people are so much worse off than I am.

  16. Sandra Barnett says:

    Oh Rose,
    So sorry about your hand. God is trying to tell you to take some time off and just st and relax. Reading is good. You push yourself too far sometimes to bring us these beautiful quilts. I know it is hard to just sit and rest. But do that and your hand will heal faster.
    Love the pattern as we are partial to anything Indian(well Native American). Reminds me of South Dakota.
    Have a great relaxing weekend and weeks.Will be thinking about you and praying for your recovery.

    • Thanks, Sandra. You’re the second quilter to mention South Dakota. Don’t worry, I’m looking forward to having a few days resting – I certainly intend to take things easy for these next few days.

  17. Very best wishes for a speedy recovery! Love reading your blog and watching the tutorials.

  18. doetexas says:

    I’m so sorry about your hand!! I hope it heals quickly for you! But, please don’t start using it too soon! That is surely one of the worst things you could do! I really like the Old Indian Trail quilt very, very much; thank you!! Take of yourself!!
    Love ya,
    Doe Harden
    Your biggest fan in Texas!

    • Thanks for your kind words, Doe. I have a lot of padding in the bandage, so my hand is well protected.

  19. Hi Rose, Your quilt is beautiful and thank you for the free pattern; that’s very generous of you.

    I’m sorry about your hand, hope you feel

    • Thanks, Alicia. I’m glad you like the quilt pattern – I was quite pleased with the way it turned out.

  20. Thank you so much for the lovely quilt pattern. Although you might be impatient to use your hand, give it time time heal. Relax with some tea.

    • Hi Janet. I am definitely taking it easy. I plan on plenty of walking and reading – with tea, of course!

  21. Simone Richards says:

    Sorry to hear about your hand. Take care of yourself and I hope that your hand heals fast. I will be thinking of you.

  22. Linda Dickson says:

    Hope your hand heals nicely and quickly.

  23. Linda Butler says:

    Hi Rose, another lovely quilt. Poor you, hope your hand gets better quickly. It must be frustrating not to be able to do much but there are always good books to read. Take care.

    • Thanks, Linda. Actually, with incredibly good timing, my brother sent me a box of books last week, so I have plenty to choose from.

  24. Sorry to read about your poorly hand. Try to think of it as an opportunity to catch up on some reading & planning. All your amazing quilt designs must need planning!

    • Hi Helen. Yes, it will certainly be a good opportunity to do some planning. Sometimes I seem to be rushing from one project to another with far too little time in between.

  25. Rose, so sorry to hear about your hand. Take it easy, don’t over do things, or you will find it will take longer to get better. Sit and put your feet up for a while – though I know this isn’t you. Regards, Jean

    • Thanks, Jean. I’m certainly taking it easy at the moment – I’m too clumsy with all those bandages, so it’s safer just to sit down and read.

  26. Lola Howard says:

    So sorry about your hand Rose . Hope it heal soon

  27. Janette Hand says:

    Dear Rose. So sorry you are out of action and not able to sew for a few weeks.
    I really enjoy seeing all your new patterns. I am just about to quilt the Fancy Nancy quilt which I have done by hand. Take it easy and enjoy the rest.
    Janette Hand.

  28. mary ann philipp says:

    sincere wishes for a speedy recovery.. love getting your patterns

  29. Another great quilt Rose. Hope your poorly hand mends soon.

  30. Brenda Oak says:

    Oh no! Poor you – I hope it heals very soon, and consequently the swelling should go down. Thinking of you. Brenda

  31. Trish Tarbuck says:

    Awh Rose and ouch, hope you soon get better and hopefully the rest will do you good.I really like this week’s quilt pattern.

    • Thanks, Trish. I’m certainly enjoying the rest. I’ve been for a walk this morning and now I can curl up with a book.

  32. Lovely pattern!
    Oh,my… sorry to read of your surgery.
    Take good care~Karen

  33. Oh Rose, I can feel your pain since I had surgery on my hand 2 years ago. I hope that you are not having a lot of pain and that you heal quickly. I guess that you will be doing a lot of reading.
    Thank you for all of the beautiful quilts and wonderful directions that you share with us.

    • thanks, Martha. My hand is very well padded, so there’s not much pain, thanks. Yes, I shall certainly be able to catch up on my reading.

  34. Gwendy Burtz says:

    Hi, Rose,
    Praying you heal quickly! I have had 3 separate “trigger finger” surgeries over the years….You WILL get better! :>) I really like your pattern! Thanks so much for all the time you put into sharing with us! I appreciate it. The pattern reminds me of South Dakota where my husband grew up around Indians. I’ll have to keep this one in mind!
    Gwendy Burtz

  35. Thanks for the lovely pattern Rose. Take it easy and let your poor hand heal. Very best wishes. Lynda x

    • Thanks, Lynda. I’m having a very quiet day today – I don’t really have any choice in the matter!

      • Susanne Bell says:

        Quiet days are good and sometimes you need them. We just returned from New Jersey (USA) visiting family and granddaughters. We are now back in Pittsburgh, Pa (USA) and are getting on with our quiet day! Be well and keep on quilting.

        • Hi Susanne. I hope you had a wonderful time visiting your family. I’m sure you need the quiet day to recover from all that travelling.

  36. Really like this Old Indian Trail quilt – very appealing to look at. Dudmaston Hall look s magnificent and after taking a peek at their website, they have a wonderful art collection. Hope your hand recovers quickly, it looks very painful.

    • Thanks, June. In a way the quilt reminded me of some of the tiles and mosaics in Venice. I’m sure that you’d love the art in Dudmaston – I’m too much of a peasant to really appreciate it.

  37. Colleen McKinlay says:

    Hello Rose,
    Oh dear…..you are having a difficult time. Your hand looks so swollen and sore. 😔
    A quilter with a swollen hand is definitely not a happy camper. Sending you best wishes for a speedy recovery. 💐


    • Thanks, Colleen. If I’m honest there is more protective packing than swelling, but I don’t think that I’ll be able to do much sewing this week. In fact I’m even going to struggle with the washing up!

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