Split Hatchet Paper Pieced Block

Hi everyone, I’m Paige and blog at Quilted Blooms.  I’m excited to be participatig in my first bee with fellow new bloggers and share January’s block, Split Hatchet.


Split Hatchet Paper Pieced Block

I love that Sharon, January’s Queen Bee,  from Yellow Cat Quilt Designs gave us some color guidance for her block, bright and happy colors, with off white or cream backgrounds.


Prints by Tula Pink, Alison Glass, Bonnie & Camille, Cotton & Steel and Carolyn Friedlander

I haven’t paper pieced in a while and found this blocks quite easy.  I would definitely recommend this block for a beginner.

I like to ‘try’ to keep the grain straight within the block, so I printed out an extra block and cut out the piece that would be the colored fabrics with a generous seam allowance. I then stacked my squares and cut out the pieces ‘on grain’.


Paper piece segment with generous seam allowance to keep the fabric on grain

For the background pieces, I just used four charm squares and cut them on the diagonal.  That was easy and kept the fabric on grain.

If you would like to make the Split Hatchet paper pieced block, you can find it here at 627Handworks.  We made the 6″ version so when we sewed four blocks together, our completed block measured 12 1/2″ unfinished.


Completed Split Hatchet Paper Pieced Block for Sharon

I’m looking forward to making blocks for my bee mates all year!

PS…This is my first time posting from WordPress, so let me know if if have missed something!

My Block for Sharon

My Block for Sharon

Sharon is Queen Bee this month and she chose a block called Split Hatchet that’s foundation paper pieced. Scared of paper piecing? You don’t have to be. I’ve got a step-by-step photo tutorial here if you need some help. I’ve also got a few additional tricks:

  • First, precut your fabrics. Hopefully, your pattern will tell you what size to cut your pieces. If not, you can easily figure it out yourself by measuring the size of each section and adding 1” to each dimension. When measuring, align your ruler with the seamline for that piece. If a section measures 4-1/4” square, then cut a square of fabric 5-1/4”. This gives you 1/2” seam allowance all the way around the piece, and that’s more than enough to line it up properly on the foundation when paper piecing. For the Split Hatchet block, cut your white/cream pieces 3 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ and your colored pieces 5″ x 5 1/2″.

Measuing a block 1.jpg

  • Second, use foundation paper. It’s thin and made specifically for paper piecing. Yeah, I used to just print my patterns at home on regular printer paper, but I soon found that the paper was not only thicker but also harder to remove. In addition, my blocks seams would sometimes stretch out with the effort of removing that thick paper. So save yourself some grief and get some foundation paper and print your foundation pattern out on it.
  • My next trick you’ll learn if you read the tutorial. But basically, it involves this gadget—the Add-a-Quarter™ Ruler. Also, in the tutorial you’ll learn to use a sharp needle and a small stitch. Both of these things help you remove the foundation papers later on.


Sharon requested cream or white scrappy background fabrics and just about anything for the colored fabrics. That was too much liberty for me, but luckily she also mentioned that her favorite designers were Tula Pink, Corey Yoder, Me & My Sister, and Bonnie and Camille. Thank you tons Sharon for doing that! I happily took that info and went off to take a look at each designer’s fabrics to get a sense of what might please Sharon.

I noticed a lot about these fabrics that was similar: with the exception of Tula Pink they were soft and they all featured coral, blue, turquoise, yellow, and lime. Once I had an Idea what I was looking for, I pulled some fabrics from my stash and started cutting. Putting together a color palette is probably one of my favorite things so I had a lot of fun.


The block went together really fast. I think a quilt made with these blocks would be awesome so I can’t wait to see Sharon’s. Everyone else must have done what I did because it is amazing how all the blocks use a similar color palette. My block is all done and ready to ship. Woot! But first I’ve got to choose a charm square to put in with the block. I think each month I’m going to choose a favorite fabric that matches the color palette. Off I go, back to my stash!


One last question you might have about foundation piecing: to remove or not remove the foundation papers after you are finished with a block. I tend to leave the papers on until my blocks are sewn together because the lines on the papers help me to achieve that perfect 1/4” seam between the blocks. The papers also stabilize the blocks and keep them from stretching out of shape when there are bias edges. In any case, since I’m shipping this block I’m going to remove the papers. One of my fellow beemates, Sue @ Sevenoaks Street Quilts, has just written an awesome article that steps you through the process of shipping a block safely and cheaply, even internationally! I plan on following its guidance step by step when shipping my bee blocks.

See ya! I’m off to the post office. <grin>


January Block for Sharon

sharons-bee-blockI loved making this block, Sharon. I love a paper pieced block anyway so I was over the moon with that and the block was simple and easy to put together. I actually think it took me longer to choose the fabric for this than to sew it – I deliberated for days and had fabric strewn around the lounge. I’m still not sure but I hope you like it!

It’s all packed and ready to post!