quilts | Sewing

Straight as an Arrow Quilt Pattern (free pdf pattern)

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New quilt pattern alert: I’ve got a new free quilt pattern for you today! This easy arrow quilt is made with all half-square triangle blocks and is a great pattern for the beginner quilter looking to move to a more challenging quilt project.

The Straight As an Arrow Quilt Pattern is precut-friendly, and can be easily customized to use scraps, yardage, fat quarters, or your favorite layer cake!

straight as an arrow quilt pattern

Easy Arrow Quilt Pattern

I am excited to share my latest free quilt pattern with you today! This Straight as an Arrow Quilt pattern is simple and easy to understand, which makes a great beginner-friendly quilt pattern and is a perfect quilt to show off your favorite fabric prints. 

Arrow quilts are made using bold geometric shapes, such as triangles and chevrons, in a repeating pattern. Arrow quilts are popular among quilters for their striking appearance as well as their versatility and ease of construction. If you are looking for an easy way to add some visual interest to your next project, consider making this arrow quilt pattern.

Why Make this Quilt

  • The Straight as an Arrow Quilt is a simple arrow quilt pattern that is another beginner-friendly quilt pattern. It looks complicated but is actually very easy to sew.
  • Pre-cut friendly – Use Fat quarters, a layer cake, scraps, or yardage.
  • The free quilt pattern starts with 8.5-inch squares, which are used in the shortcut 4-at-a-time half-square triangle method. So while trimming the half-square triangles takes a bit of extra time, you make up for it by not having a long list of various-size pieces to cut.
  • The pattern includes three sizes: lap, twin, and full size, so you can make whichever suits your needs. The pattern would be very easy for you to make larger or smaller if desired. Simply add more squares, a border, or make your starting squares smaller or larger.
  • The free pattern includes a printable template for you to save and use over and over, plus a design/coloring sheet for you to print and easily color/design your quilt! 
straight as an arrow quilt pattern

What is an Arrow Quilt Block?

One of my favorite quilt blocks to work with is the half-square triangle block. By putting together several of these simple blocks, you can achieve many different looks. This arrow quilt block is a perfect example of what you can make with the half-square triangle block. You use one solid square, and one print fabric square, sew a few seams, cut, and you’ll have four smaller half-square triangles that you sew into the arrow shape.

what is an arrow quilt block

Add a bit of sashing to the sides of the block, sew them all together, and you have an arrow quilt

Precut Friendly Quilt Pattern

The Straight as an Arrow Quilt Pattern starts with 8.5-inch squares, so with a bit of trimming, you could use either a layer cake or fat quarter set. For the best results, you will want to use at least 16 different colors/prints plus the background color for your quilt design.

For today’s quilt, I used a fat quarter set called Little Miss Fat Quarter Bundle from Meags & Me for the printed fabric and Bella Solids Super Black Yardage for the background and black squares. I also picked up half a yard of the Little Miss Dark Tomato Check Yardage for the binding and this 108″ Wide Berry Metallic Yardage for the backing.  (and this 8.5-inch ruler to cut my squares. This is a great ruler – it slides easily on fabric, but when you apply pressure, there are textured circles on the back that help “lock” the ruler in place.)  

Straight as an Arrow Quilt Details

  • This free Arrow Quilt pattern makes either a:
    • 58 by 70-inch lap quilt
    • 70 by 90-inch twin quilt
    • 82 by 90-inch full quilt
  • The quilt is made up of half-square triangle blocks made by putting together printed fabric and a solid background fabric, and then the blocks are sewn together to form “arrows”  The blocks are surrounded by sashing with the background fabric.
  • I also included a quilt coloring page along with the pattern template to make it easier to keep track of the color order of your half-square triangle blocks.
  • If you are wanting a different size quilt than the standard sizes that come with the pattern, it would be super simple to increase the length and width of the quilt by just adding a simple 2-inch border. You could also change up the sizes of the starting squares to make a larger or smaller quilt. (As an example, starting with a 6.5-inch fabric square will give you a 4-inch finished half-square triangle block, and if you did 7 rows and 5 columns, that would give you a 48 by 56-inch quilt. And starting with a 10-inch fabric square will give you a quilt that is 68 by 84 inches if you did the same 7 rows and 5 columns.)
free arrow quilt

Arrow Quilt Variations

There are tons of options when choosing fabrics for this arrow quilt. I put together 4 different looks to give you some ideas and also included a coloring sheet with the pattern for brainstorming your own ideas.

  • Upper left: You can never go wrong with an ombre-colored quilt, and if you get tired of a white background, black can be very striking. 
  • Upper right: It is so fun to come up with unexpected color combinations. If your creativity is a little non-existent, you can use a fun color palette generator to create new combinations.
  • Lower left:  A Scrappy look keeping the same color in the blocks.
  • Lower right: Another scrappy variation, where you mix up all of the blocks and sew them together at random.arrow quilt variations

I like all 4 of these quilt mock-ups, but I think the ombre is my fave. Which do you like best?

More Quilt projects made with half-square triangles

Quilt Assembly/sewing Tips:

  • Press and starch squares before sewing and cutting. One thing to keep in mind when cutting and sewing arrow quilt blocks with this method is that since the arrow blocks are cut and sewn on the bias, the blocks can potentially stretch out or line up awkwardly when cutting and pressing, causing your squares to become “wonky.” Pre-pressing and starching helps with this. (Sometimes I starch the fabric, but I did not feel I needed to for this quilt.)
  • Don’t forget to check your seam allowance before starting to sew! Every time I start a project, I line my needle up using a seam allowance ruler. I also recommend this quarter-inch foot with the guide. (Just choose one that fits your machine.) You can use the seam allowance ruler with this foot, and once I have made the adjustment to my needle, the guide helps keep all my seams perfectly aligned.  
  • Scant quarter-inch seam allowance: When sewing your half-square triangles together, I recommend using a scant quarter-inch seam allowance. This will give you a smidge of extra fabric when squaring up the half-square triangles.
  • Squaring up your half-square triangle blocks: Do not skip the step of squaring up the half-square triangle blocks! You can use just about any square ruler for this, but there are a couple of specialty rulers I like to use for squaring up my blocks. In the past, I have used this template to square up my blocks, (I love that you can use it on multiple sizes), but for today’s arrow quilt, since there are so many blocks to square up, (140 half-square triangle blocks), I purchased this 5.5-inch ruler from Bloc-loc. This template and my spinning cutting mat made quick work of trimming up all those blocks. (I love this spinning cutting mat! It also comes with an ironing mat that, along with my portable iron, is perfect for traveling! (there are less expensive rotating cutting mats out there, but this one is very high quality, and large. (17 inches)
  • Nest the seams when sewing the blocks together.
  • Sewing rows together: When sewing the blocks together in a row, I recommend sewing two blocks together at a time, rather than one block after another, after another. If you sew the rows together one after another, the straightness of your piecing can get off.
  • Make the quilt larger or smaller: If you want to make the lap-size quilt slightly larger easily, you can add a 2-inch border for a 60 byn72-inch quilt. You will need an additional yard of fabric for the border. (Cut the fabric into 2.5-inch strips and piece them together for the border.) You could also follow the pattern as is and use smaller or larger squares of fabric to change up the size of the quilt.

How to make four at a time, half square triangle blocks

how to make 4 half square triangles at a time

Don’t forget! Use a scant quarter-inch seam allowance when sewing the squares together, and be sure to trim your half-square triangle blocks. (See squaring up tool suggestions above.)

Where To Get The Straight as an Arrow Quilt Pattern

The link for the free Arrow Quilt pattern/template is under the materials needed section. Click the link, add the pattern to your cart and check out. (takes about 15 seconds for the process.) A copy of the pattern will be emailed to you.

Ready to make the quilt?

Read on for the fabric amounts, sewing instructions, and downloadable templates.

Skill Level:

Beginner-friendly

Pattern Notes:

  • wof = width of fabric
  • 1/4 inch seam allowances used
  • RST = Right sides together
  • Press the seams to the colored fabric side

Materials Needed:

When you start out quilting, you will just need a few basic supplies like a ruler, a cutting mat, and a rotary cutter. As you start to get more into it, you may find yourself wanting to invest in a few more tools to make the process of cutting and quilting, faster and more fun.

These are the specialty tools I used in the making of this quilt:

I spent 2 weeks at my mother’s house, and while I was there, I did most of the initial cutting and piecing. The cutting mat fit perfectly in my tote and was a lifesaver for cutting, trimming, and ironing!

arrow quilt pattern

Fabric Amounts Needed For The Straight as an Arrow Quilt

If you want lots of various prints for your quilt, I recommend using a layer cake or fat quarter bundle with at least 16 to 18 different prints. I used a fat quarter bundle with 18 prints. (amounts are calculated on 43-inch wide fabric.)

Throw: 

  • printed fabric: you need 35 8.5inch squares. Scraps, a layer cake, or fat quarter set would work. I recommend at least 16 to 18 different prints.
  • background/sashing fabric: you need 35 8.5-inch squares and more fabric for the sashing. 3 yards of fabric or a combo of a layer cake, fat quarters and a jelly roll would work.
  • backing fabric:  4 1/8 yard
  • binding fabric:  1/2 yard 

Twin:

  • printed fabric: you need 54 8.5inch squares. Scraps or 22 fat quarters would work. You can get 2 8.5-inch squares from a fat quarter.
  • background/sashing fabric: you need 4.5 yards to get 54 8.5-inch squares and the sashing. 
  • backing fabric: 5 1/4 yard
  • binding fabric: 3/4 yard 

Full

  • printed fabric: you need 63 8.5inch squares. Scraps or 32 fat quarters would work.
  • background/sashing fabric: you need 5 yards to get 63 8.5-inch squares and the sashing.
  • backing fabric: 7 7/8 yard
  • binding fabric: 1 yard 

Fabric cutting instructions

Lap/throw

  • 35 8.5-inch squares from printed fabrics
  • 35 8.5-inch squares from the solid background fabric
  • 28 10.5 by 2.5-inch strips

Twin

  • 54 8.5-inch squares from printed fabrics
  • 54 8.5-inch squares from the solid background fabric
  • 45 10.5 by 2.5-inch strips

Full

  • 63 8.5-inch squares from printed fabrics
  • 63 8.5-inch squares from the solid background fabric
  • 54 10.5 by 2.5-inch strips

Arrow Quilt Sewing Instructions

Step 1: Cut fabrics

Cut your fabric pieces according to the list above.

arrow quilt fabic cuts

Step 2: Make half-square triangle blocks.

Make the number of half-square triangle blocks needed for your quilt. Use one solid and one print and follow the diagram below, sewing with a scant 1/4 inch seam allowance.

short cut half square triangle method

Step 3: Square up half square triangle blocks.

Press the blocks flat and use a square ruler or another specialty tool to square up the blocks to 5.5 inches.

Step 4: half square triangle blocks together

Arrange 4 half square triangle blocks in the pattern shown below, and sew the top two together, then the bottom two together, then the two rows together, nesting your seams. Press. You may want to take a few minutes at the point and arrange your blocks on a design wall or the floor to confirm your color pattern/layout. (Love my portable design wall for this.)

Add sashing to the blocks according to the pattern layout. Press again.

straight as an arrow quilt instructions

Step 5: Sew Arrow blocks together

Sew the arrow blocks together 2 or 3 at a time. When the row is complete, press the row

free arrow quilt pattern

Step 6: Sew Rows together

Sew the rows together and press the finished quilt top.

how to make an arrow quilt

Step 7: Quilt And Bind As Desired. 

free arrow quilt

If you end up making one of these quilts, please come back and let us know what you think!

Share Your Finished Project!

Please leave a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and/or a review in the comments section below. If you share an image on Instagram, be sure to tag me and use #scatteredmompatterns! You can also share an image to my private Facebook sewing group!

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Yield: 1 quilt

Straight as an Arrow Quilt Pattern (free pdf pattern)

free arrow quilt pattern

Make a beginner-friendly Arrow Quilt with this free quilt pattern This simple quilt comes together fast with a shortcut half-square triangle method.

Prep Time 1 hour
Active Time 8 hours
Total Time 9 hours
Difficulty easy/intermediate

Materials

  • Fabric (see list below or specific amounts)
  • Pattern
  • ruler
  • cutting mat
  • rotary cutter
  • iron
  • Basic Sewing supplies

Instructions

Step 1: Cut fabrics

  1. Cut your fabric pieces according to the list above.

Step 2: Make half-square triangle blocks.

  1. Make the number of half-square triangle blocks needed for your quilt. Use one solid and one print and follow the diagram below, sewing with a scant 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Step 3: Square up half square triangle blocks.

  1. Press the blocks flat and use a square ruler or another specialty tool to square up the blocks to 5.5 inches.

Step 4: half square triangle blocks together

  1. Arrange 4 half square triangle blocks in the pattern shown below, and sew the top two together, then the bottom two together, then the two rows together, nesting your seams. Press. You may want to take a few minutes at the point and arrange your blocks on a design wall or the floor to confirm your color pattern/layout. (Love my portable design wall for this.)
  2. Add sashing to the blocks according to the pattern layout. Press again.

Step 5: Sew Arrow blocks together

  1. Sew the arrow blocks together 2 or 3 at a time. When the row is complete, press the row

Step 6: Sew Rows together

  1. Sew the rows together and press the finished quilt top.

Notes

Quilt Assembly/Sewing Tips:

  • Press and starch squares before sewing and cutting. One thing to keep in mind when cutting and sewing arrow quilt blocks with this method is that since the arrow blocks are cut and sewn on the bias, the blocks can potentially stretch out or line up awkwardly when cutting and pressing, causing your squares to become “wonky.” Pre-pressing and starching helps with this. (Sometimes I starch the fabric, but I did not feel I needed to for this quilt.)
  • Don’t forget to check your seam allowance before starting to sew! Every time I start a project, I line my needle up using a seam allowance ruler. I also recommend this quarter-inch foot with the guide. (Just choose one that fits your machine.) You can use the seam allowance ruler with this foot, and once I have made the adjustment to my needle, the guide helps keep all my seams perfectly aligned.  
  • Scant quarter-inch seam allowance: When sewing your half-square triangles together, I recommend using a scant quarter-inch seam allowance. This will give you a smidge of extra fabric when squaring up the half-square triangles.
  • Squaring up your half-square triangle blocks: Do not skip the step of squaring up the half-square triangle blocks! You can use just about any square ruler for this, but there are a couple of specialty rulers I like to use for squaring up my blocks. In the past, I have used this template to square up my blocks, (I love that you can use it on multiple sizes), but for today’s arrow quilt, since there are so many blocks to square up, (140 half-square triangle blocks), I purchased this 5.5-inch ruler from Bloc-loc. This template and my spinning cutting mat made quick work of trimming up all those blocks. (I love this spinning cutting mat! It also comes with an ironing mat that, along with my portable iron, is perfect for traveling! (there are less expensive rotating cutting mats out there, but this one is very high quality, and large. (17 inches)
  • Nest the seams when sewing the blocks together.
  • Sewing rows together: When sewing the blocks together in a row, I recommend sewing two blocks together at a time, rather than one block after another, after another. If you sew the rows together one after another, the straightness of your piecing can get off.
  • Make the quilt larger or smaller: If you want to make the lap-size quilt slightly larger easily, you can add a 2-inch border for a 60 by 72-inch quilt. You will need an additional yard of fabric for the border. (Cut the fabric into 2.5-inch strips and piece them together for the border.) You could also follow the pattern as is and use smaller or larger squares of fabric to change up the size of the quilt.

 

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3 Comments

  1. Thank you! This looks like a great choice for any quilt gift need. I appreciate the free pattern.

  2. Beautiful quilt and pattern. Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. Thank you so much for this pattern. I have been clearing my stash making charity quilts this year, and this pattern is perfect. Also a big thank you for the printable version.