One of my favorite quilt blocks is the Hidden Wells block when made with 4 strips of fabric that are each cut 2½ by the width of the fabric. Batiks are a lot of fun to use for this design.
Hidden Wells Block made with 4 strips
Please note that the finished blocks will have bias edges and be very stretchy. Handle your blocks carefully, you can also starch your fabric to help with this.
The Hidden Wells block was originally developed by Mary Ellen Hopkins in 1989. She made the block many different ways using different amounts of fabric strips.
I had some purples and greens that I thought might go well together, take a look.
Creating the first block
- Cut 4 – 2½” strips width of fabric
- Sew them together with a ¼” seam allowance
- Press the seams and measure the width which should be 8½”
- Cut 8½” x 8½” squares
It is fun to pick the colors and see how the block turns out, sometimes I like it….other times I don’t. You can see in the blocks above that the colors kind of blend together.
Creating the next block
Once you have sewn the strips together and cut them into squares you’ll lay one block right side up and then place another block right side down on top of it. Pin and then stitch all around the sides with a ¼” seam allowance.
NOTE: Use the same orientation for all of your blocks, example – the green strip is at the bottom of the block that is right side up. The green strip is on the right side and when place right side down, it is on the left side.
Cutting the block
I decided to make more blocks using different hues. I like these better.
Use a ruler and cut the block diagonally into 4 pieces. You’ll want to cut all of the blocks the same way.
I think Mr. Mickey is getting into the picture thing….or he just likes sitting on my batiks! Isn’t he cute!
The first selection of fabrics didn’t seem to work very well so I made two complete blocks and then mixed the diagonal sections to make completely different colors of blocks.
If you cut strips the width of your fabric for the blocks, you should be able to cut 4 blocks from the strips.
Here are some ideas of what the blocks could look like.
These were the variations that I chose to keep.
Sorry to switch fabrics on you, some of the photos didn’t turn out.
When I dug in my stash for these batik strips, some of them weren’t the full width. I really like the colors in this block but as you can see, I only have enough fabric to make one block.
I think I’ll make a little placemat or something and add the leftover fabrics as a border otherwise this will become another orphan block. What do you think of that?
You can find the original tutorial which is now correct here – Hidden Wells quilt block tutorial
Are you wondering what this block would look like in other colors? I have several other tutorials using this block that you might enjoy.