Are you in the mood to experiment with a neat quilt block? I have a quilt block tutorial that I think you will like!
One of my all-time favorite quilt blocks is the Hidden Wells block that can be made in many different sizes or colors for a completely different look.
Get a free PDF of this tutorial, keep reading
This is a technique that was developed by Mary Ellen Hopkins in 1989 for her Hidden Wells quilt.
This may date me but I remember when her book came out and I bought it from my favorite quilt shop. I can't remember if this was done with rotary cutting or not. Yes, I remember cutting out blocks using scissors!
I couldn't wait to make a Hidden Wells quilt and knowing me, I probably made several and lots of blocks. You see this technique quite often now.
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.
Hidden Wells quilt block tutorial
It can be done with a different number of strips in different or equal widths. The sizes of the strips can be the same or different depending on the look you want. Trust me, you can really get hooked on making the Hidden Wells block!
I happened to have some fat quarters of batiks in my stash, (imagine that) and picked four fabrics that I thought looked good together for this tutorial.
You will need 4 different fat quarter fabrics:
Fat quarters are generally 18-inches x 22-inches. Using coordinating fabrics makes it easy to design blocks and a quilt.
- From each fabric - Cut (1) strip 2½-inch by 18-inches
- Sew the four strips together with a ¼" seam allowance and press toward the darkest fabric
- Measure the width of this strip - it should measure 8½-inches
- Subcut the piece into two 8½-inch x 8½-inch squares.
- Place one block right side up with the strips going up and down
- Place the second block right side down on top with the strips going left to right as shown
- Pin the blocks together
- Sew a ¼" seam around all four sides
- Use a ruler and your rotary cutter - cut diagonally from one corner to the other
- Repeat this on the opposite diagonal corner as shown below
- Open your pieces and carefully press so you don't stretch the block
- The blocks should measure approximately 5½-inches x 5½-inches - square up if needed
- Arrange the blocks until you find a design you like and then sew them together with a ¼" seam allowance.
- Your block should measure about 10½ inches
Hidden Wells Quilt Block
You will be able to make more Hidden Wells quilt blocks using the four fat quarters. You could try arranging your fabrics in a different order for a completely different-looking quilt block.
I hope you have enjoyed this fast and easy quilt block tutorial. Would you like to see more ideas using this block in different sizes?
Here are a couple of quilt projects I have made using a quilt block like this:
Would you like to see what this block would look like in different color? I just recolored the block from above to get the variations. You could also use two light and two dark colors.
I would love to see what your blocks look like!
Through the magic of Photoshop, I can show you want a quilt would look like.
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