Its name can be traced back to a US magazine in the 1880s, however the block can be seen in quilts from the mid 19th century. In the tradition of quilt blocks being named after everyday items, sawtooth refers to the right-angled triangles looking similar to the teeth of a saw. There are several different blocks that used the name sawtooth. the easiest of which is a four-by-four design of triangles.



Finished size:16in (40.5cm) square






  • 10 x 20in (25.4 x 50.8cm) rectangle of white fabric
  • 9in (22.9cm) square of red fabric
  • 10in (25.4cm) square of teal fabric
  • 10in (24.4cm) square of pink fabric



Before starting

Wash and press all fabrics, and read through all the instructions.

Transfer the two templates on the pattern sheet onto card and cut on the outer line.

All measurements include 1/4in seam allowance.


Cutting instructions


1 From the white fabric cut:
Four 4½in squares.
Four 4 7/8in squares

2 From the red fabric cut an 8½in square

3 From the teal fabric cut a 9 1/4in square

4 From the pink fabric cut four 4 ½in squares.

Making the block

1 Start by making the centre. Take four 4½in white squares and, on the wrong side of each, draw a diagonal line from corner to corner. 

2 Place two of the marked white squares on top of the 8½in red square. Pin, then sew along the lines.

3 Flip the corners open and make sure the sides are aligned. If they are not unpick and sew again. Once you are happy they are accurate fold them back down and trim the excess fabric 1/4in beyond the stitched line. 

4 Open up the corners, press, then place the other two marked squares on opposite corners. Stitch along the line.

5 Repeat step 4 to trim the seam allowance, then open the corner and press. It should measure 8½in square. This completes the centre. 

6 To make the flying geese for the sides take the four 4 7/8in white squares and, on the wrong side, draw a diagonal line from corner to corner.  

7 Place two of the white marked squares on opposite ends of the teal 9¼in square, wrong sides together.  Stitch 1/4in to either side of the marked diagonal line. Cut along the marked line with sharp scissors. You now have two units of work. 

8 Using a hot iron, press the seam allowance towards the teal fabric. Then take one of the units and lay it down right side up in front of you. Place another of the white squares on the corner, right side down. Align the two edges of the white fabric – the corner diagonally opposite will extend over the side. 

9 Stitch 1/4in to either side of the marked diagonal line and cut along the marked line with sharp scissors. Press both units. 

10 Repeat steps 8 and 9 to complete the other two flying geese units.


Assembling the block

1 Lay out the pieces on a surface.
2 Sew the units together into three rows.
3 Press the seams in alternate directions then sew the rows together.


If you enjoyed making this block, why not make a Sawtooth quilt?

The fun doesn’t end here…

Each month we will introducing you to a different block, with easy to follow instructions.

This is the third of nine 16in square blocks for you to make, with the final design appearing in our March 2018 issue. As you make the nine blocks, we would like you to come up with your own quilt design. You can add more blocks or borders, experiment with colour ways and fabrics, and make the finished quilt as large or as small as you like. Anything that takes your fancy! The only rule is that it must include all nine of the blocks from the magazine.

There are great prizes to be won, including a fabulous 

sewing machine, courtesy of Bernina, for the winning design. Full details of how to enter will be given in the March 2018 issue, so watch this space and don’t forget to keep us posted on your progress.


The previous blocks are:

July 2017 Old Tippecanoe/Crossed Canoes

August 2017 Pinwheel Cross

September 2017 Dutchman's Puzzle
 2017 Spools

November 2017 Windblown Square

December 2017 Hunter's Square

January 2018 Point Squares


If you have missed an issue, click here to order a copy.