Easy Quilt Block Pattern - Santa Fe Trail

Posted by Elaine Huff on

Today we're going to look at this easy quilt block called the Santa Fe Trail. There are other quilt blocks and patterns that go by the same name but the one we're concerned with was designed by Judy Martin. It's quick to sew together and you can use 2.5" strips for the entire block! Let's get sewing!

santa fe trail quilt block

Fabric Requirements for a 10" Finished Santa Fe Trail Quilt Block:

  • Light/Ivory: 12 - 2.5" squares
  • Medium 1/Purple: 4 - 2.5" squares
  • Medium 2/Teal: 4 - 2.5" x 6.5" rectangles, 1 - 2.5" square
  • Dark/Red: 4 - 2.5" squares

fabric requirements

Nine Patch Unit:

Step 1:

The first thing to do is sew together a Nine Patch unit using 4 Light/Ivory 2.5" squares, 4 Dark/Red 2.5" squares, and the Medium 2/Teal 2.5" square as shown in the picture below. You can find my tutorial for making a Nine Patch block at: https://fabric406.com/blogs/fabric406-blog/how-to-sew-a-basic-nine-patch-quilt-block 

sante fe 1

Step 2:

I pressed the seam allowances using the tweak/twirl/furl method as you can see below but you can press however you like. I explain this method of pressing in my tutorial for a Four Patch block which you can find at https://fabric406.com/blogs/fabric406-blog/how-to-sew-a-basic-four-patch-quilt-block

santa fe 2

Side Units:

Step 3:

We are going to use the 4 Medium 2/Teal 2.5" x 6.5" rectangles and 8 Light/Ivory 2.5" squares to make this Side unit. It really is just snowballing two corners of the teal rectangle with the ivory squares. My tutorial for sewing a Snowball block is at https://fabric406.com/blogs/fabric406-blog/how-to-sew-a-basic-snowball-block. In the picture below you can see the steps I took in making this unit. Make four Side units.

santa fe 3

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Putting It All Together:

Step 4:

Lay out the Nine Patch unit, the four Side units, and the 4 - Medium 1/Purple 2.5" squares as shown in the picture below.

santa fe 4

Step 5:

Now you can sew the units together just like a Nine Patch block. Sew the units into three rows as shown in the picture below.

santa fe 5

Step 6:

Press the seam allowances away from the Medium 2/Teal fabric as shown below.

santa fe 6

Step 7:

Sew the three rows together as shown in the picture below.

santa fe 7

Step 8:

Press the seam allowances however you prefer. I've use the tweak/twirl/furl method again as you can from the picture below. You are done! Told you it was easy!

santa fe 8


This Santa Fe Trail block was quick, easy, and fun to put together. You could make it from leftover 2.5" strips or use a jelly roll to make an entire quilt that looks scrappy but everything matches perfectly! When I was taking a picture of the layout, I turned the Side units around and came up with a star pattern very similar to a Sister's Choice block. You can see that layout below.

santa fe alternate

I hope you've enjoyed this easy Santa Fe Trail quilt block. I encourage you to give it a try!

If you like this tutorial and want to see more, simply click HERE to sign up for my newsletter plus receive a free PDF quilt pattern called "Chained Weathervane".

Happy Quilting!


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