Back for some fun little Bear Paws…

This month I am the setting the blocks for our Do Good Stitches Bee… and I find that it is easier for me to blog the block instructions that to try and do it all on Flickr….  Of all the social media platforms I use Flickr is really the one that constantly surprises me that it has not died yet.  It is so clunky and not at all very user friendly for some things.  Anyway rant over… here is the blocks.

color bear paw

I went with a simple Bear paw section… I have a ton of little scraps and this seemed like a great way to use some of my precious little bits… I have decided to do the block in two sizes – 6 inches and 9 inches…

finished blocks

And I worked out a way to make both sized blocks at the same time… so here goes….

fabric requirments

Cutting Instructions:

Background fabric (we are using low volume or white on white):
5 (five) x 3 1/2 inch squares
1 (one) x 2 1/2 inch square

Colored fabric (we are using bright primary colors):
8 (eight) x 3 1/2 inch squares of various prints
4 (four) x 2 1/2 inch squares of various prints

 

Step one:

Choose four of the 3 1/2 inch squares and four of the 2 1/2 inch squares for the center part of the block .  When I was choosing these fabrics I selected the more interesting fabrics for the center squares (ie. the ones with fussy cuts).

The remaining four 3 1/2 inch squares will make the half square triangles (HST).

Step two:  Make the HSTs.

mark fabric

 

Mark a line down the center of the back side of your background fabric, going corner to corner.

Then mark another line 1/2 inch from that line.  These two marks are your sew lines – you will be sewing directly down these lines.

 

 

cut hst

 

Cut down the middle of your sew lines… you are actually cutting 1/4 inch from the center line.  You now have your two HST components.

Press your HSTs (I usually press my seams open).

 

 

 

trim hst Trim each of the HST components .  

Your 3 1/2 inch HST will not need much trimming (it should be almost perfect).

There is a bit of wiggle room with your 2 1/2 inch HST so you will have a little bit to trim off.

 

Remember to use the center diagonal line of your ruler to make sure you are trimming straight.

Step Three:  Sew it all together.

rows

 

Sew your block sections together in rows.

With my blocks I have been ironing my seams open… but you can also nestle the seams.  It is up to you.

iron seams

 

Then sew your rows together to make your blocks… and trim as needed to the finished size.

Just for fun I have made a couple of tiny versions of this block…

3 inch bear paw. Scrap quilt block

This block finishes at 3 1/2 inches… all the bits are 1 1/2 inches which is a little crazy but also kind of fun.  I have been having a blast finding little bits to fussy cut at this size.

I am having a blast with this project.  I have actual work sewing to do and I do not want to do it… all I want to do is cut my scraps up into little bits and play.

Return of the pinkies…

Yep you heard that right… the pinkies are back after an extended vacation…

solid wonky star. Modern quilt.  Quilt bee block. Scrap quilt.

We made the most of the brief bout of sunny weather here in the Pacific Northwest and took some finished quilt photos over the summer.  I actually wanted to take all the quilts I had to photograph (about 12) to Hawaii with us on holiday but Mr Wombat did not like that idea.  So instead we stayed local.

wonky star quilt

I choose this as the first quilt to share with you after such a long break because I LOVE it.  It is so bright and fun.  It was made a one of our Portland Modern Quilt Guild charity sew days from my large stash of 3 1/2 inch solid squares.

solid wonky star detail

I process all the small scraps I make and am given into 3 1/2 or 5 inch squares using my trusty Accquilt cutter.  It has made charity sew days so much easier for me having the Go Cutter to work with… I have spent many a happy evening cutting bits of fabric while watching trashy tv….somehow I am less guilty watching bad TV if I am doing something constructive while doing it.

quilting detail

The blocks are 12 inch finished blocks and use a 4 x 4 grid or 3 1/2 inch squares.  They are so easy to make and even though there were at least 12 people making these blocks I had no trouble matching seams.

quilt feet

This was truly a team effort with PMQG members sewing the blocks, quilting the quilt and binding this beauty up…. and finally Mr Wombat helping with the photography and supplying the quilt feet and of course…

the pinkies

The pinkies…. this was the last quilt we photographed and by the time we found this great yellow wall he was pretty close to divorcing me… but all has been forgiven now.

Quilt Details:

Block:  12 inch wonky star variation
Fabric:  Kona and RJR solid scraps
Size:  60 x 72 inches

A little Friday Improv

The quilt I am sharing today was made during one of our Guild’s Charity Sew Days.  For these sewing adventures I usually pick a block to make in advance, pull and cut all the fabric and do a couple of sample blocks.  There is quite a bit of prep work… but not on Improv days….

golden improv quilt 2

On Improv days I get to pull fabric but I do not have to cut anything….  I really like those days… and Improv log cabins are the best…

quilt detail 4

This quilt was inspired by some mustard metallic that had been donated to the program – some Mirror ball and some Lizzy House Pearl Bracelets.   I also had a stash of black and white scraps which needed using and a plan came together…

golden detail

There are some wonderful novelty prints in this quilt and some great fussy cutting.  That dog looking out put a smile on my face every time I see him…

quilt detail 5

The color scheme is gender neutral and I think a little more grown up than some of the brights I usually do… and I thought this would be a great quilt for an older kid.

golden improv quilt

The photo shoot for this quilt (and a few more I will share in the coming week) took place at a local garden. Mr Wombat was very patient and a real trooper as some of these quilts are quite big…

the struggle is real

And the wind did not always co operate with us… I finally gave us trying to get a decent shot of the back of the quilt… and went for a close up instead…

quilt back detail

The close up gives you a better look at the fabulous ostridges and their golden butts that are on the back.  This is actually part of a sheet set I bought at Macy’s… I have become obsessed with the Whimsy sheet sets Martha Stewart does as they are perfect for backing  kids quilts.

Quilt Details:

Block:  12 inch wonky log cabin
Fabric: black & white scraps with a smattering of mustard.
Size:  60 x 72 inches

Back with some Bee blocks

This week I managed to get some Bee blocks done in between work and another cold.  I must admit I love making Bee blocks like this one…

bee-block-2

 

Blocks that are more complex and use small 2 inch squares and lots of scrap pieces…. blocks that I would love to see a quilt made out of but do not have the patience to make 20 or 30 of them for a whole quilt.

bee-block-1

These blocks are perfect for a quilting Bee because you share the quilting load… making two blocks each makes the quilt manageable.  This block is called Scrap Jar Star and you can find the free pattern on A Little Bit Biased’s website.  It was just what I needed to kick start my creativity this month.

The silence…

Not long after I wrote my last blog post a funny thing happened… I bumped my head.  At the time it smarted and I felt a little weird but I continued on with my day.  By that evening I knew that something was not right.

I managed to hit my head in a strange place and a little harder than I thought and as a consequence I gave myself a severe concussion.  Now this was not my first head injury… many years ago I managed to knock my head about quite badly in a car accident.  My recent concussion, as a second injury, has been more severe and lasted longer.

So for the last couple of weeks I have been struggling. For 10 days I did not watch or listen to anything…. that was hard slog and very very boring.  I am still being treated under what is termed “concussion protocol”. It has taken me a couple of weeks to get my words back… it is easier for my to type than to speak, but both hurt.  It really does seem as if the universe is conspiring against my efforts to blog… just saying….

Sick of being bored and feeling decidedly better, this week I dusted off the sewing machine and I started slowly trying to get back into it.  I can not sew for too long and can not do anything to complex (my butterflies are currently on hold).  Instead I grabbed my huge pile of mini charm squares (2 1/2 inch squares) and started playing.

concussion-block

I found the pattern for this block on the Fat Quarter Shop site.  They have a free pattern that you can print out called Sisters Choice… and you can find it here.  Their quilt is monochromatic and uses solids but it works just as well with prints and scraps I think.

So my design wall currently looks like this…

design-wall

…messy and chaotic, a little like my brain…but slowly it will get better… less chaotic… more succinct… but it will always be full of colour.