2020 was definitely the year of Bear Paw blocks for me. I taught a color class for Modern Domestic, a local quilt store, which was all about color in quilting. We used a fabulous book by Rachel Hauser of Stitched in Color called a Quilters Field Guide to Color as a resource… and like Rachel does in the book we workshopped color using Bear Paw blocks. What this means is I made enough bear paw blocks to finish up 8 quilts… you are going to see a lot of bear paws over the coming months.
But before I started my over zealous production of bear paws for class, I set the block as my Do Good Stitches block. Actually in May 2019 I posted about making two blocks at a time in various sizes… the result of the tutuorial and my Bee mates work is this stunning quilt…
This quilt uses blocks that are 3, 6, 9 and 12 inches big… a whole rainbow of colors…. and tons and tons of scraps.
Each body of the bear paw is made up of four squares which allows for maximum fussy cutting potential and scrap usage. I know with the blocks I made I had a blast finding different novelty prints to cut up.
Now laying out this quilt was not to hard because there was a logic to the size blocks I chose – using a 3 inch grid…. but being a perfectionist I did um and ah about it a lot. It sat on my design wall for a bit before I was happy with it.
It was slightly tedious to sew together…. I grouped blocks together where I could and only had a few partial seams to deal with. I could have made it easier on myself and just gridded the layout so there were no difficult seams but in the end I loved the layout I had put up… it does not feel regular or predictable.
So this post I am giving you half the Nick pinkies photos to end… as well as the a full body shot. Mr Wombat is usually pretty camera shy but I snuck this picture of him. His identity is safe as he is fully masked LOL.
This quilt headed into the wild last year via the Portland Modern Quilt Guilds charity quilt program… which we somehow managed to keep going despite a world wide pandemic… actually we managed to get 15 to 20 quilts a month to our local Pediatric Intensive Care Unit which was quite a feat.
So this week’s quilt uses a technique similar to last weeks but gets a very different looking quilt… which I love.
Like last week this quilt uses a foundation, this time a navy blue 5 inch square, and uses scrap strips…. but this time I used just warm solids and a band of white.
Also this block’s component adds fabric to two opposite sides of the foundation…last weeks only added fabric to one side of the foundation. The result is a tighter collection of diamonds on the quilt and the navy foundation feels more like sashing.
As you can tell I used a variety of different shades of blue for the foundations…mainly because I was using up scraps… but I love how the variety gives the quilt some depth and interest.
The backing of this quilt was one of my favorite sheet – a London themed Whim sheet. I have been using sheets for a few years to back quilts and love Martha Stewarts “Whim” line that Macy’s stocks. I actually bought two of the London sets and are hoarding the last of it for a special quilt that I have planned.
This quilt has also already headed out to Dornbecher PICU… I will eventually catch up and be showing quilts before they head out into the world, I promise!
The pinkies will, of course, have the final word…..
As I have been going through all my old photos it has been interesting to see what I remembered to share and what I completely forgot about…. this weeks quilt is one I love and it was really fun to make, so I am not sure why I did not share it sooner….
The block is a really simple improv block, using a 5 inch white square as a starting foundation and then different strips of different solid strips of fabric to one corner of the foundation square…. four of these foundation blocks are then sewn together to make a 9 1/2 inch (unfinished) block.
This quilt was made as part of the PMQG Charity Sew Days we used to hold at Modern Domestic… so the blocks for this quilt were made an army of different people which adds to the improv fun….and of course it has already winged its way to someone through Dornbechers’ Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.
It was a great way to use up the tons of solid scraps I had gathered over the years… but as usual I swear we ended up with more fabric at the end of the day than what we started with…
When I was pulling the scraps to be used in this project I made sure that I had scraps of every colors and that I had a good variety of lights and darks. The contrast that the different values of the fabric have give this quilt its sparkle I think.
For the back of the quilt I used the last little piece of a treasured IKEA fabric I had been hoarding for years… I regret not buying yards and yards of that house fabric when I had a chance.
And of course it would not be a Wombat quilt without the pinkies… this time I opted for a closeup so you can really see Mr Wombat’s pinkie form. He practices that pose regularly… he takes his quilt holding duties very seriously.
Since I am on a roll I thought I would share another quilt from last years very productive PMQG Charity year….
This quilt was once again made at one of the monthly sew days we used to have at Modern Domestic…. and once again it is a simple patchwork block using 3 1/2 inch squares.
This time I gathered a rainbow of squares in a selection of specific colors. The block has a particular layout with to give the rainbow some uniformity. I first made this block years ago (2013) using a tutorial by Blue Elephant Quilts… and you can find the layout of the specific pieces on their original post…
It really is amazing what different things you can do with 3 1/2 inch squares. This quilt embraced the bright and the novelty prints which was so fun… and is always the case I swear we had more precut squares when we were finished this than when we started. Be warned do not leave precut squares unattended, they will breed.
To get the full impact of the rainbow splat we decided to do a layout with sashing. I do not usually sash quilts but this one really works with the black and white border. The sashing was expertly done by fellow PMQG charity volunteer Jenny McKee. Jenny has mad skills and was able to add a border without any sweat… were it would have taken me forever and lots of swear words to do it properly.
I did however make the back of the quilt which was equally rainbowy. The fabric for the back was part of a huge donation we received which was full of glorious black and white prints and two pieces of this wonderful print. It really was the perfect back for the top.
And as always we finish with the obligatory pinkies… no amount of begging will get him to hold a quilt like a normal person!
Block: 12 inch simple patchwork Fabric: 3 1/2 inch scraps Finished Size: 60 x 70 inches
This weeks game of catch up involves a lovely little scrap quilt I made last year…
The pattern is an Irish Chain variation and I had a blast using all the little bits of blue scraps I had accumulated…and it was surprising how many little bits I had.
I used 2 1/2 inch squares for the nine patch block… lots of little bits from mini charm packs I had accumulate over time… and the snowball block started as a 6 1/2 inch square of low volume blues & white prints.
Again I was surprised by how many of those I had in my stash. It always surprises me when I get an idea in my head and then find everything I need in my stash…. though sometimes it disappoints me too as I loose my excuse to pick upnbnew fabric when my stash provides.
The back of the quilt was also from my stash. Awhile ago I picked up a few yards of this wonderful Laura Ashley print at a Thrift store. I do not often thrift my fabric but I could. not leave this fun print behind…. and as all the quilts are washed before donating I was not worried about using it as a back.
This was actually the last shot of an afternoon of quilt photography. Mr Wombat was such a good sport… patiently humoring me as I drove around the neighborhood looking for fun quilt locations. I think sometimes he misses the days when I used to just hang the quilts on the back fence!
Size: 42 x 54 inches
Pattern: Irish Chain variation
Fabric: Mini charm squares and scraps.