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.



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.

Urban Chicken Fun

This week I manged to finish my first Urban Chicken quilt top…. I am so excited.   I love this modern easy fun pattern.

easy modern kids quilt

The Urban Chicken block was designed for the Portland Modern Quilt Guild meetup by Michelle Freedman.  You can find my original post and tutorial on making the block here.

urban chicken finished top chickens

When laying the quilt top out I had great fun making the chickens run all around… there really is a sense of silly to this quilt block that I love.

urban chicken finished

It is also a very forgiving block – wonky triangles, lots of scraps and bold bright colours.  You can get away with a few squiffy seams if need be.

urban chicken finished top cu

This is Urban Chicken number 1 for me.  I have another one following close behind in warmer colours, as I set this pattern for my Do.good.stitches bee this month.  You have been warned!

Playing with Urban Chickens

To celebrate this years Pacific North West MQG Meet up our fearless leader,  Michelle Freedman designed a fun modern block to celebrate… the Urban Chicken.  During the Meet Up we did a charity sew day where chickens ran wild.

Charity Sew Day Urban Chickens

This week I decided to dust off the pattern card and make my own Urban Chicken quilt… below is my plagiarized, annotated and updated version of Michelle’s original pattern.

For each block you need:

1.  Four (4) different shades of the same colour – I decided to stick to green, blue & yellow

2.  White or off white fabric – I pulled all my scrap bag of solid whites out.

Then it is off to work making a block….

1.   Cut one  3 ½ inches  x 14 ½  inches strip of each of your four coloured fabric.  I added an extra 1/2 inch to the strips from the original pattern to allow for some wiggle room (ie. mistakes).

layout strips

2.  From these strips cut one 3 ½ inches x 3 ½ inches  and set aside these squares.

cut square off strip

3.  Sew the four 10 ½ inch strips together using 1/4 inch seam allowance.  Press the seams to one side in the same direction.

sewing strips together

.4. Sew the long ends together to form a tube… these next steps are the same as you would do for a Trip Around quilt.

5.  Subcut the tube into three 3 ½ inch wide units… this is where the excess 1/2 inch of fabric on the strips comes in handy for me.

cut tube

5.  Carefully use the seam ripper to open each unit at a different place.  Arrange the three rows as you like, nesting the seam allows and sew together.  Press the seams open or to alternating sides.

strip blocks ready to go

Then to make the chickens….

1.  Using your white scraps or some generously cut white strips (no smaller than 2 ½ wide) and the four coloured squares you had set aside make some wonky triangles.

set aside squares

2.  Place the white fabric strip over the 3 ½ x 3 ½ inch square right sides together – angling the white fabric from just past center of the square to one corner of the square.  Repeat on the other side.  Do this for all four coloured squares.

chicken pieces for trimming

3.  Press seams on your chicken unit and square it up to the original 3 ½” x 3 ½” size.  When trimming make sure that the top of the triangle has a ¼ inch seam of white.  This will allow you triangles to come to a clean point (learnt this one the hard way).

trim chickens

4.  Arrange your chickens as you like and sew them together to form the fourth strip of the block.

urban chicken block

You can stitch your chickens to either side of your solid blocks.

Urban chicken block 4

5.  Make sure you square off your completed block ensuring it measures  12½”” by 12½”.

To add some variation to your Urban Chickiens, Michelle suggests doing some blocks up without the chickens… that is blocks of just 4 x 4 coloured squares.

I am now off to add some more chickens to my coup.  I am really having fun with this quilt and can not wait to have a finished quilt top to show.