Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Butterflies and Bear Paws: Another New Project for Rebecca!

New Project!  Butterflies and Bear Paws
Greetings, Neglected Blog Readers!  Never mind that I have not yet finished the Jingle BOM project I started over a year ago, nor have I finished even the first block of the new hand applique project that I started a couple of months ago (and don't even ask me about that paper pieced Advent table runner project).  I recklessly launched myself into yet another new quilting project this week.  Now that I have multiple UFOs (Unfinished Objects) and WIPs (Works In Progress), I feel more like a REAL quilter!

Bear Paw Inspirations: Quilts! Quilts! Quilts! and QNM Back Issue, LouLouThi Clippings Fabric in Passion
I have wanted to make a Bear Paw quilt ever since I saw a vintage navy and white Bear Paw quilt in the 2nd Edition (the Bear Paw quilt is NOT in the newest 3rd Ed.) of Quilts! Quilts! Quilts! by Diana McClun and Laura Nownes.  That was back when I was planning my very first quilt in 2002.  I dog-eared the page and chose a simple Roman Square for that first project instead.  But in organizing back issues from Quilter's Newsletter Magazine recently I came across another bear paw quilt project, and somehow it popped into my head that the Anna Maria Horner LouLouThi Clippings fabric in Passion that I've been hoarding in my stash might make a fresh and interesting bear paw quilt, especially if I cut up the large scale print completely randomly.  Normally I use MANY different fabrics in a single quilt, primarily to amuse myself throughout the construction process, but this time I'm using just the LouLouThi print, Kona Solid in Snow for the background, and a complementary batik scrap for the center squares. 

Should Have Used WHITE Thread!
This is actually the first time I've used white fabric in a pieced quilt, believe it or not, and I discovered that although beige and gray threads work well for piecing multicolor quilts, I really need to use WHITE thread when one of my fabrics is a solid white.  See those visible dots of gray thread at the seam lines once I've pressed the seam open?  Yuck!  I switched thread colors as soon as I noticed that.  It's not noticeable for me to rip out all the stitches and start over, but I'll try to make a mental note to match my piecing thread to the lighter fabric from now on.

I really love how my first bear paw block came out.  I did NOT follow the patterns in the book or magazine projects, though.  The book project had instructions for 12" blocks (despite the fact that the vintage quilt in the photo could not possibly have had blocks that large) and the magazine article was for 8 3/4" blocks.  I knew I wanted to make a square quilt with 9 blocks set diagonally, and I could see that the bear paw has a 7x7 underlying grid structure.  I bored my children to tears by demonstrating how I can use the Pythagorean theorem to calculate the dimensions of a quilt with a diagonal setting (gotta LOVE math-in-the-real-world quilting lessons!) and decided that a 10 1/2" finished block size will give me a finished quilt in the size I want, with 9 diagonal bear paw blocks and four plain alternate blocks. 

So, going back to my 7 x 7 grid, I just need to make each unit finish at 1 1/2" to create a 10 1/2" finished block.  If I wanted a 7" block, I'd make each unit finish at 1", or for a 14" block, each unit would finish at 2", etc.  This is where those specialty rulers come in handy, too -- I was able to cut my small squares and HSTs (half square triangles) all from 2" strips of fabric instead of having to add weird fractional amounts to squares and then slice the squares apart on the diagonal as traditional rotary cutting instructions tell you to do. 

Anyway, I've been sitting here typing for longer than I had intended, and I still have lots to get done before it's time to pick up the kids so I'll just leave you with this:

I'm In Print!  June/July 2014 Issue of QNM
My "300 Words" essay about "My Dream Quilting Space" was published in the June/July issue of Quilter's Newsletter Magazine, which just showed up in my mailbox the other day.  My smiling face and opinions await you at your local news stand.  :-)

I'm linking up with Judy's Design Wall Monday at Patchwork TimesEsther's WOW: WIPs on Wednesday as well as with WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced.  If you have a moment, stop by to see what everyone else is up to today.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Have a wonderful day!


Barbara Sindlinger said...

Awesome about the article - I received my magazine a few days ago but haven't had a chance to read it yet.

Michelle Bartholomew said...

I love the bear paw block and the fabric you chose for it is perfect! And congrats on your magazine article, that is super exciting!

Glenda said...

I sure hope your mojo keeps going with these blocks in these fabrics it will be exciting and a stunning quilt, fabulous colours that will stop you in ones tracks if hung. I will be tuning in next week to see how it is growing. Glenda Australia.

Julie said...

Fun quilt. I've been wanting to do a bear claw too but it keeps being bumped to the bottom of the list. Maybe because I'm not in love with the usual fabric for that type of quilt. It does look fun with a more modern feel, I may have to think about that more.

greg @ grey dogwood studio said...

I love bear claw quilts, and the pastry version, too! Quilts Quilts Quilts was one of the first quilting books that I bought and I wanted to make that quilt. And great idea about resizing the blocks. You know how much I like to do that!

Anonymous said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE your Bear Paw block! I also just love the look of a large contemporary print cut up randomly like that. Very refreshing. Claudia W