Friday, March 24, 2017

Bearly Making Progress On My Bear Paw, But I've Been Busy!

The month of March has flown by in a flurry of activity, and the month of April is looking just as busy.  Since my last post, I did manage to get the bear paw baby quilt top assembled with the sashing and sawtooth star blocks:

Quilt Top Assembled, Ready for Borders
Ignore those wrinkles -- the quilt top is flat and square, I promise -- I slapped it up on the design wall in a hurry because I had nowhere else to put it and I knew it would be coming right back down to get borders anyway. 

This most likely will NOT go to my friend's baby granddaughter after all.  That baby was born over a month ago, and no gift was promised or expected...  I have lots of work for a new design client right now, dress rehearsals every night next week for the VOX performances of Bach's St. John's Passion next weekend, travel planned over Spring break, as well as getting ready for my husband's heart surgery to repair a defective valve.  And I'm remembering that when I started making these bear paw blocks back in May of 2014, this was supposed to be a quilt just for ME...  Every other quilt I've made has been given away to someone else.  And yet, the blocks just sat on the shelf all this time, and it wasn't until I got it in my head to put them together for a baby gift that I got motivated to finally put them together.  With everything else going on in my life, I don't need to put additional pressure on myself by creating stressful deadlines for projects that are supposed to be for my own enjoyment and relaxation!  I'm going to take my time with this quilt, enjoy making every stitch that goes into it, and then probably give it to some baby girl who has yet to be conceived!  ;-)

So yes, I'm still hoping to get the borders on this quilt top soon, but then I'm going to fold it over a hanger in my closet next to the math quilt top that I whipped up in 2014 but never finished. 

Math Quilt, Also Waiting to be Quilted
Multitasker that I am, I doodled some ideas for quilting this one on my iPad last Sunday during the sermon:

"Taking Notes" During the Sermon.  (Cough, Cough)
The Math Is Beautiful quilt never got finished because I got bored with it and had no purpose in mind for it, but that means it's perfect for practicing new quilting techniques without fear of "ruining" it.  And then I'm finally going to put my Jingle quilt blocks together and hang that top in the closet:

Jingle Quilt In Progress, pattern by Erin Russek
The Jingle quilt didn't get finished for two reasons.  One, I got carried away with alternative setting ideas and couldn't make a decision about how to set my blocks.  And two, I discovered that one of my red batik fabrics that I used in every single block is a bleeder!  That made me reluctant to invest any more time in the project, knowing that there was a possibility that even with Retayne, Synthrapol, Color Catchers, and a heavy dose of prayer, I still might end up with a ruined quilt at the end of it all.  Again, this makes the Jingle quilt a perfect candidate for learning new quilting techniques, because if I learn something, it wasn't a waste after all.

And I'm going to work on making the remaining pineapple log cabin blocks for my California King bed that is so close to completion, yet SO ENORMOUS that I can't even contemplate trying to quilt it on my domestic machine:

Pineapple Log Cabin In Progress, Will Finish at 124" x 106"
So once assembled, into the closet THAT enormous quilt top will go, and I'll work on the remaining blocks for my version of the Moda Modern Building Blocks quilt that I started back in October for my son Anders:

My Version of Moda Modern Building Blocks, Adapted for XL Twin Bed
Where will that quilt top go when it's finished?  You guessed it -- straight into my closet, shamelessly unquilted!  And meanwhile, I'll be prepping applique blocks for hand stitching in Florida and while my husband is in the hospital next month, to get that Frankenwhiggish needle turned applique quilt closer to becoming a quilt top, too:

Possible Final Layout for my Frankenwhiggish Rose Applique Blocks

First Completed Frankenwhiggish Rose Block with YLI Silk Thread
Now, you may be wondering why I'm planning to finish all these quilt tops without quilting any of them, right?  Well, a quilting "assistant" by the name of Thoroughly Modern Millie may be joining me in my studio in the near future... 

Julie Andrews, the "model of efficiency" as Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967)
Still working out the details on that, but I'm very excited about all the new possibilities that are opening up.  Stay tuned!

I'm linking up with:

·       Whoop Whoop Fridays at
·       Off the Wall Friday at Creations:
·       Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday at
·       Finished Or Not Friday at
Have a great weekend, everyone!


Shauna said...

That bear paw quilt is simply wonderful!!!!

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

you are one busy bee - yes keep the top for yourself - if something has not been promised nothing wrong with that! love that last quilt you show all that applique - I have a pattern for a block something like that love it. Sounds like you are going to need some down time soon - you are too busy.

a maidenhair fern said...

I love this design. And your fabrics are cool. Nice job.

Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts said...

There's so much delicious eye candy in this post - I'm sitting here drooling all over my iPad.... I'm soooo happy Millie is coming soon. I was having heart palpitations thinking of all those gorgeous tops just hanging in the closet. LOL Still praying for you and hubby. What app do you use to doodle FMQ designs?

Jenny K. Lyon said...

This is the method that Margaret Solomon Gunn uses on her $15,000 award winning quilts when she has a bleeder:

You have soooo much beautiful work there! I am guessing that Millie's middle initials are APQS?

Shar said...

I agree with you on the stress we put ourselves under at times. I like your plan to finish blocks. I have tried that in the past - sometimes successfully and sometimes not. Focus is sometimes hard in the quilt world.

Shelley Folkerts said...

All your WIP are so lovely. I really love the bear paws with sawtooth stars. I have had such a struggle with sashings lately, but do better with the short one with set blocks. Will keep your husband in our prayers.Praying for a full recovery. Thank you for taking the time to link up with this week's TGIFF.

time4stitchn said...

Wow, such an assortment of wonderfully beautiful quilts! I love them all and like your settings that totally compliment both the bear paw and Jingles. But my personal favorite is your whig rose...the colors are some of my favorite. And this is a pattern I have always wanted to do since I saw it in a Kim Diehl book many moons ago.

Rebecca Grace said...

Good eye, Debbie! My Frankenwhiggish Rose block IS derived from the Kim Diehl pattern, except that I started out with Joyce Stewart's version of the block that was published in Quilter's Newsletter Magazine in September 2006. Stewart made some changes to Diehl's pattern (that was published in her 2004 Simple Blessings book), and then I made some additional changes of my own because I wanted to fussy cut the little rosebuds out of my fabric and I didn't want hearts, so I swapped those out for some reverse applique folk tulips from an antique reproduction applique quilt pattern. I do like to give credit where it is due; see this post for more details:

Celtic Thistle said...

Love the Bear Paw, I have been wanting to make one for a long time and yours is the nicest that I have seen so thanks for the inspiration. Hope all goes well for your husband.

Soma @ said...

Beautiful WIPs! The bear paw quilt looks wonderful.


Soma @ said...

Beautiful WIPs! The bear paw quilt looks fabulous.


Kate said...

The Bear Paw quilt is fabulous! Enjoy finishing it. Sewing to deadlines is never fun. You have lots of fun WIPs to keep you busy.

Val's Quilting Studio said...

Thanks for sharing at Tuesday Archives!