Saturday, 23 May 2015

Scrappy Bear Paw Quilt

I've really got to think of a better name for this quilt.  At the moment I'm just calling it what it is, a scrappy bear paw quilt.  I really didn't want to be tempted by new patterns this year, but this quilt has special significance.



I belong to Capital Quilters in Wellington, New Zealand, and the bear paw block is part of our logo.  Our guild will be 30 years old this year, and the committee came up with the idea of making bear paw quilts as a way of celebrating the anniversary.  Of course, members are free to make the quilts in whatever fabrics they like. Some people are using French General, others are using Tula Pink etc etc.

As I'm not quite 50 yet, I'm thinking that I might still be around when the guild turns 50 in 20 years time, and I can pull out my historic scrappy bear paw quilt and show all the "young ones" what we made back in 2015 when the guild turned 30.

When my friend Anne (@ihaveafabricproblem on Instagram) showed her single coloured scrappy blocks on low volume backgrounds, I was hooked.  I immediately thought of all my beautiful Kaffe Fassett fabrics and how I could use those in a quilt like this.  Most of you know that I've resisted low volume prints for a long time, so I had to buy fabrics for the background, but I made all the coloured sections entirely from my stash.

Here are each of the 9 blocks up close so you can see all the great prints.

this one is made entirely from Kaffe Fassett prints






I remade this block because I wasn't happy with the original version. The yellows weren't strong enough compared to the other blocks.




I found some great sashing fabric and joined the blocks up yesterday.




The quilt isn't finished yet, but I'm happy to have a finished top.  I need a bit of help with the next two steps if you'd like to help out please:

1. What sort of backing should I use?  I keep thinking that the Ikea text print would work here, but we don't have Ikea in New Zealand, and I hear it's being discontinued anyway.

2.  Should I add a narrow border in the same fabric as the sashing, or just skip the border and go straight to the binding?

Instructions
Many people have asked for instructions on how to make a quilt like this.  I can't really post the pattern exactly as it was given to me, but there are a lot of patterns and instructions for bear paws blocks on the internet.  Just so you know, here's what I did. If you're an experienced quilter you'll understand these notes:

cut 17 x 3.5" squares from bright fabrics
cut 8 x 4" squares from bright fabrics

cut 8 x 4" squares from background fabrics
cut 4 x 3.5" squares from background fabrics
cut 4 X 3.5" x 9.5" rectangles from background fabrics

I turned the 4" squares into HSTs by ruling a diagonal line and sewing along both sides of the line. I cut down the line and trimmed the HSTs to 3.5" squares.

Keep a picture of the block in front of you at all times, and double, triple check that your HSTs are pointing the correct way. Everyone I know has made a mistake at some stage.

I made each of the 4 sections of the block by forming rows of 3 and then joining them to make each section of the block (9 pieces). I then joined the top half together, sewed on the middle section, and then joined the bottom half to the top.  The block measures 21.5" square unfinished.

I cut my sashing at 2.5" wide and added cornerstones at the intersections.

I hope you can understand that.  Writing instructions is harder than I thought.  I think I'll stick to sewing.









31 comments:

Helen said...

Your quilt is beautiful!!! The fabrics are just gorgeous, nice job picking them out.

Your directions (notes) make perfect sense.

Thanks for sharing your quilt and your instructions. I wish I had a quilt guild to join, but I've not found one as yet.

Sincerely, Helen Burdette
Ohio, USA

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

the quilt looks great- I don't have an IKEA near me so never saw their fabric, I haven't looked on line. We have a guild here but I do not like it! wish I had a nice one.

Diana @ Red Delicious Life said...

This is just beautiful. I've never been one to think "wow, I want to make a bear paw quilt" until now. I love that each block uses a specific color palette and that the background is all low volume fabrics. I participated in a low volume charm swap and I've just been holding onto them since I don't know what to do with them. You might have just given me my answer!

Julie said...

This is just stunning. Love all those jewel tones.

Michelle said...

Hello! I'm over here from the KFC facebook page. Absolutely adore this quilt - I'm a big fan of rainbow colours and especially HST based blocks! Thank you for sharing!

magistra said...

Your directions are very helpful, thank you. And your quilt is stunning! I love seeing Kaffe Fassett. His colors are so amazing. That's the second I got interested in modern quilting, the second I saw his fabríc! It certainly wasn't anything my grandmother used! I'm very happy that the younger designers are giving us lovely, saturated colors, also. And I'm so, so happy to see quilters like you showing us how to use them! Just beautiful!

Sandi said...

Your quilt blocks and quilt look stunning but I have to ask..why the bear paw block?

I understand there are no bears in New Zealand so what is the significance?

Canadian girl who has seen lots of bears with an enquiring mind. Thanks.

Bella Quilts said...

Wendy, another beautiful quilt. The colors are so bright and in 20 years, people will be looking at Kaffe fabrics and can easily pick out the time period. I have not been interested in low volume prints but see how well the work instead of a solid. Great choices. I'm partial to the two curvy ones and would use one of those on the back. I do think an outer sashing would give a resting place between the binding and the block points. No matter what you choose, it will be lovely.

Carol Q said...

another stunning quilt Wendy. love your choice of low volume prints too. you have such a great way with colour.
I must get some of that Ikea print. It's only £3 per metre in the UK.

Wendy @ Wendysquiltsandmore said...

To Bella Quilts - I'd love to email you back but you show up as a 'no reply blogger' I've tried to track you down but really can't find how to contact you. Can you email me directly at wendysquiltsandmore at gmail dot com please? I'd love to be able to reply to your kind comments. Thank you.

Sue said...

A Gorgeous quilt Wendy. What a great idea for the Guild to come up with, and as you say, it'll be great to show when the Guild turns 50.
Love your fabric choices!

Schulz Family said...

Wow that is just fabulous. How on earth did the bear paw become the quilters motif in Wellington? NZ does not have many bears!!
I have various kaffe bits and pieces and have wondered what to do with them. This looks amazing.

Judy@Quilt Paradigm said...

Wow, Wendy, I don't know that I would have thought to combine KF with these types of low volume. SO effective! It is going to be beautiful!!

HeathersSewingRoom said...

This has come together really well Wendy with all your 'scraps'. I loved seeing the close up as from a distance you do not realise the many fabrics in the quilt so I think that means you have done a great job. I would try a pieced border from the low volume fabrics and then a binding incorporating all your bright scraps.

margaret said...

AMAZING this is wonderful, love both the fabrics for the blocks and also the sashing. Must go to Ikea for some the fabric if it is beingdscontinued.People use it a lot to back their quilts here, lucky it is a 2 bus bus ride away, less than an hour or 15 mins in my daughter`s car

Kate Yates said...

I haven't seen many bear paw quilts before, but I love yours! The colors really pop against the background fabrics. I think a small border would look great on this top!

SuperMomNoCape said...

Your bear paw quilt turned out beautiful. I love the bright, happy colors paired with the low volume.

OPQuilt said...

I'm new to your blog, and when I happened on this post, decided it was not one I could just whip through, skimming everything. So I took my time, slowly scrolling down to each block, studying your color placement (you really do have a gift for this!) and enjoying the individual character of each of your bear paw blocks.

This is a beautiful quilt, beautifully done. I am so impressed! Thank you for a lovely show!

Elizabeth
opquilt.com

Mrs Milkybar Kid said...

I love each and every block - just perfection!

Fran said...

Oh, that's gorgeous! Love the pink block :-) I've done one bear paw, makes me want to do another...

Heide said...

Stunning! The color and fabrics that you used are just wonderful. This will be a treasured quilt for many, many, many years to come!
Thanks for sharing.

quiltmusings said...

Your quilt looks wonderful! It's very clean and bright. I love the IKEA print, but have never been able to get it. Too bad it is being discontinued before I have had a chance to use it.

Granny Maud's Girl said...

I used a text print recently - it was a Windham wideback fabric called Modern 39513-2 (http://www.windhamfabrics.net/php/fabricshop/fabricshop.php?a=sc&Category=749&file=10), which I bought on MassDrop. You could just as easily use something bright and colourful on the back.
You now have a great low-volume collection!

JanineMarie said...

This is wonderful and a great way to preserve the quilting trends at the time of your guild's 30th anniversary. I like the modern take on the Bear Paw. I'm not real big on borders these days (I don't know exactly why), but if you don't use a border, you'll want to be careful about all those points (if, like me, you don't like risking cutting them off with the binding). Maybe a super skinny low volume border just to set the points of the blocks back a tiny bit from the binding? I don't have an IKEA nearby, but I've certainly been intrigued by their fabrics that I see on some of the blogs. A text print could make a great back, but I'd also love to see something colorful. So that's my 2 cents' worth of input. :)

Daytona Damsel said...

Bear Paw never appealed to me until I saw yours. Just beautiful. Love those fabrics. How will you be quilting it? Debbie

Caryl W said...

This absolutely gorgeous and thanks for sharing the closeup photos!!

NickiJ said...

Absolute gorgeous. Thanks for the closeups. I might be inspired to do one myself to use up my scraps as well!

Joanna Jenkins said...

I just saw this on Pinterest and it is STUNNING!!! And inspiring. I might need to make myself a scrap Bear Claw quilt too.

Stephanie said...

Your quilt top is lovely. Thanks for sharing so much detail. I have been in a quilting slump but this has inspired me to get of Pinterest and start sewing :)

Quilty in California said...

This quilt top is simply gorgeous! Love the color palate! I can hardly wait to start one!! Thanks for sharing your work!

Jim and Judy said...

This is so beautiful. I just love it. I have never made one and it looks like a confident beginner could do it. I don't have scraps because I haven't saved them from the few quilts I have made. I would like to use a fat eighth bundle and hope that works. Thank you so much for your help!