Tuesday, January 21, 2014

2014 impulse project #1 - scrappy bear paw

Last week I rescued these lovely fabrics (Meadowsweet by Sandi Henderson) from the depths of my stash and joined a few other quilters on Instagram in starting a scrappy bear paw quilt. (This is the sort of impulsive decision that is a direct result of not having a 2014 goal list prepared, but that's another story for a different day...)

What is a bear paw quilt? Well the blocks are constructed with squares and HSTs, and when you put them together they resemble a bear's paw print...

So I started cutting a mess of 3.5" printed squares - 144 to be exact so I could make 36 of these 9" finished bear paw blocks. I also needed 144 3.5" HST units. Normally I would have cut some 4" squares of the background and print fabrics and used my regular method of constructing HSTs (click here and follow the steps for method #2), but I had just learned a different method using the Easy Angle tool so I thought I'd give that a whirl!  Click here for Easy Angle pictorial directions and here for a video tutorial.

I was able to get 6 HST units from each of my 3.5" x 21" strips. Take these units directly to the sewing machine and sew a 1/4" seam on the diagonal edge.

This is a LOT of HST units to sew, but since I used the Easy Angle method there was no trimming to size requirement as there is with my usual method. Yay - one step eliminated!!

And here we go - 144 printed squares, 144 HST units, and 36 background squares mean I'm ready to assemble some bear paws!

After finishing the first four blocks I played around with some layout options. No sashing...

Or cheery cherry red sashing. Hmmm... not sure yet.

Better keep sewing and get a lot more blocks made!

Please note that this impulse project in no way indicates a lack of focus on finishing my mom's quilt. That quilt is presently in the hand-sewing stage which only happens in the evening hours. This quilt requires machine sewing which happens during the daytime hours. Two totally different things. It's all good. Here ends my rationalization speech ;)


  1. Love the cheery red sashing version - but it's lovely either way.

  2. Try white sashing with a dark (red/brown/orange/green) square in the center?
    Lovely fabrics, this will be a very pretty quilt!

  3. What an industrious start you've already made ! Beautiful fabric choices !

    I made mine years ago and used the traditional middle sashing that matches the background, which was off-white in my quilt. It really lets the paws shine instead of the 'sashing'. My middle sashing was the same size as the 3 1/2 inch squares, and I did have a different colored middle square. A soft pink/peach print, or maybe all low volume prints could be gorgeous in yours ! Enjoy the journey !

  4. Beautiful, beautiful fabrics! centre square in the sashing - I made my last Bear Paw with a small central square in the sashing, I see that Venus de Hilo also mentioned this.


Thanks so much for stopping by and reading a little bit about me and taking the time to comment! Have a wonderful day!


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