Way back in early 2017, about the time I started this blog, I decided to start a simple quilt made of 3" squares, each representing a completed sewing project. I started by collecting the squares as I sewed other things. Some of the squares were a single fabric, but others were themselves pieced from the several fabrics used in a single project. I collected for a while, but never made the quilt because I didn't know how to bring the pieces together attractively.
A few months back, as I became motivated to quilt, I pulled those squares out and re-evaluated them. I discarded all the synthetic fabrics, keeping the cotton, silk, rayon, and linen. I also discarded too-heavy or too-sheer squares, paring my selection down to only things that would work well for piecing. Then I threw them together in a few days, into a very strange quilt-top. It was more an exercise in piecing and setting blocks on point than a real design. I'm fond of it, but not excited enough to finish it, so it sits now in the WIP pile.
My local Goodwill has a whole corner shelf filled with these breakable little treasures, set high above the questing hands of juvenile browsers, looking out at the world that only ever looks back.
The names "bear paw" and "bear's paw" seem to be in free variation, both when I search online or look in Rosanne's quilting books, and in my own writing! For the sake of this blog, I'll try to stick to "bear paw", but the other option is equally correct. It's a nice representational block: it looks like a stylized pawprint. Compare some actual pawprints with the block:
The quilt block bear is missing a toe, but otherwise it does look like a pawprint, and it is commonly used in rustic quilts for that backwoods feel. I like the block for my Dandelion Quilt because, if done in greens, it looks like the leaves of a plant whorling out from a central stem.
I will be doing the former method when I make the Bear Paw blocks in a bit, so I decide to try the latter method for the Delectable Mountains. It seems pretty easy, I think...
Narrator Voice: "She didn't know how wrong she was!"
NEW FABRIC TO PLAY WITH!
My quilting mentor Rosanne is working through the book Cut the Scraps!, by Joan Ford. The book's premise is simple and smart: take your small scraps of quilting cotton, anything under a fat quarter, and cut them into a set of prescribed sizes: 2" squares, 3.5" squares, and 5" squares. Sort these squares by value rather than by color, so you end up with a pile of lights, a pile of darks, and a pile of everything in the middle. If you make a four-patch with four 2" squares, it makes a 3.5" square; if you make a nine-patch with nine 2" squares, it makes a 5" square. Then the book has instructions for twenty different quilts which can be made from squares of those sizes. I love the idea! Anyway, as Rosanne is cutting and sorting her scraps, she is making even smaller scraps, little strips that I can then use for string piecing. So my string piecing project for my brother is coming along, fed by an influx of fabric from Rosanne's stash.
In April, shortly after finishing the Organized Chaos quilt-top, I cast about for another pattern, but soon realized that I wouldn't be satisfied creatively unless I designed my own. I decided on a dandelion motif.
Quilting, dressmaking, and history plied with the needle...
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