Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Bear Paw with templates

Good morning, Sunshine -- we have that at this moment along with 19 degrees -- gotta love spring in Northeast Ohio -- just glad I'm not in more northerly climes!!  But I've taken advantage of the last couple frozen morning to rake all the sticks off the back lawn before it thaws into a mire of springtime mud!! 
Time to sew!!!  I'm piecing the BEAR PAW that is the second QCQAL block over at Little Bunny Quilts!  The first step to determine what set of Marti Michell's templates to use is to know the size of the block (12" for this project) and determine the "grid" of the block.  This version is a six patch grid -- there are six equal increments across each side of the block.  Can you see that?  Dividing the "grid" into the size of the finished block gives me the finished measurement of one square of the grid -- 2" in this case.  So the small squares and the HST's will be 2" finished and the large squares will be 4" finished.  The templates are labeled by their finished size and seam allowances are included so we don't need to do any more math!
I have left over strips from the first block, so I trimmed them down to 2 1/2" for the HST and small squares.  Layering a polka dot and the background fabric right sides together enables me to cut the HST pairs together.  I cut the four small background squares from the same strip.
Soon they are stacked and ready for the sewing machine.
In no time, I have them stitched up (chain pieced of course!) and stacked in an orderly fashion to be pressed.
Be sure to press the seam flat to set the stitching before opening it and pressing the seam to the dark.  Use the side of the iron rather than the point.  Once the iron is completely covering the HST, I give it a little burst of steam before lifting up the iron.  I like the way steam flattens my work but I don't move the iron around on the piece after releasing the steam -- that prevents stretching.
I decided to introduce a whimsical note to my fabric assortment and found this in my "bright" drawer.  More polka dots and lots of space between motifs! 
 A quick audition before I cut -- think I like all the toes being different. 
I fussy cut 4 motifs with template #8 and laid out all the pieces -- want to be sure to have 4 different color toes on each section.  I appreciated Alison's photographs to remind me to lay out the HST's before sewing so they are pointing in the right direction!
That didn't take long!  And it looks good with the first block and it's the same size!!  No trimming necessary -- wahoo!!  I hate to trim blocks. 
 I'm not sure I'll be able to do a 6" block with every block chosen during this QAL, but I was able to use two of the templates in SET N (#79 and #80) with a template from SET B (#12) for a 6" version of this one.  Another advantage of Marti's templates is their versatility and interchangeability.  Set N is a set of Mini-Geometrics that can stand alone or work with other sets as in this case. 
Here are the results!  I left the whimsical print out and made each paw the same print -- I like that look, too!  Cutting and piecing both blocks took about 1 hour and 15 minutes plus I also made a little progress on a machine pieced hexagon project -- I can add hexies as my leaders and enders, (ala Bonnie Hunter) by applying the set-in piecing simplified technique!!  Love those BONUSES!!!
And here's the two 6" blocks together! 
I'm looking forward to learning what the next member of this family will be and whether I can use some more of Marti's rotary cutting templates to cut the pieces.
Job done!!  Time to pull a pile of quilts together for my How I Learned To Color program at a local guild meeting tomorrow evening! 
Have a good day!
Mary Huey


  1. I agree with Connie, your blocks put a smile on my face!

  2. Wouldn't it make a nice quilt for a special girl and her doll.

    1. Yes it would!! Have to keep my eye out for one of those??!

  3. Bear Paw is one of my favorite blocks. It looks great in the bright fabrics.