Bear Paw and Border

Scrap Happy Day has rolled around again. While I used only 12 squares of red scraps on the border, I did finish a scrap block as a leader/ender. The block is ancient history. The brown fabric is left over from a housecoat I had made around 50 years ago, I guess that makes it vintage fabric? Twenty-five or so years ago, I had looked at the scraps I’d been gathering for a long time and decided it was time to begin to use them. It was long before I’d ever read a Bonnie Hunter post and maybe even before the internet. My concept of scrap control was to select fabrics and see what block I had enough fabric to make. Needless to say, that was less than efficient. In fact I made up only one kit. It traveled with me to many quilt guild retreats as a back up project just in case I finished everything else I had wanted to accomplish. I was out of leader/ender items, so decided to try making a block. (I don’t recommend it for leaders/enders–too much thinking required..)

Bear Paw: 7-inch and 14-inch

I have no idea what I will do with them. Maybe take them to the guild free table when we meet in person again and let someone else play. If you want to see some more scrap work, visit Kate’s blog (here) where she posts and lists links to folks who play with scraps.

On to the second border of the guild medallion quilt (first border here) The directions called for a 2-inch resting border, but because I’d modified the first border and had a row of one-inch squares, I felt the need for more one-inchness and made two one inch “resting” borders to maintain the measurements. Then (gasp!) ripped out the cornerstones and replaced them with red.

The left photo is the first try. After I added the cornerstones I realized that the effect I’d wanted required the two one-inch pieces to be sewn as one border and a four-patch used for a cornerstone. While pondering if I could live with what I had created, I got another idea. I’d been wondering how to keep bits of red as accent without overpowering–how about red cornerstones? Yep, I liked it.

I put off the next step for a while because I thought it was going to be difficult to attach the triangles in a straight row. Seems I’d tried it once before and ended up with a crooked mess. But with the help of a tri-rec ruler it was a breeze.

On the right is the way the ruler is meant to work. See the notch? It guides the placement so that the triangle with two “wings” makes a square block. Well, I was hoping to save a seam and just alternate triangles, and it worked.

So here is the second border.

42x 42 at this point

And I added the first half of the next “resting” border. I decided to keep the one-inch with red cornerstone thing going. I had decided to consider the offered instructions, and if I liked them, use them. This one is as directed (except without the seams in the yellow triangles). I’ll be following the directions for the next two as well. The third is square in a square which echoes the same in the center block. I’d been thinking about the fourth and thought I wanted one inch squares in it somewhere, and they offered a good idea.

I’m not sure I’ll use the idea of moving from small to large in a border again. It sorta looks like ‘I got tired and wanted to hurry and finish.’ We’ll see if drawing it back to one inch squares works to overcome that effect.



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15 responses to “Bear Paw and Border

  1. That’s an impressively perfect pointy border! And the aqua/brown bear paw blocks could be the start of a scrappy quilt, the large one as the centre and the other as on of several surrounding it.

  2. The red cornerstones are absolutely the right choice.

  3. Wow! your quilt design skills are fantastic! Those triangle in a square blocks added so much power to your piece! I giggle about your housecoat scraps! You have found a purpose for them after all this time, a scrap saint you are!

  4. I love the bear paws…and the housecoat fabric!

    • I got a bit of a shock when I tallied up the years! And the housecoat became a witch costume for Hallowe’en for several years and two daughters. I had enough left over fabric to cover a witch hat to match (or maybe used a part cut off when altering?). I don’t usually remember what my scraps originally were used for, but it is fun when I do.

  5. I love the look of the bear paws, what a super pattern.

    • I have noticed from the Brackman book that changes in value and number of colors can change the name of a quilt block, so this might not be an “official” Bear Paw block, but oh well . . .

  6. Moira

    Love how this is turning out! That triangle border is wonderful.

  7. wow! love the story of the housecoat, witches beware.

  8. I still think larger pieces as the borders go out is a good idea, and your triangles look great.

  9. Great looking medallion quilt!

  10. Louise

    Love the pointiness of the triangles! Smart to eliminate a seam that way.

  11. Susan Nixon

    The border looks great in that arrangement! I like Bear Paw blocks, and often use exactly the method of decision making you describe.

  12. That medallion quilt came out AWESOME! Sort of a SW vibe to it!

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