Bear Paw

This is the first quilt I ever made, in 1976.  The pattern is called Bear Paw, and I especially liked it because I was living on Lost Mountain and thought it most appropriate.DSCN0656This quilt was tied with red yarn, instead of quilted, as I just wanted to finish it, and did not know how to quilt at that time.  I planned at some point in the future to make matching pillow shams.


Many years passed, and life went on.  Several years ago my ex-husband gave it back to me and I decided that “when I retired”, I would finally quilt it and make those shams.


Well, last week I retired!  I no longer have or can find the yellow calico fabric that was the background for this quilt.  And also, after looking at this design with fresh eyes, I decided that the bear paws themselves sort of disappeared into the background, with the diamond squares taking center stage, instead.  DSCN0657

I have decided to take the whole thing apart, and add ladders between each block, essentially “framing” each bear paw in brown, and adding little red and white four-patch cornerstones at each intersection.  This will give me enough extra bear paw blocks to make the pillow shams.

I put together a sample in Excel, to see if this idea worked as I envisioned.  Please click the link below to see how it should look.

My Bear Paw Quilt

That’s it — exactly what I had in mind.  My next steps are as follows:

  • Remove the narrow red binding
  • Clip the red yarn ties holding the quilt together
  • Separate the blocks from one another

I’ll check in again later.  Right now I’m off to get my seam ripper and start on this project!

4 Months Later…

I removed the narrow red binding, clipped the yarn ties holding the quilt together and separated the blocks from each other.  I had to buy some brown fabric for the ladders, but from my impressive scrap bin, I was able to get the red and white that I needed to make the cornerstones.  I plan to reuse the backing from the original quilt, as much as I can.  I do have some fabric that is not quite as bright as the original backing that I can also use for backing when I run out of original.


I am employing the techniques that I learned from the “Machine Quilting in Sections” class I purchased from Craftsy.  So far, quilting as I go has been the answer to machine quilting on my regular sewing machine.

DSCN0983I am working in sets of three blocks, with two sets per row, outlining each element using the feather stitch on my machine in variegated thread.  This my making my bear paws take the place of honor that I had envisioned.


So it’s back to my sewing machine to start on my next set of three blocks.  I’ll check back in when it is time to start joining the sets together!

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