It’s only mid-November and we’ve already had our first bout of sub-zero nights here in northern Montana. There will be more of those nights to come over the next few months, and many colder still. Winter weather puts me in a mood to bake cookies and play with plaid scraps. No cookies today, but I did whip up a Bear Paw quilt block I call “Bear Footin’.”
For each 12″ (finished) block, you will need:
- Two 4.5″ squares each of two novelty prints.
- Four 3″ or 3.5″ squares of a light-medium coordinate
- Four 3″ or 3.5″ squares of a dark-medium coordinate
- Eight 3″ or 3.5″ squares of a light tone-on-tone
- Four 2.5″ squares of light tone-on-tone
Step 1: Cut all of the 3.5″ squares in half diagonally, and sew the medium triangles to the light triangles. you will have a total of eight half-square triangles (HSTs) in light and light-medium, and eight in light and dark-medium.
Step 2a: Trim the HSTs to 2.5″ squares. Use a square ruler. Lay the diagonal line on the ruler on the diagonal seam. Notice the HST extends beyond the 2.5″ lines on the ruler. Trim the right and top edges.
Step 2b: Rotate the HST and lay the ruler on the diagonal line again. This time the edges you just cut should line up with the 2.5″ lines on the ruler. Trim the right and top edges again.
Step 3: Sew the HSTs into pairs. Make two pairs of each color that “point” to the left, and two pairs of each color that “point” right.
Step 4: Sew a 2.5″ light square to the right end of each of the “point left” HST pairs. Sew the “point right” HST pairs to the right side of the 4.5″ novelty print squares. Sew the HST strips to the novelty print squares to make four “paws”.
You have three options for setting these Bear Paw units into a 12″ block:
I made these blocks 12″ (12.5″ as shown). If I start with 6.5″ novelty prints, 4.5″ coordinates, and 4.5″ and 3.5″ squares for the background pieces, I would have 18″ blocks, and it would only take a dozen of those larger blocks to make a toasty warm 54″ x 72″ afghan-size quilt. That, a cup of hot chocolate (perhaps with a bit of Irish Cream), a good book and a snugly cat would be a perfect solution to a chilly evening, don’t you think?