improv parks quilt

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It’s the season of late starts at school, kids home with sniffles and coughs, snow days, and yet another blizzard so I’m stealing some time to show you my Parks quilt.

parks quilt

This whole quilt was put together a bit spur of the moment.  I loved the national parks print (by Wilmington) the moment I saw it and thought it would be fun to try something different.  I pulled together a quick stack of fabric, stitched and slashed and built up two log cabin blocks.  One for the front and one for the back.

back of parks quilt at doorOnce it was pieced, I started in with the quilting.  I ran one zig zag line down the middle and followed those angles out to the edges.

back of parks quilt detail

Someone I know is working on visiting every national park.  She’s also someone who lives life a bit spur of the moment so I’m thinking this might be a perfect treat for her.

front of parks quilt detail

No camping today, though, it’s raining, there’s thunder and hail, closely followed by freezing rain, it’s supposed to start snowing later today with 50mph winds tonight.  All those precipitation types in one day.  Iowa is totally overachieving today.

building bear paws

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scrappy bear paw accent blocks

Most of this week’s sewing focused on my bear paw.  I stitched together all the accent blocks so now I can assembly line the blocks together.  

Here they are along with the log cabin accent I already put into a block.

bear paw accent blocks

It turned into a fun sampler project.  I pulled most of the blocks from Barbara Brackman’s, Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.  

Here’s a block I’m working on today.

deconstructed bear paw block

My center square, along with the claws are 2 1/2″ unfinished.  The accent block and 4 square scrappy blocks are 4 1/2″ unfinished.  In the end, I have a block the will be 14″ finished.  

Here’s another block I shared on Instagram yesterday.

bear paw with polar bear

A bear paw quilt has to have bear, doesn’t it?

all in a weeks work

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I managed to ignore a good portion of the housework this week in favor of some fun sewing projects.

I’ve started a new quilt for our bed.  I’ve had a fabric stack set aside to make a bear paw quilt for our bed for over a year now.

fabric stack for bear paw

Then Dana from Old Red Barn started up a little scrappy bear paw quilt along over on instagram.  It was just the kickstart I needed.

churn dash for bear paw

I’m planning to do one special accent paw in each block so I spent some time this week working on some of those.

blocks for bearpaw

Lulu’s friend has a birthday coming up so she chose the fabric and I did the stitching on this very dear deer.  The pattern is from Issue 2 of Love Patchwork and Quilting.  (one of the cutest quilting and stitching magazines around)

dear deer

I was also lucky enough to get a request from Anna of Noodlehead to try out her new road trip case pattern.  I’m already thinking about what fabrics I will use on my next one.

I love the button and loop closure.

road trip case

There are two pocket options.  I chose the four pocket version with flaps.

inside of road trip case

I’m filling mine with some of my hand piecing supplies.

It was my first time working with vinyl.  I was nervous because I have heard so much over the years about how it can get stuck on presser feet while you are stitching, but I used my walking foot and it was a breeze!  I have to admit, I did get over confident and think that I could machine finish the binding.  A skill I’ve never been able to master and managed to get some stitches on the vinyl.  In the end, I couldn’t take the sloppy stitching lines so I picked them out and finished it by hand.  I was left with some tiny holes in the vinyl, but I think they are less distracting than the line of stitching so I’m happy.

Thankfully this one wasn’t a gift so I was able to accept my mistake and stitch on.  Well, again I have to admit first I ate a handful of chocolate covered almonds and then I stitched on.  I think those tiny holes might be a little reminder of how important it is to slow down and finish a project the right way.

Sometimes stubbornness just gets in the way doesn’t it?