Before adding borders measure across the quilt in 3 different areas and take the average of the 3 measurements. This will help keep your quilt square. My 3 measurements differed by 1/2 inch so I definitely need to sew more carefully when making blocks with many pieces. But I'm liking this quilt and it's not like I'm operating on someone's brain so I will press on and finish this quilt!
I mentioned last week that the bear paw block is more of an intermediate level block. Below you can see the puffiness in the star that makes up the cornerstones in the sashing - argh!
This quilt making journey has been frustrating, but I learn something with each quilt. Like take your time when piecing all those half square triangles! Next time maybe I'll square up each paw before combining them into a block. And next time maybe I'll try adding my sashing as pieces of each block like this tutorial rather than making them one long strip.
After adding the 2" gray border, I felt like I needed something else to transition to the border fabric and tie it all together. The blue and brown floral fabric was my starting point for this quilt. My design board is super helpful when I'm testing out fabrics and border widths. I felt like the darker blue meshed the indigos in the quilt top with the blues in the border fabric.
I really like how the star cornerstones in the sashing add a secondary design to the quilt. The tiny blue border was cut at just 1" wide and the outer border will be large - about 5" wide. Once I've added to outer borders, I'll be ready to figure out the backing. See you next week!
Some Piecing Tips
Careful When Chain Piecing: It does make the sewing go faster because you're doing the same thing over and over, but it can be easy to mix things up.
Below you can see where I sewed all the bear claws the same, which worked fine for the top part of the paw. When you flip them to attach to the side of the paw, they go in the wrong direction - boo!
Because I am geometrically challenged I often have a problem with this. By the way, there are several wrong ways to sew the claws together!
Use the presser foot that works the best: I normally use the 1/4 inch presser foot when I'm piecing, but all the angled seams were causing me problems, so I switched to the standard presser foot.
Verify needle position before sewing: I have broken needles when I switched to the 1/4 inch foot and didn't move the needle - a shocking experience!
When using a standard presser foot, your needle should be over to the right at a position that gives you 1/4 inch seam allowance.
Be Flexible with Fabric Choices
I originally wanted all the paws to be like the block on the right, but didn't have enough fabric so had to incorporate some other blues. I'm really happy I didn't, because I like the variety of the different blocks much better.
This block has a lot of seams and little pieces so it can be a pain to get it pieced properly. I'd definitely call this an intermediate skill level. If you're just starting out making quilts, check out the jelly roll race quilt and my tablerunner tutorial.
I haven't decided on a name for this quilt yet. Maybe 'Little Blue Bear' or 'Bonnie Blue'. Naming them helps me remember them. What do you think I should name it? firstname.lastname@example.org
Join me on my Quick Tips blog where I'll share a quick tip or technique that I hope will help you in your quilting journey.