Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A Scrap Quilt and Bear Paw Block Tutorial

A Scrap Quilt and Bear Paw Block Tutorial | Red Pepper Quilts

Scrap quilts. My quilting heart belongs with scrap quilts! There is no denying that I have a lot of fabric scraps (and fabric) and I love every single scrappy piece, no matter how small. My scraps are unfortunately not well organized; they are not sorted, not pressed, nor neatly folded. Instead they are stored in two large plastic tubs which I scrounge through regularly in search of "that one piece ..." which has to be in there. In other words, my scraps are out of control.

A Scrap Quilt and Bear Paw Block Tutorial | Red Pepper Quilts

And so it began. Time to tame the scrap bins.This quilt design is a traditional Bear Paw block alternated with a patchwork square; squares and half square triangles, that's all. Working with small half square triangles was fiddly but once I found my sewing rhythm, working in batches of 10 Bear Paw blocks at a time, it seemed to come together quickly. Let me also say that I did turn to my fabric stash to add a balance of color and prints to this quilt top.

A Scrap Quilt and Bear Paw Block Tutorial | Red Pepper Quilts
A Scrap Quilt and Bear Paw Block Tutorial | Red Pepper Quilts
A Scrap Quilt and Bear Paw Block Tutorial | Red Pepper Quilts

QUILT STATS:
180 blocks 
90 plain squares
90 Bear Paw Blocks
12 rows each of 15 blocks
360 Half Square Triangles
990 Patchwork Pieces
Quilt top measures 54 inches x 67.5 inches.

A Scrap Quilt and Bear Paw Block Tutorial | Red Pepper Quilts

QUICK BEAR PAW BLOCK TUTORIAL:

FABRIC REQUIREMENTS for a 4.5 inch finished Bear Paw block:
(Cutting instructions)
1 square 3.5 inches x 3.5 inches
1 square background (low volume fabric) 2 inches x 2 inches
AND for Half Square Triangles:
2 squares background (low volume fabric) 2.5 inches x 2.5 inches
2 squares contrast fabric 2.5 inches x 2.5 inches

A Scrap Quilt and Bear Paw Block Tutorial | Red Pepper Quilts

Piecing Half Square Triangles (HSTs):

Take one square of low volume fabric and one square of contrast fabric.

With a pencil and ruler, draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of the light color square. With right sides together, layer the lighter square on the darker square and stitch a 1/4" seam on BOTH SIDES of the drawn line. Cut apart on the drawn line (you  now have two HST units) and press seam allowances toward the darker fabric.

Repeat with the remaining 2 squares. Trim all four HST's to measure 2 inches x 2 inches.

Piecing the Bear Paw Block:
(1/4" seam allowances used throughout)
Sew the Half Square Triangles (and the 2" square of low volume background fabric) together in the following sequence and unit orientation:

2 block unit.
3.5 inches x 2 inches.
3 block unit.
5 inches x 2 inches.
Press seams either to the dark or to the light fabric. I have pressed my seams towards the lighter fabric in this instance as it resulted in less bulk and allowed for nesting of the final seam.

Sew the 2 block unit to the 3.5 square (press seam towards the square), then sew the 3 block unit again pressing the seam towards the square.

A Scrap Quilt and Bear Paw Block Tutorial | Red Pepper Quilts
Block measures 5 inches x 5 inches (including seam allowances).

Make 90 Bear Paw blocks - or however many you require for the size quilt you would like to make. Alternate the Bear Paw block with a 5 inch square of fabric.

A Scrap Quilt and Bear Paw Block Tutorial | Red Pepper Quilts
A Scrap Quilt and Bear Paw Block Tutorial | Red Pepper Quilts

Lots of photos! 

Any questions?  Please feel free to ask by leaving a comment, and I will explain/clarify by reply comment.

Edited to add: Cutting instructions for 2 more Bear Paw Block sizes:

7.5 Inch FINISHED Bear Paw Block:
For each Bear Paw Block cut:
1 square 5.5" x 5.5"
1 square background (low volume) fabric 3" x 3"
For the Half Square Triangles:
2 squares background (low volume) fabric 3.5 inches x 3.5 inches
2 squares contrast fabric 3.5 inches x 3.5 inches
(Trim the HST's to measure 3 inches x 3 inches)
Block measures 8 inches x 8 inches - including seam allowances.

9 Inch FINISHED Bear Paw Block:
For each Bear Paw Block cut:
1 square 6.5" x 6.5"
1 square background (low volume) fabric 3.5" x 3.5"
For the Half Square Triangles:
2 squares background (low volume fabric) 4 inches x 4 inches
2 squares contrast fabric 4 inches x 4 inches
(Trim the HST's to measure 3.5 inches x 3.5 inches)
Block measures 9.5 inches x 9.5 inches - including seam allowances.

Happy Sewing,
Rita
A Scrap Quilt and Bear Paw Block Tutorial | Red Pepper Quilts
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59 comments:

  1. Brilliant scrappy bear claws. I love it.

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  2. I'm so glad you blogged this! I loved it the first time I saw it on IG. So gorgeous. Thank you! x

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  3. Love the scrappy and the bear paw! This quilt makes me smile, as your quilts do! Thanks for sharing your work. It's lovely.

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  4. Lovely, I'll put it on my must make list

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  5. I lovE this quilt! Thanks for sharing. Where do you find the time?

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  6. This is just beautiful! Thank you for the tutorial.

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  7. waiting to see it backed and bound!!

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  8. Your selection of colurs always looks so good! Do you choose your fabrics first, or pick them out for each block as you go along?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Sue - thank you for stopping by! I spent a long time (two days) going through my scraps and cutting fabric squares from those scraps, choosing and separating low volume (or simply light fabrics) and dark fabrics. I then very quickly chose light and dark fabric squares to make the HST's. Once the HST's were pieced I pieced the block. I don't like to over think the fabric selection for each block. Sometimes the greater the color clash, the better the block. Rita

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    2. thank you for the tips :) always adore your fabrics choice..
      xo,
      FItri

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  9. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. I especially love the way you combine print and colour. So inspiring.

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  10. I never liked this pattern. BUT, I love, love this color and scrappy version!!!!

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  11. Gorgeous! Thanks for sharing this pattern with us! You work always looks so perfect :)

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  12. I love the colors in your quilt so pretty. and I have always loved the bear paw block but just have never made one-I need to put this on my to make list-thanks

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  13. Absolutely love this!!! great job!

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  14. Wow, I love the tiny bear paw blocks! Your fabric selections are perfect as always! I love the little teapots! :) Thanks for the tutorial.

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  15. Great quilt and the bear paw blocks give a lot of interest.

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  16. So interesting to learn your scraps are untidy. Based on the meticulous piecing and images on your blog, I would have assumed your scraps were perfectly organized. Another beautiful quilt! I love seeing them every week.

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  17. I love your "Quilt Stats!" Very cute. You have such a variety of fabrics - wow. I know what you mean about scraps - I keep getting ideas for new pieces but then I think about how I need to use up some scraps, too...I get a little bit of fabric fatigue - don't want to use old fabrics, want to use new ones. But this is a great idea for using them.

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  18. Beautiful quilt! Bear paw is one of my favorite blocks. I recently completed a huge bear paw block for a baby quilt. My half-squares triangles finished at five inches. Would need to think about making blocks as small as yours. Do you use a special tool to trim them?

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  19. Beautiful quilt. Thank you for the tutorial. The fabrics you use are always so fun and beautiful.

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  20. Thank you for the tutorial! I love this block!

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  21. I love this! what a great way to use the bear's paw blocks. I want to make one of my own now. :)

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  22. Thanks so much for the bear paw tutorial. I've never done it before, and your directions are so simple and easy. Your quilt is beautiful! So spring-ish, and bright and happy and scrappy.

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  23. This quilt is adorable. I really love it!

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  24. Love your quilt what a great idea to use scraps! My scrap bin is overflowing, too, I think I just needed the right project, thank you!

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  25. Rita: When trimming the hst to 2", is it essential to trim all 4 sides of the square? or is trimming 2 sides sufficient?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Di - thank you for stopping by! No, if you can get away with just trimming two sides of the HST unit then that's perfect!

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  26. Now that's a Rita quilt! Lovely! Thanks for sharing...

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  27. Beautiful scrappy bear paw! You have such a gift for putting things together, even your wonderful little scraps. Gorgeous!

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  28. This is just beautiful! You give so much inspiration!

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  29. Thanks for sharing. Makes me go Ahhh :)
    Janita

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  30. Absolutely beautiful!! Thanks for sharing your beautiful quilts and your tutorials Rita!:)

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  31. This is stunning, as usual. And what a great way to use up random charm squares!

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  32. Such beautiful fabric scraps!

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  33. In love with the scrappiness! Ha! Rhymes with happiness! Coincidence? I think not!

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  34. I do love a bear paw and made a baby quilt using up the bonus HSTs you get when making other blocks. Love how you change up a traditional block

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  35. What a sweet (Rita) quilt! And thanks for the tutorial too.
    I have a lot of fabric, but I continue to be amazed by the variety of your stash.

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  36. What a great eye for colour you have.

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  37. First off I love your style! Your fabrics are awesome and they way you combine them is brilliant ;c) I not great with "quilty math" so if I wanted to make a bigger bear paw block how would I change the measurements? Say I wanted an 8 or 10" block. Thanks for any help you can provide!

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    1. Hi Janet - thank you for stopping by!

      To keep the math simple let's go with the following size blocks:

      7.5 Inch FINISHED Bear Paw Block:
      For each Bear Paw Block you would need to cut:
      1 square 5.5" x 5.5"
      1 square background (low volume) fabric 3" x 3"
      For the Half Square Triangles:
      2 squares background (low volume) fabric 3.5 inches x 3.5 inches
      2 squares contrast fabric 3.5 inches x 3.5 inches
      (Trim the HST's to measure 3 inches x 3 inches)

      9 Inch FINISHED Bear Paw Block:
      For each Bear Paw Block you would need to cut:
      1 square 6.5" x 6.5"
      1 square background (low volume) fabric 3.5" x 3.5"
      For the Half Square Triangles:
      2 squares background (low volume fabric) 4 inches x 4 inches
      2 squares contrast fabric 4 inches x 4 inches
      (Trim the HST's to measure 3.5 inches x 3.5 inches)

      Happy Sewing,
      Rita

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    2. Thanks Rita! That was so nice of you. I've wanted to make this block for a while now. I appreciate your help!

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  38. Great tutorial ~ I'm going to have to try this block out! Plus ~ I love that quilt ~ it makes my girly heart sing!

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  39. I adore your quilt! Thanks so much for the excellent tutorial, too.
    I love your scrappy look.... it is gorgeous!
    Susie

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  40. This is SO adorable! I really want to make one now! :D

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  41. Beautiful quilt and a great easy-to-follow tutorial; also love that there are different size blocks to make, THANKS :)

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  42. Rosemary B here:
    Oh yes, this is a Rita quilt.
    What an adorable happy pattern and lovely fabrics, all playing together!
    Thank you so much for generously sharing your pattern.
    You are a doll

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  43. Rosemary B again:
    And thank you for your confession on fabric scraps.
    You are not alone ha ha
    I have a mighty scrap heap as well.
    I need a scrap secretary. Maybe you do to

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  44. Bear paw blocks have been a long-time favorite of mine. I like the scrappy look and tips on cutting and machine piecing. Thanks!

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  45. Gosh that is so darling, thanks for the pictures and pattern

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  46. Thank you for the tutorial! You come up with the best, brightest fabric combos! So awesome. :)

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  47. I adore your colorful quilts and this one is adorable. love it!

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  48. Ah...another beautiful quilt, as usual. Your scraps are the best! Wish my scrap bin was as enticing as yours. :)

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  49. Love Scrappy Quilts! This one is a real winner, thanks for sharing!

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