At the Grand Canyon, keeping the chill off!
Hi, GO! Getters! It’s Gina from Gem Hill Quilts. This time, I am revisiting an old friend, the classic AccuQuilt GO!® Bear’s Paw die block. It goes by several names so you may know it as the Bear’s Claw or Hand of Friendship or maybe even Duck’s Foot in the Mud which is my personal favorite!
With the new GO! Bear’s Paw BOB® die, making this block has never been easier! As you can see, a large square, a small square, a triangle and a rectangle are the shapes necessary to make it, and these are exactly what is on the die. There are multiples of the triangle which makes sense since several triangles are used for every large square and small square. The GO! Bear’s Paw die makes a 14" square finished block.
I look at the Bear’s Paw block as four mini-blocks sewn together with connector rectangles and squares.
So, when you put the block together, you do have to pay attention to the orientation of each mini-block to make sure the Bear’s Paw block turns out as expected. But, this setup also allows you to change the orientation of each mini-block which, in turn, changes the look of the final block. So, here are some new blocks you can make by changing the orientation of the mini-blocks!
As my first project with the GO! Bear’s Paw, I have chosen to make a quick and easy table runner – with this tiny twist of rotating the mini-blocks just a bit differently!
I used four fabrics for this project. An autumn shade of orange for the large squares, a light green for the triangles, a dark green for some of the small squares and binding, and finally, a warm yellow for the background.
Recommendations on Cutting:
Because you do not need to cut all the shapes out of any one fabric, rough-cut fabric only for the particular shape you need, place the fabric on the shape, and place a mat over just that shape! So, for the orange fabric, I rough-cut about a 5” strip and fan-folded it over the large square shape to cut six layers. I then placed a 6” square mat over just that shape and cut just the large shape. This really saves wear-and-tear on your mats!
Another example is the yellow fabric. You can rough-cut the fabric to cover all the shapes except for the large square since you need all the other shapes. Fan-fold the fabric and place a large mat just over those shapes, then cut away! It looks a bit awkward, but it was really pretty easy to do!
When you are done cutting the shapes out as outlined in the cutting directions, you can use the GO! Strip Cutter-2 1/2" (2” Finished) die (#55017) to cut four yellow fabric strips to use for the borders.
I used the GO! Strip Cutter – 2 1/4" (1 3/4" Finished) die (#55053) to cut my binding strips.
Though this is a fairly straightforward block to sew together, it can also be rather easy to make a mistake. So, to avoid that, start by laying out one orange square, four light green triangles, four yellow triangles and one yellow square as a mini-block, just to get an idea of how the mini-block needs to be sewn together.
Next, sew a light green triangle with a yellow triangle together to complete a half-square triangle unit that measures 2 1/2" square. Make four of these and replace in your mini-block layout.
Sew the adjacent half-square triangle units together.
Note that the pair of half-square triangle units on one side of the mini-block is a mirror-image of the pair that is on the other side.
Continue to sew the mini-block together until completed. It should measure 6 1/2" square.
Here’s how I pressed it.
Make three more mini-blocks.
Now, lay out the four mini-blocks, four yellow rectangles and one dark green small square. Make sure the mini-blocks are rotated correctly. Sew the units within each row together, then sew the rows together to complete the block. It should measure 14 1/2" square.
Repeat steps to make two more blocks.
For sashing, sew a yellow rectangle on opposite sides of a dark green square. Make two of these.
Now, lay out the three blocks with sashing between the blocks. Sew together to form the quilt center. It should measure 14 1/2" x 46 1/2".
How to Make Borders:
From one of the yellow border strips, cut two 2 1/2" x 18 1/2" short side borders.
Sew the three remaining border strips together to make one long strip. From this, cut two 2 1/2” x 46 1/2" long side borders.
Sew a long side border on both long sides of the quilt center.
Then, sew the short side borders onto the short sides to complete the quilt. It should measure
18 1/2" x 50 1/2".
How to Finish Your Quilt:
After preparing the quilt sandwich with the quilt top, batting and binding, I machine quilted a meandering pattern all over the quilt. Well, I did add a curl every so often to add interest!
After binding the quilt, don’t forget to add a label.
It just so happened that right when I was binding the quilt and writing this blog post, my husband and I traveled to Arizona where we visited Sedona and the Grand Canyon. So, this quilt traveled right along and even did double duty as a shawl at the Grand Canyon!
In Sedona, at sunset, hanging out with a prickly pear with a red rock formation in the background!
Make your own version of this Bear's Paw quilt. Add more rows for a bigger quilt or rotate the mini-blocks a different way. Whatever you do, it will be fast, easy and fabulous!