Sunday, August 11, 2013

Bears on the Porch Log Cabin 
Traditional blocks used: Log Cabin, Bear’s Paw, and Fir Tree.  
The quilt is 56 x 56, and the blocks are 8 x 8. 

I know this is only the equilt  version of the Bears on the Porch Log Cabin quilt.  The original is hanging in West Yellowstone in the Send-It-Home Shop.  When I finished the quilting, we hung it and started cutting kits to go with the pattern.

This is the quilt I will be teaching next week, on the 24th of August, in West Yellowstone, Montana. You can register on-line at  We'll make Bear Paw and  Fir Tree blocks in the morning, then do strip piecing of the log cabin blocks in the afternoon.  The classroom at the West Yellowstone Chamber of Commerce building is a wonderful space with great light and plenty of places to plug in extension cords.  We're also celebrating Christmas in August, so there will be some surprises.

Here's the short version of why I needed to make this quilt:  

History:  When my parents were in graduate school, they worked for several summers in Grand Teton National Park.  For two summers, we lived at the Spaulding Bay fire lookout tower, in a small cabin at the foot of the tower, high on a moraine overlooking Jackson Lake.  For adults standing in the top of the tower, sweeping views of the high peaks of the Teton range dominated the view.  For a toddler, fascinating things were much closer. One morning, my mother watched me with my hands and nose pressed against the inside glass of the cabin window, looking out at a bear cub whose nose and paws were pressed against the outside of the glass, looking in. My earliest memories include bears, tall pines and firs, and living in a cabin in the woods (and huckleberries, but that’s a different quilt).

Traditional Bear Paw block

The Bears on the Porch Log Cabin quilt was originally pieced in Forest colors of brown, green, and tan.  Look for a great bear fabric for the border!  

My venerable Viking with somewhere near 250,000 miles on it quit abruptly one afternoon at the beginning of quilting the White Grass Sampler, while Bears on the Porch was waiting for commercial quilting. (I hasten to say that my first and second Vikings are still "on the road," and serving two of my sisters.  Mine has served me well, and I took it to the shop, and learned that maybe I should just give it a good old Norse funeral and pass on the bobbins and specialized feet like  prizes in the funeral games.)  

I quilted Bears on the Porch  on borrowed machines, including finishing with a new Viking with no special features that did a splendid job of even tension quilting.  Next week I'll get a photo of the real quilt and post it here.  I have this sneaking suspicion that posting an equilt, even if it is a great design, is definitely cheating, and putting said equilt on the pattern cover is definitely bad form.  After all, I want to know that someone has actually made a quilt from a set of instructions before I buy that pattern! 

I worry (something I am really good at) about not getting the numbers right in the measurements for purchasing fabric, or in the cutting charts for my patterns.  Please, if you have one of my patterns and find an error, write to me so I can fix it.

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