Back in the dark ages, shortly after man first walked on the moon, when high school girls were still sent to the bathroom to wash their faces if they came to school wearing makeup, I met my friend Roseanne. We shared a love of fun and adventure, but especially a joy in the ridiculous, that has lasted for almost fifty years. We were camping the night that Nixon left office, taking a hammer into our tent when the guys in the next tent offered us a toke; there was no legal marijuana in those days. We drove a new, standard transmission, car 1500 miles home from the Montreal Olympics when neither of us could drive stick. One policeman eventually waved us through a red light somewhere in New England after we had stalled trying to start on the previous six greens, but with one of us on handbrake, and the other on clutch, we managed. Later, we had children much the same ages and our families went camping for many summers; activities involved beaches and fireworks and jellyfish and tents and campfires and all manner of fun. Now our children are grown, but we still enjoy the great outdoors, and she and her husband have just finished renovating their cabin (cottage) in the woods. It is beautiful. It needed a quilt.
Lorna McMahon of Sew Fresh Quilts had a quilt along a few years ago for Mod Bear Paw that I admired but didn’t join. Given that we had seen bears while camping, I thought it was the pattern for the cabin. Because I used multiple colours instead of the suggested two, I was able to add bear paws under the bear’s belly that were not in the original. I simplified the borders, giving me a place to quilt reminders of past exploits, and good wishes for the future.
I had planned to put lots of quilting in the bear paw blocks, but found that after I had stippled all the navy background, the bright batiks popped up beautifully, so I left them undone. The bear himself was fun to stitch. I found myself googling images of bears to see which way their fur grew. When the quilt was trimmed, I added a scrappy, gold, binding and delivered it, with my good wishes, to Roseanne for her recent, significant, birthday.