Bear in the Woods

61662991_10216915826342470_8164940993875935232_nBack 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.

61367338_10216915825862458_104664135345635328_nLorna 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.

61631395_10216915825582451_6759875054676213760_nI 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.


Linking up to Dionne at Clever Chameleon and Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs.

23 thoughts on “Bear in the Woods

  1. I love your version! I had that pattern on my “maybe I will do one” list, but I felt the two colours a bit monotonous. Your fall coloured bear claws are certainly not!


  2. The piecing, the quilting, the story…I am fascinated by every bit! The colors of the quilt jump right off the page and the addition of the bear is perfection. What a lucky friend to have received such a special and thoughtful gift!


  3. I love everything about this quilt, and your story telling. The colours, your modifications and even the photo that makes me think of wonderful campfires the way it is arranged into a triangle and all the bear paws rising up like flames glowing against the woods backdrop.


  4. You did a fantabulous job on this quilt, fabric-choosing, piecing, quilting, (oh that BEAR just slinks right out of the blocks and OFF the quilt!!!), photographing, and story-telling. My only complaint is that there are not more photos!! Funny I just published a post about a quilt made as a tribute to my mum wherein I mentioned her and my aunt were BFFs from age 16 to 81 years. Just such a splendid finish!


  5. Wow. This is gorgeous, and the memories and care that went into it are incredible. Also, LOVE the quilting on the bear!


  6. Love the Bear’s paw pattern. Love the colors. Remind me of fall and everything associated it with it – changing colors, cooler temps, pumpkin spice and cinnamon apples. Gail, do we really need the bear? I love the quilt but I am scared of the bear.


    1. This is a friendly bear, who just wants to go for a walk in the woods. See, he has his mouth closed? And you can run into the trees that are quilted on the outside borders. Glad you like the colours. So do I.


  7. Hi Ann! I have to say that gave me pause – we knew each other way back in the cave years?! HAHA – I rarely find anyone that spells her name exactly the same as me. I did get sent to the bathroom to wash off light blue eye shadow in junior high school. Gasp! Anyway, I love your quilt. It is so pretty and a great finish. I’m am 100% certain that Roseanne loves and adores this quilt and feels all the love you stitched into it. How could she not?! Or is that me that received it and now don’t recall? ~smile~ Roseanne


  8. I think everyone should have a privilege of a friendship like that. So many memories you two have had together, and many that made me smile (and remember some of my own). What a wonderful quilt and a lovely gift, fitting for a cabin and for a friend who has made many memories with you. I hope she enjoys a wonderful birthday and an adventure-filled year!


  9. I really like your rendition of Lorna’s Bear in the Woods. I can appreciate the fall color leaves which reminded me of our trips to the Pocono Mtns. in PA where my in-laws kept a cabin. Yes, there were/are plenty of bears there. It’s the use of color which makes your quilt more meaningful than the single plain fabric Lorna used. This pattern has been on my list for a while. Glad you made it. Thanks for sharing.


  10. Awesome looking quilt!!! I love the variety of bears paws!!! The bear’s hair!!! WOW!!! It looks like the bear is stepping through the quilt!!! What a wonderful gift for you life-long friend!
    Gord just saw the pics and said “that’s cool.”
    Happy Quilting! šŸ™‚


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