Quilt Block Mystery Case 1: Bear Tracks

>> Monday, September 25, 2017

This is the first in a new series of posts that I will share here on my blog, Sew Joy Creations. It is my hope that another quilter or someone with knowledge about quilt blocks and their names will be able to assist me in solving these mysteries. When/if a case is solved I will go back and edit posts with a link to the solution (pattern for making the block!) I hope you enjoy the hunt as much as I do! Keep your eyes open, here's the case.



visit sewjoycreations.com help solve quilt block mysteries


Bear Tracks

Start of the Mystery: Quilt sighting at Kagawong Quilt Show, July 15, 2017

This quilt is big and beautiful. I immediately wondered how the block was constructed and read on the description card that it had been taught in a class.



bear tracks quilt handquilt rare quilt block





I didn't notice the beautiful handquilting in person. Click on the photo to enlarge and enjoy it yourself :) To be fair, I was with my children at the time! Thank goodness for digital photography. The quilting definitely enhances the quilt, but gives no clues to the block construction.



quilt show label bear tracks quilt



Lead #1: Pinterest Photos

The photos below came up during a direct search in Pinterest for bear track. So did several photos showing blocks commonly known as Bear Paw. 


Iowa Barntiques antique quilt

This quilt from Iowa Barntiques is pretty close, isn't it? It has me thinking that maybe the blocks in the quilt I saw are set on point or with another block between them.

You can see more of my Quilt Block Mystery pins on the board I made on Pinterest for these cases here.


Lead #2: An Internet Search

Not extremely successful, but not frustrating either.

bear track quilt pattersn Patchwork Square


You can click on the photo and be taken to the link to download this pdf of a bear tracks block in two layouts. This leads me more and more to think the block is made up of T blocks arranged around a center unit.

AND THEN I found this post with the phrase,
 There is no Bear’s Track block. The earliest record of this design was pattern #351 through the Ladies Art Company and that pattern made it in print after 1897. There was an earlier pattern – pattern #162, but the tracks are arranged in a clockwise position, like a pinwheel.

Quote from post entitled, A Quilt with No Name from the blog, Beyond Little House(yes, Laura Ingalls' little house!)

The photos mentioned in this post are no longer displayed, however they do send me on a happy search to find Ladies Art Company pattern #162 and the Irish Puzzle block at FieldGuidetoQuilts.com



Irish Pickle block full quilt mockup

Click on the photo to go to the website and a page of mockup quilts. This one is close, but the "T" has one too many points. 



To be continued. . . .


sewjoycreations series on quilt block mysteries


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Do you have a LEAD to help solve this block mystery?
Please leave it in a comment.
Do you have your own BLOCK MYSTERY?
Feel free to share in the comments and maybe we can help you too!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



With Joy,

Sarah V.


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Holly Jolly Quilt Blocks

>> Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Welcome September! School is back in session and wow, what a difference a month makes. Everyone in our house goes back to school with two teachers, a 5th grader and a 12th grader. All different, but the same - kind of like what quilt blocks can look like when we participate in block of the months!



This is the one block project that I have kept up with this year. Maybe it's the incentive to finish a block to receive the next pattern free, or maybe it's because I actually schedule a due date in my "real" calendar and not just my quilting calendar.

I have the next block almost all cut out and will do more tonight as I know my calendar is busy and I want to be done on time!

I am doing other quilting and I will share again soon. This was short and sweet to let you know I'm still quilting, and to touch base with those who are looking to the quilting blogs for some comfort and distraction amidst all the storms and upheaval. 


With Joy,

Sarah V.

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How to make your own 10 inch squares

>> Sunday, August 20, 2017



One of my quilting goals for this quarter was to make a quilt for my brother using my Churn, Baby, Churn quilt pattern.


sewjoycreations pattern Churn Baby Churn baby quilt pattern

                                 click on photo to go to pattern link at my Craftsy shop

Of course, this quilt is too small a size for my brother so my plan was to make my own 10 inch squares from a half yard bundle and just add more blocks to make it bigger. The fabric I chose was Tula Pink's Holiday Homies.



half yard bundle Tula Pink Holiday Homies



This post goes through the cutting steps I did to get the most 10 inch squares possible out of this line. I only realized later on that I would still have to play with my leftovers to make enough blocks, but that's the fun thing about this pattern - it does make leftovers!

Let's get started.


save selvages cut generous width of one inch



First things first: I always save the selvages! I usually cut a generous inch off the edge of the fabric - sometimes more if I really want to feature the fabric design in my selvage project. 

How to Make Selvage Fabric tutorial on Craftsy {free download}




cut 10 inch strip from half yard of fabric



Then I determined that cutting the long way would give me two 10 inch squares and leave a little leftover edge (instead of cutting the opposite way and only getting one 10 inch square.)


cut strip into 10 inch squares



For the second cut I laid the fabric out full and used the measurements on my cutting mat as well as my 18" ruler to make sure I was cutting 10 inch squares.


selvages and leftover strips from cutting 10 inch squares



To keep track of the pieces I had a small plastic bin for the leftover strips and selvages and two plastic scrapbooking cases for the 10 inch squares. 


use scrapbooking plastic cases for storing fabric squares and blocks



Notice at this point that I thought I would have enough squares for 2 projects, but in reality I only had enough for one because there were only 14 fabrics in the line. Keep this in mind when you are looking to make your own stack of 10 inch squares - the more fabrics in the line, the more squares you will be able to cut!


churn baby churn blocks



I'm happy to report that even with a few cutting errors while making the blocks (mostly due to direction of the prints and cutting late at night!) I had enough squares to make 20 - 12" blocks.




The next time you're planning a project that uses 10" squares I hope you'll consider using these tips and cutting your own! 



With Joy,

Sarah V.
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Rearranging Fabric and Furniture in my Quilting Space

>> Monday, August 14, 2017

This past week I decided to make some changes in my quilting space. I knew that I had more fabric than I could see and thought that putting it on display would inspire me, and slow down my fabric shopping!


empty glass hutch with magazines in storage beneath

I didn't really want or need to get new furniture; I knew I could use this glass door hutch to display my fabrics. But that would mean emptying it out and finding homes for all the stuff it was currently storing.



hutch items out and in piles on ironing board

I had a few piles of finished projects, a fat quarter bundle, some projects and tins in the hutch. My ironing board provided some temporary storage.



containers waiting for new homes

I was kind of amazed and overwhelmed with how much stuff I had actually put in the hutch! I knew I wasn't going to have the same amount of space to relocate it all too - I don't have THAT much fabric!




desk in quilting space with cat in basket


 Plus, this is where I wantedto put the hutch. All of this stuff had to move too - including the cat basket!

Well, obviously there's a happy ending or I wouldn't be sharing, right? ;)



fabric in glass hutch on desk


The picture was taken at night, but you can see that I was succesful in getting the hutch on my desk and the fabric in the hutch. 
There's a little bit more fabric still in hiding, for the most part fabric that is already dedicated to projects so it doesn't really count as stash (right?!) 
The cat basket has been put back on the corner of this desk; I had it under my ironing board but the cat found it too nerve wracking to be in it when I was ironing.


quilt on wall behind desk

This is the what the corner looks like now! My kids say it looks more like an office which  I think I like. It certainly feels more inviting and inspiring. I have my printer close to my desk now and I have been looking through my designs more since I put my files closer to my chair. 


flannel sheet design wall behind sewing machine

And before I moved around my fabrics, I took down my flannel sheet design board and put it up horizonally to give me more space! I made this decision when I started working on my Splendid Sampler sampler. 


I hope I inspired you to use what you already have to freshen up your quilting space. 


With Joy,
Sarah V.

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Starting my Splendid Sampler Sampler and a Pattern Sale

>> Wednesday, August 2, 2017

It's been awhile since I pulled out my completed Splendid Sampler blocks.

splendid sampler blocks

I have no where near 100 made and probably won't make anymore. Instead I'm looking at incorporating these blocks with others to make a quilt for my mother in law. She gifted me these fabrics and I had every intention of making her a Splendid Sampler quilt.

Part of what I've been grappling with from the outset is putting my blocks together in a non-traditional setting since my mother in law is really drawn to assymetrical settings. 
I even started a Pinterest board to get my planning started.

After a recent visit from my mother in law, I was inspired to start designing this quilt again. 
At this point I'm planning to make the Splendid Sampler blocks the focus at the top of the quilt and add different, some modern, blocks to fill out the rest of the quilt.

Which led me back to making a Liberated Churn Dash!

liberated churn dash quilt block

As you can see, it's huge!
I was planning to make it square, but it has ended up 26 1/2 x 28 1/2 inches - close! At least it is divisible by 2 which helps when incorporating it with other blocks.

I am working on a new set of posts for QUILTsocial.com featuring the PFAFF creative 3.0 you can see in this photo. (You might see another liberated churn dash in those posts too - shhh!)

All I can say is that I'm really enjoying playing with fabrics again to create these liberated blocks. And from looking at some recent statistics for my blog I know that modern quilt guilds are still finding and using my tutorial.

I thought this was as good a time as ever to feature my Liberated Churn Dash QUILT pattern at my Etsy shop in case another quilter wanted to try their hand at making a quilt full of these blocks.

liberated churn dash quilt pattern cover

For the next 7 days

August 2 - August 9

Grab my pdf pattern of the Liberated Churn Dash QUILT
for $7 Canadian
(or as close as I can get it!)

Please note that this discount is ONLY at my ETSY shop
the pattern will be its original price on Craftsy




Thanks for your support and Enjoy!


Sarah V.


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