Sometimes a quilt will come together in a week, and other times it takes over a year. This Sticky Paws quilt was an example of the latter, but I’m happy to say that it’s finally finished!
Colour Combo Inspiration
Over a year ago, my friend Kaitlyn shared this Instagram post with me and said “wouldn’t this colour palette make a beautiful quilt?” and I said “YES!!” We nicknamed the combo “Cinnamon Apple Pie” and I immediately set about finding a quilt pattern that would work well for it.
The perfect quilt pattern
Around this time, I saw that Oon of Grape Soda Studio was releasing a new pattern called Sticky Paws. I loved its bold use of colour and her interesting take on the traditional Bear Paw block. Since I had never made a Bear Paw quilt before, I thought this would be a great one to try!
Oon’s pattern is very thorough and offers four different versions of the design. Her most complex version (Version IV) uses 9 different fabrics and is beautiful. But I wanted to see if I could further complicate the Sticky Paws pattern by doubling the number of fabrics (the more the merrier, right??)
I made some modifications to the pattern and ended up with a version that required 17 different fabrics. Wild, but exactly what I was looking for!
It took some effort and auditioning, but I was able to (mostly) pull the fabric from my stash. I think I had to order two extra fat quarters to get my ideal palette, but that didn’t hurt my feelings.
Choosing a layout
My favourite way of mocking up a quilt layout is PreQuilt. It’s an online software that lets you visualize your project *before* you start cutting up your fabric. I’ve used it before with great success and recommend it!
Once I had finalized my fabric choices, I uploaded images of the prints into PreQuilt so I could visualize my Sticky Paws quilt.
After fiddling with the design for some time, I ended up with this layout where half of the blocks use bold prints in their “paws”, and the other half use fabrics that read more like a solid. I should mention that almost all of the fabrics were from Ruby Star Society. I love that I found a way to feature some of my most favourite prints in this special quilt!
Piecing the Sticky Paws blocks
This quilt involves a large number of (small) HSTs. I have vivid memories of sewing, pressing, and trimming the hundreds of blocks while watching many episodes of Inventing Anna. Isn’t that funny how you (or at least I) associate a certain show with a specific sewing project?
In any case, the project was complex and I kept worrying I was going to sew the wrong set of “claws” to the wrong “paws”. I’m proud to say that I only had to unpick one set of blocks, and the rest turned out correctly!
Once I had all my Sticky Paws blocks made, I *carefully* laid them out on my design floor and used my all-time favourite hack of “webbing” the quilt top. I find it to be the easiest, fastest, and least error-prone method of sewing piles of blocks together. That’s a win!
I chose a lovely, soft, snuggly Mammoth Flannel (in the Honeysuckle colourway) as my backing fabric, and you KNOW that I quilted this on my longarm machine! I wanted to use a jangly pantograph that would mimic the look of the many (many) HSTs in the pattern, and as luck would have it, Mum had recently designed the perfect design!
Shards is a beautiful, FAST pattern that looks great on my Sticky Paws quilt (if I do say so myself).
Binding the quilt
When it came to binding the quilt, I used the same fabric that I had for the center of the Bear Paw blocks. I think it tied the whole thing together, and is such a fun and happy print!
Now here comes the weird part….
I started hand binding the quilt shortly after quilting it, but then I just kind of…. stopped. My poor Sticky Paws quilt sat in my “to be bound” basket in the living room for about eight months before I finally picked it back up a few weeks ago.
When I pulled it out of the basket, I was shocked (SHOCKED!) to find that there were only about 18” of unfinished binding. I finished it up in the time it took to watch a RuPaul’s Drag Race episode, and I now have a finished Sticky Paws quilt.
I LOVE THIS THING!
It’s scrappy, uses the happiest fabric, came mostly from my stash, and includes a quilting design that my Mum designed.
Is it my current favourite quilt of all time? Yes it is!!
Have you ever left a quilt in a nearly-but-not-quite finished state for an extended period? Let me know about it in the comments below!