Tuesday, February 16

Please Look After This Bear

Throughout this quilting evolutionary process, I am finding that the most memorable and eye-catching projects seem to be the ones with the most simple detail. Essentially, my eyes tend to like clean lines, simple patterns and prefer to take in one main idea.

That's why I loved this quilt pattern from the moment I saw it. The entire thing is essentially a yard and a half of fabric with two lines cut through the middle, and two strips of patchwork mending the angled cuts. So simple! I chose to use this bold and colorful Paddington Bear print that I got for a great deal at a fabric warehouse, and supplemented it with all variety of scraps sitting around from past projects. The backing is a rich, dark brown color, but I wanted to create some continuity between the bright front and the dark back. So I sliced the brown fabric at an angle and made a third patchwork strip, adding some scraps of the Paddington fabric to "mimic" the front. To quilt the layers together I hand-knotted using two different skein colors for each knot (3 strands of each color). And to finish it off I chose a dark teal print (left over from yet another project), which keeps the quilt both gender-neutral and bright.

For the poor souls out there who've never encountered Paddington Bear, he is the adorable, stuffed hero created by the British author Michael Bond. He is a small bear from "Darkest Peru" who totes his battered suitcase containing several jars of marmalade, and wears a tag around his neck that reads "Please Look After This Bear". In his very first childrens' book adventure (1958), he stows away on a ship that ultimately lands in London's Paddington Station. And to his delight the Brown family discovers him in the station, dubs him Paddington, and welcomes him into their home. Perhaps some child will soon snuggle up into this quilt (so named "Please Look After This Bear") with his or her very own copy of Paddington Bear!

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