The Bear’s Paw quilt block is a multi-faceted block, both in its history and in its application. Is there bias surrounding the name of this quilt block? You bet.
This quilt block is known by various names. We call it the Bear’s Paw
quilt block, but according to what I’ve read
, how you refer to this block might be dictated by the region in which you live. For example, if you’re from Long Island, you might call it Duck’s Foot in the Mud, since ducks outnumber bears in that area. If you’re a Quaker living in Philadelphia, you might know it as the Hand of Friendship quilt block.
Speaking of variability, the Prairie Blossoms quilt below uses a Bear’s Paw variation with fewer points and shorter sashing to create little flowers across the white quilt. This is a great example of how adaptable the Bear’s Paw design can be.
You can see the origins of the Bear’s Paw quilt block in Saw Tooth designs found primarily in the borders of early American quilts. The Saw Tooth is the basis for many quilt patterns, not just Bear’s Paw quilts. You can see the Saw Tooth used inDelectable Mountain and Feathered Star
quilts, like this quilt called Blooming Feathered Star
There’s a lot to this quilt block! If you’d like to see more quilts featuring the Bear’s Paw quilt block and read more about its history during times of slavery, take a look at BLOCK Friday: Bear’s Paw Quilt Block, Pt. 1.
Have you ever made a quilt using the Bear’s Paw quilt block or a variation? Tell me about it in the comments below.
Other topics you may enjoy: