Little Bear’s Quilt
By Leesa, Square One Studio

Leesa created this quilt nearly a decade ago for her best friend’s newborn son. It measures 48″ x 60″ and the batting and thread are 100% cotton (though she adds that she now uses polyester thread for durability).

Lessa writes, “Except for a 7th grade home economics class, I didn’t really know how to sew when I started it and certainly didn’t know how to quilt but after years in grad school studying art history, I was itching to get back to my roots in design and actually make something myself. Little Bear’s quilt was the result.

It was inspired by the clean, graphic simplicity of traditional Amish quilts and by contemporary quilt artist Nancy Crow’s updated interpretation of the log cabin block. About halfway through the process of making the top, a friend gave me a copy of a recent article in Martha Stewart Living on a ‘young and upcoming quilt maker’ named Denyse Schmidt. The article featured her ‘What a Bunch of Squares’ quilt and I couldn’t believe how much it resembled the top I was piecing together on my design board—right down to the blue center squares! I was struck by the way she randomly swapped out similar tones to give the quilt a truly patched-up and handmade look and incorporated this technique into my own quilt. Needless to say I’ve been a huge DS fan ever since.

I relied heavily on the book Quilting for Dummies to learn the technical aspects of quilt making but readers interested in this particular brand of wonky log cabin design can find instructions in the 2005 book Denyse Schmidt Quilts: 30 Colorful Quilt and Patchwork Projects.

Although time consuming, I find hand quilting to be a soothing, meditative process. It lends a unique and quirky quality to a design that can’t be replicated by machine.”

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