Meet Boris, Bjorn Bear’s cousin from a colder climate. He’s wearing fur, because a silly rainbow bear would freeze his tail off. This is the Bjorn Bear pattern from Elizabeth Hartman, one of my favorite designers. You do have to buy a printed pattern for this one – it isn’t a quick download from her site. (Thanks, Gayle, for reminding me to include this! My morning fogginess made me forget.)
This was a shower idea. I think everyone has those – crazy ideas that pop up while you are shampooing your hair with nothing to write on. I like to take notes on the glass door with a bar of soap. My husband doesn’t care for this habit.
Anyway, my favorite local quilt shop had me do a project with the cuddle fur fabric, and I thought it was a pain in the petunia. I vowed never to work with it again. Naturally, I had this great idea that uses it. Olde City Quilts also specializes in quilting on leather, so I worked a bit of leather into Boris’ nose.
This was my first time stitching with leather. You can’t pin like regular fabric, because the holes won’t go away. I pinned parallel to the seam line, in the seam allowance. The leather also doesn’t slide along on my machine like cotton. That took a bit of maneuvering. Otherwise, it was fine. I didn’t change my needle or thread.
Because the fur is such a bear to work with I have put together a list of suggestions if you decide to work with it yourself. You know you want to – look at this adorable face!
- Upon arriving home with Cuddle, put it in the dryer with a wet towel for 10-20 minutes. It doesn’t fray or shrink.
- Clean out your lint filter.
- Set up a cutting table outside if at all possible.
- Bring out a small vacuum if you have it, to prevent your yard from looking like a rabbit was shaved.
- Cut with the fur side down.
- Pin, pin, and pin some more. And use your walking foot.
- If your precision piecing isn’t quite perfect, don’t worry. This fabric gathers nicely and puckers don’t really show. Just put the longer side down, against your feed dogs.
I accidentally discovered a great way to get a lot of fuzz off of freshly cut cuddle.
Hold one corner of your cut piece down, and suck the rest into your vacuum. Turn it around and do the other side if necessary. It works great.
I quilted simply. I used stitch in the ditch around the outside of the bear face, and around the interior pieces. I didn’t want to detract from the texture in the fabric. I did a wavy zig zag in the background.
The backing is this gorgeous print by Art Gallery fabrics. It is part of the Blithe line. It feels like linen, but is cotton. I deviated from the pattern and did not quilt the backing. I’m not convinced it is necessary, and I’m not looking for extra work today.
Boris will be traveling to the Eastern States Exposition later this month, as part of the creative arts competition. Wish him luck! I think he would look fabulous with a ribbon.