Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Ursa Major aka the Big Bear (and a giveaway)

A couple of months ago I saw that Juliet from The Tartankiwi had designed an amazing big bear block.  I put my hand up to pattern test it because I thought it was just so cool!

This was the image I saw in Juliet's instagram feed!

I have to confess that when I opened up the pattern Juliet sent me, I wondered if I'd bitten off more than I could chew.  This block is 30" square and there are quite a few pieces to tape together.  I have some experience with paper piecing but I wouldn't call myself a paper piecing expert or anything.  However, once I decided to make a polar bear version, I got so excited about putting my block together that I got over my fears.

Ursa Major

After that, the whole process went super smoothly.  It took me one evening after work to cut out all my pattern pieces and tape them together, and then this Saturday I pieced the whole thing in one day.

Ursa Major

You can see from the back of my pattern that I made quite a few notes to myself to help with fabric placement!  It's definitely a must with something this size.  I also used a lot of Juliet's paper piecing tips and tricks and they really helped, particularly with some parts of the process I've found challenging in the past, like joining the pattern pieces.

Ursa Major 

I'm so glad I got through my nervousness about this block and actually stitched it up.  I am completely in love with the bear I made.  Using a lot of low volume fabrics for the bear presented quite a challenge in terms of getting enough contrast between the different parts of the bear's body - something I relished.  My fabric choices were not completely perfect but at the same time they resulted in some surprising and pleasing things (like the bear on his nose and the &love tattoo), so overall I'm happy.

Ursa Major

I was lucky enough to meet Juliet earlier this year when she was in Wellington for Handmade.  She is honestly the nicest person and I am just in awe of her talent for designing paper pieced blocks.  You absolutely must head over and check out Juliet's post which shows the block she made and the blocks all the other pattern testers made - without exception they are gorgeous and creative!

Juliet's Big Bear pattern is now available on Craftsy for the super bargain price of $2.95 for the first 48 hours (the price will then be increasing to $5.00 which I still think is a bargain for the massive amount of work Juliet has put into making this pattern awesome and easy to use).

Ursa Major

Juliet is very kindly letting me give away a pdf copy of her Big Bear pattern, together with a pdf copy of one of her other patterns.  To enter, just leave a comment here letting me know which other pattern of Juliet's you'd like to win - you can check out her Craftsy store here.  If you win and you've already bought the Big Bear pattern, Juliet will either refund you, or give you another pattern of your choice - whichever you prefer.

The giveaway will close at 8:30 p.m. New Zealand time on Sunday 31 August 2014, and I'll pick a winner using the random number generator.  This giveaway is open internationally, but if I can't contact you, you can't win.  Please make sure to leave your email in the comment if you think you might be a no-reply blogger (and check out my tutorial here if you're not sure).

Thank you, Juliet, for letting me be a pattern tester for this block.  It pushed me to do something that I wasn't completely sure I could manage, and I love the result.  I think the most satisfying quilts come from the times you push your limits and succeed anyway!

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Full disclosure: the links in this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you're not already a Craftsy member and you sign up after clicking through from this post, I'll earn a small commission.  I've been a Craftsy affiliate for ages because I think their classes are great and I love the way they facilitate indie designers like Juliet.

55 comments:

Kat said...

Your polar bear looks awesome! I also made one of her patterns on Saturday-- the polar bear! I want to win the VW bus, too. Thanks!!

Allison C said...

Love the panda bear pattern too. I'm bear crazy! Good job on your LV bear.

Michelle said...

LOVE your polar bear variation! I adore all of Juliet's patterns but my favourite (besides the bear patterns!) is the fox. He's amazing.

Rhonda D. said...

Love your bear! I like her kakariki pattern. Thanks for the chance to win!

Leeanne said...

Very clever fabric placement. Juliet sure is clever! I have been lucky enough to quilt a few of her designs.

Ella said...

Love the VW van! Your bear is beautiful!

Rachelle said...

I love Cunning Mr Fox, he's just right for how a fox should look; not too cute! Love your polar bear too; perfection.

Marls said...

Your bear is amazing Adrianne. Juliet is very clever in her designs. I have to say I love the Tui pattern.

Afton Warrick said...

I'd pick the 12" butterfly. Her fairy is great, and it's free!

Sarah Goer said...

Great job on the polar bear. I love her panda! That would be really fun to make.

Suze said...

You did a marvelous job on the polar bear. I like the ballet shoes, too. Her patterns are great! I'm going to check out the hints for paper piecing. I did a paper pieced bra not long ago and it was a challenge for me since I had not paper pieced lately. Any hints help. Thank you for the lovely post and hosting the giveaway.

grace said...

Ooh thanks for the giveaway. I'd love her tui pattern or one of her other awesome birds.

Kelly Warriner-Simpson said...

Oh yes! Love tartankiwi's work. That bear is gorgeous

Helen M said...

I love the bear and the panda - what a great prize to win but at her prices, even if I don't win I would be tempted to buy a pattern

Lynn McIndoe said...

Juliets Combi van would be great in a retro project. Great idea to make your version a polar bear. It worked out beautifully. I cant work out if I have a no reply setting, so lynnmcindoe@gmail.com

jeifner said...

It's wonderful. Low volume yet you can see all the distinct pieces! And the bears for the bear, so meta :)

Hettie's Mum said...

Your polar bear looks GREAT! If I won I love the morepork

Heather J said...

Loved how you took the pattern and made it your vision with low volume fabrics. I smiled when I saw the bear on the nose and looked closer to see what other details in the fabrics were there. :)

nerospost said...

Beautiful Bear! Juliet makes fantastic pattern and I love her animal figures! Your bear became fantastic! Thank you for a great give away! x Teje
nerospost(at)gmail(dot)com

Ashlovett said...

Love the butterfly and the linked squares!

Sarah Fredette said...

Adorable! And perfect fabric choices!!!!

Jessica said...

Gorgeous!

Abby@ ColorBarQuilts said...

love how your bear turned out, very lovely. I have several of Juliet's patterns wish list for when I have time and I would love to do up a couple of her 12" butterflies.

Nat at Made in Home said...

Maybe it is too much for me - but I would love to have a go at making the bear.. and the fox!

Teresa @ Aurea's Kitchen said...

Your use of fabric in the bear is awesome. I am in love with The Cunning Mr. Fox and they are already in my craftsy wish list.

Patti said...

For some reason, I'm a fan of animal patterns, so I love your bear! Your fabric placement is wonderful. I'd like to do the fox! Thanks for the chance.

Betsy Smith said...

The panda sure is cute!

Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl said...

Wow, your polar bear is stunning! Any thoughts on what you will create with him, now?

bee said...

oh i love your polar bear! i'd definitely make a couple bears for my wall. I'd love to try the Puffin as well.

Paula said...

she's a PP queen for sure! I also love her butterflies...;)

SilverCat said...

Love your bear! I'd be torn between the butterfly and the puffin if I had to pick a favourite pattern.

Adtski31 said...

That looks amazing and vey difficult. Would love the challenge of trying it out.

Leonie said...

She is a beautiful bear!!! Juliet is a legend!! and well done you for taking on such a big project - love the low volumes :)

Janet Schultz said...

Your bear is amazing! I love the low volume prints. I've never done paper piecing so this would be a great project to try. The end product is awesome! I've been feeling a bit nostalgic so her VW van looked cute. I'd love to give that a try as well. Thanks for the chance to win. shopgirl7232(at)yahoo(dot)com

Karen said...

Really cute polar bear. You pulled off the fabric mix very well. I have already been eyeing Juliet's patterns. I would have to say the triceratops would get a lot of use around here!

Havplenty said...

Your polar bear is grand. Thanks for conquering your fears. I like many of the patterns but the the panda and the fox patterns stick out to me.

tushay3(at)yahoo(dot)com

Kathy E. said...

I love how your bear turned out! My husband is a bear-nut. His office is decorated in bears of all types and he'd love this! Another pattern I admire is the 12" butterfly. I added a few freebies to my pattern stash too! Thanks!

Karen Thurn said...

I really like the bear you made. I also like the pattern for the panda bear. It looks simple enough that I think I could do it. Thanks for the chance to win. kthurn@bektel.com

Angelia Lanouette said...

I really love your polar bear.....gorgeous!! I love how you used the low volume prints. I also love the 12" butterfly pattern. Thank you!

Kathy said...

I've seen this bear and think it is amazing at 2.95 I'm buying it so am glad to read how the giveaway is working :) how sweet to refund should one of be so lucky. I love her Ballet dancer, too! Your Polar Bear turned out fabulous. But the orange one had me loving him more than I already do :)

Miggsie said...

I love your polar bear! I also like her Cunning Mr. Fox pattern. Thanks for the giveaway!

Julie said...

Your bear is gorgeous. I have made her badger and am eyeing up some of her bird blocks too.

pennydog said...

Along with a bear (a must have for my OH) I would also like the Brontosaurus please!

Jan Jones said...

Love the V W. The bear block is adorable! I like them all, she is so talented!

Steph Blair said...

They are just fab. I'd love to win a copy of the pattern. I think the puffin would be my next choice, though it'd be a close one as there are so many beauties to choose from.

Steph Blair said...

or maybe the fox, or the panda bear!

Jan said...

I love your interpretation of the bear block. Bravo.

Sarah @ Berry Barn Designs said...

Adrianne, I adore your polar bear! I'd seen other versions of Juliet's bear, but yours in low volume is the first to really make me want to try it! I'd I win, I think I want the penguin to go with : )

Snow said...

I love her patterns! I would love to get either the badger (so I can make myself a rockin' Hufflepuff bag) or the 12" butterfly, because it's so pretty!

Rita T said...

your bear turned out absolutely amazing! I love the bear fabric that you used on his nose from sara watts...it's one of my favorites. I would love to make her fox one too.

LittleHouseontheDairy said...

Her patterns are amazing and your polar bear turned out great. I would love to make one and her butterfly too.

Shasta Matova said...

Your polar bear is adorable. Those little features you added - the tattoo and your fabric choices make it quite special. I have to say the little bear is my favorite, but cunning little fox is very close behind it.

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

So cute! Count me in!

Little Creatable said...

I need a pillow made of this. And my second pattern would be Ursa Minor OR Panda I am just addicted to bears.

Jeannie Gan said...

Isn't the polar bear cute?!
jchiagan at yahoo dot com