Quilt Block-12   'Polar Bears'
1 - These are the paper pattern (left), the freezer paper background pattern (right), and the freezer paper kids and polar bears patterns (bottom).
2 - These are the fabric pieces used to make the block: The Northern Lights print sky, the blue and white print snow and ice field, the snow ground, the white fleece (for the bears), the print designs (for the girl's kuspuk), the mottled turquoise (for the boy's kuspuk), the black fleece (for the ruffs and cuffs), the black leather-look (for the mittens and shoes), the solid turquoise (for the boy's pants).
3 - On the freezer paper patterns, I marked where the pieces fit one against the other and then cut them all apart (keep the 2 bears together). Carefully cut the sleeves, cuffs, and mittens from the center of the kuspuk pattern. The 2 lines remaining on the girl's kuspuk are to be embroidered.
4 - With a warm, dry (no steam) iron; press the freezer paper patterns onto the front of the fabric pieces leaving enough room for at least 1/4" seam allowance all the way around every piece (at least 1/2" between pieces). With a washable pencil that will show up on the fabric, mark the area in the hole opening for the arms onto the fabric so you will know where to sew the pieces for the sleeves, cuffs, and mittens.
4A - With right sides together, match up the bias edges (with the marks) and precise corners of the top section background pieces. Pin so paper edges meet exactly.
4B - Sew (I prefer using a serger) just scantly outside the paper edges and press towards the top section.
5 - With right sides together, match up the edges (with the marks) and precise corners of the snow and background sections. Pin so paper edges meet exactly.
6 - Sew just scantly outside the paper edges and press towards the top section. Mark the outer edges (around the freezer paper) of the completed background block.
7 - Place the completed background section over the paper pattern and trace the outlines onto the background section. (I prefer to pin them together, hold them against a window, and trace the pattern onto the background from there)

8 - At this point, you can use whatever method you prefer to applique the remaining pieces (except the bears) onto the background section. For example: satin stitch, blanket stitch, or old-fashioned turn and blind stitch.

I prefer to stabilize the edges (by doing a small 1/8" machine stitch around the outside edge of each piece to be appliqued) and do a classic blind stitch by hand, using the line of machine stitching (instead of the turned fabric edge) to anchor the pieces in place.

The fabric pieces on the left-hand side are shown front side up and the ones on the right-hand side are shown back side up to show the stitching around the outside of each piece.

9 - Cut out the pieces leaving AT LEAST 1/4" seam allowance. Clip the curves and inside corners the same as you would with any applique - BEING CAREFULL NOT TO CLIP THROUGH THE MACHINE STITCHING. This stitching will help control the small threads that result from clipping, making raveling less likely.

9A - For the bears, stabilize the edges (by doing a small 1/8" machine stitch around the outside edge). Then continue to do a machine stitch over ALL the defining lines within the bears (as shown in the right-hand side).

Cut out the pieces leaving AT LEAST 1/4" seam allowance. Clip the curves and inside corners the same as you would with any applique.

  9B - After I finished this block, I realized that the northern lights sky/blue background was visible through the white fleece of the polar bear. So I used the freezer paper bear pattern - after the above use - and cut a piece of batting (you could also use a heavier white fabric) JUST INSIDE the outside edge of the pattern. I then basted this fabric piece (using a running stitch 1/4" inside the outside edge) to the background section BEFORE the instructions to applique the bears on. The bear fleece piece is then put on OVER the fabric piece you just basted down.
10 - Embroider the two lines on the girl's kuspuk in a ziz-zag stitch, with whatever method you prefer.

11 - Stitch the Sleeves onto the sleeve-holes on both kuspuks, leaving the bottom edge raw and unturned.

Stitch the mitten onto the mitten-hole on the boy kuspuk, leaving the top edge raw and unturned.

Stitch the cuff over the raw edges of the sleeve and mitten on the boy kuspuk.

 

12 - Stitch the shoes for both kids onto the background, leaving the top edge raw and unturned.

Stitch the pants for the boy over his shoe, leaving the top edge raw and unturned.

Stitch the mitten for the girl onto the background.

(This photo should have the basted bear piece on it)

13 - Stitch the kuspuk for both kids onto the background over the pants (boy) and shoe (girl) leaving the face area raw and unturned.

Tear away the freezer paper from the embroidery.

(This photo should have the basted bear piece on it also)

 

13A - Stitch the ruffs for both kids and the cuff for the girl onto the background.

(This photo should have the basted bear piece on it also)

14 - To applique the bears: (with your needle - tuck the fleece seam allowance under the 1/4" edge of the basted down fabric piece as you sew) Then sew the fleece down with a classic blind stitch by hand, using the outside line of machine stitching (instead of the turned fabric edge) to anchor the pieces in place.

Embroidery the eyes and noses.

The block is now completed.

 
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Last Updated   November 25, 2015