President’s Block: Bear Claw
Each month of this year I will be introducing a new block as well as the history behind the block. You may take this as an opportunity to build your own skills. Additionally, I encourage you to post your block creations either on our ACQ Community Facebook page or on Instagram using #ACQPresidentBlock2021. Each block you post will be entered into a monthly drawing for a fat quarter bundle. If you aren’t on social media – no problem, just send me an email with your photo (firstname.lastname@example.org). We will draw the winner at the next guild meeting, and you don’t need to be present to win (although we hope you will because we have a great line-up this year!). The winner of March’s block will be announced at the April meeting, and the April block at the May meeting.
This month’s block is Bear Paw. Possibly one of the most recognizable blocks – the Bear Paw Quilt Block may have been responsible for saving lives. One of the most popular theories about the origin of the Bear Paw quilt pattern is that the quilt block was used to guide escaped slaves to food and water in the days of the underground railroad. The block pattern would be a sign that slaves were on the right track to life-saving resources and shelter on their trek to freedom. Although this theory is unproven, there are many stories about how quilts played a role in the underground railroad.
The Bear Paw is one of those patterns that has many different names depending on the region of the country. In mountain areas, it is known as the Bear Claw or Bear Paw. In Long Island it is known as Ducks Foot in Mud. In Philadelphia it may be called the Hand of Friendship. Almost as plentiful as the names are the ways in which this block can be constructed. Scrappy or plain, it is a fun block to make.
One site that has many options is https://suzyquilts.com/bear-paw-quilt-pattern/.