myBearpaw Blog by Jo Avery

Improv Jugs Quilt

I have a new quilt to share!  I have to admit that it is the end of March and I have not yet made a quilt this year! I don’t know what the hell I have been doing – I don’t seem to have stopped working – but it is not quilt making! But I

Improv Paper Piecing – a review and a new project

I was recently sent a copy of Amy Friend’s new book Improv Paper Piecing to review. I had loved Amy’s last book, Intentional Piecing, so Iwas very happy to do this, and I was also interested and intrigued by the subject matter. Long time readers will know that I love a bit of what I

The Thread House Retreat Report!

A week or so after the event and I finally feel recovered enough to post my Thread House Retreat Report! This was our first residential retreat, held at Folly Farm near Bristol two weekends ago. Speaking for myself, Karen and Lynne we are happy to pronounce it a resounding success! And as far as the


I am juggling three very different quilt projects at the moment, with all of them about to reach fruition over the next week or so. I thought it would be nice to share a WIP story about this particular quilt which I hope to show you finished very soon. I’ve become a bit obsessed with

Improv House Block Tutorial

Who wants to try some nice gentle improv??!! Hopefully you’re all shouting “me, me, me!” with your hands in the air! Regular readers will know all about the Stitch Gathering retreat that I organise every year in Edinburgh and the fabric ticket project that goes along with it. Over the last three years we have

Embellishing Patchwork

I felt very honoured to be asked to take over the Technical Feature in Love Patchwork and Quilting for this issue.  Sarah their Tech Editor is on maternity leave so they invited some ‘guests’ to fill the gap and asked me to do a feature on embellishing quilts, which or course is right up my

Scraptastic Midnight Meadow Quilt

Recently I’ve been teaching an evening class based on my Improv Meadow Quilt below. So of course I’ve been making another quilt alongside the students, but this time with a dark background. The first 5 sessions were all about using different improv techniques to create flowers, leaves and stems. Here are some of my class

Mid-Century Modern Quilt

At last I can share this quilt with you!! Last Autumn the Modern Quilt Guild asked for quilt pattern submissions for their QuiltCon magazine which is produced by the publishers of the American magazine Modern Patchwork. I had been musing on this idea which I could see working in the magazine, so I thought it

Jungle Blooms Quilt

This quilt is a bit different for me! Now I’ve started working for Today’s Quilter I have been lured away from the modern quilting style a little. Not completely though! I couldn’t ever make something I didn’t like! The idea for this quilt started way back at the Anna Maria Horner workshop at QuiltCon when