Orphan Blocks

Frequently, quilters will start a project, or test a pattern and for whatever reason, will end up with blocks that won't go into a finished top.

The guild I belong to will take these blocks and put them together into a usable quilt.  One such donation was 11 bowtie blocks.  What on Earth do you do with 11 blocks!  I set them such that they made a bit of a long, skinny quilt.  However, I bordered it so that it came out to be 40" x 60", perfect for a passage quilt.  I hope to finish the quilting prior to going on a retreat this weekend so I can bind it.

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I also have a stack of 30s reproduction print blocks, we'll see how we can set them.  There might be enough for several small quilts!


This top really is stunning!  A variety of orphan blocks came together to make this twin size quilt.

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There are many ways to use those orphan blocks, get together with your quilty friends, I'm sure they have blocks they can't use as well and would be happy to have them put to good use!

Scrappy regards, Susan

What to do with a Panel?

So, I keep receiving fabric items from my daughter.  This time it was 2 sea-life inspired panels with dolphins, orcas, and other underwater creatures.  I was stumped on how to use it, I didn't want to cut apart all of the individual squares and put sashing and cornerstones. Quick and dirty was my goal as I had planned to donate it to one of the organizations my guild presents quilts to.

Into the drawer with yardage I dove and found this interesting fabric that I have no idea why I bought it or how I was going to use it.  I simply cut width of fabric strips and placed them in between the strips of animals. Cute!

Another panel was given to me by a friend, it's faux Baltimore Album style so I did cut out the 6 blocks, sashed them,  and put a border on it to make it big enough to donate as a "passages" quilt.  My local guild makes quilts for end of life comfort at a local hospital. For the outer border, I found this red leafy print, I don't know how long I've had it, but it's been floating around for quite a while.  I checked the selvage, as sometimes older fabrics will have a date, but there wasn't one.  This fabric is "Windsor Collection" from Hoffman California Fabrics.



It's not always easy to think of ways to use something that's been in your stash for a while, I'll frequently take out a piece of fabric and put it away again without using it. Sometimes, though, a thought will come to me and I can move it along!

Scrappy regards, Susan

Scrapping Onward

Hey, what's next.  I've started a quilt from a pattern called Hidden Wells. A number of years ago, a guild I belonged to used this pattern for a mystery.  There are quite a few images on Pinterest and you can use different widths of strips,  but I decided to use all the same size strips. 

For several years, I've been making Bereavement Quilts for our local VA Medical Center.  These quilts are given to Veterans who will be passing away in the hospital.  The quilt is then gifted to the family afterwards.  I'm always looking for ways to make red, white, and blue quilts to use up my stash and out came the 2-1/2" strips.

My first attempt was with four 2-1/2" strips, but I found that too small of a block. I ended up using 8 2-1/2" strips and made a 16-1/2" square out of them. I layered them, sewed around the outside edge, and cut them according to instructions found on Missouri Star Quilt Company. I found this method much easier than cutting first and having to then sew your triangles back together with the bias on the edge.

It is a lot of sewing strips together but everything went together very quickly.  I made quite a dent in my red, white, and blue fabrics as well and decided to clean up that messy box.  I was able to separate the colors into a 3 drawer rolling cart.  I even found some white yardage which will come in handy for future projects.

Here is the finished top, those are big blocks!  This quilt measures 65" x 83" which is perfect for donation.

Scrappy regards,  Susan 

Scrap Journey

As with most quilters, I’ve wanted to tame my scraps for many years.  There have been times that I've thrown away smaller pieces, saved them, and given them away.  Only to come back to saving them again!  Unless a piece of fabric can be cut into a usable square or strip, then into the trash it goes!  

Over the last year or so, I have organized some rolling bins and stacking drawers to place my cut strips, and squares into and have specifically cut them to become “leader’s and ender’s”.  I learned about the "Scrap Users" system from Quiltville and I LOVE this method. She makes such pretty quilts from all those little pieces and it's inspiring.  I certainly would like to put my own twist on how to use up those scraps.  There are probably as many ways to organize your scraps as there are quilters in this world, but I am ready to share with the world how this will progress for me.

One top that I finished recently was from several orphan blocks my daughter gave me.  Several years ago, she had put together a demo for her local guild.  She pulled a free pattern from “Moda Bakeshop” called “Simply Woven

The two blocks she made during the demo hung around her quilt room for a while and she finally gave them to me.  She knew I would pull more fabrics and make enough blocks for a top.  This pattern is Jelly Roll friendly and during a clean-up episode in my quilt room, I came across the two blocks and made the remaining blocks.  I love fall colors and was able to grab quite a few 2.5” strips from my bins and then cut more from stash to make this top.  The backgrounds were also pulled from my scrap bins.  Some of the background came from the cut-offs from quilt backings after they have come off of the longarm.   

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Quilted using “Meadowlyon Flowerburst” edge-to-edge pattern using Signature thread – mustard.

Now to find something in my scraps to bind it with!

Scrappy regards, Susan.