Friday, May 21, 2010

Orphan Blocks

If you aren't a quilter, you probably don't know what "orphan block" means.  It means you did some experimenting when you made a quilt or you didn't count correctly and you end up with leftover blocks.  If you are like me, you hoard your fabric and hang on to everything.  During my recent fabric cleanout, I encountered a big bin full of orphan blocks.  I set out enough blocks from the pile to make three new quilts.  The rest were a rag-tag bunch that I didn't know what to do with.

Dr. E.L. convinced me to take them to the retreat and see if anybody had any ideas.  And that is how the Quilt Whisperer was born.  Dr. Carolyn managed to take the stack of homeless blocks and make three quilt tops out of them.  I brought them home with me, layered, bound, and washed them and now they are going to Margaret's Children's Hospital Guild to be raffled off.  Here they are.  Thank you, Quilt Whisperer!

Disclaimer: excuse the crappy lighting.  I should know better, but let's face it, I'm lazy.

These blocks were left over from an album patch quilt I made for my mom.  It was the largest quilt I've ever made - queen size and had more than a thousand pieces in it.  Initially I thought I might make nine patches, but shelved the idea (and the sample blocks).

Here is a corner of that quilt.  Clearly, I was still in my "floral phase".  The blocks seen here are 12 1/2" square...and there are 30 of them.  There are 31 pieces in each block.  There is sashing between the blocks and there are four borders on each side.  You do the math.

Of course, my mom put it lovingly over my boys at her house last summer, whereupon in the middle of the night, Big Red had what is still the most gushing nosebleed of his life all over it.  Her drycleaner spent several weeks painstakingly removing the stains by hand.  Murphy's Law.

Back to the topic at hand...the second quilt is sort of an abstract holiday wall hanging.  There is fabric in this one from at least eight other quilts I've made.  The faded green star at the top left is the fabric from Tank's baby quilt.  I ended up doing a less fussy block for him.

And lastly, abstract primary colors...

Lots of these blue and green fabrics are from a fish quilt that I made Tank when he was two.

So that's the end of the Quilt Whisperer's work.  I, however, have made the three more quilts out of the last of the orphan blocks...they will debut in the first group of quilts for sale on Handmade Jeny...stay tuned.


  1. The time to quilt... I haven't touched a piece of fabric in over a year. Sigh... I hope I don't forget how.

  2. These are gorgeous, am so glad they've been rescued from your craft room!