Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Scrap-A-Palooza! Orphan Blocks

Yes, Scrap-A-Palooza is coming back in 2017!  The first quilt I plan on working on is one made from orphan blocks.  But before I get started on the process of putting one together, I thought I would share what sorts of blocks I save as orphans.




I have a small suitcase that I store all my orphan blocks in.  As I finish or abandon a project, all the sewn items go in - hoping someday they will find a home in a quilt or other project.  I don't judge the pieces that go in here.  Some are made really poorly and some are assembled from really ugly fabrics.  Some blocks I only have one while others I have a number of pieces.  Just scoop everything up and store it for a future playtime!


So here are some of the items that make it into the suitcase...



First, there are quilt blocks of course.  They range in size from tiny to ginormous.  Some are test blocks, some are from projects I chose not to finish and some just did not make the cut on a long ago finished project.



I also keep quilt block components in my little treasure chest.  Lots of HSTs, 4 patches, geese, QSTs and rail fence.  I don't bother trimming them down to any particular size.  This way, I can cut them to the size I need when I find a project for them.  (I do keep these in their own little baggie within my suitcase so I can find them quickly when I am working on small projects.)





Even the really odd components go in the stack. I find these interesting pieces are what get used most in small projects like zippered pouches or for pincushions.









 And let's not forget all the pieced strip sets.  Many projects where you do strip piecing always leave you with leftovers.  Well, I save those too!  I find these can be cut and resewn to make filler components for an orphan block quilt.

So as you can see, pretty much anything that is left over from a project where there is a seam in it, I keep it.  I know I will find it a home in the future!


Once orphan blocks are saved, I know for some it can be a bit intimidating knowing how to use them.  So I will be making some quilts from my orphan blocks and sharing the process with you. 

I am going to show you there are some real treasures in there!





Linking Up:

20 comments:

Robby H. said...

I'm looking forward to this. I often admire those orphan block or 'kitchen sink' quilts, but never feel like I'd know where to start.

Karen said...

look forward to seeing how you use them!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I save all those components, pieced strips, odd blocks (but in a tote - like the suitcase) and occassionally visit the pile for some to join in the current project.

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

Your orphan blocks look way more interesting than mine! Looking forward to some inspiration!

claudia said...

This will be great to follow! Thank you for sharing your process!

Jo said...

Hope you liked the photos I sent you of my friends orphan blocks quilt... she makes them for charity.

The Joyful Quilter said...

What an interesting array of components you have to work with!! I know you will be having some FUN with your Orphan Quilts.

Judy said...

I'm looking forward to watching your progress on this. My bin of orphans is getting really full.

katie z. said...

I've been on a mission to use up my orphan pieces too. I've finished two baby quilts, and I'm looking forward to what comes out of my box next!

Valerie Reynolds said...

I too love your idea and will be following your progress. Thsnks for sharing this inspiring idea....as I have some orphans myself snd always fe like I wasted my time and fabric.

Cinder Gal said...

What good timing. We've been "frozen" in for a month now and so I started looking at my orphan blocks to make small quilts for Project Linus. The ones I have left over are destined to be put together. Looking forward to some good instructional help.

quiltytherapy said...

Seriously contemplating participating this year. I have found some that make me just scratch my head.

Pamela said...

That's a really good idea! I need to gather all those bits together so I can do something with them!

Barb N said...

Looking forward to you working your magic on these mismatched blocks!

Janna Saeger said...

I'm so glad you are doing this! I was just talking today about making and "orphanage" quilt.

Cathy said...

What a great post, and I look forward to reading more about how you use these orphaned blocks. Mine never seem to go together. But then I don't always keep the components alongside. I've been known to rip apart components and "re-file" the pieces. No more!

Louise said...

Very interesting to see all your different bits and bobs and pieces like this! My orphan block storage is quite small as I tend to sew all the scraps onto the backings. But there are always those test pieces, and uglies, and abandoned projects to contend with. Looking forward to your hints and tips for dealing with these little buggaboos :)

lcscottage said...

I am very excited to see how you use the orphan blocks/components! This is going to be fun! I have enjoyed following your scrap projects...you are very inspiring!

Kristi said...

Oh this looks fun! Can't wait to see! I've been using my orphan blocks for scrappy quilt backs. I just pieced a back the other day with orphans from the Farmer's Wife Sampler. I only made 5 blocks. They will add some interesting to the otherwise dull backing!

Kate said...

I don't have lot of blocks, but I do have some of those pieced strip sets. Looking forward to seeing your process of using all those different components.