Sunday, January 15, 2017

Oh Scrap! : Starting a Quilt from Orphan Blocks

In a recent post, I shared what sorts of items I save in my Orphan Block Suitcase.  So today, I thought I would share a bit about how I get started on an Orphan Block quilt.  I don't want this post to get to long so I will share later the steps to actually putting together a quilt top.

In case you want to get started on one of your own, I will share how I initially get inspired.

I usually start the process by sorting my quilt blocks (not the other bits you might save) so I can see exactly what I have.  I think this will helps to determine how you want to approach your quilt.

First I sort by block size.  If you have blocks that are slightly bigger, consider if they can be trimmed to work in a smaller size stack.  Depending on the type of quilts you generally make, you might find you have a large portion of blocks that are all one size and putting together a quilt with just some simple sashing will be really easy. 

You might also find that you have blocks in sizes that fit together easily (e.g, 4", 8", and 12" or 3", 6" and 12").  You can simply put them together like I did my RSC16 sampler
They will fit together like one big puzzle!

While sorting your blocks you might decide to put together a "kitchen sink" orphan block quilt.  Jo shared with me her friend's "Blocks on Parade" quilt that she made with her blocks.  Anything goes in these quilts!

 But if you sort your blocks by size and are not inspired by anything you are seeing or...if you are like me, your block sizes are all over the place, think about sorting your blocks by color scheme.  I did that to mine and quickly saw I had three great options for putting together quilts.  On the top are blocks in warm browns, oranges and golds.  On the left, I stacked up any blocks that had a novelty theme or were more kid appropriate.  The stack on the bottom right is where I put all my blocks in bright colors.  Once I started sorting my blocks this way, I found myself really getting inspired.  It felt like putting together three fabric pulls!

Now that I have these blocks in defined stacks, I can sort all the rest of the bits in my suitcase into the appropriate pile.  Time to just grab a stack and start playing - So I thought I would start with the stack of brights!

For those who want to get started on your own orphan block quilt, I begin by looking for a focus block(s) to get me going.  This helps set the tone of the quilt.

Hmm...a star and some drunkard path blocks.

Maybe starting with these blocks and creating an asymmetrical design.  I can always trim these blocks to change their appearance slightly.  Maybe....

 A big giant 18" block.  Starting with this is a possibility too.

I am going to make you wait to see how I moved forward. (Sorry)  In a future post, I will share the entire progression of my quilt top so you can see it come alive. 

I know you will start saving those orphans  :)


I look forward to seeing how you are using your scraps.  Here are the details for linking up:
  • This linky party is for any scrappy project - It can be in-process or a finished piece.
  • You can link up your blog post (not your homepage please) or Instagram photo from the past week that features your use of scraps.
  • If you are linking to a blog post, I ask that you link back to my blog somewhere in your post. So if you are writing about scraps, just get into the habit of including a link as there will be a linky party available every week!
  • If you are using Instagram, please use the hashtag #ohscrap.
  • This is a party so remember to socialize and comment on the posts of others.
  • Following my blog is not necessary but it sure would be great if you do!
Quilting is more fun than Housework

So if you love scrappy projects, feel free to grab my button for your sidebar or posts and get ready to share all your wonderful projects from scraps.  And if you have a great idea for using scraps and would like to be featured, feel free to contact me!

Linking Up:

Love Laugh Quilt (Monday Making)
Patchwork Times (Design Wall Monday)
Cooking Up Quilts (Main Crush Mondays)
Em's ScrapBag (Moving it Forward)


Karen said...

I know orphan blocks and become beautiful quilts. I don't have many orphan blocks so I think the best way my blocks could be used would send them to you. 😀 Thank you for keeping me inspired to use my scraps. Have a wonderful day.

Cathy said...

I think it's fun to work with orphans. I sort by color too.

Kate said...

I don't have a lot of orphan blocks, mainly HSTs. At some point those will end up in a quilt of some kind. Looking forward to seeing how all your blocks come together.

Chantal said...

Thank you so much for sharing the process and the how-to of an orphan block quilt. I have a bag of "tester" block which I call the ingredients for a soup quilt. (Like looking in the vegetable drawer to see what's left that can be thrown together with broth to make soup.) Very interesting post. Looking forward to the next one. ;^)

CathieJ said...

I am not working on any scrap quilts right now, but I will enjoy watching your progress.

Judy said...

I have a large bin of orphan blocks, so will enjoy and be inspired(I hope) to begin my own quilt.

Judy H said...

Love this idea! I have a bunch of blocks (if they survive the smoking from the fire) and QAL blocks I abandoned. Holding onto this for future reference

Jayne said...

What you and others do with your orphan blocks is just amazing. Thanks for sharing your process and I really look forward to seeing even more of it! I maybe should start doing extra blocks so I can have a stack or orphans to play with one day!

scraphappy said...

Orphan block quilts area always full of surprises. Looking forward to seeing how yours comes together.

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

I now have orphan blocks leftover from last year's RSC sewing! I like the idea of sorting by warm and cool colors and I think that might work for my blocks. Thanks for the inspiration! Happy Sunday!

Louise said...

Great idea to sort by color! I like the asymmetrical geese blocks as a starting point.

Barb N said...

I don't have too many orphan blocks, but you'very inspired me to start an Orphanage!

Nann said...

My post today is about a new orphan block quilt!

Janice Holton said...

Oh you are a tease! :D I am very much looking forward to reading your next posts about what to do with orphan blocks. Reading about others' creative process is fascinating and I usually learn something!

Mystic Quilter said...

I'm going to be watching the progress of this quilt! I have a box of orphan blocks and maybe one day I'll have a play around with them. By the way, that 18" block is a beauty!

Karen's Korner said...

You always have interesting projects underway.

Jasmine said...

I like how you sorted them by color. It will be fun seeing how they progress.

Val's Quilting Studio said...

I DO feel better about having orphan blocks...but now only wish I had more! Bahahaha!

sophie said...

Making quilts from orphan blocks or combining block sets that were originally intended for other projects has to be one of my favorite forms of quilter's play. Have fun!

pandchintz said...

Thanks for that - food for thought!

Anonymous said...

This is exactly what I needed, Thank you! I have a lot of orphan blocks and your post is really inspiring. Can´t wait to see how your work continues!

em's scrapbag said...

I've been thinking of doing another of these quilts. Seeing your beginnings makes me want to move it up the list.

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