Friday, November 23, 2012

What Happens to Your Stray Blocks?

We're planning programs for the upcoming year in our guild, and decided to repeat a fun one that we did several years back. We called it the "Orphan Block Project". I'm sure many of you have those stray blocks tucked away in your sewing room. Maybe you made one or two practice blocks before starting a quilt, or possibly you have a few extra blocks left from a completed one. What to do with those blocks? They're too pretty to toss, so we hang on to them and clean around them from time to time. Well for our project, we pooled our blocks at one meeting. Everyone who brought a block "shopped" first to choose someone else's orphans. Then we opened the shopping to the entire membership. We had so many offerings that quilters were able to choose three or four blocks or sets of blocks. The next challenge was to turn the blocks into a completed quilt in time for the "Birthday Party", complete with a cake and root beer floats. Members had several months to complete their projects, and there were some beautiful results. That's the quilt I made above. I used the design book "Beyond the Block" by Linda K. Johnson and Jane K. Wells to come up with this lively quilt. Can you guess which block was the "adopted" one? It's the big red/green star in the center. It was great fun coordinating the other fabrics, blocks, and pieced units to go with it.

This red and green hand-appliqued block became the basis for a beautifully hand-quilted wall hanging. Now isn't that better than having this intricate block languish in a plastic bag or beneath a pile of UFOs?

Somebody's Star blocks combined with somebody else's Bow Ties to make this sweet lap quilt.

The bird looks at home in his lively surroundings!

Just look at this stunner! The Color Wheel block provided plenty of inspiration.

Someone else parted with a whole set of Bear Paw blocks. The quiltmaker created quite a treasure!

I can hardly wait to see what everyone comes up with this time. I'm gathering my orphan blocks. I've got several of my own, plus these two left from the last adoption. I didn't do anything with them, so I may bring them back for round two. The block above is fused applique and just needs the edge stitching added. The one below is meticulously hand appliqued. Somehow, other people's blocks just gave us all that added spark of inspiration needed to move these block to completion. Several of the projects became donation quilts, for which there is always a need.


Donna, Doni, Lady D said...

Such creativity when given a challenge. It gets your heart ticking doesn't it. LOVE the quilt you built around the big block. All so gorgeous and inspiring. Can't wait to see the next round. hugs, Donna

Barb said...

what fun!
I'm going to send this post to programs - what a great guild activity!
I love seeing all the results!

Donna, Doni, Lady D said...

Hi Nancy - happy to see you in MAM's class. Hope our paths cross. Donna