Which is a pretty good description of what happens when you tackle an orphan block quilt.
This one started with an abandoned table runner. That’s it at the top of this piece, four log cabins with a half-square triangle border on two sides.
Once I picked this out of my block cache, I had a color direction, and something of a style path—fall-ish and traditional.
When I make a quilt like this, I pull every possible candidate out of my block accumulation. In other words, flamboyant colors, large hungry prints, and chartreuse didn’t get invited to this party.
The bits in the top center of the quilt included three nine-patch blocks, one four-patch that I turned on point, some stray squares in two different sizes, and a strip of a harvest-themed print featuring pumpkins.
The bottom strip of flying geese are left over from pillow covers. The cheery yellow fabric that sets off the browns has a silvery cast to it and tiny threads of red when you get close up so it really strikes the eye.
Each of these elements is connected to the other using the same fabric, a light mustard batik spattered by dark brown with some late summer green thrown in for good measure. The choice of connective tissue is key in a quilt like this because the eye needs a map to follow.
If you look closely, you might notice that the strips of this cloth are not a uniform width throughout, especially on the sides. These differences occur as you cut or expand on size so that the pieces eventually fit together. Sort of like carving your own puzzle pieces as you put them together.
Once the center piece came together, I had another decision to make—how to make the piece wider while enhancing the center and keeping with the established theme.