Tag Archives: writing

With a Block, Block Here and a Block, Block There

My latest orphan block quilt in a state of becoming
Teach Yourself Visually Quilting by Sonja Hakala

Four years later, I still have a drawer full of blocks created when I sewed and wrote Teach Yourself Visually Quilting.

And truth to tell, I’ve added to them in the intervening years.

For the uninitiated, quilt blocks that don’t have a home are referred to as “orphan blocks.” Strictly speaking, these aren’t scraps because a scrap, by definition, is a single piece of fabric that you don’t need at the moment for anything in particular.

Nope, these babies were destined for a life with others like them but along the way, they weren’t needed or didn’t fit in or the project was abandoned, etc.

They can be a real challenge to fashion into a quilt that makes sense to the eye. You’d think that all you had to do was pick out blocks at random, sew them together, and you’d end up with a quilt.

Not true. In some respects, orphan block quilts can be more of a challenge than starting off with all-new fabric because the blocks don’t work with one another very well or their differing sizes call for additions or subtractions in order to fit.

I hadn’t made an orphan block quilt for quite some time when a member of my guild started talking about them. Inspiration struck, as in “I haven’t made one of those in a while. I think I’ll do that as an in-between-other-projects project.”

Like I need another project.

Anyway, I dove into the odd-block drawer, and the quilt pictured at the top came out. Right now, it’s in the process of being quilted in a way I want to share with you as the week progresses.

And now we have a theme for this week—orphan block quilts and some fun utility quilting tips.