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Thread: Orphan Blocks...Suggestions Please

  1. #26
    Super Member 117becca's Avatar
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    My Aunt gave me some sampler blocks that my Great Aunt had made years ago. There wasn't enough to make a quilt or throw out of them, so I made this valance out of some of the blocks. I added a border to another group of blocks and use them as dresser scarves in my guest bedroom. I added the sashing on all the pieces.
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    my name is becca and i'm a quilt-a-holic :-)

  2. #27
    mim
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    Super Member mim's Avatar
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    I take them to my quilt group and someone else will figure out how to put them into one of the charity quilts we make. Every month we do at least 20 quilts to give to the 5 charities we have chosen for the year.
    Mim

  3. #28
    Power Poster ube quilting's Avatar
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    Most of us have a collection of blocks. I have many and decided to splurge on a table top small quilt hanger from Connecting Threads. It is really cool and will hold up to a 15" block. I am finishing off several individual blocks with borders to bring them to a good size. Using scrap batting and backing, quilting and displaying them as "block studies".
    The hanger looks great on top of my TV cabinet which looks like a jelly cupboard. The hanger cost 16.00.
    peace
    no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop

  4. #29
    Super Member Wine Woman's Avatar
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    Don't forget mug rugs! All quilters love them on their sewing tables and other places! They make quick and personal gifts!

    Wonderful suggestions and cute pictures of the valance! great idea!
    Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much
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  5. #30
    Super Member QuiltnLady1's Avatar
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    Several years ago my guild collected orphan blocks and I got nominated to piece the tops. I sorted the blocks by similar colors or themes (like flowers), picked some sashing that went with the blocks. I used varying widths of sashing since the 12inch blocks were between 10.5 inches and 13 inches. Then I assembled the blocks with a narrow strip of another color of sashing. They looked great -- some were straight set and some on point with a medalian center.
    QuiltnLady1

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  6. #31
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    If all else fails post them as a donation on this board. I am sure there are plenty of charity quilters that can make good use of them

  7. #32
    Super Member azwendyg's Avatar
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    Becca, Your great aunts blocks look wonderful! It's so nice that you have them out and displayed to enjoy them.
    Wendy

  8. #33
    Super Member teacherbailey's Avatar
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    One of the best ways to use them that I've ever seen was to buy those reusable tote bags in the "right" colors and then applique an orphan block---or four or six or whatever---over the printing on the bag. Makes a cute tote bag for the cost of the inexpensive bag----and great gifts too!
    Mistakes are just opportunities to invent a new quilting technique!

  9. #34
    Super Member 117becca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by azwendyg View Post
    Becca, Your great aunts blocks look wonderful! It's so nice that you have them out and displayed to enjoy them.
    Thanks azwendyg.....They even wash up well!! LOL!!! I threw them in the washer and washed them normally when I painted the room last fall. I still have more pieces, I just haven't decided exactly how to use them yet.
    my name is becca and i'm a quilt-a-holic :-)

  10. #35
    Super Member Dodie's Avatar
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    Sharyn Craig also has another great book on making all orphan blocks the same size for a smpler quilt also great for
    a block exchange when all blocks are not the same size it is called Twist and Turn a great method

  11. #36
    Super Member jitkaau's Avatar
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    I would just start putting them together as a type of sampler quilt whilst tieing them all together with a blending fabric to frame the smaller ones so that they reach the same size.

  12. #37
    Senior Member Kath12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by azwendyg View Post
    Very interesting! It looks like any 4 x 4 block would work. Most of mine are bigger, but I could cut some down to this size to use.
    You don't have to cut down your block. Just make a bigger chicken. I have several of these chickens around the house ranginging from very small to a larger doorstop size. The size all depends on what size block you use.
    I use orphan blocks on my quilt backings. Saves on material and makes the back of the quilt pretty too
    Kathy Stewart from IA
    http://community.webshots.com/user/kath_stirut

  13. #38
    Senior Member Kath12's Avatar
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    I have also framed orphan blocks. They are great to use as a gift
    Kathy Stewart from IA
    http://community.webshots.com/user/kath_stirut

  14. #39
    Senior Member mhollifiel's Avatar
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    I have put orphans into my backs as well. But since, I mostly piece tops for Project Linus, I save up all the "extras" of any blocks even the smaller units until I get a pile. I will join "like" extras into strips before I add them to the pile. Black cotton (I like Kona best) is my best friend when I get to work on this pile. I assemble them into strips for either vertical or horizontal placement. I use black strips for the stripping between blocks or strips of blocks. Somehow this works and really turns into some of my most interesting and colorful quilts. Kids love their "covers" and they are the exact opposite of quilt police types. They know someone cares and that's all that matters to them.
    Holli
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  15. #40
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    go to our links/resources area and check out all of the links that have been posted there over the years....orphan blocks make great gift items!

  16. #41
    Super Member DebbE's Avatar
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    Make a cover for a Kendel (I don't have the spelling correct, I'm sure) or a regular paperback book. Make a cover for a journal & include the journal with it for a gift. Make a cover for a sewing machine. A tea cozy, mug rugs. Put on a little girls skirt. Use to make a toy bag/organizer to hang on the back of mom's seat for the kiddies in the back.

  17. #42
    Super Member DebbE's Avatar
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    Years ago my DH and I had antique shop spaces - I framed a number of the orphan blocks I had and made some money with those, using very inexpensive frames. You can gift that sort of thing, too, to a friend who likes that look or is a sewer/quilter.

  18. #43
    Junior Member Pattycakes's Avatar
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    You could piece them together to make a table runner and place mats, or as was said before doll quilts, sampler quilts for a throw or lap quilts. When we have movie night I pull out my lap and throw quilts and everyone snuggles up under them and watches the movie. I have also used them for picnic blankets with the grand kids. They love having a picnic. Your ideas are great. Run with it and have fun, Good luck in you choices.
    Quilting Mad in Mansfield, Ohio
    Patty

  19. #44
    Super Member Grace MooreLinker's Avatar
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    To use the ophan blocks to make smaller ones fit in with the largger ones I frame them . the Placemates and pot holders are another way.
    Freedom is costly and quilting keeps us busy...

  20. #45
    Junior Member overdew's Avatar
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    Orphan blocks

    Quote Originally Posted by ka9sdn View Post
    Make small donation quilts for kids, lap quilts for senior homes, small quilts for NICUs (Neonatil Intensive Care Units), they all always can use quilts.
    Good suggestions. How about making a sampler quilt to remind you of all those finished quilts who left you with these orphans? You could date the blocks as a permanent reminder of finished projects.
    Me, I make smaller lap quilts as suggested above. I get my THRILL from finished quilts!

  21. #46
    Senior Member Highmtn's Avatar
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    I have put orphan blocks on the back of plain denim shirts....they are very neat there! I have made them into many "mug rug/mug mats" for fun little gifts. Just go find a matching mug, and put a gift card to a local coffee stand in the mug. They are GREAT gifts for coworkers. That's what I did for 10 coworkers last Christmas. It was a huge hit I might add!

    My local quilting partner in crime recently took a class about sweatshirts and quilting. I see GREAT potential in using orphan blocks and leftover scraps to make some very nice light weight sweatshirt jackets.
    Last edited by Highmtn; 04-08-2012 at 11:58 AM.
    "It's a *fine line* between HOBBY and MENTAL ILLNESS"~ Dave Barry

  22. #47
    Super Member wildyard's Avatar
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    I often use an orphan block to make a matching carry bag for a gift quilt. It is my great joy to get orphan blocks from others on the board and to use them to create donation quilts. Sometimes when the demand exceeds my ability to produce, it's wonderful to have something to fall back on.
    Linda Wedge White

    I believe UFOs are like scraps, ferns and dust bunnies. Once you get two, they send spores out into the air and more just happen anywhere the spores meet.

  23. #48
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    I too am interested in using up "orphan" blocks. Thanks for opening this thread.
    A friend made the little chicken pin cushion for me, and I love it! It is so cute. I use it to hold just needles - mostly for hand sewing.
    Another idea I've used is to make a little framed sign for my sewingroom door. I have an "arty" type block with a beaded dragonfly on it that I wanted to do something with that I would see all the time and enjoy, but would not be handled as it is a bit delicate. Hope this helps. Dianna in ID

  24. #49
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    The late great Paul Pilgrim made a habit of collecting orphan blocks and putting them into quilts. Perhaps you can find some pictures on AQS web site.

  25. #50
    Senior Member ShabbyTabby's Avatar
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    Pick one large size (10 or 12 inch blocks) and add strips to the small ones to make them all the same size and then just put them all in a sampler quilt.
    Families are like old quilts....although they tend to unravel at times...each can be stitched back together with love.

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