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Thread: Orphan Blocks...Suggestions Please

  1. #1
    Super Member azwendyg's Avatar
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    Orphan Blocks...Suggestions Please

    I have a box of assorted orphan blocks that just seem to good to throw away, so I'm looking for suggestions from all of you as to small projects I can make with them. Some of them are singles, and some are multiples leftover from the same project. (I did a search on "orphan blocks" here on the QB and only found a few posts of projects using orphan blocks.)

    Any and all suggestions welcome! And pics would be even better!!!

    I'm sure I'm not the ONLY one with a box or two of these...I'm hoping we can collect some info here for all of us to use.
    Last edited by azwendyg; 04-06-2012 at 02:14 PM.
    Wendy

  2. #2
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    I would get the book "Setting Solutions" by Sharyn Craig

    http://www.amazon.com/Setting-Soluti...3751117&sr=8-1

    I LOVE this book. She has great solutions for orphan blocks, blocks that came out different sizes, blocks you got from swaps etc. How to get them to look all the same size, lots of setting ideas. etc.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  3. #3
    Super Member azwendyg's Avatar
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    Thank, Marjorie. That looks like a great book.

    I'm also hoping for lot so ideas for small projects other than quilts like:
    pot holders
    placemats
    cosmetic bags
    purses
    shopping bags
    table runners
    etc...
    and especially lots of other creative ideas to turn orphan blocks into useful items...
    Wendy

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    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    this chicken pincushion is made with log cabins, but any blocks could work
    http://www.quiltingworks.com/cabin-f...in-cushion.htm
    Nancy in western NY
    before you speak THINK
    T is it True? H is it Helpful? I is it Inspiring? N is it Necessary? K is it Kind?


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    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    choose a background fabric and piece yourself a sampler quilt with the background pulling everything together-
    your list of projects looks like a pretty good list...could add doll quilts, (check out the doll quilt swap here on the board) and tote/beach bags....toss pillows.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

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    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.

  7. #7
    Super Member azwendyg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltnNan View Post
    this chicken pincushion is made with log cabins, but any blocks could work
    http://www.quiltingworks.com/cabin-f...in-cushion.htm
    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.
    Wendy

  8. #8
    Super Member JenniePenny's Avatar
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    I have seen a pair of vintage "sibling" orphan blocks matted and put in picture frames. They made a very nice statement as simple art, without making them into anything else.
    "He who masters the grey everyday is a hero."
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/PeachPalaceDesigns

  9. #9
    Moderator QuiltnNan'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.
    the block size is not critical. i think i used 6 inch blocks for mine... which makes them a decoration, not a pincushion
    Nancy in western NY
    before you speak THINK
    T is it True? H is it Helpful? I is it Inspiring? N is it Necessary? K is it Kind?


  10. #10
    Super Member azwendyg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JenniePenny View Post
    I have seen a pair of vintage "sibling" orphan blocks matted and put in picture frames. They made a very nice statement as simple art, without making them into anything else.
    Another great idea! Thanks, Jennie.
    Wendy

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    Setting the blocks on point makes a larger quilt with less blocks. That would help with the ones you only have a few of.

  12. #12
    Super Member quilter2theend's Avatar
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    There was a lady on here quite some time back that made a wallhanging in the shape of a Christmas tree from various blocks that was absolutely cute and beautiful at the same time. Maybe someone else will remember who it was.

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    I recently went through my blocks and decided to make like a BOM quilt. Doing quilt as you go on the 20 blocks and it is turning out pretty good. For me it's hard to know what to quilt in each block but once I come up with an idea it goes pretty fast. It was kinda sad as some of these blocks I won at guild in 2005. But now they are finding a home. Have two more blocks that were done on point so will make pillows from them. Good luck with yours.

  14. #14
    QM
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    I almost never throw away partial or orphan blocks. The partials go into crumb blocks. The orphans go into all the suggestions like the ones on your lists. I put a bunch onto a jacket I made. My newest use for an orphan is as a center for an oversized log cabin lap quilt. Many people hang seasonal pieces. Orphan blocks can be used that way as well.

  15. #15
    Super Member quilter2theend's Avatar
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    This is my second post. I found the picture for the christmas tree wallhanging. It was from char634w and was posted on 12-16-2011. Do a search for christmas tree wallhangings and you should see it.

  16. #16
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    One of my charity quilting groups actually collects orphan blocks and some of the ladies put them together for our quilts.

    If I don't use the extra blocks in the backing, I give it away. I have enough other 'stuff' already.

    ali
    Have fun quilting! If it isn't fun, you will miss a lot.
    ali

  17. #17
    Super Member Twisted Quilter's Avatar
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    Every once in a while someone on this board will ask for orphan blocks. They use them for charity quilts.
    If you choose the behavior, you accept the consequences...Dr. Phil

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    I have sewed some of mine on the plain shopping bags
    QUILTNMO

  19. #19
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    Incorporate them into pieced backings or use them as quilt labels if they have areas where you can write with a permanent marker.

  20. #20
    Super Member kateyb's Avatar
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    I make snack mats (8 1/2" x 11") for my grandson. I sometimes use an orphan block as the starting point.

  21. #21
    Super Member JenniePenny's Avatar
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    Another idea - although old-fashioned - is to make a cover for a photo album (not too many people have photo albums anymore).
    "He who masters the grey everyday is a hero."
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/PeachPalaceDesigns

  22. #22
    Super Member azwendyg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JenniePenny View Post
    Another idea - although old-fashioned - is to make a cover for a photo album (not too many people have photo albums anymore).
    I've made something similar... a cover for 5x7 notepad, the ones from office supply stores, that also holds a pen and has pockets for coupons or notes. That seems to work pretty well, and more people seem to use them than photo albums like you said.
    Wendy

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    wow, to think, I almost didn't read this topic thinking, 'gee I have no suggestions. I have the same problem.' then, the lightbulb moment--I got some ideas from you all. So, thanks for starting the topic and for adding to it.

  24. #24
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    Sounds like you have a wonderful problem on your hands. If you have a few that have similar colors used in a wall hanging or bed quilt maybe you could make decorative pillows. I'd use many of the orphans to make interesting table runners for family members and friends. Or if you have a little girl you could make several Barbie sized quilts just using a few blocks. Or for the stuffed animal lover, you could put 4, 6, or 8 together for a small quilt and then find a cute stuffed bear, cat, dog, whatever to put in it. That would be great for a charity like a children's hospital or something along those lines. Since you have several blocks that are just laying around, make a child happy by creating something just for them.

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    Wow, super ideas! I have not made enough blocks to have orphan ones. But love all the ideas. Thanks for letting some of us just read a long for the lessons learned, Teresa

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