Monday, March 26, 2012

Little Orphan Blocks

I stumbled upon these little antique "orphan" blocks at a shop awhile ago and bought them to see if I could maybe find them a home in a simple doll quilt.


They're not "special" or fancy but maybe that's exactly why I fell in love with them. Kind of like the scrappy puppy that leaps into your lap and then your heart, licks your face and follows you home.


With the right setting and lots of love, I think they'll do just fine. At my last workshop in IN, I met someone who buys old quilt blocks and then carefully takes them apart and uses the fabric to make her small quilts. What a good idea.


The little four patches are my favorites.

They're so simple but so adorable, I think. I have to trim them first so they're all the same size. They almost look like they were made by a child so that's half of an antique doll quilt, right?  The hard part is going to be choosing the setting.


I immediately started fooling around with fabrics for settings and this indigo came out to play.  But I'm not sure if it will win or if perhaps something else will.



If you have any interest in using orphan blocks in a quilt, here's a great book by Tricia Maloney that will inspire you to begin.



Lots of great ideas. Hmm, wonder what I should so with my orphan star blocks?? I have this exact bench and a star quilt would look very cute draped on it.

If you only have ONE old block that you love and don't know how to set it, take a look -


Isn't this an adorable runner? The perfect setting for one special block.

*  *  *
Speaking of one-block wonders, I finished the handle on my basket quilt for this month's challenge but have not gotten around to quilting it yet. Isn't that always the story? If you still want to participate in my monthly challenge to make 12 small quilts this year, better get going. I've heard from some that you can make this one block basket quilt in a day. It took me a couple of hours over a couple of days, mostly because I played with my fabric for so long and couldn't decide on the borders.


All ready to quilt. Just need to sit down and DO it.

If you are resisting this quilt because the appliqued handles leave you feeling panicky -  never fear. I got my new (June) issue of American Patchwork & Quilting in the mail on Saturday. It has some solutions to help make this easier, including using rick rack or fusible web for the handles. Plus, a beautiful pink and brown basket quilt designed by Betsy Chutchian to go with those handles.


Remember, this is your last reminder to finish up the basket quilt from Remembering Adelia for March before we begin a new little quilt for April.



I will try to post the new pattern on Sunday or Monday.

10 comments:

  1. I guess I'm going to have to order that book... I love the table runner that you showed!

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  2. I just ordered the book. I have a whole box of my mother's, grandmother's and great grandmother's quilt blocks. I think they were their samples of different patterns that they passed down to each other. I have been trying to fiqure out what to do with them instead of just leaving them in a box. Maybe the book will help.

    I finished my basket quilt yesterday. I made 12 blocks and love how it turned out. The handles were not hard at all. I can't wait to see what you pick out for us next month!
    Louise

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  3. Adorable little basket block. The four patch blocks are so cute too.
    I love that table runner with the one antique block.
    Happy stitching.

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  4. I would love to find a bunch of orphan vintage blocks! I definitely think they deserve the opportunity to shine after all these years and I'm sure the original makers of these blocks would be so grateful that someone took the time to use them as they would probably have liked to!!! I love making the CW Basket blocks and I found the handles very easy, I used the Clover bias maker which took the agony out of the process. Looking forward to seeing what you have in store for April!

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  5. Those little blocks are so cute. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with for their setting.
    Your little dog is so adorable :)
    I am making a one block challenge this month but I have the same hold up as you do. It didn't take long to make the basket block but several days later I'm still trying to decide on borders. I've finished the February top but that is waiting to be quilted too. Hmmm maybe I could layer that one up and at least quilt it before the end of the month.

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  6. Kathy, I have a basket full of antique orphan blocks that I drag out now and than to play with, I just hate seeing them laying in a shop with out a home. Now I want to start making something with them.
    I loved making the basket quilt and I'm looking forward to seeing whats in store for us in April. Karen/IL.

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  7. Thanks for mentioning the Baptist Fan stencil last week. I'd never seen a small one. I purchased one at the expo, too. I love stencils. I also have orphan blocks that I need to use. I'm thinking of framing mine then adding sashing in the same color. I'm hoping that the different sizes won't show that way.

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  8. What great ideas and inspirations I get from your blog and your books! Thank you so much.

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  9. I think your orphan blocks are really sweet. I look forward to see how you use them. I like the book on Orphan Blocks that you showed. It looks like it might be in my future. Thanks. Sandi

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  10. You are certainly making those little blocks special

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