Sunday, July 1, 2012


Recently, I had an email from Dianna who just stumbled acorss my blog. She is part of a sewing group and together they have tons of orphan blocks and she was wondering about ideas to utilize them. Below is the list of ideas that I emailed her. Hope it helps all of you orphan block rescuers to get going and whip out some orphan block quilts so that you, too, can be orphan quilters like me! 1. First, of course, you need to check out my book, Orphan Block Quilts: Making a Home for Antique, Vintage, Collectible, and Left Over Quilt Blocks!!! ;) 2. How about an orphan block exchange or swap? Have the members sort their orphan blocks, keeping like blocks together. You could make it into an auction and use the money to buy supplies to finish quilts to donate to charity such as Project Linus. 3. What about an orphan block challenge??? Each particpant has to pay a fat quarter to participate. Set a deadline and a few guidelines (such as how many blocks must be used or the size of projects). Display the completed projects (which could be quilts, purses, bags, wearables, etc.) and everyone should vote on the "Best Orphan Block Project." The winner, of course gets all of the fat quarters. 4. Have each member put a set number of orphan blocks (groups if possible or same size blocks) into a brown lunch bag. Add a few fat quarters of coordinating fabrics or left over fabrics from the blocks. Put all of the bags together, mix them up, and each person picks a bag. If she gts her own, she would need to select a different bag. Then , do an orphan block project challenge. 5. What about an orphan block round robin? Each member makes a quilt center using orphan blocks. She then puts it into a bag with any coordinating fabrics she wants to add. Then she passes her project to another member. Continue to do this until each member has had a turn adding to each round robin quilt. (if there are a lot of members, you could have two or more round robin groups). Set rules for each border if so desired or do an "anything goes." 6. Instead of a round robin do a row robin using orphan blocks! 7. What about a mystery orphan quilt project? I designed one that uses either 9" or 12" orphan blocks for a guild last year and we had an all day sewing workshop. It was great fun! AND all of the quilts were amazingly terrific! 8. Members could pair up to create projects using both their stashes of orphan blocks together. These projects make great charity quilts. 9. Have everyone bring in their orphan blocks. Keep track of how many blocks each person brings. Sort all blocks by size. Hopefully there will be lots of blocks in a single size. Then each member picks up the same number of orphan blocks she brought, hopefully in groups of the same size (she may get back some of her own of course). Having a group of blocks in the same size makes it easier to put together a project. 10. If all else fails, donate them to a good cause or send them to me, the Orphan Quilter!!! :)

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Quilt On,

Tricia Lynn Maloney,
The Orphan Quilter