Friday, November 14, 2014

From Orphan Block to Pincushion

I love when I can turn a mistake into something useful.

I goofed on the measurements for this little block, but I did not want to leave it an orphan.

IG Mini Quilt Swap_Churn Dash

So I turned it into a pincushion.

Churn Dash Pincushion

I added some hand stitching and backed it in solid aqua.

Churn Dash Pincushion_Side

It's all ready for my partner in the IG mini quilt swap. Now to finish the quilt!

Linking to Finish It Up Friday!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Itty Bitty Blocks

Back in August, I signed up for the IG Mini Quilt Swap organized by Sandy Greenberg at Curly Boy.

Since then I've been stalking my partner, trying to figure out what she would like.

I think that she will like something pretty traditional so I've decided to make her a sampler quilt of itty, bitty blocks.

I got started this weekend and made this Churn Dash block.

IG Mini Quilt Swap_Churn Dash

As you can see from comparison to the rotary cutter, it is a small block. But at 4.25" it was too small to fit with the quilt I am planning. So as not to leave this little block an orphan, I plan on turning it into a pincushion for my partner. For more on saving orphan blocks, check out this post I wrote.

I re-did my math and made the block a bit bigger. This one is 5" and will finish at 4.5."

IG Mini Quilt Swap_Churn Dash 2

And then I made an Attic Windows block...

IG Mini Swap_Attic Windows

...a Puss in the Corner block...

IG Mini Quilt Swap_Puss in Corner

...a Maple Star block...

IG Mini Quilt Swap_Maple Star

...and a Big T block.

IG Mini Quilt Swap_Big T

That's five down and seven to go!

I love working with these tiny blocks. I have worked with even smaller blocks before so these aren't too bad. The smallest blocks I've made were for this dollhouse quilt. You can read more about this tiny quilt here.

Dollhouse quilt_quarter

Have you worked with tiny blocks? How small did you go? What did you make?

Friday, November 7, 2014

Playing Cards Quilt Finished!

I have finished the charity quilt!

Playing cards quilt_Finished

I used the pattern, Playing Cards by Jennifer Mathis of Ellison Lane, in Modern Bee by Lindsay Conner. I wanted to make the quilt bigger than the one in the book so that it can be big enough for a big kid. I added an extra row and column of blocks and sashing. It measures 60" by 76."

I quilted straight line spirals in the "cards" and swirls in the background. You can see more on the quilting in my W.i.P. post here.  Here's what the quilting looks like from the back of the quilt.

Playing cards quilt_back

This quilt is all ready for a little person. I wonder who will get it! 

Playing cards quilt_folded

Linking up to Finish It Up Friday!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Top 10 Ways to Use Orphan Blocks

This weekend I made a few blocks for a quilt. I made them in green fabrics. But when I put them together with the other blocks, they just didn't look right. This happens to me often with green.

Green orphan blocks

I tossed the green blocks aside and made new blocks in a different color. But what to do with the green blocks? Would they be destined to be orphans? Orphans are blocks that you start making for a project, but that you abandon. I usually stash mine in a box in a closet and forget about them, but there has to be a better way to use them, right?

I posted a picture of the blocks and a question on Instagram: What do you do with orphan blocks? I got some great ideas from comments folks left. Their ideas got me thinking.

I came up with a top 10 list for using orphan blocks:

10. Make a mug rug.

9. Make a table runner.

8. Make a doll quilt.

7. Make a pillow.

6. Make a pouch.  

5. Make pot holders.

4. Use them for quilting practice. 

3. Use them on the back of a quilt (this is where my green blocks will go!).

2. Find someone that collects them for charity quilts. Check out the Save The Orphan Blocks Campaign.

1.  Make a "kitchen sink" or sampler quilt. Emily at Simple Girl, Simple Life introduced me to this idea. She took blocks from a number of different unfinished projects and put them together into one beautiful quilt. What a great way to use up a bunch of orphan blocks at once! For more on her quilt, visit her blog.

Photo used courtesy of Emily of Simple Girl, Simple Life
For more great ideas on what to do with orphan blocks, check out these posts:
Interested in learning more about orphan blocks? Check out Orphan Block Quilts by Tricia Lynn Maloney, the Orphan Quilter!

Now, I have no excuse to keep my orphan blocks stashed away in the closet. Here's another bunch of orphans. More green!

Orphan blocks

What about you? What do you do with your orphan blocks? 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Fall Blogger's Quilt Festival, Part 2

Meet Sparkle.

Sparkle_Modern Patchwork Summer 2014

She's my second entry in the Blogger's Quilt Festival.

She made her appearance with Sunset in the Modern Patchwork Summer 2014 issue.

Sparkle_Modern Patchwork Summer 2014_2

Unlike Sunset, Sparkle has lots of negative space, which meant lots of quilting was in order. I used my domestic machine to echo the pinwheels with 1/4" lines. I kept echoing until the lines ran into each other.

Sparkle_Modern Patchwork Summer 2014_Quilting1

I'm entering Sparkle in the Home Machine Quilted category. There are some pretty impressive quilts in this category! Go have a look!

Fall 2014 Blogger's Quilt Festival

I'd like to introduce you to Sunset.

Sunset_Modern Patchwork Summer 2014

She's my entry in Blogger's Quilt Festival.

Sunset made an appearance in the Modern Patchwork Summer 2014 issue.

Sunset_Modern Patchwork Summer 2014_2

She measures 36" by 36" and is paper pieced with my favorite pinks, reds, and oranges, and a little bit of dark brown. I quilted her with back-and-forth straight lines to give her lots of texture.

Sunset_Modern Patchwork Summer 2014_Quilting 1

I'm entering her in the Original Design category. There are lots of fabulous quilts there. Go on and have a look!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

W.i.P. Wednesday

Quilting is underway for the Playing Cards quilt.

I decided to quilt straight line spirals in the "cards."

Playing cards_straight line quilting

For the background, I'm going with swirls to contrast the straight lines of the cards.

Playing cards_free-motion quilting

I'm hoping to finish this one soon!

Linking to W.i.P. Wednesday!