What does Summer mean to you? Family picnics. Fun at the pool. A trip to the beach. Relaxing under the stars along side a roaring bonfire.
AND the perfect time to dig out an orphan quilt block or two and make something fast, fun, and creative.
The GREAT Summer Orphan Block Challenge of 2012 was a blast, but like the summer sun, it has faded into the horizon. But here’s a little recap:
So, what are “Orphan Blocks?” You start a quilt with all the best intentions, you finish a few blocks, then lose interest in the project. With only a few blocks complete, the project falls off the to-do list. And all of the sudden you have blocks that really don’t belong.
The four-patches, above, for example, were leftover 2″ strips from samples I made years ago. At the time, I sewed two strips together, cross-cut them, then made four patches, and stowed them. Several of the blocks have fabrics that match, some are scrappy. None of them are doing anybody any good in their current form. I must have about fifty 3-1/2″ four-patch blocks!
Or the citrus-colored blocks, each 5-1/2″ square. The project seemed like a good idea at the time, but once I started making the blocks, something else caught my eye. These blocks are ready to roll into a project, but what. . .? Blue and tan blocks. Same thing. Nice blocks, no home.
An idea . . . I decided this would make a great summertime challenge. How can I convert my own orphans into something useful? Then I thought YOU’D like to play, too.
And, what if I sweetened the pot with a wonderful gift package awarded at the end of the summer, as the leaves start to turn? Yup, your orphan blocks could be worthy of a fabulous prize at summer’s end.
First, some Guidelines:
Number 1. Start small. Start with one something. One block, One collection of four-patches, one . . . whatever!
Number 2. Whatever becomes your inspiration or ‘orphan’ block must have at least one sewn seam. Examples: a half-square triangle unit, a four-patch, a completed block or a partially completed block. You can start with more than one of any of these, but whatever ‘it’ is has to have come out of your stash with at least one seam already sewn. Exception: if you really don’t have any orphan blocks, make something from your scraps, a four-patch for example – the key is to start with something you already have. Adding new fabrics is allowed! Using stash or scraps, even better!
Number 3. Make it fun! Start any time. This is a guilt-erasing, not guilt-creating challenge. Choose a favorite technique. Fun tools. Try something different. Even if you make one new thing from one abandoned quilt block, that’s one more than you had before summer started! By the way, no fair submitting projects you did three years ago.
Number 4. Share. I’ll post pictures of what’s happening on my end. I’d love to share your projects, too! It has been said that one of the tricks to accomplishing goals is to share them.
A REALLY TERRIFIC PRIZE PACKAGE for the most innovative and pleasing use of orphan blocks will be awarded at the end of summer. Enroll in Good Migrations, the weekly eZine or watch the Winging It blog as summer heats up to see what’s in store for you to win!
Entries were received!
Results were evaluated.
And a winner was selected!
Read more here on the blog.
Thanks for following along for a whole summer of quilty fun!