This month I have been taking other people's orphan blocks and making
them into quilt tops for the fabulous charity Siblings Together. The charity brings brothers and sisters together in holiday camps and at weekends when they are separated in the uk care system. It keeps important family bonds going despite difficult times.
The siblings together quilt group led by Maria, Carol and I makes 100 quilts and more every year so each child can have a quilt to remember fun times with their siblings when they return to the care system be it a children's home, or foster care. But we couldn't do it without lots of help from the very generous quilting community.
If you have a few orphan blocks sitting in a box, perhaps you could do something with them for charity, or donate them to someone who will. Orphan blocks count as scraps in my book. They are scraps that are organised and pre-sewn and therefore very useful for making quilts quickly for charity or any other purpose - perhaps a quick baby quilt or birthday! So I would encourage you to have a clear out !
I received these gorgeous blocks from Trudi Wood who does the most amazing longarm quilting. She also sent me some leftover fabrics she used and some similar fabrics in the same range which helps enormously when I make new blocks to integrate with the orphan blocks.
They looked great square but putting them on point gives them more movement and makes the arrangement bigger once the setting triangles are added.
I wanted one more whole block - but what to add ? I chose this beauty from an old patchwork book; the block is called Chimney Swallow(s). I may have to make a quilt with these someday.
The other blocks are 16" so I had to increase the size of the 12" pattern in the book by one third (thanks Helen for the maths) to get the right size of templates (easy on a photocopier 133%). Then as the curves are quite gentle I managed to piece it all on my sewing machine.
Here they all are ....
I think they work well together. But I wanted them to stand out even more so added a frame which pulls out one of the colours in the block. I have used this technique before and love what it does to my blocks. It really emphasises that colour in the block, it makes them bigger of course and helps stabilise any bias edges too.
The next challenge is to fill those gaps! I was thinking of a scrappy fill in but am now considering making half blocks! Either will look good I think and you can be certain I'll be adding my scraps to the leftovers received from Trudi to make whatever goes in there!
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