Wednesday, April 13, 2016

I May Have A Scrap Problem... A Great Tip!!

Hi, all!

Welcome back for another installment of I May Have A Scrap Problem!  How are you progressing in taming that scrap monster? Whether you've brought it completely under control or are just beginning, I hope you'll join me as I try to tame mine!  

This week I've got something special to share.  Lisa C. left a comment on last week's post that got me started thinking, and we corresponded about it some more.  After that, I couldn't wait to get started and implement the idea!  

Lisa said that she takes orphan blocks and uses various methods to unite them into quilt tops.  One method she uses is to add strips of fabrics to the sides to make them all the same size. So I headed off to church to dig through the orphan block boxes...


I pulled out twenty-five blocks, roughly the same size, and put them up on the design wall to be sure they "played well" together.  This is what I ended up with, although I pulled out several prior to this point that didn't work well with the others.


I measured the largest of the blocks and it was about 8" square.  I decided to build the blocks up to 12.5" so there would be a good-sized border around each.  Having a 12.5" template handy was useful - I could check the block as I sewed to see easily when it was large enough.

Most of these blocks were muted colors, so I pulled a variety of strings from the strings box that were also muted shades.  Then I just grabbed a block, a string, and started sewing them on!  


I didn't worry too much about keeping the orphan block exactly centered, although I did try to build up the sides fairly evenly.  I ended up ripping out some stitches and re-setting one block because it ended up too far in the corner one time, and really looked odd.


Here you can see the first four blocks I added to.  Really simple - about the only thing I did special was to try to incorporate many of the same fabrics throughout the whole quilt.  It gave it a sense of cohesiveness without being matchy-matchy.


Here's a picture of the flimsy - it was a little windy this day, so I had to take it from the underside, but isn't it pretty?  All those little pieces glowing like coals with the sunshine coming through them...


And I found this great piece of hand-spun, hand woven cotton in the stash for the back!  I think it came from Thailand - it was in my mother-in law's stash and it was just too pretty to pass up, but it's sat in my stash for over a year now.  It was just the right size to piece this back!


And here's a picture of the finished quilt - twenty-five orphan blocks that had been languishing in a box, now part of a quilt that I'm calling Beautiful Family - orphans no more!


Look at all that pretty texture!!  It's quilted in a simple random meander, which washed up lovely, soft and crinkly...

This quilt was so much fun to make!  Taking all those orphan blocks and turning them into something really special just made my day.  And I wanted to do a little something special to say thanks to Lisa C. for the great tip...  When I saw an ad for a new quilting t-shirt that used the phrase "quilt whisperer" I had an idea!


I made this "Scrap Whisperer" pincushion today, and I'll be sending it out to Lisa C. as a thank you for the great tip!  (And yes, it's made with scraps - both fabric and even a scrap of printable fabric!) So keep leaving those fabulous tips - you never know when you might become a "scrap whisperer" yourself!

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Are you feeling inspired now?  Keep working those scraps and coming up with great ideas - I hope you'll plan on sharing your progress in two weeks so we can all celebrate and learn from what you've been doing!

Hugs!

Sarah

42 comments:

  1. Love working with orphan blocks! Your quilt turned out beautifully!

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  2. This is beautiful! Thank you for the orphan block tip, Sarah.

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  3. What a wonderful transformation for the orphan blocks. The quilt turned out great.

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  4. That is a petty great idea with the orphan blocks. Love the quilt.

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  5. Well, Lisa C. and I must have been on the same wavelength because I did a very similar thing recently. I bordered orphan blocks with bigger strips for a quick finish, and not quite as scrappy, but still a concept that works for using up leftover blocks and strips. You can see it here:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/quilts_by_lisa/25870894710

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  6. Such a heart-felt quilt . . .

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  7. A beautiful quilt. Thanks Lisa for a great tip.

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  8. That turned out so pretty, what a great idea! Now I need to pull all of those poor orphans and take another look.

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  9. I had the same idea yesterday -- not for orphan blocks but for exchange blocks which are rarely a consistent size. You've inspired me to dig into the orphans, as well.

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  10. What a great tip! And this concept will work perfectly for our group when we learn a block together but everyone's turns out a bit different in size. We will have to pull the few orphan blocks we have and give it a try.

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  11. This is beautiful, They don't look like orphans at all.
    I'm just astounded at the turnout.

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  12. Orphan blocks no more- just a gorgeous quilt! I have some but not enough for a quilt. Love the Sashing ideas. Very inspirational.

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  13. I;ve used this process myself - yours turned out just wonderful! It's like those blocks were made just for this quilt.

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  14. Such a beautiful quilt! This tip is definitely inspiring!

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  15. That is an awesome quilt!! I'm currently working on two scrap quilts for our Sheriff's Department to carry in their cruisers. I seem to have an overabundance of brown scraps, so one is all brown and neutrals. Gotta keep trying to tame these scraps.

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  16. I love making quilts from orphan blocks. I call them my "pot luck" quilts. Yours is sensational. I love it hanging on the line, it looks like stained glass! Thanks for sharing.

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  17. Great post with beautiful pictures and a good idea!! Sally

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  18. Oh! How exciting! Thank you!!!! You shouldn't have -- but I'm so thrilled you did!

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  19. Beautifully executed! I appreciate your tip...

    "incorporate many of the same fabrics throughout the whole quilt. It gave it a sense of cohesiveness without being matchy-matchy."

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  20. I love the scrappy look if this quilt! Bringing the blocks up to size eliminates the need for sashing and/or borders. If only I had some orphan blocks now ...

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  21. What a fabulous idea--I'll have to raid my "drawer of shame)= full of things that I didn't want to make 50 of!!==and see how they play...yours turned out beautifully..hugs, Julierose

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  22. Love the pincushion! Thanks for sharing the tip.
    Hugs

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  23. Love the quilt, what a wonderful idea. Paula in KY

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  24. Thanks for sharing that great tip.

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  25. Beautiful.... Reminds me of a stained Glass window

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  26. Beautiful.... Reminds me of a stained Glass window

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  27. Beautiful.... Reminds me of a stained glass window

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  28. Beautiful.... Reminds me of a stained glass window

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  29. It's beautiful, Sarah, and yes you have inspired me to get those scraps out of the bins! You really wouldn't have known these were once orphan blocks; you really did your magic on them - indeed a beautiful family now :)

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  30. Super idea, Lisa C! And, Sarah, you did an awesome job putting them together. Makes me wish I had a few orphan blocks sitting around . . ..

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  31. Your Beautiful Family really is fabulous!!! Love the way you used strings to make them bigger - it makes the whole quilt sing! I love to use orphan blocks to enlarge backings that need just a little bit more fabric to make them fit, whether they match the front exactly or not. Now I'll be using strings to build up the smaller ones to fit the larger once - super idea!!

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  32. wow, when I first saw the blocks up on the wall, I thought, what the heck? But MAN that is one beautiful quilt! Can I come stay with you for a week...or two and LEARN??? lolol. Love this blog!

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  33. Well this is just beautiful!! What a great union of blocks and fabric strips.

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  34. My mouth is still open. The orphan blocks were "ho-hum" but when I saw what they became under your capable hands and machine - I was dazzled!!! I am just in awe.

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  35. I've seen this done and know it works, but when I saw the blocks you had to work with I was a little skeptical. You turned those little orphans into stars! It's a really lovely quilt and I think you're pretty clearly a Scrap Whisperer, too.

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  36. Wow! Astounishing work. I love the name you gave it. Hard to believe they were orphaned blocks before. You really united them.

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  37. Lisa's tip was great and you sure carried it out in an amazing way Sarah! Beautiful Family is simply wonderful!

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    1. PS - I forgot to say that the pincushion you made for Lisa is adorable too!

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  38. visiting from crazy mum quilts. I love this. Wow I wish I had people to quilt with at church. I tried to set up a group but it was not a goer.

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