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Orphan Blocks to Quilts, Day 4

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Here are a few more orphan blocks that shine in all their glory, center stage in fact. I've shared these before (and you can read more about them by clicking the links under the photos). This was a 30 year old block that I used the Windham "Fantasy" collection to complete. Isn't this lovely? Vintage Flower block  surrounded by 2" strips And then Fantasy decided they wanted to adopt another block. OK. I can do that, I said. This also was a vintage block that waited around for years. First adoption - read about it  here And just one more. I made this appliqué elephant block several years ago. Nothing happened with it. Finally, he roared out and insisted that I put it into a quilt. What else could I do? Minton Elephant : 44" x 47" Now, I hope I've inspired you to dig around in your orphan block pile and consider this very easy way to make them into simple quilts. I found a few others and one in particular has finally run out of her patience. She has be

Orphan Blocks to Quilts, Day 3

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A simple bedsheet was languishing on a table at an antique vending mall. I was drawn in to the beauty of the sophisticated hand embroidery. One dollar? That's all you want? She's mine! It sat in my closet for a few years. I would pull it out from time to time and then it hit me - this is NOT going to be a bedsheet for any one of my grandkids! This is NOT going to be subject to bed wetting and throwing up and go into the washer over and over. I was teaching free motion quilting classes and I decided to use what I taught to transform this. Here she is up close: Mary's Little Lamb I gave this to my sweet granddaughter Eva and her mom promptly hung it over her bed. Here is the full quilt/sheet. Quilted lamb bedsheet with wide binding And here it is hanging above Eva's bed (with another of my quilts on the bed). It is good to rescue these things. Whoever the maker was, I'm sure she would be thrilled to know that I elevated it from bed wetting to glorious wall art!

Orphan Blocks to Quilts, Day 2

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I can't remember how I acquired this lovely and LARGE vintage block, but I loved it at first sight. I named it One Block Rose Wreath because, well - that's what it is! It's a whopping 36" x 36" and I decided to give it a minimal treatment for borders. One Block Rose Wreath: 45" x 45" I think it's interesting that the maker put red squares in the 4 corners and the green leaves overlap in a casual sort of way. This was hand appliquéd. My 3 strips and 9 Patch borders don't take away from the beauty of the center block. Here is what I said about it when it was published: A special friend (whom I’ve never met!) buys, sells, and trades old quilts, quilt tops and blocks in Kansas City, Oklahoma. In fact, DottieMae Groves travels around the country in her quest for special quilting items to add to her antique shop’s inventory. In one of her forays she discovered a whimsical, folk art quilt block that is bigger than many wall quilts! There was nothing kno

Orphan Blocks to Quilts, Day 1

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I came across this quilt I put together back in 1998. My editor at Quilt Magazine had a set of vintage appliqué blocks that she wanted me to set into a quilt. I was game! She sent the blocks to me and I arranged them on point, added borders and we had it quilted. What a beauty! Magnolia Blossom: 7" block; 48" x 58" quilt This is what was written in the 1998 issue of our magazine:  “Let Spring bloom in a quilt.” So said the Weekly Kansas City Star for its January 11, 1936 offering of a quilt block entitled “Flower of Spring.” This old-time block was contributed by Miss Margaret L. Bosworth, Agnos, Missouri and many home sewers quickly cut out their own versions of this beautiful pieced block, sewing up several during the cold winter months in eager anticipation of the coming spring. Barbara Brackman lists this as #799 with other names of “Floral Patchwork” and “A Tulip Pattern in High Colors.”  I transformed these 12 blocks into a larger quilt with simple setting triangle

Wooly Wooly

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I have played with wool in my quilting from time to time. The other day I stopped by our friend Todd's tailor shop to pick up wool sample books that they no longer need. Better to live with me than to be thrown in the trash can, right? One of a dozen sample books from Todd's shop Todd's sample books are wool, wool and cashmere, wool and cotton, etc. His suits sell for several thousand dollars, so you know this is the best Italian and Australian wool! I made a sweet little quilt about 25 years ago using hearts on the wools . . . Hearts on Wool And I was experimenting with cotton prints and wool samples here. Have no idea where this went or if I just gave the blocks away. At least 20 years ago! Wool zigzag blocks I gave some samples to my dear friend Jan and she turned them into this gorgeous quilt! Wool quilt by Jan Jolly Does this give you any ideas? Do you have a tailor shop nearby that you can beg some sample books from? Remember, they typically toss those books unless so

Retired Workshop Quilts

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I am slowly retiring workshops that I no longer want to teach. I currently have over 3 dozen boxes of samples and I'm opening them one by one, taking out the samples and making quilts with them. Big Block Hexagons is one of them. I blogged about one of my sample quilts last year. Here is the quilt, since given to a little kid last Christmas. Let it Snow Hexagons: 40" x 46" You can see some of my process steps in the blog post . This next quilt was made using a gorgeous collection in turquoise. I used each horizontal row in my class to demonstrate the piecing sequence. This was a simplified version of the main quilt. Big Block Hexagons top:44" x 49" Here is the main quilt done in lavenders. It seemed to be difficult after I taught it the first time. That's why I simplified it! But I still included the pattern for this in the class. Note my two fabric borders! Big Block Hexagons: 50" x 59" The next one is also one using the simplified assembly. It is

One More Thousand Pyramids Inspired Quilt

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I made this quilt 25 years ago and it now lives with a happy owner. I have no idea how I came up with this arrangement of triangles, folded hexagons and grosgrain ribbon, but I think it's cute! Bright Triangles and YoYos There's that bug border again! I must have purchased a few yards of it, because it appears in more than one quilt. I'm not sure how that green grosgrain ribbon will wash up, but I did machine stitch it down to the black background. The folded hexagons have yoyos in the center and the whole thing is delightfully 3-D! I blogged about this quilt in 2016 and gave out a FREE PATTERN for the folded hexagons. I have no idea where the pattern and art for this quilt is in my thousands of computer files. Not sure about the size either, but some little kid has enjoyed it (now an adult, right?) Check out the blog post and you'll find the link for the folded hexagons, too! And what a fun way with those 60 degree triangles!