Orphan Blocks Redeemed!

We all have them - leftover blocks from quilts or other projects, but we're not motivated to make more so they can fit into another quilt. Everyone can use a tabletop trivet or potholder, right?

I made two (maybe more) quilts using the Bella Collection by Lotta Jansdotter for Windham Fabrics. This is from 2012. They are fresh and modern and I loved working with them.

Bella fabrics from 2012

Here is the first quilt I made. It was improvisational and I had hoped that a magazine would have picked it up. Pink slip! I guess they didn't want to figure out how to pattern it. I called it Bella's House. It hangs in my house year round.

Bella's House. Beautifully quilted by Kathy Gray.

I made some simple trivets and stitched them together and patterned this for Creative Grids. One of my daughters owns this. Two strips sewn together and then cut with a 60 degree ruler.

Here's one of my orphan blocks. I since removed the white triangles on the sides.

Orphan block looking for a new home

I had a little bit of that tree and bird print (in Bella's House) that I put on the back.

And here is the front. Just straight line quilting. This is for my middle daughter's birthday and none of my girls like the "swirly-twirly" type of machine quilting I tend to do! Minimal is the word.

Spiderweb trivet about 12" high by 13" wide

Here is another quilt I made with that Bella collection. There are 3 different blocks in this quilt. It is still a quilt top as I don't enjoy quilting something this large. And I'm still not sure about the border. It'll come to me - someday! First, without the border. These are 11" blocks.

Bella Cobblestone quilt center

Then I added gray borders and some leftover 2" EPP hexagons.

My Bella Cobblestone quilt with borders (56" x 56").

Bella Cobblestone quilt in process

I had one leftover block and here she is quilted and finished as a trivet. Very minimalistic.

And the fabric is so cute on the back! These are the sweetest birds.

Orphan block becomes a usable trivet.

Now I'm pulling a variety of orphan blocks out of my drawers and closets. They don't need to become quilts. And they are SO easy to quilt.

I hope I gave you an idea for how to use up a few of your own orphan blocks


  1. I need all the ideas I can get to use orphan blocks. I do tend to make pot holders and give away. A former secretary where I taught, stopped me and told me she still used one I had given her. I retired in 2003. It made me proud. Love the bird fabric.

    1. Hi, Nancy. I've been pulling more and more orphan blocks out of the drawers and boxes and it's refreshing to be able to make something small, usable and quick to finish! I have some fun blocks upcoming to share - so stay tuned!


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Thanks for stopping by Debby Kratovil Quilts! If you had a question and don't get an answer from me, please feel free to email me at: kratovil@his.com