Sunday, February 19, 2017

Humble Orphans

I have a faint memory from my early friendship with Barb, of visiting her sewing room and exploring a drawer full of “orphan” quilt blocks: you know, abandoned blocks, leftover blocks, vintage blocks… the assorted oddments that otherwise have no home. What fun it would be I thought, to arrange them, like puzzle pieces, into different quilt layouts. 

That’s exactly what Barb did when she made this birthday quilt for me last year. It’s all “orphan blocks” from her stash.

The quilt measures 10” x 12” and is “randomly set with blocks of different sizes, made to fit together by adding on or trimming back, as need be.

I’m guessing Barb started her layout with the vintage Shoo Fly block, then added Broken Dishes to continue the classic blue and brown color scheme. When the strip of Flying Geese blocks was too long to fit, Barb simply cut it off, leaving a partial block which only adds to the quilt's charm.

On the back is a beautiful botanical/bird print in rich colors, made richer by a gentle tea bath when all was finished. 

Before my birthday, I had my eye on this vintage bowl from Etsy. It’s the sweetest thing, just 3” tall and 5” across, with a hefty round base and the loveliest shade of blue. Perhaps it’s an orphan too, separated, at some point, from the rest of its 1940’s set. I kept picturing it filled with old buttons, sitting atop a scrappy quilt. When Barb sent me this quilt… well, I bought the bowl too. Happy birthday to me!


  1. what fun to see this humble scrappy quilt today. The bowl is very cute and the buttons match the quilt! wee
    This years offering will be on its way soon :)

  2. p.s. It is as if you were right there with me through the piecing process - you are right on all counts.