I have a memory from my early friendship with Barb, of visiting her sewing room and exploring a drawer full of “orphan” quilt blocks. You know the type of thing: spare blocks, abandoned blocks, or other assorted oddments, pieces, and parts of former quilt projects. 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. It’s all humble “orphan" blocks from her stash. The quilt measures 10” x 12” and is “randomly” set with blocks of different sizes, made to fit 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 was too long to fit, Barb simply cut it off, leaving a partial block.
Adding to the quilt's "make do" style is a backing sewn from beautiful chintz scraps. Barb also varied her binding strips, just as a long-ago seamstress might have done had she run out of her intended fabric.
A gentle tea bath gave the quilt its aged appearance. Don’t you just love that detail?
About that time, I spotted a sweet vintage bowl on Etsy. It was only 3” tall, with a hefty round base, and the loveliest shade of blue. "That's just what I need," I convinced myself, thinking it would look great filled with old brown buttons, atop a scrappy quilt...