Those Pesky Orphan Blocks

What do you do with orphan blocks (individual or just a few blocks left over once a quilt is finished)?

Here is a recent view of my stash of orphan blocks:

Yes, that bin is full of smaller orphan blocks, with the big orphans stacked on top!

Obviously something needs to be done!

I got the orphan blocks out recently and selected all those that finished 12″ square.  I combined them into two donation quilts, which finished 42″ square.

You may (or may NOT) notice that there are both white and cream backgrounds in the quilt.  I say, “so what?”  It would be even less noticeable if there were more of each.  Even with just a few blocks it looks OK to me.  Sure, if I were planning from scratch I might make the backgrounds all the same.  But for a scrap quilt I think the white-vs-cream distinction is much ado about nothing. (Are you with me, Laura?)

Let me know what you think.  Does it look “off” to you?  Or do you not even notice?  Would you do this on purpose, perhaps using white and cream randomly in different blocks?

More posts on orphan blocks to come, for obvious reasons 😀

21 thoughts on “Those Pesky Orphan Blocks

  1. I think what you’ve done with orphan blocks is wonderful! When you go for such a scrappy look, different background colors make it even better. I think it’s great that you have so many blocks that are the same size, to be able to make a quilt from them. My orphan block stash is much more assorted, with only two or three of a particular size. Someday, they’ll become a “kitchen sink” quilt. I’m sure these donations will be very appreciated.

  2. OMG! This looks like it took months of planning! They turned out marvelous and vibrant! And I had to go back to see what you were talking about. I see not what you see. Nicely done, as always!

  3. I always followed the “rule” of not mixing white with cream…Not ANYMORE! I love how these quilts turned out. Every time I read your posts I add something else to my to do list! Now, I will be revisiting my orphan blocks.

  4. Strange to say (because I’m of the camp that Chela mentioned) the cream/white backgrounds actually added something to the quilt, even helped direct the eye around the blocks…
    What a successful end result in yet another scrappy endeavor of yours!

  5. Oh how industrious and resourceful you are and how lucky the people who will receive these beautiful quilts. Forgive my ignorance, but is there a rule about not using white and cream together? And if so, why? I like the gentle contrast that the combination gives

  6. I mix cream and white all the time. We are certainly adventurous quilters! I love what you’ve done with your orphans–I have a bin of them myself, and this is a good use for them. Thanks for the ideas!

  7. I did not know about the cream and white rule, and after reading about it here, I thought, “Well, I am going to have to think about that.” Then I noticed that the quilt on my bed, that I made about 10 years ago, had both cream and white in it, and I like the way that looks. And I agree with what Laura Bruno Lilly said, that it helps the eye move around.

  8. If you are using orphan blocks! You use what the orphan blocks give you! The backgrounds wouldn’t necessarily match! If you use scraps! You use what scraps you have! Sometimes it’s nice to have the background consistent, but stash is stash!

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