Sunday, July 01, 2007

Orphan, or Puzzle Quilt

Several years ago, our Guild Membership gal asked for donations of extra blocks that we were not planning to use, to be given as door prizes. Well, I had extra blocks, and I was eager to participate in this worthy endeavor!

I opened up my tub of extra blocks, and the first one on top was ....uhh .. well, I decided to keep that one, it was made years ago while I was just learning to quilt from Georgia Bonesteel on PBS TV programs. How I loved that program and ohhhh dear, it brought back tears and memories. OK, so I won’t give that one away, and flipped it behind me on the floor, Eleanor Burns style. Next one came out .... well it has those cute little bunnies of that quilt I made for my little niece .. . throw over the shoulder to the floor, again. The next one, oh yes, that’s where I learned to string piece – I’ll keep that one and flipped it behind me to the floor.

Need I go any farther? I couldn’t choose even ONE block for a donation – every one of them had some really great reason NOT to give it away, and they covered 25 years of collections, brave starts, practice, less than perfect construction, and the ole familiar, "Some day, I’ll make that into a quilt."

And behind me on the floor - what did I see? You betcha (a Nebraska phrase) – those blocks had mysteriously practically arranged themselves in a setting, even though not one matched any other – except for the common theme, they were MINE! Yep, another quilt to make!


This has now become a puzzle quilt, as I think it’s called , and begs me to finish it. I’ve bordered each block, added sashing between, and created only a couple extra blocks (flowers) to make a very personal quilt that I am enormously fond of. You can date the blocks by the type fabric. Arranging the blocks is where I learned about reading left to right – it wasn’t easy to decide a balanced placement since they were all so different. See the words in the center? That’s a made-up word between me and my DH, meaning something like “A special space representing Peace and Patience” ... Note how jarringly wiggly, crooked and jumbled it’s laid out!

The flower is my favorite, with the crazy patch centers.


This queen-sized top is currently a UFO, awaiting inspiration for some type of border to calm it down. Those 2 blocks? False starts for the border – too busy, I think. However, since I last looked at it over a year ago, the problem of “What kind of border?” is less unclear.

If you have any ideas, I’d love to hear them. The length is almost finished, but I need the width of at least 12 inches on each side to fit on a queen bed.

19 comments:

Helen in the UK said...

What a great idea to combine all those orphans into a special quilt full of meaning for you. Personally I like the look of the blue checkerboard border you started :)

Jane Ann said...

You absolutely astound me. No way would I presume to tell you how to finish it. It's wonderful already.

Angie said...

That is just too cute, Elaine, the story AND the quilt top!! I love it!! Why not just layer, baste and quilt? Forget borders! :)

Morah said...

I just love this! i have no suggestions for a border but why do you have to border? I am a big fan of it's done so let it be done!

Owens Family Adventures said...

WOW!! That turned out so good!! I love the colors. :)
dawn

atet said...

I have no good ideas for borders, though you might check out Annie's Quilting Adventures for her solution to a similar problem.

I think your orphan/puzzle quilt is lovely! Great way to make something really special for yourself.

Sweet P said...

A beautiful quilt and a terrific story. I really must go through my various boxes and see if I have enough orphan blocks to make a quilt.

meggie said...

I am sure that quilt will have a happy life, with lovely memories for you.
It is beautiful.

Carole said...

Your block story was exactly how my dd cleans out her stuff animal craddle! lol The quilt looks beautiful. Looking forward to seeing what you do with the borders. Thanks for sharing!

Annie said...

I love this quilt and the story!! Through the blogs I have just learned about the "orphan" block projects..........boy if I could part with some of mine....I would have a few quilts........keep quilting!!

Marcie said...

Really neat quilt Elaine! I enjoyed your story as well. Too much fun!

Sue in western WA said...

Do you have any yardage from about the same era as the blocks? You could do a series of border strips (like you already have two of on the quilt) to build the top up to queen size. Your trial blocks could even go in the corners as cornerstones.

Love your Nebraska sunflowers!

Jenni @ Fairybread said...

The orphan block thing is everywhere, except here - I never make any extras. Obviously it's time to start!

sMC said...

you continue to astound and inspire me.

Quity Mama said...

I love your puzzle/orphan block quilt. I thought the letter block in the middle was like the 'word verification' we do to post our comments.;-)

Ila said...

I love the borders for each block...it makes each one have a separate story... You'll have to print the stories on a label.

I like the darker border block. Of course, you can always cheat and cut a plain border. Or find a smaller bed ;o)

Kathie said...

Fabulous! Everyone lately seems to be working with orphans. Way to clean up loose ends, and UFOs and end up with that most desirable of outcomes: a Finished Object!

Connie said...

It's looking wonderful and you've inspired us all to start looking a new way at our orphan blocks. Wow, it's amazing how those all came together!

Susan said...

Thanks for coming by Miss Snips Notebook!

I sure don't know what to tell you about your border -- I had a hard enough time with mine! haha -- I don't think yours should be a "busy" border though, maybe appliqued vine??

Oh and I love the Rebuilt Log cabin -- I'll keep it in mind for one of those days that I just want to sew... I actually don't have any already made but I have two shoeboxes full of 1 1/2" strips that could easily become log cabin blocks...