Tuesday, September 1, 2015

100 Quilts for Kids: Simple Orphan Block Quilt

Last week I shared some of my musings on orphan block/kitchen sink quilts. Dreaming up ways to make disparate blocks like orphan blocks play well together can be a fun challenge, but using these blocks can be as simple as floating a block or small grouping in some negative space, which is what I did recently.

finished  saltwater orphan block quilt

A couple years ago I made a chevron quilt for my sister from a fat quarter bundle of Saltwater by Tula Pink. I didn't really think it out well ahead of time - I just chopped up the entire bundle and when I was done piecing had a very long and narrow quilt! I removed several rows of the quilt and they have been sitting in a box in my closet since then. I was never quite sure what to do with such a long, awkward pieced strip, until I had the idea to break it up into two sections and use stash fabric to frame them.

Saltwater orphan block
I'm please with what a quick and easy project this was. I prefer the solid grey background, but the other (a fabric designed by Angela Walters) does seem to play nicely with the Saltwater and almost sparkle (even if it is a bit overwhelming).

Saltwater Orphan Block Quilt Tops

I pieced and quilted both of these at a recent DC Modern Quilt Guild retreat, and even found some backing for one in the charity fabric bin! Thanks, Amy!

back of quilt

One was bound by the time I left the retreat and the other finished last weekend. Both of these will be donated to the DC General Homeless Shelter as part of our guild's annual quilt drive.

See, using orphan blocks doesn't have to be intimidating at all!


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

100 Quilts for Kids: Thoughts on Orphan Block Quilts

Have you ever seen or made an orphan block/kitchen sink quilt? I've been pretty fascinated by them recently. Fascinated by how people combine such disparate blocks and colors to come up with amazingly appealing creations. Like this one, and this one. Also, the idea of using what you have and making due is really appealing to me right now. It seems to get at the heart of the tradition of quilt making, despite the fact that kitchen sink quilts can look so modern. Like this one. I have more examples of quilts made from orphan blocks on my Charity Quilt Inspiration Pinterest page here, and am going to spend some time during this year's 100 Quilts for Kids examining the use of orphan blocks for charity quilts. It's a great way to put blocks not otherwise being used to one of the best uses I can think of.

So how do you take something like this....

orphan block pile
Orphan blocks donated by members of the DC Modern Quilt Guild
and turn it into something like this?

I think the key is really to have variety, so I suggest pooling your orphan blocks with those from other quilty friends, guild members, or even an online bee or group. Once you have a lot of material to work with, you can begin to group into like blocks. You'll notice many of the quilts I linked to had blocks that were similar - saturated, bold colors or quieter colors with lots of white space. Other groups might be:

Like sizes or shapes:

hexie orphan blocksblue and green lines

Similar feel (e.g., I call these "vintage-y")

vintage orphan blocks

Similar colors is an obvious grouping:

similar colors orphan blocks
like colorssimilar colors

and some groups of blocks were just clearly meant to go together:

blue grey blocksvintage-y orphan blocks'

Other blocks are less obvious groupings, but could still make pretty awesome quilts, so experiment a bit.

random blocks

Over the coming weeks, I'll share some more insights and in particular show some of the background behind how I got these blocks to play well together:

my orphan block quilt

Thursday, August 20, 2015

100 Quilts for Kids: Sponsor Highlight

I'm back with more of the amazing sponsors who are offering up prizes as part of 100 Quilts for Kids 2015! I know you would all participate even if there were no prizes, but this is an added incentive to finish by a deadline. As a reminder, I have a treat open to everyone participating. The lovely Jenn of Knotted Thread is offering a 15% discount to her shop for all 100 Quilts for Kids participants! Just use the code QUILTSFORKIDS now through the end of September. Thanks, Jenn!

Here are some of the other goodies potentially coming your way. 



Aurifil Italian Threads
Aurifil is donating 2 large spool collections! That's a lot of quilting!


(9) Name: 'Sewing : The Hexie Box
Amber of Simple Love Quilts is donating a set of her patterns! Follow her on Instagram @simplelovequilts

American Made Brand donated fabric to the DC Modern Quilt Guild for two charity quilts!


Displaying 2014logoplain.pngAnna of Noodlehead is donating a copy of her new book, Handmade Style.




Christa of Christa Quilts is donating a set of her PDF patterns.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

100 Quilts for Kids: Sponsor Highlight

I'm back with more of the amazing sponsors who are offering up prizes as part of 100 Quilts for Kids 2015! I know you would all participate even if there were no prizes, but this is an added incentive to finish by a deadline. As a reminder, I have a treat open to everyone participating. The lovely Jenn of Knotted Thread is offering a 15% discount to her shop for all 100 Quilts for Kids participants! Just use the code QUILTSFORKIDS now through the end of September. Thanks, Jenn!

Here are some of the other goodies potentially coming your way. 



Stitch Supply Co.
Ann of Stitch Supply Co. is donating a $40 gift card to her shop!



Dear Stella is donating 2 fat quarter bundles from among their current lines.

Myra of Busy Hands Quilts is donating a copy of her Picket Fence Quilt Pattern.


Modern fabric for quilters & artistsTammy of Marmalade Fabrics is donating a 5 yard cut of fabric of her choice - great for a quilt back!


Craftsy.com
Craftsy donated two of their online classes! 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

100 Quilts for Kids - Where to Donate

There is still plenty of time to start a quilt donation for 100 Quilts for Kids and link it up here for some fabulous prizes! If you haven't started yet, I bet you can find some simple and fun ideas for a charity quilt here.

Today I'd like to talk a little about where to donate your finished quilts. I started compiling a list here, so go take a look. Also, I'm sure you have other places you like to donate, so if you see one that's not on my list please leave a comment or send me an email and I'd be glad to add it.

For 100 Quilts for Kids, we encourage donating your quilts to in your own communities if you can. Some places you might consider are hospitals, family shelters, children and family services, or a military family service organization. Last year, our guild did a group donation to a local family homeless shelter. Here are pictures of our group quilts:

100 Quilts for Kids Group Quilts


If you aren't sure how to connect with a local organization, there are national organizations that can help you donate in your own community. Quilts for Kids collects and donates quilts to children receiving treatment in hospitals. I've donated many quilts to Quilts for Kids in the past - here are a few from a couple years ago:


Project Night Night donates care packages (a blanket/quilt, a stuffed animal, and a book) to homeless children to provide comfort at what can be a traumatic time. They even send out little tote bags to put the items in before you donate them. I donated these and a couple other quilts as part of Project Night Night packages a couple years ago.

Project Night Night Quilts


Also, "community" is not necessarily constrained to an area close to you geographically. My friend Val has set up an effort called Quilt Lemonade to donate quilts to a community in Guatemala with which she has ties. You can read more about her connection to the community in a beautiful post here.  I wanted to help Val reach her goal of a quilt for every child living in a safe house and donated several earlier this year. Now Val is expanding her efforts to give quilts to the community in general, so consider helping her out as part of your own donation.

Quilts for Quilt Lemonade

I'm enjoying checking your posts and learning a little more about the organizations you are all donating to. It's so heartwarming to see such love being spread.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

100 Quilts for Kids Winner!

Congrats to Anita SS who won the giveaway of a free Craftsy class!  Anita, I've emailed you with the details.

Thanks so much for all of your help in promoting the event. I hope you'll all continue to share information about 100 Quilts for Kids with your communities to make this year the best yet. And special thanks to Craftsy for sponsoring this giveaway!


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

100 Quilts for Kids: Sponsor Highlights

I'm back with more of the amazing sponsors who are offering up prizes as part of 100 Quilts for Kids 2015! I know you would all participate even if there were no prizes, but this is an added incentive to finish by a deadline. As a reminder, I have a treat open to everyone participating. The lovely Jenn of Knotted Thread is offering a 15% discount to her shop for all 100 Quilts for Kids participants! Just use the code QUILTSFORKIDS now through the end of September. Thanks, Jenn!

Here are some of the other goodies potentially coming your way. 



Faith of Fresh Lemons Quilts is donating a set of patterns from her shop.


Lee of May Chappell is donating 3 of her PDF patterns.
Melissa of Happy Quilting is donating a set of 3 PDF patterns and a copy of her new book!


Rachael of Imagine Gnats is donating a $40 gift certificate to her shop.


Sara of Sew Sweetness is donating six of her PDF patterns.