Friday, 20 December 2013

Orphan Blocks

I have had a peaceful day downstairs in my sewing room.  I have done all the preparation for Christmas and keep having minor heart attacks thinking that I just must have forgotten something!  I can't possibly be this organised so far in advanced of the big day.  There are still the perishables to get in, but I can't do that yet.

I finished stitching all the Christmas gifts I plan to make the other day.  I have already shown you the school uniform I made for my youngest grand daughter's doll (here).  I am so utterly chuffed with that!  The main present she will be getting is a suitcase of her very own.

For the next GD up I have made a little zippered pouch:


 
I used a free on-line tutorial by the Renegade Seamstress.  It just comes together so easily, and so quickly, I can see myself making a whole lot more of these in the months to come.  I have some lurid nail polish and some emery boards to pop into it.  Should be just right for a 10 year old.  The big gift is an ipod docking station.
 
Missy 12 is going to get an Akubra hat as she is loving her classes in agriculture this year.  As it needs to be tried on, there will be an excursion down to Sydney involved after Christmas.  In the meantime, I've made her this little bloke.  Hopefully she won't consider herself too mature to have something like this.
 

 
Isn't he just too cute??  I had so much fun making him.  I used a free pattern from Sew Mama Sew.  Aren't we lucky that all these lovely people are generous enough to upload freebie patterns and tutorials?  If you decide to use the pattern, I suggest you sew the eyes, and wings on before you stuff the body.  Or alternately you could use a curved needle to do that.  The toy was easy to make, but adding the accessories after stuffing the body was a bit of a trial. 
 
So yesterday evening I was casting around for something to sew, and dragged out a pile of orphan blocks.  These were all donations to Stitching Hearts and I have acquired them, as there isn't anyone else who would be bothered to do anything with them.
 
Here they are on my design wall, aka the floor.  I am trialling borders & sashing here:
 
 
They varied in size from 12" x 12" right up to 13" x 13", with some blocks having a variation in size from one side to another.  I had two choices - chop all the blocks down to 12" square, or build them all up to 13" with borders.  I chose to do the latter because to cut the largest ones down would have completely destroyed the patterns.  Almost all of them have points which disappear and some have bias edges which stretched.  It was a bit of a pain!   
 
This would have to be my favourite block.  Beautiful fabric and the fussy cutting has created a terrific pattern. 

 
The other one I rather like is this Jacob's Ladder block - there were two of those, and they were the smallest.

 
I chose to use an old fashioned fabric with tiny flowers on it for the sashing as most of the blocks were constructed out of quite old fashioned fabrics.  All that is left to do is piece the centre row of blocks to the top and bottom and put the side sashing on, and the top is done.  Doesn't look too shabby does it?

 
I love doing this sort of thing actually, which is just as well, as there is a pile of orphans in my cupboard waiting to be built into tops.  As I work with the blocks I wonder who made them.  What was the story behind their construction.  Did the makers tire of them or were they test pieces.  I don't even really know when they arrived at Stitching Hearts, they were just there and I have picked them up as and when I saw them, so they don't come from the same source.  Whatever.  It is good to see this little lap quilt almost complete, and the fabric not wasted. 
 
It was present opening day yesterday for the Santa Sack Swap I participated in this year, but I have chosen to leave the gifts I received until Christmas Day to open.  When I see my swap buddy, Lynda, blog about her gifts, I will be able to reveal what I made for her.
 
It has been terribly hot today.  37.7C with a hot wind in our front garden at 5pm.  Admittedly that is the part of the garden which gets the most sun.  The forecast is for a bit cooler tomorrow, then very hot days again on Sunday & Monday with a change & rain on Tuesday.  I have come upstairs to sit in the cool of the aircon to do this.  But now I have to go cook some dinner for his nibs.
 
Til next time.....Keep on stitching.

1 comment:

  1. What a lovely orphan block top. Such a satisfying feeling to turn something leftover and abandoned into a cohesive top. The sashing really unifies it nicely and makes all the blocks go together.

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