An Orphan Finds A Home

We all have them. Orphans. Orphan blocks left behind when we make a few extra, just in case. Or the quilter mis-counted! (Is that really a thing?) Orphans created because we changed our minds…hmm, this would better if I remade it a bit differently.

What to do with Orphans? Sometimes I gather enough for a lap quilt. Sometimes I bin them and hope no one notices an entire block in the trash. But sometimes they are just too cute to toss.

This block became orphaned when I had an *epiphany* and realized what would really make this corner of Blue Delicious sing. And it required remaking the entire square. But still, I still was attached to it. It’s pretty. I liked it, but nowhere to put it in this project. It hung around (“Here I am! Don’t forget me!”), hoping someone would notice.

In a bit of time, another orphan dropped by. This strip of “wave” was orphaned because someone made it the wrong size. (Too short for the space! Quelle Horreur!). But WAY too pretty to bin and I thought… hmm…this would like nice alongside Orphan #1.

And someone did. Penny said “What is this?” Oh, that is my little orphan. “Can I have it?”, she asked. “I could throw it on top of the bed pillows, or over a chair.” “I love it.” She would have taken it home, as is, but I said “Wait, let me do something with it.”.

Another orphan “wave” – created because when you cut a wave, there is a mirror wave left over – was stitched onto a strip. Three happy orphans.

And then orphan #4 was created when I experimented with a reverse wave. (Teal on top of blue, instead blue on top of teal.)

The center block is a modification of the Forest Reds square from the Esther Aliu Red Delicious pattern. I used a large border print section (a small panel would work, too) and followed the pattern direction for the vertical cuts on the panel using a washable stabilizer. The cut edges were then turned and glued down. The sections were then arranged on a grunge metallic background to give a window pane effect.

Original pattern block.

I did the pattern at 80% size, so both the block patterns used are sized at 80% of the original pattern.

The horizontal applique curved section was cut using a bit of leftover panel section and placed horizontally on top of the panel after it was stitched down to add some additional texture and depth.

I then used the Give & Take Swirly block pattern to make two different kinds of swirls; one with the matching panel print and the dark blue. One swirl section was attached to the bottom of the panel. Then additional swirl sections were attached to the other three sides.

Applique is raw edge on the swirls, with stitching done in Superior Threads Gold Variegated Metallic thread in a small blanket stitch. Two little fish were fussy cut from another unrelated fabric and raw edge appliqué with a tiny zig zag stitch.

Original panel section.
Red is original block. Green is the too small wave, yellow is the reverse wave. Blue is the mirror wave.
Reverse wave – teal on top of the blue.

Four little orphans, now happily joined together. Some simple outline and SID quilting holds it together and emphasizes the motifs in the piece. A dark blue binding was added.

Simple outline quilting with MonoPoly.
You can see the horizontal, turned edge piece here. A couple fish dropped by…

Voila! Wait until Penny sees you now! All sparkly and dressed up with your siblings. Now you can sprawl seductively across her bed, perch jauntily on a chair or proudly roost atop her table. Total size is 16″ x 17″.

Happy quilting!



  1. All those orphans. Didn’t realise you had so many. Glad your not all perfection lol. Seriously they are all brilliant and your friend will love it. We’ll done orphans have a loving home to go to xxxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha haha Ha! No I am not all perfection. Plenty of whoopsies in my sewing room! And then the experiments that don’t work out. But it’s fun when you can use them anyway!


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