As, September 22, the autumnal equinox, approached, I began receiving quite a few really terrific entries for the GREAT Summer Orphan Block Challenge!
Every single entry was wonderful in its own right. Let me share a few.
Deb started with some half-square triangles leftover from a quilt made from her mom's stash.
She made this adorable wall hanging of pieced spool blocks. The larger half-square triangles became the spool centers, and the smaller ones contributed to the border. Lovely!
Paula needed a quick birthday gift, so the orphan challenge was a good excuse to 'kill two birds with one stone,' so to speak. She found some four-patch blocks in her stash, added some more fabrics and whipped up a really cute table topper, perfectly suited for a special birthday gift! Love it when things come together like that!
Susan found some Bird in the Air orphan blocks in her stash.
With Christmas in mind, she gathered some additional fabrics that coordinated well, and represented a connection to the gift recipient. The result, a sweet table topper, ready for gift wrapping! (Hope I didn't spoil the surprise!)
Not everyone had gift-giving in mind, Lottie Dottie is Jo's quilt entry. She found some leftover orphan rail fence blocks that just had to be turned into a quilt.
I think Jo really likes dots. I really like her project! What do you think?
Jay selected a Winding Ways blocks and used it as inspiration for "Shades of Gray" The trapunto cone flowers create a stunning surprise in her quilted wall-hanging.
Have I properly built the suspense? Would you like to know about the winner?
Our Mystery Judge has spoken:
I was very impressed with the entries in the GREAT Summer Orphan Block Challenge. Everyone had such a fun time, and I loved reading the stories behind the finished pieces.
I saw two criteria for judging: innovation and pleasing. It was very hard to pick a winner as each entry was innovative for the maker. And, I loved that everyone found a challenge beyond just using the orphan blocks.
Drum roll, the winner is Emily. I particularly liked how she learned two new techniques, and the original blocks are still recognizable. Plus I'm a sucker for green!
Here's Emily's story.
A new quilter, I joined a Block of the Month group at a local fabric shop to learn piecing techniques and color blending. Some blocks were more successful than others. And a couple color combinations were clearly not working with the rest of the pack.
Since they were already “learning experiences,” I decided to let them stretch me further with two more techniques I wanted to learn: faux chenille and a piped pillow. I cut one block into 4 squares for the chenille-testing coasters, and left the other whole for the pillow. For the chenille, I layered black, olive green, and purple flannel under the quilt blocks to blend the colors and tone down the acid yellow; then stitched and slashed in what I thought might be interesting patterns. I left the center pinwheel on the pillow intact. For my pillow border, piping, and backing I used fabric from the BOM collection. Now, my once abandoned blocks are waiting for the rest of the family to become a quilt and join them on the couch!
And her winning project:
Emily lives in the Boston area and will be receiving a Prize Package loaded with quilty goodies very soon!
Thanks to everyone who participated in the GREAT Summer Orphan Block Challenge, including everyone who made a project (or just thought about it!), our wonderful prize sponsors, and a big thanks to our mystery judge!
In my mind, everyone who made something from his or her stash this summer is a winner! You now have something this fall that wasn't anything this past spring. So add those last few stitches, and fix yourself a favorite beverage, relax, and reflect over a sip or two. You've earned it!
Oh, and if you are feeling a little guilty that you wanted to make something, but you didn't quite get it pulled together, well, you are not alone! Remember these blocks?
I had big plans for them. Fall is here and they are still orphans. Eh, well. There's always next time! Who knows, maybe we'll do another challenge next summer. What do you say?