Tuesday, June 19, 2007

All Aboard!

My Orphan Train is about half full at this point. I have been working steadily on it for the last three days. To the exclusion of all else in fact. Well, except for the quiet observance of our birthdays of course!

I really wanted to see whether I could make a quilt that I could donate to the Quilts With Love project. That meant that I had to make a 56" x 84" top out of my orphan blocks. The first thing I did was to separate them into two piles: one with bright colors and jazzy prints and the other with more subdued tones and prints. The larger pile was the one with the more muted colors so those are the blocks that I'm loading onto this particular Orphan Train.

As I said in an earlier post, my design wall is not big enough to accommodate a top of this size. So I figured I would try to compose this quilt in quadrants. It seemed logical to start in the upper left corner and that's what I did. First I put a few of the larger blocks on the wall and tried to fit smaller ones around them. Because I want a jumbled, random look for the finished quilt I really didn't want to work in rows, but that seems to be what's working the best. I can only hope that in the end it will have a less organized look than it currently does in my eyes.

It's a bit of a challenge to keep in mind that the colors and values need to be distributed fairly evenly across the surface of the quilt when I'm only working on one section at a time. There's also the matter of block size to consider. I don't want all the little blocks in one place, nor do I want all the large blocks in a discernible pattern. Mix and mingle children! Play fair!

At this point I have the left side of the quilt constructed, albeit in two parts. I am working now on the right side. This side is narrower,but just as long, so it will still have to be built in two sections (top and bottom). In the beginning I didn't have to do much more than add a few strips to make blocks fit together. As I approach the end, however, I'm having to deconstruct blocks to use their component parts as filler and sew up some of my leftover bits and pieces into "new" blocks. (They aren't really new since I'm using patches and scraps that were cut at the same time most of these blocks were made.) Overall I'm very pleased with the progress I've made and the way the quadrants are looking. A couple more days should tell the tale!

The first picture is the top left side of the quilt, the bottom picture is the bottom left side.


  1. It's lookign great. Rows is a great way to put it together tho and as long as you have a thinner row thrown in to throw the pattern off once in a while it doesn't look all straight line. did that make sense. Do you have a floor somewhere that you can lay these out on together?

  2. I like it! I think you're doing a great job in combining blocks with such a wide range--color-wise and value-wise of backgrounds. You (and everyone) are inspiring me to pull out my orphans and join you on the train ...

  3. Wonderful! I just received a gift of orphan blocks and can't wait to start playing around with them (as if I need another thing to work on!)


Due to my health issues I am frequently unable to respond to your comments but please know that I appreciate your thoughtful responses. I cannot respond to 'no-reply' bloggers either, much to my frustration.