About half of them were crazy pieced blocks, the other half an assortment of various pieced patterns. It looked like the crazy blocks had been received in an internet swap, judging by signatures on a few of the blocks. There's a seasonal feel to most of the other blocks. You can see the Santa star in the picture above, and maybe you can also make out that those are chicks in the pastel block next to the star. Yup, there's also a Halloween block at the bottom of the pile! Right now I'm tempted to take each of these seasonal/holiday blocks and use it as a jumping off point for a preemie quilt. That would be half a dozen preemie quilts right there. Or maybe I'll combine them with some blocks of my own for a calendar quilt an older child could use and enjoy. We'll see.
In the meantime, I went through the crazy blocks to see what I could do with them. I think there were 9 when I started. I took one block apart completely. Whoever had tried to piece that one just didn't understand the sew-and-flip process. She had several pieces with loose edges and at least one that was sewn on wrong side up. Sometimes that is a viable option but not in this case! Another block had some great big patches in it but I couldn't make the colors/values work in combination with any of the other blocks. So I cut out the bigger pieces to re-use. I made a new block using some of my own fabrics and the patches from the two blocks I took apart. Then, to get the prescribed size for preemie quilts, I also pieced two smaller blocks.
Played around with the arrangement, sewed them together, backed it with flannel, turned it, topstitched it, and then used my machine to do a little feather stitching in strategic places. I love how quickly a preemie quilt goes together!
There are four crazy blocks left over. I'd like to whip out another preemie quilt but I still have the liberated stars and bits and pieces of bright batiks on my design wall, just waiting for someone to brush by and knock them off...