What are orphan blocks?
Orphan blocks are leftover quilt blocks, usually just one or even a few from a project that didn't make it into the finished quilt.
Why do I have them?
I often make more blocks than I need so that I have placement options. Or sample blocks that were made to test color/contrast options. Or even just blocks that were made as experiments. Sometimes I make blocks in different sizes to see what scale I like best. I rarely know what my finished quilt is going to be so I often have blocks leftover just from my typical quilt making trial and error process.
What to do with them?
However, when renovating my quilt room recently, I came across a whole bin full of orphan blocks. I know, some folks collect UFO's, I seem to collect orphan blocks. (Don't be misled...I have two bins full of quilt tops waiting to be quilted, so my UFO's do exist as well!)
If I have enough orphan blocks to make a whole row, they usually go into the pieced backing of the quilt. Sometimes I use just one for the quilt label. I've even sewn a few together to make a small pillow. There is no set formula. It really is just something that depends on the situation.
But now I find myself with a whole collection of blocks that are unrelated and I don't have a clue what to do with them. I am taking suggestions if you have them!
Enjoy every stitch!