Just Orphan Blocks

When I’m doing trunk shows, this quilt stands out like a sore thumb.  It’s so unlike anything else in my collection.  But, it always gets plenty of attention. Because most every quilter I’ve ever met could make this quilt . . because we all have orphan blocks.

In Kentucky, I taught several beginner beginner and intermediate piecing classes, as well as a class or two for pieced borders.   I used fabrics that just happened to be handy so there were many different colors.  I ended up with 3 of these type quilts.

Here’s a few of the ‘border’ blocks that were placed here and there.

Do you have orphan blocks?  Want to do something with them?  Maybe seeing this quilt will give you some ideas.


  1. 1

    Evelyn says

    I can see why it would get lots of attention. I’ve seen many a sampler, but never a sampler/border sampler. It is very interesting, unexpected and beautiful!
    Cheers! Evelyn

  2. 5


    Great quilt. And again, great quilting. I recently answered a call from a friend for orphan blocks. I emptied my bin and was very happy to help her cause. 😉

  3. 6


    I save up all my orphans & donate them to the Utah Quilt Guild annual meeting (held every year in Utah). For each block or large piece of fabric you give, you get one ticket. If you go to orphan night & help put together a quilt, you get one ticket for each hour you work. The last day of Annual meeting, they draw from the tickets & the finished orphan block quilts go out to the winning tickets. I’ve won twice…donated one quilt to QOV & the other I gave a friend who was just getting into quilting. It feels good to clean out!

  4. 7


    I really like your orphan quilt. What an idea! Of course, I’ve heard of orphan quilt blocks made into a quilt but never orphan borders. I think the colors themselves are not exactly what we’re used to seeing from you. LOL I do like your pieced borders in your book. I think that is one of the selling points of the book.

  5. 8


    I love the way you set those orphan blocks. I would have never thought about using a white background like that. They still all tie together 🙂 I’ve been wanting to get rid of my orphan blocks and borders, but didn’t have a clue how to set them… now I do! Thanks again for the inspiration, Judy!

  6. 9


    I too am not renewing right now since I did renew this summer and I have 2 year subscriptions.
    Alas some magazines now do not really have that many projects anymore nor do they seem interested in things people send them.

  7. 10


    I love this quilt! What a great final result for your orphan blocks. I think it’s my favorite orphan block quilt I’ve seen. Did you use EQ to figure out how you wanted to lay the blocks out?

  8. 11

    Eve says

    I have to agree with Suzy. I love this quilt!!! You’re right, Judy, it’s not what I’ve gotten accustomed to seeing from you all these years. But it is beautiful. I love the layout w/ the orphan borders inserted here and there. It gives it such ‘character’. This one is definitely my favorite ‘orphan block’ quilt of all time. And your quilting is exquisite, as always. YOU ROCK!!! Eve

  9. 12


    How nice of you to remind us that the person on the other end has no more control that we do! I always try to be nice, or at least preface my comments with the fact that I’m not upset with them, but that I am upset.

  10. 13


    Weirdly, that comment went on this post, but oh, well. =) This is a great quilt, looking more like sampler than unplanned orphans. And the quilting is gorgeous!