Monday, February 7, 2022

Orphans No More

Winter has finally arrived in southern Colorado...  Though it only seems to appear for a day or so and then it thaws and leaves a mucky, miry, muddy mess that requires additional efforts to take our usual walks... but the view from the top of the hill is beautiful!

Dave and I use this walk to process and talk through the many things and situations that take place in life... and any exercise benefits we may get from it is bonus!

It is almost as vital to me as my creative time in the studio!

In recent months we have been sensing that there has been a shift or a change of purpose in our lives... a changing of seasons, so to speak.

For the past 18+ months we held the role of worship leaders at our church... and a few months after assuming that role, the church suddenly needed an interim pastor.  Dave bravely stepped in and filled that need until a new pastor was selected and hired.  

As I said, in recent months as we have talked and thought (and maybe even complained or grumbled) we have wondered what the next season looks like...  After much deliberation and conversation with the Pastor, his wife and another leader, we announced that we will be taking a sabbatical.  We don't know what it look like nor how long it will be, but we are open to whatever it might be...

All this to say that my time in the studio with my orphan blocks has been therapeutic... 

✔  These left over, sometimes imperfect, blocks have found their place in this odd, misfit of a quilt top.  

John 14:18... I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you came to mind one day.  All of us have a place and purpose in life and as we search for our new purpose , this quilt will remind me that we too will have a place... very soon!

I have just a few small slivers of space to fill in, but I am not far from having all of the orphans and a few scraps fully assembled and ready for a border.  

I filled a few of the gaps with the double flying geese (FPP) blocks.  I have printed them in a variety of sizes... 2", 3" and 4" wide.  And those bow tie blocks were pieced recently when I was trying to figure out patterns from the Pieces in the Garden row quilt

If you are a bit intimidated with the 4" bow block that I chose (shown above), this would be a great alternative.  It is an easy block with just six pieces:  2 blocks of the main fabric cut to 2-1/2" square and 2 blocks of background fabric, also 2-1/2" square.  You'll need two more 1-1/2" square of the main fabric.

Lay the smaller block on the background block (as shown in the center section of the photo at the right) and stitch on the center line, trim and press open.  

Easy, Peasy!

I had a question about the flying geese units in for the bow block... from an anonymous reader.  I would have happily answered via a private email, but since the reader prefers to be anonymous, here you go.

"having trouble figuring where the flying geese are placed.
can't tell from the picture provided... all pieces look to be half squares"

Well... that's because the photo shown above does not have any flying geese in them.  This was one of the first blocks I made and then modified the pattern... Good eye!

Here is a photo of the block made WITH flying geese units. :)  You can see that they are on all four sides of the block as well as two in the center of the block.  It offers the same look to the block with few seams/pieces.  

✔I have the pattern for row 2 ready for March 3rd and all 16 of my blocks pieced, and photographed... You'll have to come back to see which one it is. 

✔And I prepared the various step examples for the BOM event with the quilt shop in Raton, but it was postponed because of a scheduling conflict with the owner of the shop.  I'll be meet with the quilters on Wednesday.

So... what will I be working on for the coming week???

❧  I'll continue with the Orphan Block Quilt... I think I want to make it wider.  Probably some sort of scrappy border.  

But, I already have a plan for the quilting... The hanging star grid with lines 4" apart, machine quilted and then big-stitch hand quilting with variegated thread in between, making the quilting lines 2" apart.  The hand quilting part will be a road-trip activity for me when we head to the Gulf Coast in March. 

I am already dreaming of warmer temps, walks on the beach and the sound of surf... Ahhhhh!  We want to tour the Space Center in Houston, spend a few days in Galveston again and then head to Louisiana and maybe Alabama.  

Do you have any tips or suggestions for us?  
Places that are a MUST see, or places we could camp in our truck camper?

Leave a comment... we'd love to hear from you!

Keep Piecing,


Linking with:

Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Mid-week Makers at Quilt Fabrication
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter


  1. I applaud your approach to talking things out. My hubby and I do the same (walks). It's good to take a break because burn-out is real. I'm watching my best friend take on too many duties at our church and she's become a mess of anxiety. Enjoy this sabbatical! I have no travel advice for you as I haven't been down there.

  2. your orphan quilt is amazing - and that verse - its so true!
    I hope you enjoy your sabbatical and see what the next season brings to you.

  3. that's me, kit. i can't figure out how to comment other than anonymous...grrr. so, thank you for the picture. very helpful and much appreciated. (not being critical, just new to quilting and a very visual learner)

  4. Found your blog on the Oh Scrap! linky. Been scanning over your blog. Love it! Thanks for the Bow Block Pattern.

  5. Hi Melva! What a wonderful post. I always think that you share fabulous news but this one really touches me. Pulling the verse from John about orphans and orphan blocks is fitting. Your road trip - I have always wanted to tour the Space Center again. I visited when I was in middle school (just a year or two ago - HAHA) but I didn't appreciate it then. I was going to offer to send a few orphan blocks your way! {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne

  6. love how your orphans are joining forces! Best wishes on this next season!

  7. Beautiful view on your hike!
    Love the blocks on your design wall. I had never heard of a double flying geese block--it is very interesting!

  8. What a great way to use up orphan blocks! Looks meditative. Thanks for sharing on Wednesday Wait Loss.