If you’re a quilter, chances are you have some orphaned quilt blocks stashed away. Quilt blocks that were left over from a quilting project or sample quilt blocks that just didn’t turn out as you had planned. September is National Sewing Month, and in it’s honor I’d like to suggest a couple of sewing craft ideas that will utilize those orphaned quilt blocks.
Regardless of how many, or how few orphaned quilt blocks that may have, you can create a unique lap quilt or wall hanging for yourself or to be given as gift. Christmas is not far away and these two sewing craft ideas can give you a head start for making handmade Christmas gifts.
Start these sewing craft ideas by checking out your stash of orphaned quilt blocks and your stash of quilting fabric. You can work with different sizes of quilt blocks for these sewing craft ideas, you will be sashing the quilt blocks together for a lap quilt and sashing and/or binding a single quilt block for a wall hanging.
To sew a lap quilt, lay the quilt blocks out on a flat surface and play with the quilt blocks until you find an arrangement that pleases your eye. The overall size of a lap quilt is generally 30 something inches by 40 something inches, there’s no hard and fast size rule for lap quilts and you can always adjust the size of the lap quilt to suit your preference or to suit the person for whom you are sewing the lap quilt for.
So many ideas for this sewing craft come to mind: 3 orphaned quilt blocks can be placed diagonally and offset with complimentary solid colored fabric, 4 orphaned quilt blocks can be placed in the 4 corners of a lap quilt, with 5 orphaned quilt blocks, place one block in the middle and the remaining 4 in the corners. Again, the quilt block sizes can be different for this sewing craft idea, just cut your sashing or fill-in fabric accordingly to piece together the lap quilt top.
To determine the best color to use for the sashing and/or fill-in fabric of the lap quilt, look at the orphaned quilt blocks you are using to see if they all share one common fabric color. If so, use that color. If not, choose a light, solid colored fabric to showcase the quilt blocks, and when in doubt about the color, you can’t go wrong with a white cotton fabric.
Cut the sashing to the correct sizes, and before you start sewing, lay out all your cut pieces and quilt blocks on a flat surface again for a final inspection and tweaking. Sew all your lap quilt top pieces together, then layer with your favorite quilt batting and quilt backing fabric and quilt together.
Another sewing craft idea for National Sewing Month is creating a wall hanging from orphaned quilt block(s). The premise is the same as with the lap quilt, start by seeing what quilt block(s) you have and determine the size wall hanging you want. You can center a quilt block and sash it with a fabric that will compliment or contrast a room color, and make the sashing fabric as big as needed. You can sew quilt blocks together for wall hangings in any size or length you need, anything from a 4 x 4 inch square to a 2 foot wide and 6 foot long hanging to place behind your couch.
To make a quilt block(s) really pop when used as a wall hanging, hand quilt around the quilt pattern (after you’ve layered the quilt block, filling and backing) for a 3-dimensional look. Bind the quilt block(s) with a contrasting color to make it appear to be framed, add fabric loops to the top backside of the quilted wall hanging so you can run a dowel or curtain rod through it for easy, droop-free hanging.
Don’t let those orphaned quilt blocks remain stashed away, get them out this National Sewing Month and piece them together using these sewing craft ideas and proudly display your quilting handiwork.