I Love Leftovers!

I’ve finished the top of my new medallion, and I have a name for it: Moonlight Waltz.  No pictures are ready yet and won’t be for a few days. In the meantime I want to share a new project made of leftovers.

It often happens that I build blocks for a border that won’t work. It’s been a long time since that upset me, as I know those leftover blocks will come in handy somewhere else. (Okay, every now and then a few find their way to the trash, just like tidbits from my refrigerator. But I am GOOD at making soup, and I’m pretty good at using orphan blocks, too.)

For Moonlight Waltz, I made 25 6″ puss-in-the-corner blocks. They are simple in design and can look clean and elegant. However, my fussy fabrics and odd color combination hit every note wrong. Instead of them (and all the alternate blocks I hadn’t yet made,) I used the flying geese border.

I had several choices for layout of these 6″ blocks. Here are some of them:
* straight setting, no alternate blocks, no sashing
* straight setting, no alternate blocks with sashing
* straight setting with alternate blocks, no sashing
* on-point setting with alternate blocks, no sashing
* on-point setting with alternate blocks and with sashing

The blocks are not suited to being set side-by-side, which means alternate blocks and/or sashing is needed. Adding only sashing would create a quilt center a little too small, so alternate blocks are needed. And honestly I didn’t even consider using a straight setting with alternate blocks. On-point setting was my initial reaction and decision.

Using a 6″ block on point, in a 5 x 5 layout, makes a center that is 42.5″ finished. (That is 6″ x 1.414 x 5 = 42.4″. With trimming the edges barely wide it will finish at 42.5″.) With borders it will be about 50″ square.

This morning I arranged the blocks on the floor in an on-point layout. Once they were spread out, I noticed the eight square-in-a-square blocks leftover from the last pieced border. They finish at 4″. I spread them out within the design. !!! That’s not bad! I had already cut two long strips of toile to use for alternate blocks, so cut the remaining of those needed from one strip. The other strip I cut into framing strips for the square-in-a-square blocks, to bring them up to size.



Finally I cut four large squares of toile to create side setting triangles. I still need to cut the corner setting triangles.

The whole thing is ready to sew into a quilt center. I have other leftovers (fabric, not blocks) to use for borders.

With a little luck on sewing time, the quilt top will be done by the end of the weekend. However first priority today and tomorrow is spending time with my son, home for a couple days of leave.



23 thoughts on “I Love Leftovers!

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      There are a lot of ways to deal with leftover blocks. Sometimes the best way is to give them away. 🙂 But if there are enough of them, and I like them (at least enough,) it’s pretty easy to put them into a quilt. Or table runners. Or placemats. Or practice pieces for FMQ. Or …

  1. katechiconi

    This is leftovers?! Wow. On the other hand, some of my most memorable (in a positive sense) meals have been based on opening the fridge door and pulling out everything that needed eating up. From unpromising ingredients, great things can emerge. Can’t wait to see how you finish this one up – once you’ve had time with your boy, of course!

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      I enjoy working with what I already have, whether for soup or a quilt. 🙂 I have the 4″ blocks framed out now and have started assembly. But we had friends over for dinner so I didn’t get very far. They are gone, the kitchen is cleaned up, and the energy is used. Maybe tomorrow I can do more, but if not, that’s okay. Thanks.

        1. Melanie McNeil Post author

          Probably a single border. I have a large print that has the blues as well as a rusty color, which can cross both the browns and cheddar oranges. If that doesn’t work, I might end up with a double border, narrow of red and wider of blue. Not pieced, not fancy.


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