Stars and Orphans

Posted on April 13, 2020 by prairiemoonquilts in Quilts

I’m back to show you another couple finishes from earlier this year. I’m really on a finishing spree, I tell you! I have GOT to get this mess under control. And I have to say, it feels really good to get some older UFOs off my plate.

I showed a photo of the current state of affairs on my cutting table on Instagram Saturday — downright shameful. But in working to get the larger mess under control, I just keep making a worse mess on my cutting table! After the weekend, it’s not much better than this, altho I did clear off one corner so that I could actually work there. Maybe I’ll make some more progress in the right direction this week.

But about those finished quilts . . .

I’ve had this Scrap Jar Stars quilt top done since sometime in early 2014, and it’s been on my list to quilt ever since.

I finally took the opportunity to quilt it for myself. I have a rule that I won’t quilt for myself unless my quilting frame just happens to be empty on a weekend, and then I try to do one or two really quick things, so I can get right back to customer stuff on Monday. Well, I decided to do this stars pantograph on it, and it was anything but quick. I didn’t get back to customer stuff till Wednesday! This quilt is large, and the pantograph is only 6 1/2″, and I drive them by hand, so it took forever! But I’m glad I did it. And I’m super glad to have the quilt finished — finally!

Pattern is Scrap Jar Stars free tutorial by Amber at Gigi’s Thimble
Red and blue scraps from my stash with a solid white background
White-on-white wide backing
Superior OMNI thread, color #3001 Bright White
Quilter’s Dream Poly Select batting
Pantograph: Midnight, by Patricia E. Ritter and Melonie J. Caldwell (from
Finished quilt is 82.5″ x 96″

And here’s another one for you . . .

You have seen this a couple times, in progress on my design wall:

This quilt contains all my bright orphan blocks from a few years of collecting bits and pieces. I made it in four big sections, then just sewed the sections together.

I quilted it super simply and used a yellow Jennifer Paganelli print for the binding.

And I still have enough orphan blocks for two more Orphan Block quilts!!

No pattern, just threw stuff up on the design wall and made it all fit together. Some of the blocks are from Quilter’s Newsletter 100 Blocks magazine, probably issues 8 and 9. I tested for them, and these are some of my leftovers! Fillers were pieced from scraps.
Scrappy pieced backing from my stash (again from the green bin, like the Pineapple quilt)
Superior OMNI thread, color #3022 Silver (I think)
Quilter’s Dream Poly Select batting
Quilted with an all-over medium meander
Finished quilt is 84″ x 90″

And there you have it — but that’s not all. I have some more finishes to show you in another upcoming post — I’m still whipping down bindings. I told you I’ve been on a finishing spree! This may be my year to finally get it all organized — dare I hope?

21 responses to “Stars and Orphans”

  1. Randy Menninghaus says:


  2. Raewyn says:

    Such a great sense of achievement to get some finishes done – especially when they have been waiting for attention for a while! Both quilts are lovely – you sure do have a lot of orphan blocks sitting around! Thank you for the link to Scrap Jar Stars, I think I need a pattern like that. Oh and my cutting table is not that much tidier….

  3. Marianne says:

    Finishes bred fin8sues and cleaned areas. Keep on going. Great job

  4. Judy S. says:

    Both are great quilts! Congratulations on two more finishes.

  5. Shirley Guier says:

    Those look great!

  6. Paula Hedges says:

    UFO’s are on my list after I finish with my cut all the quilt kits (purchased that way or put together from the stash). Thinking there is only 3 or 4 left to cut from those I had on the shelves. Will have another cutting spree later when my body recovers from all this recent cutting! Anxious to do some sewing or whatever is required for the UFOs to join a new group – FINISHED!!!! You are an inspiration to get into the UFO box!

  7. Wendy says:

    I suspect doing long arm work for others is much like lawyers, builders and the like, where the work for others takes precedence over work for ourselves. Glad you are tackling some projects for yourself!

  8. Angie in SoCal says:

    That orphan quilt is the best one I’ve ever seen. Love the scrappy stars too. You’re bookin’! And actually having your cutting table in that condition has its plus side – you can’t start anything new -hehe.

  9. Kerry says:

    Pretty quilt. I love the mess – makes me feel right at home – and then it drives me insane! LOL!

  10. Marcia in TX says:

    Love your scrap jar stars quilt. Now you can enjoy it.

  11. Sharon Gratz says:

    Shelly, I’m loving your Orphan quilt. I’ve been wanting to make a quilt with my orphans but didn’t really know where to start. I guess I’ll throw them up on the design board and see what happens. lol

  12. Fran says:

    Love your quilting on both quilts. Especially, I like the Scrap Jar quilt pattern. If I ever get caught up, I would love to make that quilt. As for your cutting table, I can identify with that. My entire sewing room looked like that until my daughter threatened to throw everything away if I didn’t clean it up. Now, when I leave the room at night, tables are clear and everything is in its proper place. Sometimes I miss my messy cutting table and the stacks of fabric everywhere.

  13. Paula Mu in NE Ohio says:

    Your quilts are beautiful. I plan to look for the pattern for Scrap Bag Stars. I love red white and blue quilts.

  14. The quilts are splendid! What a great feeling to get some of those UFO’s done I’m sure! I had to chuckle when I saw your cutting table. On Saturday I had to re arrange my sewing space and put everything away. It was beautiful and I forgot to take a picture. Yesterday I started pulling fabric for new projects and clearing up scraps. Posted a picture on my blog as of today. I’m embarrassed but I’m working there! 🥴 Carol

  15. Rose Marie Smith says:

    I am quilting on a UFO today!!! I am getting old enough that I thought I should clean out the UFO bins so my daughters wouldn’t be left with much but books, finished quilts and bins of fabrics. They can get rid of or use those. This won’t work probably but it is a good goal. Keep up the good work, Shelly!!

  16. Rose Marie Smith says:

    P.S. I don’t know how you work in such a piled up place. I would throw it all on the floor and drag something off the pile once in a while. See how “organized” I am.

  17. Diane says:

    It encourages me to see your “mess”. Whenever I attempt to organize and tidy up my sewing room it looks like a bomb went off, and it continues to look that way for days, sometimes weeks. And then I’ll notice that a corner, the shelves, the ironing board is cleared off and that in itself is amazing progress.
    Love your finishes…especially the Scrap Jar Stars! Thank you for sharing!

  18. Is that 2nd one called Everything But the Kitchen Sink?

    It is nice to see a lot of progress! I try to throw in a quilting project here and there between making lots of masks right now!

  19. Ginabeth says:

    Love the scrappy stars. And your organization.

    The brights quilt is really pretty.


  20. mimisdarlins says:

    Thanks for the lovely slide show and may I just say ‘go girl!’ Beautiful projects! Great inspiration for using scraps. I have a habit of flitting from one UFO to another, rather than actually working through to the finish. But I’m trying to change that, right now working to finish a ‘crochet fusion quilt’ that I started in 2012. In hindsight, a simpler crochet border around the blocks would have made it go faster, but now that I’m joining the blocks I’m happy I made it this way. Look for it on IG, hopefully soon 🙂

  21. Ranch Wife says:

    One mess begets another mess, but it looks like there’s a lot of inspiration in those piles!
    Yay for finishes! I love your Scrap Star Jars quilt – that was a fun one to make. And your orphan block quilt just sings – it’s beautiful!

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