Was it only

yesterday ........Ethel gave me this 18" square - a beautifully hand appliqued block made by Ethel's friend, Mary Crew.  Was it only yesterday that I told Ethel that I would think about how I might use it and if I didn't come up with a use for it, I would return it. 

and my friends think I'm a fabric hoarder so they bring me every little bit of ugly fabric  they no longer want.  Thing is, I didn't really think these ugly green diamonds were ugly! 

your trash, my treasure -

 Well, I barely got home with the applique block and my scrap of fabric, when I started prowling around in my scrap bin for add ons where I found these two orphan blocks that I had purchased at a guild rummage sale ~


and this pieced rectangle strip that was given to me.  I thought the colors really enhanced the fabric in the applique block. 

Now, I had a plan and set about putting it all together.  I first surrounded the applique block with improv pieced scraps which set the rest of the story in motion. 

hand applique by Mary Crew

3-4 hours later, it is done.  Not yet quilted - I'll need a little more time for that.

 Do you see the two orphan blocks?  And the pieced rectangle that I split in half to add interest to an otherwise boring piece?  Do you see the strip of ugly green diamond fabric?  Amy, do you see your red Blank Quilting fabric?   Friends of Mary Crew, do you see her beautiful hand applique work? 

Improv quilt top

Thanks Ethel and thanks everyone who laughs as they hand over their scraps.  I love when I can put your trash into my treasure. 



  1. Oh my goodness! What fun! I love the finished top. It's interesting how we can begin with one thing--a block, a fabric, a bit of something someone is ready to toss--and end up with something most people would gladly take home. This is extra special since it incorporates pieces from several people.

  2. I love it how these orphan blocks and thrown away fabric often break the ice barrier to being creative. It's like, what have I got to loose?


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