Birthday Blocks Become a Top

Kelli came over on Sunday.  We had a mission in mind.  We were going to make the birthday blocks that all of sent me for my 50th birthday into a quilt top.  Kelli called me Sunday morning letting me know she was on her way so I scrambled to put the blocks into some type of design.  I had sorted them all earlier in the week.  I still had no idea for a layout.  We had debated about that in the past….nothing clicked.  Then as we were talking on the phone I told Kelli I didn’t have an idea…out loud I said, “I think Anne’s block should be the center focus block”…then something clicked and started working.

By the time Kelli was to my house, I had this as an idea.


Although we requested 3″, 6″, 9″ and 12″ blocks we still got some in other sizes.  So we had to get creative.  Originally I thought we’d but the 3″ blocks around Anne’s center block.  Then I saw this…Hmmm.  We ended up taking the Pineapple Crazy block apart and make them the focal point corners around the center block.

We were short of 6″ blocks so we ended up taking the yellow and blue block apart too.

Before long, this is what we had…..

Ruby was no help with this project at all.  If there is a quilt on the floor, she thinks she needs to pose on it…silly dog.

The machine was constantly busy.  Kelli would grab a piece and sew while I was pinning or vise-versa.  I started getting the 12″ blocks laid out so they could be a backing….again, I’m short of blocks…hmmm.

Kelli was a real trooper!!  This improv way of quilting is not her at all!!  If truth be told, I think it’s almost painful for her!

This is what the top ended up looking like.

We took 3″ blocks and built them up to 6″ blocks.  Those are the red framed ones in the quilt.

The 9″ blocks are in the outer corners.  We built the border to work with them.

This ended up being the back of the quilt.  It’s a nice throw size that will be perfect for me.

A few 9″ blocks got borders and built up to be 12″ blocks for the backing.  It turned out good I think.

The fun polka dot fabric is from Ila.  She had bought yardage and sent it to me for the backing but we ended up actually making the backing with the 12″ and leftover 9″ blocks.

Try as we might we didn’t find a spot for these blocks.


The big one was larger than 12″.  We went to cut it down and miss cut so sadly it was a casualty.  The present blocks were not square sized.  The wool applique block, I wasn’t sure how it would wash and launder so decided that I’ll make a large pincushion with that block.  I really need another pincushion so this will be perfect.  I love large over-sized ones too.  PERFECT!

We did the best we could to as many blocks into the design as possible.  We plan to incorporate the remaining blocks into a quilt back in the near future.

Kelli and I had a giggly, fun, goofy day putting these blocks together.  Thanks to EVERYONE who sent a block!  I so appreciate it and am happy it’s a top.  I am hoping to get it quilted over Christmas-New Year time.  I have a few extra days off then.  I’m looking forward to spending a few of them in the sewing room!!

I promise I’ll take LOTS of close up pictures and comment on some of the blocks when I show you the finished quilt.

9 thoughts on “Birthday Blocks Become a Top”

  1. Outstanding! Love the setting of this very unique quilt that seems so perfect for your special birthday Jo!! When you make the pin cushion how about making pillows from the other extra blocks? I think Ruby must be feeling better??

  2. That’s so funny about Ruby. She knows that it’s her job to pose with the quilts. She’s so good with the day care children. She’s quite the little helper. Your birthday quilt is really coming along. These weren’t orphan blocks, but it’s the same situation and I love orphan block quilts. Can’t wait to see the close-ups. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Jo,
    I love the way you’ve set all these wonderful blocks together! And I’m honored to have my block in the center of such a special quilt of yours :-)
    Have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Hope you find lots of time to sew over the holidays! Hugs, Anne

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