Orca Bay and My January UFO

I am trying really hard to tackle my UFOs this year so when Judy at Patchwork Times sent out the challenge to complete some UFOs  I decided to join in.  I know many of you are looking at the picture saying that’s not a UFO, that quilt is the Orca Bay quilt.


You are right and wrong….The front is Bonnie Hunter’s mystery quilt Orca Bay but the back….that’s where I put my UFO quilt blocks.


I had made these blocks a long time ago as a quilt along called Soot and Ashes.  The quilt ended up having applique and being a little too primitive for me so the blocks sat and sat and sat.  When they were chosen as the January UFO, I was piecing my Orca Bay quilt.  I decided then and there that I would use the blocks by making a pieced backing.  It isn’t magical.  It isn’t wonderful…but those blocks are off the UFO list.

I machine quilted it just using a stipple pattern.  I did stipple closer together than I normally do.


I machine bound the quilt putting the last stitches in it today…just in time for the January UFO reveal over at Patchwork Times.  I love this quilt and it’s going to stay here at our house.


When Kelli and I went to see Bonnie Hunter at Storm Lake one of the ladies in front of us commented that she makes scrap quilts as charity quilts…NOT ME!  My scrap quilts are “for me” quilts.   I value them more than quilts that can be easily replicated.   I feel like there is more too them…what do you do?  Do scrap quilts stay with you or do you give them away?

Today I am hooking up with Confessions of a Scrap Addict and Crazy Mom Quilts.  I also hooked up with a new to me place Such a Sew and Sew.
P.S.  I am hosting a quilt book giveaway here.  If you want to see  more Orca Bay quilts, head on over to Quiltville and check out the linky party.  To see today’s blog post…go here.

41 thoughts on “Orca Bay and My January UFO”

  1. Congrats on a great whale of a finish…get it? Orca? LOL
    This quilt I would definitely keep for myself…so much work and so many memories in it!
    PS…I love the rug under your quilting machine!

  2. The UFO blocks were perfect for the back and the quilts looks wonderful. 95% of my scrap blocks stay with me; but sometimes I add in a scrap block as an accent or in a back.

  3. I love the Orca Bay quilt. I am still working on mine and will eventually finish it but until I do I will just admire everyone elses. It will be my first finished scrap quilt and will most definately stay with me!

  4. When I read about people giving away their Bonnie mystery quilts to “the babysitter” or someone like that, I wonder how on earth they can possibly do that! I put so much work into them and have so many lovely memories from all those scraps of fabrics… I just have to keep my scrap quilts! Maybe I would gift them to a close family member, but even that’s stretching it!

  5. great job! and the MILLIONS of pieces! that would scare me away for sure! and i’d have to say i’m with you on the scrappy quilts: when i make quilts out of scraps, it seems like they’re so much more special because of the stories behind the fabrics! i had just never thought of it that way…

  6. you are right! I would not consider any quilt project less than 9 months old to be a UFO but I la,la,love how you incorporated your UFO blocks on the back side of your quilt! When I have to piece two panels of fabrics together for a large enough backing I do what you did… left over blocks and pieces up the middle. :) It’s easy to figure out the “long ways” of the quilt when you want to snuggle up on the sofa with it :)

    Love from Indiana! ~bonnie

  7. Almost all of my quilts are scrap quilts. And I do give a LOT of them away. I can make another one. It won’t be identical, it’ll have its own quirks, but I can always make something else sorta like it. It’s taken me a while to get to this point. Now I wish I’d put some of my earlier scrap quilts away instead of using them because at this point I’d be ready to let them go — if my boys hadn’t got to them.

  8. I love scrap quilts, and have done Bonnie’s mystery previously – it is way to hard to part with all that work and the memories of the fabric. I love a pieced back, and find it especially adorable with the orpan blocks you used.

  9. What a lovely Orca Bay! I definitely agree that scrappy quilts are too precious to be used for donations. My one exception is that I might give one to a fellow quilter, knowing that it would be truly appreciated. Good job to be able to scratch two things off your list!

  10. I would have to say most of my quilts are given away, but the truly scrappy ones are mine to keep! I love looking at them and seeing scraps from quilts I’ve given to friends and family. Makes me feel real good to think about that.

  11. Your Orca Bay is georgeous. My scrap quilts don’t always have a sentimental feel about them. I’m more prone to hold onto the once that have lots of piecing. Smart way to finish off UFO#5. Ready for UFO#1? Sandi

  12. Congrats on completing the Orca Bay! You did a beautiful job! As for keeping the scrap quilts – sometimes I keep them, sometimes I give them to family. As for Orca Bay, by the time I’m finished with it, it’ll be ready for my grandchild’s wedding! LOL!

  13. Jo, your Orca Bay looks great! I think the soot and ashes blocks were PERFECT for the backing. It works with the black patches on the front. Personally, I love to see orphan blocks on a backing.

  14. As a fledgling professional quilt appraiser, I have to tell you guys that you are selling yourselves short. I just had a fellow appraiser appraise one of my scrap quilts from Bonnie Hunter’s Quiltmaker column and you would not believe the insurance value to replace these quilts! Love your Orca Bay and it has value to you and to be replaced. Think about that.

  15. Congratulations on your done-done Orca Bay!
    ALL of my quilts are scrap quilts. Therefore those I keep and those I donate are scrappy. I’m donating “Devon Crush,” my version of Bonnie’s Orange Crush, as the AAUW- Waukegan Area Branch raffle quilt this spring. I got that one back from the longarmer on Saturday and gave her my “Carolina Crossroads” to quilt. That, too, will be donated (to the Assistance in Healthcare Foundation auction). Like you, I’m trying to get my flimsies transformed into completed quilts this year, even if that requires “quilting by checkbook” (=sending them out to be quilted).

  16. Gorgeous Orca Bay! I’d love a closeup and more detail about your machine quilting process… I have a similar setup and I’m just not sure how it will look quilted. But wow, all finished and using up your UFOs too!

  17. I have a hard time giving any of my quilts away, though I have. I find it best to plan on giving them away from the start that way I don’t get so attached. LOL But, I’m not giving ANY of my Bonnie Hunter mystery quilts away!! I tell my family they can fight over them after I’m dead.

  18. I like to keep my scrap quilts as i consider them an adult “I spy”, favorite fabrics from vacations, trip, storess, friends and scraps from quilts i have given to loved ones. Love your Orca Bay I hope to finsih mine soon

  19. It definitely wasn’t me sitting in front of you at the workshop! I am keeping my Bonnie quilts. . .except for one I have picked out for a 2013 graduation present! Even then, I will more than likely make another one for myself! Good work on both the UFO project and the Orca Bay, I need to get some dark Ohio Stars done and more red string blocks.

  20. Congrats on finishing your Orca Bay quilt. It is a beautiful quilt. I’m still working on mine and am planning on keeping it. This is my first total scrappy quilt that I’m working on. I did Bonnie’s Christmas Lights Mystery in a controlled scrappy. I hope to get back working on my crumb blocks when I return home in April.

  21. I am absolutely blown away by your Orca Bay quilt. It is so beautiful. I love your pieced back, as well! And I agree with you 100% on scrap quilts — they are keepers. Thank you so much for linking up and congrats on a really beautiful finish!

    xo -E

  22. Those blocks look great against the red backing on that fabulous quilt! And yes, I must admit I am very partial to the scrappy quilts. In fact, most of my quilts are scrappy.

  23. Love your Orca Bay. I ALMOST gave my Orca Bay away this year, but to someone really special. But then I came to my sense, made that special person a different special quilt and kept Ocra Bay all for me! I agree scrap quilts are special and definitely hard to part with. Especially when they have the bits and pieces of quilts made in the past.

  24. My Orca Bay quilt is on my Super Sunday just for ME list. I have done very little on it so far (cutting & string blocks) but hope for a long day sewing for me tomorrow.

    and I agree…scrap quilts take WAY more time to plan & execute than a quilt from yardage. I usually keep mine too :)

  25. Your quilt is lovely and I would keep it too. I have kept my Bonnie Hunter mystery quilts so far, but have given away a couple made from her other patterns. I keep some scrap quilts and give others away.

  26. I am with you…the scrap quilt stay home. Yours is wonderful and I love your idea for the backing. I shall be borrowing that idea the next time that UFO thing gets brought up again at guild.

  27. Visiting from the February 2012 Finishes linky. That is a gorgeous scrap quilt! I love the scrap quilts I’ve made but have given two away so far. They are hard to part with, to be sure, but they went to “good homes.” I really like your backing and the use of the orphan blocks. Awesome!

  28. Pingback: String Fling CONQUERED!! | Jo's Country Junction

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