Do you need to practice your quilting before you tackle that quilt? Whether it’s walking foot quilting, free motion quilting, or ruler work, it’s a good idea to try it out before you start quilting that special quilt.
Most quilters have orphan blocks. Maybe the block didn’t turn out the right size, you weren’t happy with your fabric choices or maybe you decided not to make that quilt, but you don’t want to just toss them out. Orphan blocks make an excellent canvas for practicing quilting with minimal risk. So, grab those blocks, and layer your quilt sandwich. Try out a new walking foot design, work on your free motion skills, or pull out the rulers you bought but have been afraid to try.
If you know me, you know I don’t throw much out. After I quilt these orphan blocks, I want to do something with them so I’m always looking for useful projects. Making bowl cozies is the latest of these projects. These bowl cozies are not only functional, but they are so lovely with their patchwork and quilting.
Orphan blocks come in many different sizes, but so do bowls so you can make these in any size. You can also trim your block down to make it smaller or add a border to make it bigger if you need a different size.
Place your orphan block on a piece of cotton batting that is at least a ½” bigger all the way around than the block is. I don’t use a backing, just the orphan block and batting. If you want a thicker cozy, use two layers of batting.
Note: If you intend to put the bowl cozies in the microwave, all your supplies must be 100% cotton. There is special batting that is guaranteed 100% cotton and there are lots of choices of 100% cotton thread, such as Cotona by Madeira. Fabrics must also be 100% cotton and may not have any metallic designs on them.
- Mark the quilted sandwich on the back side (see below).
- Cut out triangles.
- Your sandwich will look like this.
- Cut a piece of backing fabric in the same way.
- Stitch the triangles closed on the sandwich.
- Stitch the triangles closed on the backing fabric.
- Your pieces now have a bowl shape.
- Pin the sandwich and backing fabric right sides together.
- Stitch all the way around with a quarter inch seam leaving an opening to turn.
- Stitch the corners at an angle.
- Trim the corners.
- Turn to the right side.
- Push out the corners.
- Press the edges.
- Top stitch the edge.
- I also like to stitch through all layers to secure the sandwich to the backing in the middle of the cozy.
- View from bottom.
- View from top.
I love these so much that after running out of orphan blocks, I used scraps to make more blocks. The finished cozies make lovely hostess gifts: a step up from the plain ones.
Quilt on! Melissa Marginet