Monday, November 10, 2014

Japanese Lanterns With Orphan Blocks

I had a special surprise a couple of weeks ago at the Mississippi Quilt Association Gathering in Vicksburg. Gatherings are always a good time to visit with friends we don't see often and to catch up on what we've been working on. I taught a Japanese Lanterns workshop several years ago, and Cindy Pannier brought her finished quilt to show me. Shelley Taylor and Cindy Melton have previously completed their quilts, and I was delighted to see another completion of this big project. Not only had she finished her quilt, but she framed it with orphan blocks, adding more color and making good use of these other blocks.
Cindy Pannier with her Japanese Lanterns Quilt

The pattern is Courthouse Steps, as old as the Log Cabin, but the arrangement of lights and darks creates a design that reminds one of Japanese Lanterns, hence the name. Each block is made up of four color sections, and the challenge is how to keep strips organized so that the adjoining block (on the row below, for instance) will have the right strips to finish the design.

To better understand this, look at the upper right corner of Cindy's quilt (inside the black border). The block is made up of half the blue lantern, half the black lantern, half the purple lantern, half the olive green one. Blue strips from the block to the left had to be saved for this block, and olive green strips had to be saved for the block on the row below.

I'm especially proud when a class I taught helps a quilter finish a quilt, and Cindy's use of her leftover orphan blocks is brilliant!
My Japanese Lanterns Quilt

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