Who can resist old unused quilt blocks or pieces of quilts when looking around at a tag sale or thrift store? Not me if the price is within my budget. I buy them and then can't decide what to do with them. Twisted: Modern Quilts with a Vintage Twist to the rescue.
She shows 21 quilts in which she has incorporated previously unused vintage quilt blocks and unfinished pieces into new quilts. There's a great variety of blocks including string, applique, postage stamp, hexagons, wedding ring, log cabins, snowballs, flying geese, Dresden plates, and more. She introduces each quilt with information about the blocks she used including the condition in which they came to her; their age, if she knows it; and sometimes a bit of history about the quilt block pattern.
I suppose some might consider it an awful thing to do what she's done but in my opinion it's better to use the pieces than let them linger in an old box to be found by someone who won't appreciate them and who will throw them away.
Here are two examples of pieces she found and the quilts they became. First a strip of one-patch blocks,
and next a strip of flying geese.
It's likely that each quilter will choose her own way to use vintage blocks but I appreciated the encouragement to not let them lie around gathering dust.
The author included a chapter on working with vintage fabrics in which she discusses washing, removing smoke smell (with a bar of white Safeguard soap), dissecting a block (if you think it necessary), and tips for using and incorporating them into quilts and other textile projects even when they may be fragile. She cautions that many unused quilt pieces were not used because they are imperfect -- poorly cut, inaccurate stitching, and/or poor quality fabric. She offers suggestions to address these situations.
I have several old blocks and while I will probably not choose to put them in a modern quilt I appreciate the encouragement to use them instead of letting them molder on a shelf. Maybe you will enjoy Twisted: Modern Quilts with a Vintage Twist?