this lovely thing I made on a whim to use part of a scrap pack of screen printed fabrics from Karen Lewis (back before she had her own fabric line), and transformed it into a quilted place mats. Really placemats are the perfect use for leftover blocks. A quick border can fill them out to the needed size as I've done with a couple strips of mustard solid.
Or, combine leftover strips like these extras leftover from making a custom Scattered Colors Table Runner. The small size of placemats is perfect for trying out new quilting designs too. I went to town with my walking foot, and I love the resulting texture and interest it adds to the simple piecing.
I'm taking thriftiness and the urge to recycle up a notch too by using scrap batting (frankenbatting if needed), the last bits of low spools of thread, scraps of binding pieced as needed, and even odd fat quarters I realize I'll never actually use for the backing. Mine are about 14 x 18, but since they will be given to individuals, the placemats don't need to match or be identical in size.
If I make a couple of place mats a month I will have a nice stack to donate to Meals on Wheels by December. It makes me pretty happy to think of someone getting not only a meal but a handmade gift, and my drawer of abandoned blocks will hopefully be emptier. If you want to join in, donate to your local chapter and hashtag #placemats4MOW to share pictures online.
What's your favorite way to use quilty leftovers?