This saying — sometimes attributed to “The Little Mermaid” and sometimes to an anonymous source — I believe is brought to life by a local “orphan square” project. 

Started by volunteers at the Weber County Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum during a summer quilting class, the “orphan square” project is taking quilt squares created but never used in finished quilts and putting them to good use.

Some of the squares may be leftovers and some may be projects created to test an idea that perhaps didn’t pan out the way a seamstress envisioned.

However they came to be, this project is giving life to quilt squares that otherwise might have stayed in a box for years. One of the project’s supporters, Brenda Rector, believes some of the squares she has collected already have lived in tucked away corners of supply cabinets for decades.

The project fascinated me because I believe rescuing handiwork otherwise forgotten demonstrates a universal theme of faith found in religions and spiritual practices I have come to know.

The English Standard version of James 1:12 in the New Testament of the Bible reads: “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”

Those who visit the upcoming Weber County Daughters of Utah Pioneers Ole Fashion Christmas Bazaar from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 1 and 2 will be able to see some of the quilts made from the “orphan squares.” The museum is at 2104 Lincoln Ave. in Ogden.

If you’d like to donate your own “orphan squares,” you can do so by leaving a message on the museum’s voicemail at 801-393-4460. Besides the bazaar, the museum is closed for the winter, with plans to reopen in the spring.

JF 112017 Orphan quilt

This quilt, made of "orphan" squares was sewn together by Deanna Child. It will be a featured item at an upcoming Weber County Daughters of Utah Pioneers "Ole Fashion Christmas Bazaar" from 11 a.m to 6 p.m. Dec. 1 and 2. The museum is located at 2104 Lincoln Ave. in Ogden.

You can reach reporter JaNae Francis at or 801-625-4228. Follow her on Twitter at @JaNaeFrancisSE or like her on Facebook at

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