Saturday, November 14, 2020

Orange Peels and an Easy Quilting Design

I fell in love with Orange Peels when I made this quilt for my book Remembering Adelia. That was 10 years ago but I honestly think many of the quilts we make with reproduction fabrics stand up to the test of time, don't you? I will never get tired of them, no matter how old they are. 

This was such a fun quilt to make and really good practice for hand applique with the simple shapes. Here's an entertaining link if you're interested in the history of this pattern. Some historians say it dates back to the American Revolution. 

I used that peel pattern as a quilting design on the Pink Patches quilt in my book, The Civil War Sewing Circle, which is the small quilt challenge for November in my small groups. The last one as a matter of fact. We worked our way through this book this past year, making some of my favorite small quilts. 

Instead of using a stencil or making my own from template plastic, here's what I did:

I marked the center of the block and then traced around a small bowl with a water soluble marking pen to make a half circle on one side. Then I turned the quilt and used the bowl again to trace intersecting half circles around each side of the block. Better than a template because you can do it easily with any size block, large or small - just find the right bowl with a nice arc. Here's a sample square:

Then turn the block and mark on the other two sides the same way.

The half circles intersect and you get this peel design when you mark each side of the block with an arc.

Then, just quilt on the lines and dampen or wash the quilt gently to remove all traces of the marking pen. It was easy to do this on a small quilt and it turned out very nice, I think. I'm not sure I'd try it on a larger quilt unless I had a lot of time. You can also mark circles between the blocks to get the same Orange Peel design but doing it this way gave me a little more control as I was working on each block. I especially like the way it looks on the plain blocks where the stitches stand out a little more.

Oh, and if you haven't tried it yet, my favorite quilting thread is YLI quilting thread. Not sure if it's still available in this color but I'm very partial to the light brown as it gives a nice antique look when stitched on both light and dark fabrics. 

Enjoy your fall weekend!  I'm still planning on doing a sew along for my Schoolgirl Sampler quilt in the Facebook group of the same name beginning in January so check out my earlier Sentimental Quilter blog post about that for details. I haven't decided yet but I may use my website or this blog to post some info every week so that those of you who don't do FB can still follow along. Stay tuned.


marie said...

I plan on doing the sew along in January but don't do FB so it would be wonderful if you posted the same info on your blog. Pretty please!!

Krissy B. said...

I'm on my 4th orange peel quilt from your pattern. I made 1 for me and gave 2 for gifts and now I have one going for a future gift. Love that pattern!

Anonymous said...

I’ve made this orange peel and love it. Just bought your new book (Schoolgirl Sampler) and really like it. Please do the post for the sew along in January on your blog. I don’t do Facebook. Thank you. Leta

Colleen said...

I made 4-patches yesterday and was wondering what to do with them. I love these simple patterns. I'm going to do the orange peel quilting on the 4-patch. Thanks for all you do and share with us.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I made this orange peel quilt a while ago, sewn but not quilted yet, so thank you so much for your small bowl tip. Now I'm so excited to start the quilting! Your new book "Schoolgirl Sampler" is a Treasure of small blocks, I bought a copy for a friend and myself. Kathy, I so appreciate your talent and generosity with us. I too would love to join your sew along in January, so I'm hoping you'll be posting it on your blog. Please. Jan D. from CA

QuiltGranma said...

I would make a quilting template of freezer paper, lightly ironed onto the fabric then stich around them. Perhaps double up on the freezer paper to make it tougher and thicker to wear longer.

Mary - Lecoeurceltique said...

Your orange peel quilt is lovely. Every time I browse through your books I always find a new favourite.

Mary said...

Your orange peel quilt is beautiful. Happy Holidays to you and your family.

Marcia said...

I would love more blog posts! I do not "do" Facebook which means I miss a lot.

Granny's Button Box said...

Your quilts are beautiful. Just love the fabrics, the colours are lovely. Thank you for showing an easier way for marking the fabric, will give it a go.