It's February already... I must be longing for spring because the quilt I decided to make for this month's Classic Block's: Fresh Fabrics tutorial and giveaway is warm and delightful. It's the Orange Peel block. We are finally making an applique block! The tutorial is below and I designed a template in three sizes (for a 12'' block, 8'' block, and 4'' block) that I'll post for you in my Craftsy shop and in our facebook group files.
But before we get to the tutorial, my friend at Blend Fabrics sent me an amazing bundle of fabrics from the Tea Garden Collection designed by Molly Hatch. I used half of the fabric for my quilt and I'm giving away the rest of it - a beautiful 10 Fat Quarter Bundle!
In case you are catching this blog series for the first time, we're making gorgeous quilt blocks using the classic patterns and fresh modern fabrics from Anna Griffin and Blend Fabrics! So far we've made the Shoofly Block, Bear Paw block, Yankee Puzzle, Spinning Spools, the Rail Fence Block, the Variable Star, the Sailboat Block, the Dutchman's Puzzle Block, the Churn Dash Block, the Friendship Star, and the Snowball and Nine Patch blocks together! You can search for 'classic blocks fresh fabric' in my search box to find them too.
Each post includes an easy to follow tutorial and a fat quarter bundle giveaway that lasts for 2 weeks.
Each month, Blend Fabrics sends me a collection of fabrics to work with and I get to giveaway a sweet bundle too! If you want to play, just make one or more of the current month's block within two weeks that the tutorial is posted, and share a picture of your block(s) in our facebook group entry album or in our flickr pool.
The Orange Peel Block is a 4-patch. Each of the four units has the orange peel shape appliqued inside. My layout is only one of many. For this sewalong, choose any layout you like! I love to see the different patterns that our SewCanShe Sewcialiates come up with.
There are also a zillion different ways to applique. Feel free to choose your own applique method too.
The template includes an applique shape for 8'', 6'', and 4'' units. If you have another Orange Peel Template that you'd like to use for this sewalong, feel free!
My goal for this project was a 48'' square quilt top in an afternoon... can you believe I did it?
I used a cheater applique method with no raw edges, and I machine stitched my pieces down instead of hand stitching.
I also made 8'' units, which created huge 16'' blocks. I only needed 9 of them to make my quilt!
Applique Method with Fusible Interfacing
For this method, cut your applique pieces out of both fabric and featherweight fusible interfacing.
To save time, I stacked up three layers of fabric and I folded my interfacing into 3-4 layers too.
Place the fusible (glue) side of the interfacing pieces against the right side of the applique pieces and stitch all the way around with a 1/4'' seam allowance. It's important not to sew to the raw edge. Start and stop 1/4'' away from the corner.
To make the curved edges turn nicely, they need to be notched. Save lots of time by trimming them with pinking shears. Careful not to clip the seam!
Clip the corner too.
Use some sharp scissors to poke a hole in the interfacing and cut a slit about 2/3 the length of the applique.
Turn the piece right side out through the slit and use a turning tool (or your finger) to smooth the edges out. And press out the corner.
Center the applique on a fabric square (my square is 8 1/2'' to make a finished 8'' unit). Press with a hot iron to fuse.
Stitch the applique to the fabric square by machine or by hand. Sew four units together to make an Orange Peel Block.
The pros of this applique method are that it's turned applique (no raw edges), it's fused to your fabric so it won't slide around, and it's fast.
The cons are that you have a layer of interfacing under the applique which makes it thicker, and sometimes you can see the interfacing as a thin line between the applique and the backing. I would not use this method for a 'show quilt' or with dark fabrics.
Since my quilt is going to be a throw on the family couch, I love the extra dimension that this applique method gives. It also helps the orange peel shapes stand out in a situation where there's not too much contrast between them and the background fabrics.
Wasn't that fun? You now have until February 16th to make your own Orange Peel Block (any fabric, any template, any method, any size) and post a picture into one of the two photo albums mentioned above to enter to win the beautiful fq bundle from Blend fabrics. I'll announce the winner in our facebook group in case you are lurking there.