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 is warm and delightful. It's the classic Orange Peel quilt block. We are finally making an applique block! The tutorial is below and I designed a template that you can also download below in three sizes (for a 12'' block, 8'' block, and 4'' block).
My friend at Blend Fabrics sent me an amazing bundle of fabrics from the Tea Garden Collection designed by Molly Hatch.
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 and you can choose any layout you like!
There are also a zillion different ways to applique. Feel free to choose a different applique method if you already have a favorite.
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? See my other classic quilt blocks patterns here.