How to Quilt Orange Peel Blocks – Block 5

How to Quilt Orange Peel Blocks

We are so excited to be able to share quilting ideas for each of the skill builder blocks all year long. One of the most common questions I get asked is “how should I quilt this?” My hope, is that by the end of the year, you’ll have a bunch of ideas and different ways to look at and approach an array of different quilts blocks that you can mix and match and use on different projects.

This week, we are looking at orange peels. Whether appliqued or pieced, you can approach the quilting of orange peels in the same way, so these designs will work on either type of block.

Quilting Plan 1

In this quilting plan, I first echoed the orange peels going from point to point. By doing it this way, it provides a very easy stitch path between sections. I show you 4 different fill options, but would likely only pick one or two to alternate. I wouldn’t do a different design in each section. That complicates things more than is necessary. For the background, I kept is simple with an easy border and stipple fill.

Quilting Plan 2

In this quilting plan, I didn’t worry about echoing the orange peels and just used the fill. These loops are a very simple way to fill a shape. They are one of the easiest free motion quilting motifs to learn as they are simply cursive Ls and a design most of us are very familiar with. When you are used to drawing out a design on paper, it makes it much simpler to translate to quilting. For the background, I opted to echo the leaves of the shape. You could easily use a walking foot to get evenly spaces lines and move between them along the edge of the square.

Quilting Plan 3

This quilting plan is similar to the first with a small change. I didn’t go all the way to the corner. While this makes it harder to move between spaces and usually requires breaking thread, it has the benefit of avoiding the center point. If you are piecing the orange peels, you could end up with lots of bulk in that center seam that is hard to sew over and this avoids that area entirely.

I’m still treating the gray and yellow areas as one shape so it really become a background element with the orange peels being the foreground element.

Quilting Plan 4

Feathers are a very versatile option when filling shapes. They can easily be adjusted to be almost any size. You could swap these for any type of feather you prefer. Horizontal lines in the background draw your eye to the main element of the orange peels.

Quilting Plan 5

This last design follows the flow of the orange peels but doesn’t stay completely inside the shape.  This type of plan adds movement and texture to the quilt. Simply follow the outside edge of the orange peels and then echo to create additional circles. Repeat and overlap around the block.

Whole Quilt 1

This shows how the concentric circles would look all over the quilt top. To avoid breaking thread between circles, I would use the seams and sashing to move in between sections. Go slow and stitch right in the ditch to hide your thread and you’ll never see them.

Whole Quilt 2

This plan shows how I would start to look at and break down the negative space between the blocks. To avoid trying to fill in all the background as one, I look for shapes that I can create to break up the space and make smaller areas to quilt. In this plan, I chose to block out squares to match the squares behind the orange peels and quilted them the same way. I chose one of the first designs of echoing and filling in the orange peels themselves. This is a simple plan that is easy to create but has a lot of impact.

If you want to sketch along with us or create your own designs, click on the images below to print out a blank version of the block and quilt. Print a few copies and see what you can come up with!

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