Thursday 8 September 2016

Free Tutorial - Orange Peel Perfection

Welcome to my Sewmiriam Blogpost for this week.  I have a special treat for you all - a free tutorial on a very easy way to make an orange peel shape and how to use it in a 12 inch finished block.

The orange peel shapes look like this - gorgeous! 

And the blocks look like this ... stunning! 

 Now that's my kind of quilting block! One you can adapt and make your own, build upon and have fun with once you have mastered the technique . So let's get to it!

These instructions are for a 12 inch finished block. 

You will need 

 * One     12 1/2 " x 12 1/2 "  piece of background fabric 
 * Four    5" x  9"   pieces of fabric for the peels
 * Four     5"  x 9" pieces of iron on light weight non woven interfacing 
 *  Template plastic 

  * Pencil
  * Sewing machine & thread 
  * Scissors
  * Iron and ironing board
  * Rotary cutter and cutting mat.

1. Take your background fabric square and fold it diagonally and press. 
Repeat so that you have two diagonal press lines that intersect in the middle of your square as shown.

2 . You can now use one of these quadrants to create your peel template. Place your template plastic over the quadrant and draw along the diagonal line to create your centre line marking 1/8 " in from the centre and 1" in  from the outer corner . This will be the length of your peel. Now you can make the peel as thin / fat as you desire. I like to make mine quite fleshy! Draw and peel and cut out your template. The dimensions I use are 7 3/4 " long and 3 3/4 " at the widest part across.

3. Take your peel template and place on the wrong side of your iron on interfacing pieces ( that means the non shiny side) and trace around using your pencil. Repeat for all of your interfacing pieces. This pencil line will be your stitching line later. 

4. Place each  interfacing piece on your cutting mat and make a cut lengthwise about 2-3 inches long.

5.  Place an interfacing piece on top of a fabric peel piece with right sides together. ( shiny side of interfacing will be facing right side of fabric) 

6 . Using a stitch length of 2 stitch carefully on the pencil line. 

7. Trim around the peel shape leaving only 1/8" fabric/ interfacing seam allowance.

8. Turn out through the precut slit of the interfacing and gently push out the corners. DO NOT PRESS!!!
You should now have a  perfect peel with a shiny interfacing back .

9. Place a peel  carefully along one of the diagonal press lines of the background square positioning in 1/8" in from the centre . Press in place. Repeat for the remaining 3 peel shapes for the block

10. Finish your block any way you wish. The peels are adhered to the background but do need to be secured more permanently. 
You can machine appliqué or  hand appliqué or use any decorative stitch really. This is a versatile block! 

Here are four blocks together . Even at this stage you can see that ther is going to be a nice circular movement when the blocks are joined together. 


Where do I start? You could make it scrappy, or colour coordinated. You could make it look traditional or modern. You could mix the modern and traditional. Bright, soft, mono chromatic ....... What fun! 

Here is a block done with a dark background 

Sizing - this technique can be sized up or down easily. You could make it precut friendly in a snap! 

And then ... The technique itself you could use for circles , leaves, teardrops.....

Follow my progress in upcoming blogposts as I make more blocks and experiment with stitching and quilting techniques.

Thank you for visiting my blog. You are always welcome here - a creative and hopefully inspiring place for you to enjoy.

Happy sewing, Miriamxx 


  1. I just did my orange peels and am turning them right side out. Next step, the blocks. Thank you so much for sharing this tutorial. Have a great day and thank you again.

  2. meri pour ce partage bien explique bonne journee