Updated Orange Peel Quilt-Along Schedule

Orange Peel Quilt-Along!

Thank you all for your input on how we want to go forward with our quilt-along! Everyone who commented was fine with adding a couple of weeks to complete our applique work. Ok, some of us (ahem, me) know we might not have all of our peels done by the next tutorial step even with the extra time, but that’s ok, the information will be be there for us when we’re ready!

Here’s an updated schedule for finishing our quilt tops:

November 22: Final Progress Post + Link-Up
November 24: Layout + Prepping Blocks
November 28: Assembling The Top

So we’ll have a last check-in on the 22nd, during which we will hopefully all share a photo of a stack of finished blocks! (Don’t forget to share your progress, guys, that’s half the fun!) Where I originally planned on three tutorials to complete the top, now I think two is plenty. There’s not that much to it, really, just some pointers and tips to share, so I’m not exactly sure why I thought a third was necessary! I’ve got those two planned through the last week of November, so wall-quilt-alongers should be able to have their top finished by the end of the month, if they wanted to. (When I made my own wall quilt, prepping and sewing the top took me about two days.) Full-sized-quilt-alongers might have to put in a little more time to finish their tops, but that still gives you several weeks before the holidays to finish, if that’s an issue.

Just a note: as we talked about at the beginning of this quilt-along, for now I’m only planning tutorials to get you all a finished top. A lot of you will have plenty of quilting experience to just finish on your own with your own preferred basting / quilting / binding methods. Some of you may want to continue this as a group and have me show you all the steps to a finished quilt. If you want that, I’d be happy to do it, so let’s all weigh in again about the next steps once we have finished tops!

Orange Peel Quilt-Along: Check-in #3 (everyone’s input required!)

Orange Peel Quilt-Along!

OPQA: Check-In 3

Ok, everyone, it’s time for us all to speak up and share how it’s going! And this time it’s really important that you all give your input, because we’re at a bit of an important point here and we need to decide how to progress.

In my original schedule, this week marks the end of hand-stitching peels and the start of tutorials for putting it together. I’m a ways off this point, with only about 50 blocks completely finished (above) and a stack more prepped.

I’ve been watching all of the links added here and posts on Instagram, etc., and I really don’t think I’m the only one who isn’t ready yet. :) Which is totally ok! We promised this would be a casual stitch-along and if we want to hold off on the next steps, ain’t nuthin’ wrong with that. A hand-stitching quilt-along is never going to be a speedy affair!

BUT. I do know at least one of us is ready, and I don’t want to hold anyone up if we change the schedule to allow for more hand-stitching time. And I also know that in the coming weeks, a lot of us will start getting crazy busy with holiday crafting.

So, we have to make a group decision, y’alls, and I really really hope you’ll give your input right away. This coming Friday is scheduled for a post on prepping your peels for the next steps. We have a few options:

1.) I can always post the next tutorials and then they will be ready when you need them. But would we lose the group-activity element, if we’re all in different places in the process?

2.) Or I could delay just a couple of weeks to give us a just a bit more hand-stitching time, but then move forward?

3.) OR, we could say let’s all keep hand-stitching until after the holidays and then continue the process all together as a group – but then the people who are finished will be waiting, and anyone making their peels as a holiday gift will be in trouble.

I reckon the second option would be best, so maybe move the next tutorial to November 21st and then have the remaining tutorials follow closely after? But I absolutely want input from everyone, pretty please! I’ve definitely considered this a group project all along, so I want it to work for everyone, or as much as possible.

Show us your progress below and share your opinions in the comments, please!

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Orange Peel Quilt-Along: Check-in #2!

Orange Peel Quilt-Along!

Time for another check-in, quilt-alongers – how are your peels coming along?

OPQA - Check-in 2 (October 17)

I have to admit, I’ve slowed down since the last check-in – the peels have generally been my evening, quiet stitching project, but I’ve been so tired for the last week or two, I haven’t been doing too much. I think I want to set aside a full day sometime next week and just curl up with some movies (my go-to comfort activity at the moment) and just stitch away. Yum, that sounds lovely.

Anyway, I haven’t stopped completely – right now I’m at 31 blocks finished (above right), 16 blocks ready for stitching (above left), and a handful of peels basted and prepped for basting. Hmm, actually – if I compare with the last check-in, that’s not really that bad, but it’s still moving along pretty slowly considering I can usually do a handful each night.

But whatever, this is a no-stress quiltalong and I refuse to worry about it. This stitching is meant to be fun and relaxing, not a race, right?! I do love watching each peel/background combo come together and the stitching is so cozy. Do you guys think so? Let me know how you’re finding the process!

I have a few tips to share for this check-in:

- The other night, my lovely friend Karen from Henry’s Shed mentioned that she appliqués her peels with a ladder stitch, not a Julie’s-no-name-stitch like I do (ok, it probably has a name, I just have no idea what it is). I wanted to mention this to the whole group, just in case you find my way too fiddly or something, you might want to give Karen’s ladder stitch tip a try. Thanks, Karen!

- A few of you mentioned having trouble with the freezer paper not sticking fully at first – don’t be afraid to really give it time to stick. If you find your paper coming loose or not quite stuck all the way, just give it a little more pressing. It should be nice and firmly stuck on there – and if in doubt, you can always test a scrap of paper on a scrap of fabric to get a feel for how long it takes to really stick.

- And one last thing, I just this moment realized that I’d accidentally not categorized a few of the Quilt-Along posts properly, so they weren’t all showing up on the Orange Peel Quilt-Along page (the link in my left sidebar menu over there). If you were looking for something to do with the quiltalong and couldn’t find it, so sorry! It’s all there now, and I want to try and get a proper listing of all related posts up on the right sidebar soon, so that’ll help.

Ok, keep on stitching, folks, and show / tell us how it’s going! Even if you haven’t even started, tell us all about it! :)

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For My Chrissy.

For Chrissy.

I’ve been trying to work up the, well, courage to write this post for many weeks, and I really don’t think I even have it now. Maybe I never fully will. But although this has never been an especially personal blog, it has always been an unofficially shared blog – as half of Little Dorrit & Co., my mentor in everything related to art in every way, and the co-maker of many of the projects shared here, my mother is a huge part of this site. It would seem wrong somehow not to write this post, as difficult as it is.

After a long, unspeakably difficult, and terribly unfair year and a half, my little Mommy passed away at the end of August. I can’t believe it’s been so long now – I feel just as raw now as the day it happened – and I miss her more every day that goes by. So much for things getting easier with time.

For Chrissy.

I’m sorry that I just disappeared for a while, that my sampler project – and the Crazy Quilting posts – simply stopped in their tracks, and that I haven’t posted anything but Orange Peel Quilt-Along updates for ages now. I just can’t seem to muster up the enthusiasm for anything else. If you’re one of my Instagram pals, you’ll already know this happened, and that I’ve been comforting myself with the peels and distracting myself with a Halloween quilt – but really, that’s all I seem to want to do at the moment.

For Chrissy.

I don’t want to simply gush at you about how sad I am that Mom and I will not finish so much of what we had planned together, and how heartbroken I am that I won’t ever see her again (how can that possibly be true?!) – again, this has never really been that kind of blog. But I did want to share with you – as readers who have seen so much of her work and influence on these pages – some of her beautiful artwork, because it deserves to be admired. We had our moments, but I would do anything to continue working with her and her amazing drawings.

For Chrissy.

There are more Little Dorrit & Co. patterns to be released, eventually, when they don’t make me so incredibly sad to think about – and there are more embroideries that we planned, which I will stitch one day soon. Not just yet, but soon. I appreciate all of you Orange Peel-alongers for unknowingly providing me with the perfect comfort project, right when I needed it, and I will return to those projects I abandoned as soon as I feel able. I hope you’ll stick with me and be patient until I’m able to make a proper return here.

One of Mom's paintings, rehung in the bathroom. This one was for my brother, who is named Atticus - the quote is, "Atticus told me to delete the adjectives and I'd have the facts." (from To Kill A Mockingbird)

And in the meantime, I’ll share my favorite photo of my Chrissy and I, which I have framed in my bedroom and was taken just before she got sick – the two of us and the amazing Jane Austen quilt, in a quiet moment.

For Chrissy.

Love you, Mommy.

Orange Peel Quilt-Along: First Progress Check-In

Orange Peel Quilt-Along!

Ok, peeps, time for our first progress check-in! I’m moving along at a steady, though not especially speedy, pace. I was cruising along, but had to take a detour to work on a little gift project. Now I’m back at it as my main project – out of my 144 finished blocks, here’s where I stand:

Orange Peel Quilt-Along

– 11 completed blocks
– 19 pinned for appliqué
– 20 peels basted
– 17 peels ready for basting

I can’t say exactly if I’ve met my 21-peels-per-week quota, my progress isn’t moving in such a linear fashion. It seems to make more sense for me to cut a big stack at once / spend a full evening just basting / settle in for a long stretch of appliqué. But I feel like I’m on track so far – and loving it very much. The hand-stitching is soothing, and although I worried just a touch that, after already completing one orange peel wall quilt, I’d be ready to move on before I managed to finish this one, I can’t get enough. I love matching the backgrounds to the peels in adorable combinations and watching them come together. So, basically, so far so good. This project is exactly what I need right now.

Orange Peel Quilt-Along

So, how are you doing with your peels? Are you enjoying it? Have you run into any problems I or the group can help with? Tell us all about it!

Orange Peel Quilt-Along

Oh, and before I forget – I didn’t start it myself, but a tag for this quilt-along has popped up with us Instagram users anyway! So if you’re an Instagram user and post as you work, tag your photos with #orangepeelqal2014 to share with the group. But don’t forget to share them here when we check-in, even if you’re posting elsewhere!

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