You might not have been around when I first posted about this special project, so I should probably tell the story of how it was made.
Two hand-sewing enthusiast friends and I (Karen and Christa) decided to have a mini-quilting-bee together and make mini-quilts together. We each planned out a mini-quilt for ourselves, divided the work into three parts, and made little kits with fabric and thread and whatever else was needed.
We each of us made a third of each other’s mini-quilts, and now we each have a small piece of loveliness that we made together! (Thank you so much, guys!!!)
So each of us hand-stitched a third of these peels, then I assembled them and hand-quilted around each peel. My Instagram peeps helped me decide not to do any more quilting and to let it be simple this way, and they were definitely right. I was worried that the pink thread I’d used (Aurifil 12wt, in case you’re wondering) didn’t do a good enough job tying all the pinks together like I’d wanted, but the binding does it beautifully.
The binding fabric is my favorite fabric in the entire history of the universe. It’s a print from the V&A’s Quilts 1700 – 2010 exhibition – they produced a small line of fabrics reproduced exactly from quilts on display. This print is taken from a patchwork coverlet dated 1797 and it really is the most beautiful fabric I’ve ever seen. I’ve hoarded a small stash of it but I’m still afraid to use it for fear of running out. This is the first time I’ve been able to cut into it – it seemed fitting for such a special project!
I will still embroider a tag for it, and I’ll have to add a sleeve so I can get it up on my wall. But I’ll call it an FO anyway, so that anyone joining in the Orange Peel Quilt-Along can see it all finished!
Guys! I’m so ridiculously pleased that we have a little Orange Peel-Along group! That’s so damn awesome!
I think there’s about ten of us in total, so far, and nearly every one of us (myself included) said that a Quilt-Along with a fast pace or strict deadlines would not work for them. I feel ya, guys, that’s why I don’t join in with more project-alongs! I always want to, but I know I won’t be able to keep up with so many other things I’m working on.
But you know how I love slow crafts. I try to always have one project in the works that doesn’t need to get anywhere in a hurry. Which orange peels are absolutely perfect for.
The natural way to go is for us to start talking about fabric choices and requirements right away, so we can all think about materials, then follow with tutorials for each step. There will be a few of those, then we’ll just be stitching away on our peels for a goodly while – but I’ll continue to post progress and ask you all to share yours at regular intervals!
I hope you don’t think my schedule looks rushed. I tried to strike a balance between a relaxed approach and steady progress. And I based my scheduling on each task rather than a strict once-a-whatever format. I felt some should be closer together for continuity (where they’re essentially two halves of one tutorial) and some steps need more time to complete. Also, these are not steps that have to be completed in their entirety before moving on like with other sewing projects – you’ll probably prep some, stitch some, prep more, etc.
So here’s our Orange Peel Quilt-Along schedule:
August 20: Materials List and Fabric Choices September 3: Cutting Background Fabric September 16: How to Make Orange Peels September 19: How to Applique Peels September 26 – November 5: Progress Posts + Link-Ups
(about every 10 days-ish) November 22: Final Progress Post + Link-Up November 24: Layout + Prepping Blocks November 28: Assembling The Top
I’m going to leave it there for now, because I think we’ll have to decide along the way how to progress after that. I’m conscious that we’ll be creeping close the holidays from there on, and we might just want to just take a break until after the New Year. Or perhaps we’ll want these finished quilts to be gifts, in which case we’ll want to get on with it! So let’s decide how we want to continue from that point closer to the time, does that sound ok to you guys?
One thing I want to stress about our schedule: there is no keeping up. I don’t want anyone to feel like they are ‘behind’ if real-life-stuff means you can’t stitch your allotted number of peels on time, or like you can’t join if you’re not ready to start this exact second. We’re not going to be that kind of Quilt-Along, right?! Whether you’re ‘on track’ or not, I really hope you’ll check in and share your progress (or lack of, that’s fine too, you know we’ll all be able to relate!) – it’s not a race!
I’ll put a link-up widget at the bottom of each post so that you can add a link to your blog / Flickr photo / whatever to show your progress. (I considered a social media tag for those of us on Twitter or IG, but I don’t want anyone who doesn’t use those apps to be left out.)
I’ve also made this button for you to stick on your blogs, if you like! (Just right-click, save as, and then add to your blog sidebar or in your related posts like any image. If you add it to your blog sidebar, you can link it to button-button.co.uk, or this post with the schedule, or use this one to link up to all related posts.)
One last thing, I wonder if everyone planning on joining would leave a comment below to say hi to the group, and leave a link to your blog / flickr / whatever-you-like in the comments? It’d be nice to ‘meet’ each other, dontcha think?
I so excited for us to get started! Meet back here on the 20th and we’ll start talking fabrics!
My Orange Peel Mini-Quilt, co-made by my stitchy friends in our little miniature quilting bee. I did share the finished applique, but I forgot to keep you posted after that. Whoopsy!
Here’s my the state of my mini now (hand-quilting in progress):
I love it so much. And I loved making it so much. I was almost disappointed that the ‘peels’ were so easy and quick to make. I enjoyed the process so much that I wanted it to go on for ages, but it only took an evening or two to stitch my portion. I just wasn’t ready to be done with them!
So, I’m going to be making a new, larger Orange Peel Quilt (larger quilt, that is, same peels, ’cause they’re such a nice size) and I’m definitely going to put together a tutorial for it, coming very, very soon.
But I’d really love it to be a sew-along! I don’t know at all if there would be any interest, but I’d love it to be a longer-term, step-by-step sort of thing, where were can all play together and share our progress, etc. I’ve been wanting to be more involved with you all, not just hiding here behind my screen playing show-and-tell, and would love a project we could all do together!
Just so you’re informed: the way I do orange peels is all hand-stitched applique, and it is absolutely fool-proof! A great introduction without having to feel intimidated. I was thinking I’d make a fairly decent-sized lap quilt, but also offer dimensions and approximate fabric requirements for a mini in the size shown here. This is a great project for scraps and perfect for doing a few every night while you catch a quiet moment in front of the tv!
I won’t get my hopes up yet, but if you were interested, how would you like it to run? Step by step over many weeks? Making use of a link-up widget? Would you want it to start right away or give you some time to finish up other projects first?