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?
I don’t know about you guys, but I’m often unsure what to do with embroideries once they’re finished! I love making them into useful or decorative items, which is why we try to share ideas for turning your Little Dorrit & Co. embroideries into finished objects. If you’ve grabbed yourself our new Little Elves embroidery pattern, here’s how to turn it into an easy holiday wall hanging. After all, there’s a lot of embroidery in there – it should be a feature!
THE LITTLE ELVES WALL HANGING TUTORIAL
Finished size: 19″ square
1/4″ seams throughout
Press seams outward (away from embroidery)
Fat quarter for border around embroidery (we used an unbranded red pindot print)
Fat quarter for backing (we used Kona Mint)
Fat quarter for binding (we used a print from Denyse Schmidt’s Florence)
A piece of batting, about 20″ square
Standard (machine) sewing tools: thread, scissors, rotary cutter, etc.
Thread for hand-stitched quilting (optional – we used DMC Perle No. 8, color 321)
Curved basting pins (optional)
Wooden dowel for hanging, about 17-18″ long
(Before we start, I want to point out that my tutorial for our Night Before Christmas pillow is basically interchangeable with this one up to a point, but for slightly different measurements. They even have the same finished size – so you can always make the Little Elves into a pillow, or the Night Before Christmas into a wall hanging! Use the fabric cutting measurements for the embroidery you’ve done, but follow the instructions for whichever finished object you prefer!)
Here’s what to cut:
Trim finished embroidery to 14″ square, with design centered
From your border fabric: 2 strips 14″ x 3″ and 2 strips 19″ x 3″
2 pieces 3″ x 5″ (for hanging tabs – from scraps or leftover from trimming border pieces!)
about 80″-85″ worth of binding strips, 2.25″ wide (if you cut from the shorter end of your FQ, cut 3 strips)
All we need to do to make the top of this mini-quilt is sew the border strips to the embroidery. Sew the shorter strips to the top and bottom, press the seams away from the embroidery, then do the same with the longer strips on each side:
Done! Now make a quilt sandwich with your backing fabric (right side down), then batting, then the mini-quilt top you just finished (right side up). Make sure everything is nice and smooth and secure layers with curved basting pins or whatever basting method you prefer.
You might prefer to do a little machine quilting, but I stitched ours by hand. I used DMC Perle Cotton No. 8, in color 321 – a cheerful, Christmassy red.
I simply went around either side of the border’s seam in a fairly large running running stitch. Yum – I do enjoy large stitches.
Trim away excess backing and batting to square up your finished sandwich.
Now we’ll make a pair of hanging tabs for the back of the quilt. (Please forgive that ours is shown hung with washi tape above! There’s no well-lit good-hanging spot in this crazy house!) Take your 3″ x 5″ pieces and fold them with 3″ sides together, wrong sides together. Sew along the 3″ side:
Then turn right-side-out and press with the seam in the middle of one side. Fold again, raw edges together (and seam sandwiched in the middle) and press.
Pin each tab, raw edges aligned with the top edge of the quilt, about 3″ from each side:
Baste in place (less than 1/4″ from edge, so the basting stitches will be hidden by your binding). Now time for binding!
To hang your quilt, hand-stitch the folded edge of each tab down the same as you did your binding, then slide your dowel inside the tabs. Rest the dowel on a couple of nails or hooks and that’s it! Enjoy your Little Elves wall hanging through the holiday season!
(Did this tutorial make you want to get your Christmas stitch on? Save 20% on Little Dorrit & Co. embroidery patterns through July with the code CHRISTMASINJULY.)
Such a wonderful, comforting project, sadly finished. I mean, I’m happy to be able to hang it somewhere and move on to something new, but this was one of those rare projects that don’t come around that often.
I loved everything about this little quilt, from picking out the fabrics on a lovely day out with a friend, for no reason other than their charm, to picking the traditional Snow Crystals block for them, through the paper piecing phase and the quilting. Every bit was a joy.
I sewed this entire thing by hand — well, nearly anyway. I sewed the binding onto the front by machine – I’d probably have done it by hand for the sake of completism, but I just did it automatically. I notice now that my corners are over the place; I suppose I could block it and see if that helps? I’m not sure exactly what’s up with that whole quilt-blocking thing. And my only real complaint is that I used a red Pilot Frixion pen to mark the quilting lines and no matter how hard I ironed, it’s still a teensy bit visible. Not enough to get upset about, but I won’t use a red one again. I don’t think I have the same problem with black or blue.
This project meant a lot to me, so it couldn’t be named for just any old song (I always name things for songs, that’s just how I roll). I chose Elvis Perkins’ “Send My Fond Regards to Lonelyville”, which is just so, so beautiful. Perkins is a very special artist, totally, massively underrated, and never ever fails to make my heart swell. He’s an amazing songwriter, has one of the most captivating voices I’ve ever heard, and he makes the kind of music that makes me feel like it’s hard to breathe. In a good way. So, so beautiful.
Anyway, so there we have it: a tiny quilt that helped keep me comforted through a rough time, named for one of the prettiest things I know, ready to live on my wall and just be quietly lovely.
This week I’m working on adding borders to my Snow Crystals mini-quilt – I tested out those zig-zags in all different layouts and they worked best as a simple stripe around the block. Paper piecing those long strips and getting the stripes straight is a pain in my ass, I’m glad there’s only four of them to make!
And a wee square of polka dots in the corners, eep!