Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Orange Peel Table Runner

I never thought I would enjoy hand appliquéing orange peels! After appliquéing 144 orange peels for the Orange Peel Quilt Along with Julie of Button Button, amazingly enough, I didn’t want to stop. However, not being completely crazy, this time I wanted a smaller project. I searched the internet and found the Orange Peel Table Runner pattern by Sharon Holland and presented by the Canadian Quilter magazine.

Orange Peel Table Runner
Orange Peel Table Runner
The pattern called for piecing the orange peels but I really wanted to keep hand appliquéing, so that’s how I made it.

Orange peel blocks with quilted flowers
Orange peel blocks with quilted flowers
I wanted to make a runner for my friend Heidi. We have been pen pals since I was in grade 7. We met on the Polar Bear Express, the train that goes from Cochrane to Moosonee and back. She was with her family visiting Northern Ontario from Pennsylvania and I was with my girlfriend Lyne and the rest of my class. Heidi asked Lyne and me what language we were speaking because we were using the Northern Ontario version of bilingual – a few sentences in French followed by a few in English. The switch is usually happens when we’re struggling for a word, or if we’re talking about something we would experience in one particular language.


Heidi and I have been writing once or twice a year for over 40 years! With the advent of email and Facebook, we’ve re-connected a little more often. When I heard that she had redone her dining room, it was the perfect opportunity to make her a quilt.

Orange peel appliquéd on half-square triangle block
Orange peel appliquéd on half-square triangle block
The orange peel block in this project was a lot like the previous project except for two important differences.

  • Instead of placing the appliqués on only one background fabric, this one is done with two colours.
  • Each block is made of two half-square triangles. Some are made of fabrics of the same colour while others have the beige or white that form the middle of the runner.

I was nervous about leaving the hand-sewn appliqués without extra machine stitching. I want the orange peels to stand up to regular washing! I ended up FMQ on the inside of each orange peel and then adding a small flower in the middle of the yellow circles. For contrast, I didn’t quilt inside the beige blocks.
The back of the runner
The back of the runner

I was lucky to find a beautiful batik for the back. With the quilting details, it makes the runner reversible!


What I learned:
  • I forgot when I started making the appliqué blocks that Julie had gotten us to make the blocks larger than required so that we could trim them to the correct size. I really wish I had remembered this! As you can see from the picture, the orange peels are not even, especially at the edges of the runner.
  • A bonus for making this runner was trying out some quilting strategies for my larger project from the Quilt-along. Quilting ¼ inch inside the edges of the orange peels was not a great idea. It was very difficult to get nice edges. I’m not sure what the answer is, except to possibly use an all-over pattern that will go through the orange peels. 
  • I really like making scrappy projects where I can cut pieces from a variety of fabrics as I go. I realize that these are the projects that I don’t mind piecing (as opposed to having to cut up fabric all at once, from very few fabrics, which is what I’m doing now…but more about this in a later post).
Update on the Orange Peel Quilt-Along Project 

When I started this post, I didn’t realise that I hadn’t posted an update on the Orange Peel Quilt-Along Project since last December. Here’s are my blocks.  I think that I’ve assembled the quilt, but it’s been so long that I’m not sure! I know that they are stored in a safe place, with the rest of the project fabric (in case I want to use it for binding), and I even know where they are – but I’m not going to dig them out until I’m ready to quilt it.
Orange Peel Quilt-Along Project
Orange Peel Quilt-Along Project
Here is Julie’s post of all of the participant’s quilts. You can also check out all of Julie’s Orange Peel Quilt-Along Posts.

8 comments:

  1. Lots of fun, I like the colors on your bigger quilt. Maybe in the ditch quilting around the peels would help the table runner. If I do 1/4" outline, it has to have in the ditch too, to make it stand out.

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  2. I'd love it if you'd pretty please share what you learned at my linky party: http://quiltingmod.blogspot.com/2016/02/lessons-learned-linky-2.html. Have a great day! I love your Tula fabrics for your OPQAL. You're smarter than me; I forget to keep my project fabrics together after the top is done, and then have a horrible time finding them for the binding.

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    1. Hi Afton, Thanks for your invitation - I'm now linked. What a great concept. And no, I'm not smarter than you - it took me years to remember to keep all of my fabrics together until the project was done. I find that since I include Lessons learned in my blog, that I eventually will remember them!

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  3. You've got me loving the idea of appliqueing an orange peel quilt. Lovely!

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    1. Hi Jennifer, maybe I'll see in one of your future blogs.

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  4. Hello Andree,
    The table runner is perfect, the colours will go with any type of wood, and the free motion quilting motif really adds interest to the back to make it reversible. It is a lovely present for Heidi.
    Canadian Franglais, eh? Quelle alouette. I could do that far easier than 144 hand stitched orange peels. You are a total étoile.
    Thank you for linking up with Free Motion Mavericks!
    Love, Muv

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    1. Thanks Muv. Yup, Canadian Franglais! It used to drive our teachers nuts!....and 144 hand stitched orange peels didn't sound like that many, but it's definitely a lot! Since I wasn't planning the project well, I had to keep buying fabric from all over Etsy!

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