QAYGFMQAL – Block 5 and 6 – Orange Peel variations

LauraFMQAL23 Comments

qaygbutton It’s time for the next two blocks! These blocks are variations on the Orange Peel design. It’s such a useful and variable design, I thought I’d show you the basic technique, some variations, and then let you go for your life!

The orange peel pattern is one I admired in a number of Judi Madsen’s (aka Green Fairy) quilts. (BTW, yesterday was Judi’s day on the Quick Curve Ruler bloghop so to see all kinds of awesome combined, check it out). There is also a really simple diagram in Judi’s book, Wide Open Spaces which I will be reviewing in a later post. (If you want to get it before then, Judi beats competitor’s prices and it’s free shipping in the US. If you’re outside the US and shipping is a factor, check The Book Depository.)


There is a bit of preparation for this block, so put your walking foot back on and sew yourself a quarter inch line inside the coloured block. If you are using the standard block, this should give you a 3″ space.

Mark the centre point on each of the lines you have just drawn and then make a mark 3″ out on either side to give you the guidelines to sew a grid like this.

You can also do a smaller grid if you want – it’s actually easier to ‘orange peel’ in a smaller space. It is a bit easier to keep the spacing consistent in a smaller space so it is a bit more forgiving.



Once you’ve got your grid marked and sewn, here’s how you ‘peel’!

I drew it to demonstrate at our guild meeting. Drawing through a sewing machine is an interesting way of doing things. I’m a Scorpio. That’s how we roll. Drawing designs is great for muscle memory, so if you’re feeling unsure after watching the video, try it out on some paper.

And here’s one of my efforts. You can see I’ve not been too even or neat on the S curves – I’m definitely not used to my old machine any more! You can also see the dogwood variation on the white, which is the same thing minus the lines. I tend to think it’s easier with the lines, but you can always draw them in rather than sew them and remove them later.


One of our QAL’ers did this lovely version at the meeting. This is the back of hers – the front is green, so the contrast doesn’t show up She wasn’t feeling brave enough to use a high contrast thread, but she really could have!


So there you have it. Blocks 5 and 6 – go for your life with orange peel variations. You can do:

  • large / small orange peel
  • single / multiple layers of peel
  • with or without internal lines
  • patterns within the centre of the oranges, or around the border.

It’s up to you!

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