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October 10, 2014



Perhaps you could sew a scrappy background of four squares together first and then do the appliqué. You might be able to get the appliqué just right that way while still having the scrappy background. Good luck.


Oh, boy! Thanks for sharing your experience. I will refer back to this when I get closer to starting my project.

Mary Kastner

In my humble opinion, I think your blocks look really good. You can't have much more than that quarter inch or they won't meet together in the middle which is what you want to happen. Some people put a button in the center of each block which is another option and they do look pretty darn cute. Love the scrappiness! Have fun with these. they do go fast if they are prepped. After looking at all the Orange peels on Pinterst I was on overload! Just beautiful quilts. Sew on Nicole!


Barbara Anne

Mercy! I'm exhausted just be reading all you tried yesterday!

I was going to suggest you cut your squares a convenient size, do the applique so it's the right distance from one corner, then after finishing the applique, trim the rest of the block to give you those proper seam allowances. Chris's suggestion sounds good, so that might be better.

Makes you wonder how all those folks on Pinterest plowed thru this project - or what they settled with that looks great anyway?!



I agree with Chris. I would sew 4 squares together then appliqué. I feel your pain on all those methods and I agree in the end simple needle turn is the easiest! It will be beautiful when completed and you always do that! Go girl!


Sandy M

I agree with your thoughts on the template. It is definitely "tight". After thinking on it a bit I decided I had to mark my corners at the 1/4" line to avoid sewing too close or too far from it (not that you could really do the later since the piece barely fit).
I took a small ruler and put the edge against the corner of the background and put a small dot at the 1/4" intersection (similar to the process I use on the corner of my quilts when I'm attaching my bindings). That gave me a guide and I was able to align the piece to that dot.
You could also make the background larger as Barbara Anne suggested, but I do anything to avoid trimming if I don't have to. :)

Stephani in N. TX

Thanks Nicole, for going through all the grist on the "peels." Didn't know there was so much to consider so I appreciate your labor and sharing the choices to be made. All those orange peel quilts on pinterest sure look cute.


Sometimes you just have to sleep on things & then you figure them out! Your quilt is going to be great!


Glad you figured it out! Your edges look so crisp with needle turn, are you finger pressing before you stitch or do you just turn it under as you go? Can't wait to see it progress :)

Robin Chapa

Oh dear, you've got my mind spinning. I knew there was an Orange Peel block in my future before your posts (I have a copy of that awesome Playful Petals book--- oh swoon!!!!!) and now I really want to get on it! Might be fun to try needle turn with that shape. The points make me nervous, though. Also, I don't know what you mean by marking a quarter inch from the corner.... for what? The seam when you sew the blocks together or to make the point of the peel shape? Thanks for any clarification you can give!! :)


damn! i never would have thought to sew a 4 patch first and THEN applique pieces down! makes perfect sense. your readers are AWESOME! ;p


What an ordeal...making me tired thinking about an orange peel. :-)
Thanks for sharing your work and progress. Did you dream about orange peels? I probably will now. Ha ha


Hi Nicole, I'm really glad to hear you solved your problem. I do, however, have serious doubts about that formula you shared, 'tip to tip measurement of the orange peel unit should fit perfectly on a square one half inch larger.' In your case the orange peel unit is supposed to fit on a 4" finished square. The diagonal of that 4" square would be the exakt measurement tip to tip of your orange peel. Following old Pythagoras' Theorem this diagonal is √32 (4 squared = 16 plus again 4 sqared = 16). √32 is 5.65685424949 - really difficult to measure in fractions of inches with a ruler. BUT: a 5 1/2" tip to tip orange peel should fit nicely with about 1/8" wiggle room. (Following your formula for a 5 1/2" orange peel you would have to start with a 6" square!?)
Not trying to confuse you but prevent others from following this formula which would result in an unnecessary waste of all that precious fabric.
Now carry on with your good work ;-) - I can hardly wait to see your progress.

Jennifer Gwyn

First - the 'sew the 4 patch first' thing seems so obvious once someone else mentions it! I have done a small orange peel project and I enjoyed the freezer paper/starch method and then I top stitched the peels down by machine. I liked it personally even with the prep time. I followed the pattern by The Crafter Quilter called "Winter Seeds" and posted about it on my blog ... but the points for mine intentionally didn't come together at the center. You seem to like needle-turn, so more power to you! Have fun! Jennifer

Jennifer Gwyn

OMG! I just went back to look at my post and pictures and realized that my orange peels WERE suppose to connect in the center. Now my table topper just looks wrong. So wrong. I guess I'll have to make another and try again. Thanks for your tips - looks like I'll make use of them.


I buy 8x11 shipping labels at staples
run them through the printer - use photocopier to get as many templates on each sheet as possible
cut out the templates
stick a sticker on the coloured fabric
cut around leaving seam allowance
trace a template on the back of your background - I would glue a photocopy to sandpaper and cut it out (won't stretch as much)
put a pin at each end - make sure it lines up with pencil template on the back
pin through seam allowance (not through stickers)
needle turn to the edge of the sticker


I have a suggestion I used on many Dear Jane blocks. They were 4-1/2" finished. I cut a piece of freezer paper 5"x5" and ironed it to the back of a background piece. Then when the colored applique petal is placed on it for needle-turn or other applique method the paper helped the background not scrunch up on me as much and gave me a little something to hold onto. The needle glances off the freezer paper as the stitches are made.

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