Today seems like a great day to announce a fun giveaway with Fat Quarter Shop! In December I received their fabulous Sew Sampler box, and it included a set of Impressions Orange Peel Templates. That was the nudge I needed to begin my first orange peel quilt, and I’d love for one of you to win a set of Impressions Quilting Templates too!
To backtrack just a bit, I want to add a disclaimer. I am not a hand applique expert . . . by any means! But I do love hand binding, and I have been longing to do more hand sewing, more "slowdown sewing." In fact, I blogged about that just last week. So I took a little leap of faith, relied on some techniques I know, and I’m winging it as I go. It feels really good! I’ll share some of my thoughts with you in case you feel like throwing caution to the wind!
First I pulled some favorite cream-background prints from my Fig Tree stash. They looked really pretty with the Moda Cross Weave (in sand) that I had on hand. Fabric selection: check! Then I chose the 4” template because, to my eye, it looked like the right size for the prints. (Again, winging it and loving it. Go with your instincts, people!)
Next I pondered whether I would do fusible applique (which I’ve done before), needle turn applique (which sounded scary), or sew-in interfacing applique (which I’ve done once before and enjoyed). Since this project was intended to be slowdown sewing, I opted for the last option and traced about 8 orange peel shapes onto the interfacing just to get started.
Call me silly, but it’s fun to see the cherries through the traced shape! Time to begin sewing.
I shortened up my stitch length and used my walking foot to sew on the traced line. I love my walking foot, but it does block the view of where the needle hits the line. I checked my stitches. They looked good.
Still, I wondered if I should use my open toe foot (#20 on my Bernina) so that I could see the line better. I tried that, and my stitches looked fine that way too. However, I didn’t enjoy stopping and pivoting around the curve. So in the end I opted for my walking foot. I’m the most comfortable with that, and I could ease around the shape without any stopping and pivoting.
After I had sewn interfacing to four different prints, I trimmed to within 1/4" of the traced shape. I then cut an opening in the interfacing, turned the orange peel right side out, pushed out the corners as best I could, and pressed.
Typically a 4” orange peel would call for a 4 1/2” background square. I cut my Moda Cross Weave squares to 5” because that woven fabric tends to fray a bit when you are handling it. I will trim them up to 4 1/2” later when the hand sewing is all done. (Here's a picture of my sweet little needle book I made for this project. You can read about that here if you'd like: Simple Zipper Bag: Preparing for some "slowdown sewing".
I selected Aurifil 80 wt applique thread number 2026 (chalk). This thread is silky smooth to the touch, but it is also strong. I love how my stitches disappear into the fabric. And, I must say, I’m a little smitten with the wooden spool.
I only have four orange peels done, and my type A personality is totally fine with that. No deadline. No pressure. Although . . . I can’t stop thinking about how I’d like an orange peel mini quilt hanging in a bare spot in my dining room . . . by summer would be nice.
Would you like to win an Impressions Orange Peel Quilting Template set from Fat Quarter Shop? Then simply leave a comment below with your email address. Comments are open through 5:00pm (CST) on Thursday, February 16, 2017, at which time a random drawing will take place. We are also giving away a set on Instagram, so visit me at @taunjalynn for a second chance to win. This giveaway is also open to international customers. Thank you so much for your generosity FatQuarter Shop!
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