This easy orange peel quilt block is perfect for using up scrap fabric, leftover charm pack squares and even crumb blocks that you don’t know what to do with.
This orange peel block tutorial is part of a two-part series. In the next post I’ll be showing you how I join all these quilt blocks using an easy quilt-as-you-go method. I’ll link to that post here when it’s live.
The Orange Peel is a classic block but we are putting a little twist on it by adding a second orange peel and layering it up. I’m calling it a ‘double orange peel quilt block’!
Table of Contents
Double Orange Peel Quilt Block – Supply List
- 6.5″ background fabric squares (you need 4 for a full block)
- 4.5″ Orange Peel Template or Fabric Cutting Die. (I used the Accuquilt Orange Peel Die but I’ve listed some other options below if you don’t have an accuquilt cutter).
- Crumb blocks, charm pack squares and/or fabric scraps big enough to cover your orange peel template. (You’ll need 8 orange peel shapes per full block).
Cutting Your Orange Peel Shapes
There are plenty of options for cutting orange peel shapes for your blocks.
I used a 4.5″ Accuquilt Fabric Cutting Die because I love my GO Cutter and I cut as much as I can on it, but if you have an orange peel template already (even if it is a slightly different size!) just use that.
Below are some places where you can get a template or cutting die for this shape if you don’t already have one.
- 4.5″ Accuquilt Orange Peel Die (The one I used)
- An Acrylic Templates
- Freezer Paper Templates
- A free paper template from a quilt magazine if you have one
- Make your own cardboard templates if you can draw the shape yourself
If you are using the Accuquilt die like I did then the key thing to make sure of when cutting is that your fabric fully covers the dark grey section of the orange peel shape on the die.
For a charm pack square you need to place the orange peel tips at opposite corners of your charm pack square.
And don’t throw away the offcuts! You can use the leftovers to make small half-square triangles or use the outline shape for another project.
I used one color crumb blocks for half of my orange peel shapes and charm pack squares or scraps for the the rest so that each quarter block had one crumb ‘petal’ shape and one of another fabric.
I tried to be more random in my color choices for this quilt but inevitably I was led by the colors in my crumb blocks and I seem to have ended up with mostly pastels with some brighter pops of pinks and oranges.
For each quilt block you will make 4 quarter blocks that have 2 orange peel petals each so you need 8 in total for a full block.
I can’t stop calling these shapes petals even though they are called orange peels!
For each full block you will need (4) 6.5″ background squares of fabric. I used old denim jeans for mine, but you can absolutely use quilting cotton if you prefer.
I am a sucker for a denim quilt and I’ve made quite a number at this point.
I don’t interface my denim and I use all sorts from stretch to non-stretch. I do tend to quilt my denim quilts quilt as you go though as I feel it gives me more stability.
Here is another example of a quilt as you go denim quilt that I made previously (although using a different method to what I am going to use for this quilt – both ways work great!).
When I quilt denim quilts on the long arm that is where I tend to run into issues with stretching!
Raw Edge Applique Orange Peel
There are many different ways to sew an orange peel quilt block including sewing curves the traditional way, using fusible interfacing, or hand applique. We are going to use a different method – simple raw edge applique.
To make a quarter block you simply place two petal pieces on top of your background piece one on top of the other (all right sides up) with the bottom points of each petal shape meeting and the top points further apart (see photos and video tutorial).
I placed my petal shapes as close to one corner of my block as I could while still keeping at least a quarter inch between the petals and the edge of the block so that I still have my seam allowance for joining the quarter blocks together.
You can pin your orange peel shapes in place if it helps you.
See the image below for the stitch path I followed when stitching my orange peel shapes to my background fabric. You should be able to stitch both petals down without cutting your thread.
In the image below my presser foot is the starting point.
I used a straight stitch approximately 1/8″ from the edge of the petal fabric. My stitch length was set at 3.
I use a straight stitch because it is fast and I like the look of it but other common options for machine applique are a zig-zag stitch or a blanket stitch. Which one you use is really just down to personal preference.
If you use a straight stitch you will get fraying over time on your raw edges. I like that look but if you don’t a zig-zag stitch or another stitch that gives more coverage of the raw edges might be better for you.
I decided to match my thread color to one of the two orange peel shapes each time, which meant I was changing my thread color a lot. This is totally optional – it was just the mood I was in at the time!
Repeat steps above to make 4 quarter blocks for each block required.
Joining your Orange Peel Quilt Block
To finish the quilt block lay 4 quarter blocks out with the corners of the blocks that have the intersecting petals facing to the middle (see photo).
Sew as you would a 4 patch quilt block.
Sew the top two quarters with a quarter-inch seam allowance followed by the bottom two quarters.
Because I was using denim I pressed my seams open but it is perfectly fine to nest your seams as well.
Sew the top half of your block to the bottom half of your block making sure to line up your middle seams.
Finished Double Orange Peel Quilt Block
I love how these quilt blocks have turned out and I have been making loads of them. Next time I will show you the easy quilt-as-you-go method I am using to put them all together.
- Use your template or cutting die in one corner of your crumb block or piece of fabric and use the leftovers to piece new crumb blocks that you can cut more orange peel shapes out of.
- Have fun using up ends of reels of thread by changing up your thread color to match your orange peels.
- If you have a different size template to the one I used just size your background square up or down to suit (having the background square roughly 2″ bigger than the petal size is a good rule of thumb).
Printable Cheat Sheet – Double Orange Peel Quilt Block
- 6.5" Background Squares (4)
- 4.5" Orange Peel Shapes (8)
- Sewing Machine
- Accuquilt 4.5" Orange Peel Die (Or another orange peel template)
- Cut (4) 6.5" background squares of fabric per block (I used old jeans but quilting cotton is fine).
- Cut (8) 4.5" Orange Peel shapes using your preferred method (try a mix of crumb blocks, charm squares and scraps!).
- Place 2 petals on each quarter block overlapping at one end. Align the petals so they are a quarter inch away from one corner of the block (see photos in full blog post).
- Using a straight stitch applique the orange peel petals in place approximately 1/8" from the edge all the way around. (See photos or video tutorial if you are unsure).
- Join 4 quarter blocks in a 4-patch with overlapping petals faced to the center. Iron seams open.
Looking for more projects that use the AccuQuilt System? Check out my Everything AccuQuilt Page which has links to all the quilts and other projects where I have used accuquilt dies and cutters.
More Posts you might like:
- Fun Denim Quilt Blocks (Use your binding scraps for these QAYG Blocks!)
- 19+ Free Quilt Block Patterns for your Scrap Fabric!
- How to Make a Quilt-As-You-Go Denim Quilt (also uses quilting scraps!)
- Quick Denim Quilt (Improv Quilt with Instructions)
- 7 Quilt as You Go Methods (No Hand-sewing!)
- The Easiest Quilt-as-You-Go Method Ever!