Saturday, 9 March 2013

Not orange peel

Well, I had in mind to make a beautiful "orange peel" quilt like AmandaJean at Crazy Mom Quilts - as soon as I saw her pictures I thought this quilt was fabulous. But I thought all the applique would take ages, so started thinking about how I could piece it by machine.  Back in September (?) I got out all my favourite fabrics and sorted them into strong colours (for petals) and soft colours (for backgrounds)...


I'd never sewn curved pieces together, but how hard could that be? I drafted some templates and started cutting up lots of lovely fabric! A few goes later and I had templates and a technique that worked, so I set to work making petal blocks - here they are! (apologies the following photos aren't very good quality, blame it on the grey sky we have here today)



Then: trouble. I sewed two together; they looked lovely. Another two, ditto. Then I tried putting the two together into a square. It looked good, but now I realise why everybody else who's ever made an orange peel quilt has appliqued the petals, not pieced them.  The seam allowances are the issue, where they all cross in the middle I got the biggest stack of fabric you can imagine. It was difficult to sew and it wasn't going to work.  So don't try it at home! Go for applique, or read on!

What was I going to do? If I couldn't sew these blocks into a quilt top I'd either have to abandon them, go down the applique route, or come up with another plan.
I came up with a plan!  Which was to use the blocks, but in a different layout, so that all those bulky seams were a bit more spread out.  By putting two together as a pair of leaves and stacking these into columns I think I've solved my (self-imposed) problem.  More when I have a bit more put together!


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