Orange Peel Quilt – Free Pattern

Orange peel quilt

Orange peel quilt

I have made my orange peel quilt using applique – so much quicker than sewing lots of curved seams!  The thing that I love about orange peel quilts is the way circles form in the design.  There’s always something more to see when you look at the quilt.

I have used thirty six blocks which are 7″ square finished size and the final size of the quilt is 48″ square.  The fabric requirement is 1.3/4 yards each of blue and white, 1/4 yard of pink and 1/2 yard of the border fabric.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.

As this is the end of August I am also holding an autumn sale of 15% off everything in the shop – no coupon required – lasting till next Thursday.

Completed blocks

Completed blocks

Cutting requirements for the orange peel quilt

5.1/2″ squares:  eighteen blue, eighteen white

1.1/2″ squares:  thirty six blue, thirty six pink

Strips cut across the width of fabric:  two 5.1/2″ blue strips, two 5.1/2″ white strips, two 1.1/2″ blue strips, two 1.1/2″ pink strips

For the applique you need one 3″ strip of pink and three 3″ strips each of blue and white

For the border you need to cut five 3.1/2″ strips of border fabric across the width of fabric.

You can download the template here.  Please check that your print square is 5″ square – I’m not sure if it is printing to the right size.

Strip piecing

Strip piecing

Make the background blocks

Sew together 5.1/2″ strips of white with 1.1/2″ strips of blue along the length.  Cut these panels at 1.1/2″ intervals to make rectangles 6.1/2″ by 1.1/2″.  Repeat with 5.1/2″ blue and 1.1/2″ pink strips.

Blue background block

Blue background block

Place a 5.1/2″ blue square in the middle with a 5.1/2″ blue rectangle on either side.  Hindsight being a wonderful thing, I could actually have used a 5.1/2″ by 7.1/2″ rectangle instead.  For the top row place a blue/pink rectangle with the pink on the left.  Add a 1.1/2″ blue square on the right.  In the bottom row place a blue/pink rectangle with the pink on the right.  Add a 1.1/2″ blue square on the left.

White block layout

White block layout

Sew the patchwork pieces together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.  This block measures 7.1/2″ square at this stage and you need to make eighteen of them.  Repeat with the white/blue pieces.  You also need to make eighteen of the white blocks.

These blocks form the background for all of the orange peel sections.

Cut the orange peel shapes

Cut the orange peel shapes

Make the orange peel applique shapes

For the applique I used Steam a Seam for the backing of each shape.  It comes in a 12″ width which I cut to 21″ lengths.  I cut the 3″ blue, white and pink strips in half so that I had 3″ by 21″ strips which I could then press to the steam a seam.

You can download the orange peel shape here.  The print should be 5″ square – you may need to adjust it if it’s bigger than that.  Print and copy on to paper or card.  I found that card worked better as I was using the template thirty six times.  Draw and cut out the shape on the fabric.  I managed to get three shapes from each half strip of fabric.  Altogether you need to make four pink, sixteen blue and sixteen white orange peels.

Press the orange peels on to the background squares.  You need to put pink shapes on two blue and two white background blocks.  Then press sixteen blue shapes on the white background blocks and sixteen white shapes on the blue background blocks.  Make sure that the orange peels run from corner to corner along the diagonal between the small pink or blue squares.  I found that some of my orange peels were slightly too long so I just snipped the tips off so that they fitted between the squares.

Rows 1 and 2

Rows 1 and 2

Assemble the orange peel quilt

Sew the blocks together in six rows of six. Rows 5 and 6 are exactly the same as rows 1 and 2.  In rows 1 and 5 alternate the blocks across the row, beginning with a blue block.

For rows 2 and 6 you also need to alternate the blocks, but begin with a white block.  Lay the blocks so that the blue orange peels always run from bottom left to top right while the white orange peels always run from top left to bottom right.

Rows 3 and 4

Rows 3 and 4

In rows 3 and 4 the layout is similar but this time using the pink orange peels.  In row 3 begin with a blue block and alternate across the row but use two of the pink orange peels in the middle.  For row 4 begin with a white block and again place two pink orange peels in the middle.

Sew the blocks together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.  Each set of four orange peels actually makes a traditional block known as True Lover’s Knot.

Quilt border

Quilt border

Add the border

For the border I have chosen a completely different fabric to give a bold frame to the quilt.  I’ve used 3.1/2″ strips and you’ll need two lengths of 42.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 48.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the orange peel quilt top.  It is now ready for layering, quilting and binding.  I haven’t had time to quilt this yet, but my plan is to use the blanket stitch embroidery on my sewing machine and outline each orange peel shape with it.  That way I can secure the applique and quilt all at the same time.

Here’s the video:

Last time I wrote I was just on my way to the Swansea Festival of Stitch.  I had a wonderful weekend in Swansea.  The festival was spread over about nine locations throughout the city, so walking from one place to the next was a great way to see the city as well as all the lovely textile exhibitions.

I don’t want to sound like a grumpy old lady, but I did see a quilt using my Owl and Pussycat design, with nothing to suggest that it was my design.  I provide a huge number of free quilt patterns for quilters around the world and I think that it would be courteous to credit me with the design if it’s used in a public display.

St Tiggywinkles Hospital

St Tiggywinkles Hospital

Now for my travels:  when I went to Bletchley Park I also found a place with the delightful name of St Tiggywinkle’s Hospital.  To read all about it click here or click on the photo.


PS  Don’t forget the autumn sale – 15% off everything till next Thursday.

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  1. thanks Rose for the quilt video

  2. Hi Rose,
    Now isn’t this a pretty quilt. I never knew the pattern was called Orange Peel. Applique quilts were always a favorite with me.
    I found a link that may interest you even though I’m sure that you are familiar with everything that has to do with quilting but as you mentioned, I’m sure she liked the quilt – copied it and decided to put it in her exhibition without regard to the copywrite law.

    • Hi Claire. Good to hear from you. Thanks for the link – it’s a very interesting article. I think I shall try and follow their advice to mark each quilt pattern as my copyright. That’s if I can remember to do it!

  3. Hi Rose – love this pattern ?- maybe get round to doing this one – am busy doing a butterfly with hand stitched hexagons ?. Enjoy your weekend ??

  4. Deborah Bond says:

    Wow love this quilt !!! Could be turned into a baby quilt which as it happens I have to make . You really are amazing how you think these patterns up and share with us . I now have a folder full of your patterns I NEED to make. Thanks again Rose x

    • Thanks, Deborah. You’re right – it would make a great baby quilt and you could always scale down the pattern if you wanted to make it smaller. Glad you’re enjoying the quilt patterns.

  5. Rose, I have missed some of your wonderful patterns over the last few months and am pleased to be receiving them again. Thank you for each pattern as I am slowly sewing ones I feel I am able to do. I, along with many of your followers bless you for the time and energy you put in, and sharing with us all you acheive. Thank you

    • Thanks for your kind comments, Bev. I don’t know why my emails haven’t been getting through to you. My system regularly flags some emails as being ‘undeliverable’ but I have no idea what causes this. Glad they are getting through to you now.

  6. Sandra Barnett says:

    Oh Rose,
    Please know that if I used your pattern and entered it in a show you would surely get the credit. How rude of this lady not to say where she got the pattern. We are all not like her, some of us are very nice and kind.
    I do like this pattern and it is a lot easier than doing curved corners. Must try it. Finished my Fourth of July quilt and even did another of my UFO’s don’t really know the pattern name. It maybe one of yours from long ago.
    At least I am accomplishing getting them done.
    Hope you have a great weekend and finish up your jacket and such for the wedding. It will be here before you can blink. Happy Quilting.

    • Hi Sandra. I know you are nice and kind – along with so many others. I’m sure it was just an oversight that my design wasn’t credited. So glad you’ve finished your Fourth of July quilt – now you can feel smug next July at being so well preprared! Well done for completing another quilt – it’s very satisfying, isn’t it.

  7. Hello Rose,
    I really like this pattern.
    The four patch on the sashing is a nice touch.
    Rose, you don’t sound like a grumpy old lady you are very generous
    with your patterns and tutorials.
    Everyone should play fair and you deserve credit when YOUR
    design is displayed publicly.
    I used to foolishly think that people who are interested in crafts were
    honest people but, I’m afraid, unscrupulous people are everywhere.

    • Thanks, Mary. I also liked the four patch units in the block. To be fair, I don’t suppose the quilter in Swansea was being unscrupulous – I think it probably just never occurred to her to give credit to the designer.

  8. You are not a grumpy old lady. You should get credit where credit is do. Shame on the person that did not acknowledge that it was your pattern they used.

  9. How frustrating that your lovely design was not acknowledged, very rude.

  10. Debra Friendly says:

    Rose – I agree that you should have been given some credit for the design of the quilt. Was there a way to leave a comment to the quilter or the organizers? For this week’s quilt, I really like the way you framed the orange peel.

    • Hi Debra. I didn’t feel that I could comment while I was there – I’m too shy for that. Glad you like the quilt pattern – those four patch units give a nice touch, don’t they.