Piecing Orange Peel Blocks – a photo tutorial

Last Friday I took the short walk to our local Hobbycraft. There were several reasons – I needed some fresh air; I needed to stretch my legs; my Craft Group needed supplies; I was on the look out for a quilt magazine; and, hep-hem, I didn’t half fancy a bar of chocolate for lunch 😀 It was a beautiful day, I felt a lot better for the walk, I made some purchases for Craft Group and treated myself to a copy of Today’s Quilter and a bar of Cadbury’s finest 🙂

The free gift on the front of the magazine caught my eye: a set of templates designed for making Orange Peel blocks.

Today's Quilter Orange Peel templates

Of course, I had to have a go … And I was pleased with this first attempt at piecing an Orange Peel block – no wrinkles in the seams and smooth looking curves 🙂 There is a page in the magazine giving a few instructions, hints and tips as to how to use the templates. Yesterday I took the templates, my background fabric and some fabrics from my stash to the monthly sewing day at Brown Candover. Several happy hours were spent creating Orange Peel blocks in the gentle company of friends.

If you are curious about curved piecing here is a little photo tutorial of how I made the Orange Peel blocks along with some of the handy tips I picked up along the way.

Cutting convex shapes by Allison Reid
The magazine instructions suggested cutting the straight borders of the concave pieces wider than the template. I added a quarter inch beyond the edge of the template and found this extra fabric helpful when I trimmed the finished block to size.
Orange Peel pieces cut by Allison Reid
Fabrics cut ready for piecing – I used a 28mm rotary cutter to cut around the curves (easier and more accurate than using a larger blade).
Pinning concave to convex by Allison Reid
Find and pin the centre point of a concave piece to the centre of the convex piece
Orange Peel pinning by Allison Reid
I went for the ‘lots of pins’ approach!
Placing concave and convex fabrics by Allison Reid
I found it best to allow a little piece of the concave (background) fabric to hang beyond the convex fabric – this ensures there will be adequate seam allowance at the points of the Orange Peel block.
Second concave piece pinned in place
Pinning the second concave piece after pressing the first seam towards the background fabric. Note the background fabric extending beyond the convex fabric.
Trimming the Orange Peel block by Allison Reid
I used a 6 1/2″ ruler to trim the block to size. I placed the diagonal line of the ruler through the centre of the orange peel and made sure there was at least a 1/4″ seam allowance at the points.
Orange Peel blocks by Allison Reid
Completed Orange Peel blocks

I am very happy with these blocks. I expect you can see how I’m thinking to use them? Autumn leaves fluttering against a clear blue sky? I don’t have to look too far for inspiration at the moment 😀

I think these 6″ Orange Peel blocks are an ideal way to ease into curved piecing. The curves are fairly shallow making them straightforward to cut, pin and stitch – definitely easier than Drunkards Path blocks. If you have any questions about this tutorial please do drop them into the comments box. I’ll do my best to provide answers or point you in the direction of other tutorials 🙂

Linking with Myra for Finished or Not Friday. This week Myra is featuring a super quick, charm pack baby quilt.


7 thoughts on “Piecing Orange Peel Blocks – a photo tutorial

    • Thank you for visiting my blog. I’m looking out of my window at Autumn leaves against a clear blue sky – I need to put this little quilt together while the inspiration is close at hand!


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