My wonderful mother, Sharon, taught me this pattern. It’s a quilt-as-you-go type technique that makes an orange-peel pattern. The resulting quilt will have a tactile, three dimensional feeling and scalloped edges.
Keep reading for full instructions on how to make this quilt.
For this quilt, I’ll call “front” fabrics the ones that show up in the middle of the orange peel pattern. I’ll call “backing” fabrics the ones that show up when you fold over the curved edges, making the orange peel. In my quilt the front fabrics are purples and reds. The backing fabrics are black.
I call the circles pancakes.
Step 1: Make a stencil of a circle (Stencil 1), and make another of the circle cut in half (Stencil 2). This circle stencil does not include a seam-allowance, it will be the size of your finished circle. Use Stencil 2 to draw a perfect X onto Stencil 1. Connect the points of the X to create a square onto Stencil 1. This square is the size of the pieces of batting you will need for each pancake.
Step 2: Trace your circle, using Stencil 1, onto the back-side of your desired front fabrics. This is the line you are going to sew to make your circles. Hack out your fabric with no worries for cutting precisely, but allowing yourself at least a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Hack out the pieces for your backing fabrics allowing enough room for the circle and a 1/4 inch seam allowance to fit. (You don’t even have to trace the circle for your backing fabrics).
Step 3: Place the wrong sides together of your front and backing fabrics. Sew the pieces together following the line you traced on the front fabric. Sew the circle completely, you do not need to allow room to flip inside-out (explained in Step 5).
Step 4: Cut out the circle extremely close to the sewn line. This is done instead of clipping the curves so that the pancake will lie flat when you flip it right-side out.
Step 5: Pinch the front fabric, separating it from the back fabric. Ensuring that you are only going to cut the front fabric, snip a good size slip near-ish to the circle line. (Look back at the image of Stencil 1 to see where your slit needs to go).
This slit will allow you room to turn the pancake right-side out. It will also allow you room to jam a little square of batting inside the pancake (explained in Step 7).
Step 6: Turn the pancake right-side out through the slit and iron flat.
Step 7: Slide a square of batting inside the pancake through the slit. Use a pencil or something to ensure the batting is laying flat. Make sure that your slit is not being covered up by the batting.
Step 8: Using Stencil 2 or just using your fingers to feel for the corners of the batting square, sew an X through the circle. This is the quilting! Make sure that the ends of the X are aligned with the corners of the batting square.
Do this for all of your pancakes.
Step 9: Stack two pancakes on top of each other, backsides together. Line up the X’s on each pancake. Make sure you are being smart about where your slit is. You want it to be on a curve that gets folded over – not one that is being left as a border to the quilt. Sew the two pancakes together from one point of an X to a neighboring point.
Step 10: Open up the pancakes and iron flat the folded over curved edges. You can applique that edge down now, or later.
Step 11: When I made my quilt I liked to make pairs of 2 pancakes, and then join 2 pancakes to 2 other pancakes to make a 2 x 2 block of 4. Then you join a 2 x 2 block to another 2 x 2 block or however you like. I just made a small table topper, so I joined a 2 x 2 block to a 2 x 1 block resulting in a 2 x 3 block. Then I joined that to another 2 x 3 block and so on and so on.
I hope this was easy to understand and that you feel inspired! Post pictures, blog links, whatever! I’d love to see your work. Thank you!
** Do you have a lot of fabric scraps that are just a little too small for your circle pattern? I’ve made another little tutorial about how to make them work for this quilt.