Sunday, June 24, 2018

Mississippi Orange Peel, Part 1

Karen K Stone's Indian Orange Peel
Karen K Stone visited Hattiesburg in November 2016 and presented a program for our Pine Belt Quilters guild and then taught a class on the traditional Orange Peel block, showing her beautiful quilt she calls Indian Orange Peel. Karen's pattern included printed paper foundations, which I then copied onto an interfacing (which can be left in) called Do Sew. This eliminates that tedious step of tearing all that paper foundation out after the blocks are sewn.

Picking and grouping the fabrics for these blocks was a fascinating and fun project, and once I got started, it was like an obsession. The possibilities for spikes and backgrounds were endless.

It took a bit to get the hang of sewing the blocks, but with each block the process got easier and faster. I decided on a five by five block arrangement, adding the curved arcs on the outside of all blocks. I did not want the larger border Karen used in her quilt. The project lived on my design wall for quite some time as I chose how I wanted to arrange the blocks, deciding on a diagonal line of basically red blocks from upper left to lower right. So far, so good. I loved looking at it!
Then life intervened and the project was put aside as I pondered how to quilt it.  I like to quilt my own work and planned to really enjoy the process. I selected a black/white print for the backing.

Finally I layered it and began to quilt on my stationary machines--both the Pfaff and the Janome. Ooops! I hit a wall. All those little pieces coming together at intersections and corners of blocks created thick and cumbersome areas that wanted to push and slide under the presser foot. So I tried free-motion quilting. Still having problems with the thickness. But I have begun and will persevere. I love the pieced top too much to abandon the project. I hope to have some progress to show soon.

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