Orange peel quilts: what are they & how to sew them

Orange Peel patchwork templates, issue 41, Today's Quilter

Oh happy days! Our new issue 41 comes with a set of Orange Peel templates for perfecting your piecing of this delightful quilt pattern.

Master the handy skill of curved piecing with our handy gift and create gorgeeous 6in units and 12in blocks…

Orange Peel quilts have been around for quite some time. These clever quilts feature a pattern of repeating petal shapes which, when pieced into rows of quilt blocks, builds up to create the effect of interlocking circles.

They first appeared in published material in the 1800s and are also referred to as Lemon Peel, Melon Peel and Lafayette Orange Peel. Whatever you call it, you’ll fall in love with this charming design.

If you’re new to curved piecing, you’ll love our handy templates with issue 41. Find out how to use them to sew these beautiful  blocks in this free tutorial. Simply follow our steps and video guide below to get started.



TQ41 freegift blogStep one: Cut two (2) shapes from template A and one (1) from template B. Finger press the centre points on both units. With right sides together and the A background piece on top, place a pin where those centre crease marks line up.

Step two: Place pins along the curve, easing the concave curve in line with the edge of the piece below. Use plenty of pins. Note: the first background piece will be slightly longer than the peel shape, but this
can be trimmed in line after stitching.

Step three: Stitch the two (2) pieces together, slowly, with a scant 34in seam, keeping your needle in the down position and pivoting regularly.

Step four: Clip into the seams at regular intervals to help the seam lie flat. Press the seam to one side.

Step five: Repeat with the second background piece on the opposite side to finish the unit. Four (4) units make a block. Place under a heavy book to help keep it flat.

Technical tip:

If you struggle to create a  perfect 612in square (unfinished), due to fabric stretching or inaccurate stitching, try cutting the outside edges of the A piece slightly larger. Then,  use the straight edges of the template to trim the block square at the end.