Thursday, July 10, 2014

Orange Peel Quilting

Hopefully by now some of you have tried quilting cables with your walking foot!  Here is another easy and simple way to quilt with a walking foot and the effect is similar to the look of hand quilting on those old antique quilts we covet.  This quilting design is known as orange peel or pumpkin seed quilting.  I love this look, especially for scrappy quilts, and it's very easy to do.

Above is a little scrappy rail fence I finished last month, I've named it Petit Jardin which means Little Garden in French.  The finished size is approximately 24 inches by 36 inches and it's just a fun, colorful little quilt to display in my home.  You can see I've marked all of my lines and a feather design that wraps around the four sides.  When I mark the orange peel design, I use a circle template and place it so that the curve of the circle intersects each corner of the block.  I line up the circle with two corners, or one side, at a time, marking every curve individually on each side of the block. Click HERE to see how I use a template to mark the orange peel design.
I approach the quilting the same way I approach quilting cables, sewing one line at a time from left to right.  I always begin in the top center of the quilt and work my way over to the right hand edge, sewing one line, from the top to bottom, then moving over to the next line beginning at the top again.  When I reach the right hand edge of the quilt, I then turn the quilt 180 degrees and work from the center out to the right edge again.
Here I've flipped the quilt over so you can see the backside and the quilting a little easier.  As you can see, I'm sewing all the lines going in the same direction first, always working from the top to bottom and left to right.
Once I've completed all the lines going in one direction, I turn the quilt 90 degrees and beginning at the top of the center, I start sewing the lines going in the opposite direction.  I am starting a line of quilting at the seam line of the border, see above.  I always bring the bobbin thread to the top of the quilt before I begin sewing.
I follow each line, one at a time, taking my time and sewing along each gentle curve.  For tips on how I handle the bulk of the quilt when sewing curved lines, please see my post on quilting cables. 
Here are a few shots of the orange peel quilting completed.

And below, here is a shot of the back side of the quilt.
And finally, my finished Petit Jardin!  I was even pleased with the way the feather turned out in the border.  The pictures below are of the quilt after it has been washed, so you will notice a bit more puckering around the quilting.

Thanks to all of you again for your enthusiasm about quilting cables with a walking foot that I posted back in April.  I love the comments and welcome your questions.  I do hope it has inspired you to try quilting cables and now, orange peels!  Don't hesitate to contact me.  Happy Quilting!


  1. Cute quilt, Rahna and thanks for the information on the orange peel design and walking foot, I am going to look at my tops to see which one I can try it on.

  2. Hi Rahna~~ Your quilt is absolutely Beautiful!! Just wanted to ask if you have any advice on making the template you used for the orange peel.Thanks so much!!!

  3. Hi Rahna, thank you for posting so comprehensively about your quilts and methods. I have only recently found your blog, and it is now at the top of my Favourites list. You've inspired me to try quilting with my walking foot - as a result had to make a start 'organising' my overly-big stash and the left-overs I just have to keep - now two 9-patches are underway, and after reading this post I think I'll start stripping more fabric and make a rail-fence as well. Thank you for your generosity in providing such great pictures and tutorials. Kind regards, Shaaryn, Brisbane, Australia.

  4. You are so talented. I love all your work!
    Are any of your quilts for sale? Do you do commission work?

  5. Thanks for such a clear tutorial! I was dreading dropping my feed dogs to quilt this and am relieved to find I can sew this design with my walking foot! WootWoot!