Orange Study Trilogy

Late 2013, I began working on a quilt trilogy to adorn my empty living room walls.  I picked three patterns that used very different techniques – appliqué, foundation paper piecing, and improvisation.  To create consistency, I used the same saturated orange fabrics for all three quilts.  All three quilts also contain Robert Kaufman’s Essex linen blend in Ivory for the neutral fabric.  The patterns came from Elizabeth Hartman‘s Craftsy class, “Inspired Modern Quilts.”

My favorite, “Orange Peel,” was made by appliquéing the orange fabrics onto the neutral fabric.

Orange Peel

For the backing, I used one of my favorite Kaffe Fassett prints, “Paisley Jungle in Tangerine.”

Orange Peel back

I simply echo-quilted the appliqués, and then swirled around the rest of the quilt.  The pattern shows clearly on the front of the quilt.

Orange Peel Center Detail

The busy backing fabric mutes the quilting (a design choice that really helps new quilters hide stitches).

Orange Peel detail back

Next, I completed “Orange Slices,” a quilt that used paper as a foundation.  I enjoyed the process of foundation piecing, and look forward to creating some precise piecing patterns with this skill.

Orange Juice

For the back, I decided to piece it with a motif similar to the front of the quilt.

Orange Juice back

I love the texture of closely-spaced straight line quilting, and decided to follow the piecing’s direction for the blocks.  To tie this quilt with “Orange Peel,” I continued the swirl quilting on the sashing and borders.

Orange Juice detail

Because the back of this quilt uses a solid and a Batik, the quilting shows clearly on the back as well.

Orange Juice Back Detail

Finally, I improvisationally pieced squares of my orange scraps, cut into 3″ squares.  I experimented with an uneven border.

Orange Slices

During this trilogy project, I ran out of another of my favorite prints, Kaffe Fasset’s “Big Blooms Red.”  I had to reorder some.  In the process, I bought enough for the back of the last quilt!

Orange Slices Back

To tie this quilt to “Orange Peel,” I decided to quilt a large orange peel design.

Orange Slices Detail

Having graduated from high school in Japan, I’m fascinated with Japanese fabrics and sewing styles.  Ah, Sashiko!  This particular Sashiko pattern allows quilting with very little marking by using the blocks as a guide.  On the neutral fabric, I simply placed a dot of air-soluable marker on a 3″ grid as a guide for my curves.  I love the way it turned out.  Again, because of the busy backing, the quilting does not really show on the back.

Orange Slices back detail

Finally, I used the same fabric, Michael Miller’s “Ta Dot Berry,” for all three of the bindings, which I machine attached.  Over the next few weeks, I hope to make and attach the hanging sleeves and create a tutorial for hanging your completed quilts!  As always, I encourage your comments.


  1. Tamara says:

    Wow! I can’t tell you how impressed I am by your work. As a beginning quilter, this is the kind of work I aspire to. Beautiful!

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