Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Ripple: An Orange Peel Mini Quilt

Everyone has at least one person they can always count on. Luckily enough, I found one in college. In my first semester of sophomore year (7 years ago?!), I lived next door to a girl and her roommate, the latter of whom was looking to move into a single for the spring. The girl and I had met a few times and were friendly. The only ones left in our area of the building over finals, we watched a movie together (The Nightmare Before Christmas, to be exact), and we discussed about our respective roommate situations. I moved right next door a few weeks later, and little did I know that my whole college experience (and, truly, my life) would turn around for the better!

Kristina and I have bonded over many things, including Friends and a thousand other shows, Sporcle, bad/yummy food, bands, the beach, purple, and even sewing. She sewed garments in high school, and I taught her how to quilt (she's now made several quilts and pillows!). She taught me to crochet in return, something I need to practice more! I made one of my first quilts for her (it's falling apart but she still has it out when I come over). We meet up at least once a month, and I wanted to make her something for her birthday this year - namely to brighten up her new office.

First, I sewed together a bunch of purple scraps improvisationally, with a focus on keeping certain ones visible (such as the butterfly and fish). Some of these are very precious scraps but I can't think of using them for anyone else! Then, I appliqued my favorite orange peels in a traditional layout, right in the middle. Believe it or not, while I have made many orange peel quilts, I haven't made any that look as uniform as this!

"Ripple" was named after the quilting. I set out to emphasize the shape of my beloved applique; I used my free motion foot to quilt around and around. Whenever I quilt in this manner, I enjoy creating contrast between the line spacing. Here, I decided to change thread colors and use all the lovely purple Aurifil threads in my possession. You can see in the below picture that I quilted from lightest to darkest: white (2024), light purple (2520), orchid (2540 - my second favorite purple shade), dark purple (4225, the most versatile/most used purple around here), and dark blue-purple (the most luminous and my favorite purple). My love for purple threads is eternal.

I always love how the middle of orange peel motifs creates a diamond-y, cathedral window-like design. I hardly ever quilt my orange peels for some reason, but I did enjoy quilting them this time - from one edge to the other. The quilt just needed it. I purposefully quilted densely towards the middle of each of the two orange peel motifs and then spaced out the lines a little more on the way out. It gives off a cool effect from afar! Free motion quilting is an easy and fast way to create almost-straight lines! It definitely helps if you like the "organic" look, haha. Perfection is not for me.


Note - if you made orange peels with interfacing, as I do, using white may make your cuts from the back visible. I decided to leave them like that because it give them some depth, and they are somewhat similar cuts.

I took pictures of this quilt super quickly before Kristina arrived for a birthday celebration weekend. I needed a picture of the densely-quilted back but I didn't realize the grass was a little wet until I flipped the quilt over (which is why you can see a couple of wet spots). They dried quickly, though!

And guess what? She sent me this picture. Mission accomplished! This just further confirms that I'd rather give a handmade gift any day than wander around the store. :)


  1. What a lovely gift to give your friend and it looks perfect in its new home. And what a blessing to find kindred spirits along the way, I'm so glad you all get to meet up so often still!

  2. So beautiful! It makes the perfect gift ♥

  3. I love the purple and white. This would be a great gift for you friend. She will love it.

  4. Beautiful! What a great gift for purple lovers! I agree handmade gifts are the best!

  5. Love your quilting style. So like are so lucky to have a good friend!

  6. What a great gift for a friend! Great job!

  7. Beautiful quilt, front and back! Thanks for linking to Finished or not Friday!

  8. Very cool gift for your special friend! I love the quilting.

  9. Who doesn't like a handmade gift? Especially if said gift is from a true friend? What lucky girls you both are to be close friends for such a long time. Many more years! The quilt topper is beautiful!

  10. Handmade gifts are always better! It looks great in her office :) I love all the different purple threads you used and the ripple quilting is fantastic. I quilt almost everything with my fmq foot and embrace the organic lines!


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