Working With Fusible Interface

Updated: Dec 5, 2019


With a few simple steps, you can take the stress out of appliqué and adorn your pieced quilts, make small projects or an entire quilts using this fun technique.


Orange Peel Pillow Case


Orange Peel quilts have been around for centuries. They first appeared in published material in the 1800s.

The design is also called Lemon Peel, Melon Peel and Lafayette Orange Peel. The repeating petal shapes create the effect of interlocking circles.

The original Orange peel quilts were pieced, but those who tried it can tell that curved piecing has its own challenges.



The effect of the interlocking circles can be achieved with appliqué, using fusible interface and this is the method I prefer and used making my pillow case.


Of the many fusible interfaces available, I prefer to use Steam-A-Seam. One of the reasons is that I can easily print on the back of the interface so I do not have to trace the templates. This is especially useful when I work with lots of small pieces like the Orange peel design.


To make the front size of this pillowcase you will need:

- 5 US Letter size fusible interface sheets (or 1 yard x 18" wide) and the same amount of scraps or fabrics in yardage (total yardage is approximately 1/3 yard)


- background fabric, batting and backing: 24" x 24" each

If your fusible interface is in yardage, cut it into US Letter

size sheets and press them flat under a large book.

You should keep the sheets there overnight.


Be sure that you print on the paper side (the checkered

side if you use Steam-A-Seam) and print in actual size!


Cut the petals apart according to the sizes of the colored

fabrics and fuse the interface to the wrong side.



Cut out the petals one by one. If you think this is too much work just think how much time you saved with the printing.


Prepare the background fabric


- mark the positions of the petals using your rotary mat

- this is easy if you work with a lightweight and light color fabric




Fuse the petals


Once you marked the points, remove the paper from the petals. Do NOT start removing the paper from the edge, that will make the edge of the petals fray. Scratch the paper in the middle of the petal with a pin and start pulling off the paper from there.



Position the petals using the points to guide you. If you use Steam-A-Seam the petals will slightly stick to the background, but they can be repositioned before you fuse them to the background.


When you are happy with the color arrangement fuse the petals permanently to the background. Stitch the petals around with zig-zag or small blanket stitches.


You can find detailed instructions in the pattern to complete the pillow case. The pattern contains the template sheet which you can print on the interface, quilting suggestions and adding the back in envelope style.


Once you practiced the technique on a small scale you can make a whole quilt.

You can find endless Orange Peel design variations on Pinterest for inspiration.


Adorn a Quilt with Appliqué


If you fell in love working with fusible interface you can move on to a bigger project and make the sparkling Diamonds are Forever. This is a pieced quilt, but the diamonds on the border are appliquéd.





















I designed and made the Torus Maximus and Aurora Borealis for Hoffman California, using their Supernova panels and their beautiful batiks.

You can find all my fusible appliqué patterns here.





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