Happy March 1st everyone! Here in Wisconsin March is definitely coming “in like a lion.” It started snowing about 15 minutes before the bus arrived for the girls and I’d say we have about 1/2-inch already! Along with a some snow it’s also the second month for the Fat Quarter Shop’s “Bella Skill Builder”! This month is all about the Orange Peel. I had never done an orange peel block before … I’ll admit … I was a bit intimidated by them. And this is EXACTLY why I love samplers – they get you to at least TRY something new so you can decide for yourself if it’s something you should be scared of. The pattern comes with template you can print for the orange peels but I gave the “Orange Peel Set of Impressions Quilting Templates” from It’s Sew Emma a try for this quilt. I find when I print templates I never get the cutting quite right. These templates really helped me cut some accurate orange peels. I like to use my “mini” rotary cutter for cutting curvy things – it works really well! Before I cut out the orange peel shapes I fused HeatNBond Lite from thermoweb onto the squares. By using a fusible I was able to press the orange peels in place before blanket stitching them down with aurifil thread to the squares. Since I’m using a scrappy pallet of bella solids I had a great time trying to figure out exactly which way to orientate all the fabrics. The first block I made I used grey toned fabrics for the backgrounds with colors on the front. Here were four layout options I had to choose from. While I really liked the other options I felt like this one would work the best with the blocks I made in the previous month. I went with opposite color choices – lighter fabrics for the backgrounds and darker colors for the orange peels. This one didn’t seem to have quite as much dramatic differences when the fabrics were arranged but I’m still really glad I chose to go with this layout. And the next blocks used larger orange peels and created a long block instead of a square block – And just a single orange peel block to make the sampler all fit together during the final piecing. Here are all of the orange peel blocks I made together. And all of the blocks I’ve made so far for the Bella Skill Builder. This is going to be a FUN quilt! I can’t wait to start working on the next blocks! Oh! And I never told you what I think about orange peels after trying them for this sampler. I would DEFINITELY make more of these blocks. I probably wouldn’t make an entire quilt of them but I have an original quilt I’m working on and I think a column or two of orange peels might be just what it needs!