Orange Peel Applique Quilt – Tribute to Lafayette

American Revolutionary history is a favorite of mine.  I love the lessons I learn from history, love thinking about how it actually didn’t have to go the way it did.  Reading about the lives and decisions of people who were just trying to do the right thing in the moment really inspires me.  I think the American revolutionary war, it’s events and those who played a role, is my #1 favorite subject.  I’m sure I’ve written here before that the 4th of July is also my favorite holiday.  So what does an orange peel applique quilt have to do with all that?

Well, let me share!  First of all, I finished my orange peel applique quilt!  I shared here how long it took me to hand stitch all the blocks.  In fact, I really enjoyed re-reading that post, as I needed a reminder to just keep “stitching” in life.  Second, my quilt is a tribute to Gilbert de Mortier, better known as the Marquis de Lafayette. Legend credits him as the inspiration for the orange peel quilt block.  And the Marquis de Lafayette was an important contributor to the American Revolution.

The legend states that Lafayette was invited to a banquet celebrating the colonists’ victory in the revolutionary war.  After the dinner, the guests were offered fruit.  Lafayette selected an orange, and it is said that he sliced it into four quarters before peeling it.  Afterwards, a female guest picked up his discarded orange peel segments and used them as the inspiration for her next quilt.  Of course, I have no idea if this is true, but it’s a popular legend and it makes me smile.  I love stories like that.  Perhaps I should name this quilt “Lafayette’s Oranges”!

I chose edge to edge quilting in a “feathers forever” design. Melissa at Sew Shabby Quilting, quilted it for me.  It’s got an 80/20 batting in it, and because of all the applique, it’s a heavier quilt.  Although I’m calling it a summer finish, I think my children will particularly love it in the fall and winter.

I used only two fabrics in the quilt top, and both are dark in value.  Not like me.  But I still love them together.  I added a bright pick piece to the backing from Heather Bailey.  I wish I had lots more of this fabric!  It’s fun to have something unexpected in this quilt.  I found some leftover yardage of the solid, and used it for the binding.

Look above the quilt – we have so many cherries this year!  I feel like there are more cherries than leaves.  Right now they’re a bright red – they will ripen to a much deeper color.  We’re excited to eat them!

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