More Orange Peel Applique Blocks + Real Life

Remember how I wondered where I would find a big enough space to lay out my 250+ Orange Peel applique blocks? Welp, turns out moving every piece of furniture out of your main floor living space opens up a lot of room for laying out big quilt projects! (Not that I highly recommend it.)

Red and Blue + Low Volume Orange Peel applique blocks | More Orange Peel Applique Blocks + Real Life by popular Utah quilting blog: Diary of a Quilter: image of orange peel applique blocks laid out in a patter on a hard wood floor.

Life Lately

It’s been quite an unusual summer around here. If you read this post (or follow me on Instagram) you may remember that the heroes of this blog discovered a water leak in their kitchen, resulting in most of the kitchen (including cabinets, walls, and floors) ripped out mid June. Thank goodness for insurance, but the restoration process has been SO S L O W…

Last week we week we had to move everything out of our main floor (including ourselves for 3 days) so that the floors could be repaired and refinished.

Floors are done. They’re still a little too orange, but that’s what you get when you have a 20 yr old house with Red Oak floors. It’s an improvement on what it was before and I’ve decided I’m done thinking/worrying about it and they’re fine. (Someone please support me in this…)

(Also, because I know someone will ask, the blue pain is Tidewater by Sherwin Williams.)

Orange Peel applique blocks by Diary of a Quilter | More Orange Peel Applique Blocks + Real Life by popular Utah quilting blog: Diary of a Quilter: image of orange peel applique blocks laid out in a patter on a hard wood floor.

Before we moved the furniture back in place, I used the space to layout my quilt blocks. It was a great use of the space! (And then I realized, why didn’t I spray baste a bunch of quilts on the empty floors right before they came in to sand and refinish? Would have been the greatest time. A wasted opportunity. I guess was too tired at the time to think of it, lol.)

Also, step back and appreciate this view because this is also the cleanest my sewing room has been in a long time. 😉 

We’ve slowly started moving the furniture back into place this week (except the fridge and the piano which have to wait 2 more weeks while the floor finish continues to harden.) At the moment they’re in the family room next to the couch – so you can make a sandwich and play a tune and watch TV all from one spot. ? 

I’m starting to move everything bit by bit back into my sewing room now and I finally set up my sewing machine again last night. I’ve missed using it! I’m using this opportunity to be more deliberate about what I bring back into this room. I’m going to replace an old china hutch (this is the former dining room after all) with a Pax wardrobe from Ikea as it will be much more practical at hiding all of the crapola stuff and keeping the room a little more organized. So the process will be slow, but hopefully worth the patience and time to get things set up more effectively.

More Orange Peel Applique Blocks + Real Life by popular Utah quilting blog: Diary of a Quilter: image of a kitchen being remodeled and orange peel applique blocks laid out in a patter on a hard wood floor.

Remodel Progress

Our kitchen is taking its own sweet time too. We’re still almost a month out before we’ll have the kitchen put back together. I know these are #firstworldproblems and a lot of others are dealing with far more difficult circumstances. The end result will be a lovely updated, refreshed kitchen. But I’m surprised at how the whole thing has definitely sapped a lot of my creative-energy/mojo. I swing back-and-forth between being motivated to get the house prepped and ready to being totally frustrated and deflated as I wait for contractors to get back to me with their unpredictable time tables and watching our summer plans not turn out as we hoped. ? 

I think the thing I’m looking forward to most, is just getting back into our regular routines. I’ve felt a little like I’ve been living in the Upside Down/Dystopian version of my house. Not just because of the vacant kitchen, but the additional piles of boxes, kitchen supplies, sewing machines, books, other-stuff-I-didn’t-want-to-pile-up-in-the-garage all over the house. 

I guess I share because so much of social media is the highlight reel and I thought I’d share a slice of real life. As well as a shout-out/we’re-in-this-together fist bump to  all of you out there going through your own #reallife. Hang in there! You’re not alone. We’ll get through it, right?

Red White and Blue orange peel applique quilt blocks by Amy Smart | More Orange Peel Applique Blocks + Real Life by popular Utah quilting blog: Diary of a Quilter: image of orange peel applique blocks laid out in a patter on a hard wood floor.

Orange Peel Applique Blocks

Now back to quilting – I’m so loving where this is going! I’ve had questions about these blocks and promise to create a tutorial for how I made these orange peel applique blocks. There are lots of applique methods out there and I tried a few different ones in making these orange peel applique blocks. I’ll talk about them and share the one that worked the best for me. As soon as I get kids back to school and off to college – hopefully early September.

More Orange Peel Applique Blocks + Real Life by popular Utah quilting blog: Diary of a Quilter: image of a blue, white, and grey crib quilt made from Deena Rutter's Joey Fabrics.

And speaking of tutorials, I’m working on new tutorial for a crib-size quilt using Deena Rutter’s Joey fabric. Stay tuned for that by the end of the month!

More Orange Peel Applique Blocks + Real Life by popular Utah quilting blog: Diary of a Quilter: image of Round We Go English Paper piecing blocks.

And, just because I haven’t had access to my sewing machine for weeks, doesn’t mean I haven’t been sewing. Thank goodness for my favorite handwork project to keep me entertained. Especially those days we had to be out of the house. Here are my latest Round We Go English Paper Piecing blocks. I’m still not sick of making these. Pulling the fabric combos is still my favorite part!

Wildflowers Albion Basin | More Orange Peel Applique Blocks + Real Life by popular Utah quilting blog: Diary of a Quilter: image of wildflowers in Albion Basin located in Utah.

Looking on the Bright Side

Not speaking of quilting or tutorials. This week we got out of the house mess and went camping in the nearby mountains. This has become one of my favorite traditions over the past few years – a night camping and hiking with my family in Albion Basin near Salt Lake City. Keep in mind, this is coming from the girl who, until just a few years ago, hated camping!

It’s become one of my favorite ways to refresh and revive – especially at the end of the summer. In addition to the meadows of wildflowers and beautiful vistas, I love the time to just take a breath and hang out with my family; uninterrupted and undistracted.

Catherine's Pass Hike Albion Basin | More Orange Peel Applique Blocks + Real Life by popular Utah quilting blog: Diary of a Quilter: image of Albion Basin in Utah.It was especially fun to have all six of us together in one place. I’m realizing those times are going to be more and more rare over the coming years. I’m getting ready to now move both of my oldest girls to college. In the midst of our dystopian summer chaos, it hasn’t really hit me until just now.  And I’m starting to feel all the feels. But, since you’ve already heard so much from the emotional side of me, we’ll save that for another post.

Life is good. I’m trying to remember that.  Although it makes me tired, it’s the challenging stuff that makes you tougher; and keeps life more interesting.

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  • Reply
    Little Quiltsong
    August 17, 2019 at 7:10 pm

    Loved your post – and how you share! I can feel right along with you – though due to moving quite a bit and buying a real fix-up house at one point. We too had 4 children – getting them ready for school, and trying to organize a house that my husband and I saw potential in, but were scared our vision might not materialize. All ended up better than we even dreamed, and was hard to sell again when the time came to move on. You will love your new updated rooms and think – that wasn’t so bad – afterwards :)! Now the thought of a fridge close to the sofa – hmmmm – sounds wonderful too – enjoy while you can :)!

  • Reply
    Candace Allan
    August 17, 2019 at 7:35 pm

    1 Timothy 6:6-11 (NIV) 6 “But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.” Hang in there Amy! The floors ARE good enough, as all else will be. I am sorry it became such a big damage situation. I had a mere fraction of home dystopia- leaking pipe & mess on 2 rooms floors. Had to wait several weeks for repairmen. Nothing like yours, and knowing your story helped me cope! In the end it only took 4 hours for our plumber to cut a chunk of the main stack & replace it. I worried too much! All our stories help others to cope and seek peace from the Lord!

  • Reply
    August 17, 2019 at 7:43 pm

    Amy, I enjoyed reading this blog post. The quilt is turning out very sweet
    I am happy that the kitchen mess is coming to an end. Our house is 20 years old too and we need a new shower.. but it is just hubbs and me, so we use the hall shower. We really need to get that shower done though. I know that feeling of enjoying the last full family gatherings before they are off to college. Our house is empty now and we have grand girls x4 running all over the place!
    Anyway, I am happy that you got to go camping. I do not like it either but for one night, I could suffer though.
    Your landscape looks beautiful completely different than northern Virginia.

  • Reply
    August 17, 2019 at 7:56 pm

    The floors are lovely.

  • Reply
    tracy knutson
    August 17, 2019 at 8:03 pm

    Your floors are gorgeous and do an amazing job as the backdrop for your orange peel quilt (which is also gorgeous and amazing)! I would have wondered about the pretty blue paint color so thanks for sharing that too 🙂 Hope all the renno work gets wrapped up as we transition to fall and you can get your daily life back in order. I would find having things displaced all over my house a bit unnerving. I did have to laugh at the thought of banging out a luncheon meat jingle on the piano while prepping a sandwich in the family room…my kids would just love that!

    • Reply
      August 18, 2019 at 5:44 am

      Hi Amy, many years from now you will look back on this time and you all will be able to tell funny stories about it, but for now I know how stressful it all must feel. Good luck getting through the next few weeks, with kids starting school and older ones heading off to college. Maybe it’s good thing you have this crazy house repair to keep your mind off that?. To quote a meme: keep calm and quilt on!
      Hugs, Monique

  • Reply
    Kathy Hammond
    August 17, 2019 at 9:45 pm

    Love the floors! Question about orange peel applique. I made them but having a hard time putting the 5 inch block together due to my machine won’t sew over the applique so my quarter inch seam is kaput! Any suggestions?

  • Reply
    August 18, 2019 at 12:40 am

    I sympathise with you over having to move everything out of the ground floor of your home. 5 years ago our house was flooded, it was only a few inches of water but it did so much damage! Our house is 250 years old so the renovations took a long time, 8 months! I was on crutches following knee surgery when it happened just to make life more complicated!
    My sewing room/study needs a major overhaul, having read your post I think I need to take everything out and start from scratch!

  • Reply
    Lesley Storts
    August 18, 2019 at 4:42 am

    Beautiful floors! Fantastic looking quilt – and inspiring! A summer to remember for sure.

  • Reply
    Mrs. Plum
    August 18, 2019 at 5:14 am

    Oh, Amy, I feel your pain! Yes, living through a remodel is a first world problem, but it is still stressful. Home is sanctuary, and when workmen are running around (or NOT there!) it shakes up our world. I’ve lived through many, many home remodels, so I understand. Your floors look great, as do your quilting projects. I’m glad you’ve had a bit of creative outlet while your home has been torn apart.

  • Reply
    Miss Daisy
    August 18, 2019 at 5:42 am

    Next time you go camping I’m invited , right ? Those mountain pictures are just calling my name. The floors are just fine – thank God it’s not carpet. If you focus solely on God He will give you peace , sweet sweet peace .

  • Reply
    Miss Daisy
    August 18, 2019 at 5:44 am

    Forgot , love your choice of fabrics.

  • Reply
    August 18, 2019 at 5:46 am

    Oh what I would give to have that space to lay out a quilt. Enjoyed reading your post.

  • Reply
    Michelle H
    August 18, 2019 at 7:56 am

    The floors don’t look bad at al! And thank you for the paint colour lol, I would have asked! With the quilt on the floor it shows what a great rug it would make…i hook rugs so now I’m thinking I would like to make one like that!

  • Reply
    August 18, 2019 at 10:10 am

    I love the floors! The color will be less noticeable when all the furniture is replaced. My guess is that in no time you won’t even notice them anymore. Candace’s post says it all. Be grateful everyday for all that you have — after all, happiness comes from wanting what you have, not the other way around. Pictures of Albion will have to be enough for me this year. I love Alta and a day at elevation is always a good day!

  • Reply
    Kathy Lambert
    August 19, 2019 at 12:54 am

    Love your story (been there done that) decided few years back that I could redo my kitchen by myself…lol. Believe me when it’s finished you will love it. Your orange peel quilt is gorgeous. Love your colors.

  • Reply
    August 19, 2019 at 6:29 am

    Your floors are lovely! I suspect you are going to be a trendsetter in the coming months. Completely emptying out a sewing room for organization will be the new way to go! Your quilt is going to be lovely! Hang in there, you got this!

  • Reply
    Monica Kostak
    August 19, 2019 at 11:09 am

    Beautiful floors. and paint color. I remember when my husband and I did our own renovations it seemed everyone who entered needed a hard hat and it took forever! I just remembered I have an orange peel UFO quilt that I had started at a MSQC retreat.-I should pull that out and see where I’m at on it. your will be so nice for American/summer decorating! I’m glad to hear you are able to take out some me time for yourself and family. Time is free…..

  • Reply
    August 19, 2019 at 8:42 pm

    Definitely remember that which makes you laugh. The quilt is going to be fabulous. We just took our daughter back to college on the hottest weekend of the summer – ugh! She’s happy to be back and we miss her already. Quilting, I haven’t had much time, so I’ve been cleaning up my scraps and making plans to teach a newbie and her friend the basics on Labor Day weekend. Thanks for the inspriration, quilting and otherwise!!

  • Reply
    Karen Eddy
    August 19, 2019 at 11:09 pm

    The floors are very beautiful as is that shade of blue. I love blue walls with white trim all around. So light and calming. Hang in there. I went through the college thing and cried all the way home (3 hours) after dropping off my eldest daughter. Those tears eventually turned into joy as I saw how much she was growing and learning, not just about her subjects, but also about herself and the world around her. Eventually the tears were also replaced with “you want to come home again?” Just kidding. We loved her visits, but each one was a total of 12 hours of driving since she didn’t have a car and I would have to pick her up and take her back within two days. But we all survived and can look back and laugh at the experience. Your quilt is beautiful and the colors are striking. Good luck with the rest of your house projects.

  • Reply
    Candace Allan
    August 20, 2019 at 7:41 am

    PS: Remember it “sparks joy” to empty it all out & put it back together neatly LOL. Keep smiling.

  • Reply
    Mary Bee
    August 24, 2019 at 6:24 am

    I’m looking forward to the Joey fabric crib quilt tutorial. I bought a bit of every fabric in that darling collection and I’m excited to use it! Your tutorials are the best.

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