Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A Few More Pineapple Log Cabin Blocks: 33 Finished, 9 More Required

I did manage to make another couple of pineapple log cabin blocks last week.

Most Recent Pineapple Blocks Completed
So now I've got 33 finished blocks and 9 more that need to be made.  With 97 pieces per block, and the repetitive nature of construction, this is very tedious work.  I absolutely love how the blocks are coming out and how they look together on my design wall, but can't make any more of these blocks right now.  I need a break!

Some of my Earlier Pineapple Log Cabin Blocks
I know I am going to love this quilt when it's finished, but if I had known how long it was going to take me before I started, I probably wouldn't have chosen it.  I am going to have SO MUCH FUN with this once I get it loaded onto my longarm frame!!

I have been thinking about how i'm going to plan the layout for this quilt once I've finished all of the blocks.  Laying out the blocks edge to edge before they are sewn together, it will be about 109" x 130", way larger than the design wall in my studio, and I do want to plan my layout rather than just randomly stitching blocks into rows.  I'd like to avoid sewing blocks together in a way that puts the same fabric in adjacent patches if I can, and there may be an evolution throughout the piecing process whereby the earlier blocks use more muted fabrics and more recent blocks have more bright fabrics.  If so, I'll want to balance that out with my layout, too.  I think I'm going to bring my stack of blocks to church in the middle of a weekday when nothing's going on and lay the blocks out on the floor of the Lower Commons area at the entrance to our new sanctuary.  

Group Photo of Our High School Kids
The same way we do for group photos like the one above, I can lay out my quilt blocks on the floor of the Lower Commons and then go upstairs to view the whole thing from a distance to see if anything jumps out at me and needs to be moved.  There may be a few trips up and down the stairs involved, but a little exercise won't hurt me!  And once I have my layout finalized, I'll label the blocks with little stickers or post it notes or something before I stack them up to bring them home.  Perfect, right?

I do still need to cut and sew the outer white border to my bear paw quilt, which you see on the wall below my pineapple blocks in the first photo.  But the project taking priority this week (well, taking priority during my odd moments of free time, that is!) has got to be finishing the class sample quilt for the beginner quilting class:

37" x 37" Class Sample Waiting Patiently to be Quilted
I haven't been procrastinating with this as much as I've been deliberating over the best methods to teach my beginners for layering, basting, and quilting.  This is supposed to be a 2-Saturday class with all of the cutting and piecing done in the first day-long class, time for students to catch up if they need to before the second class, and then layering, basting, quilting AND BINDING in the second class.  It's a small quilt, only 37" square before quilting, which means that backing fabric doesn't need to be pieced or anything.  It would probably be a good candidate for spray basting, but I think I should teach them how to baste with safety pins so they know how to do that for other, larger projects -- and I am not sure how everyone could be spraying that adhesive glue around in the store without overspray getting all over the place, anyway.  

With so much to cover in so little time, I think this is going to have to be quilted in boring straight lines with a walking foot.  That way I can teach them how to stitch in the ditch, which I do consider to be a basic machine quilting skill.  I keep thinking of other ideas that would make the finished quilt more exciting, but then the reality of the time factor sets in and I keep going back to the straight lines.  

If the quilting is too involved, students won't be ready to sew their binding in class with me there to help them, and the corner miters might be tricky for a beginner trying to finish up at home.

Hmmm...  I just had an idea.  What if I cut up some of my practice FMQ quilt sandwiches into mug rug sized squares and use those to teach my students how to sew their binding?  That way everyone gets to practice the corner miters and learn the technique for joining the ends of the binding, even if some students work more slowly than others and are not ready to put their binding on before the end of the class.  I knew I was holding onto those practice pieces for a reason!

I'm linking up with:

·       Let’s Bee Social at

·       Midweek Makers at

·       WOW WIP on Wednesday at


Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

what size are your strips in the Pineapple quilt? I don't think you have to worry about a like color next to each other the pieces look so narrow I doubt it will be noticeable. Good to have a place like you church though for laying out like you say - good viewing area.

Vivian said...

Love the pineapple blocks! I felt the same way when working on dresden plate and double wedding ring blocks - love them finished but you have to take a break after making a few!

Re your class: While pin basting should be covered (maybe for one square), to save time maybe have them use a fusible batting and just iron baste their quilts? That's my go-to alternative to spray basting when making smaller quilts.

Susan said...

Absolutely beautiful blocks - love the colors, as they are so bright and cheery! This is one block I haven't attempted yet, though it's on the to-do list. Thanks for sharing on Midweek Makers!

Kathy S. said...

Your pineapple blocks are G O R G E O U S!!! I love all those neutrals.

Janice Holton said...

So many fun things in this post! I have been very tempted to buy a pineapple ruler, although your pineapples look narrower than most of the ones I've seen. Do you use a ruler? Church foyers are a great place to layout quilts! Good idea! But then you topped off the good idea with a great idea by using your practice quilting pieces for binding practice. AND they'll have a finished mug rug to take home too. Genious!

Linda @ kokaquilts said...

You have been busy, that's a lot of blocks! They are lovely all together on your design wall!

Accroquilt said...

I love your pineapple blocks. Green and blue always go well together.

Diane in TX said...

I love your pineapple blocks, and check your blog everyday because yu have so much inspiration posted and pictured. The small practice square for binding is genius!

Rebecca Grace said...

No ruler, Janice -- these are foundation paper pieced. The blocks finish at 17 3/4" and the strips are either an inch or 3/4" wide (can't remember for sure and I'm not home now to check).

Thanks for stopping by!

Preeti said...

You combine the zeal of a warrior and the patience of a saint, in piecing these pineapple blocks. I am awestruck.
Just because you are an accomplished FMQ artist, does not mean straight line quilting is dull - it can be very sexy. Just ask Jacquie Gering.
"I am not procrastinating - just deliberating" - I am saving that line for future use :-)

Rebecca Grace said...

Here's a link to the original post for this project, with all the details about where to get the foundation piecing pattern: