Monday, June 11, 2018

Pineapples On the Design Floor, With Border Bliss!

Pineapple Log Cabin Layout Finalized
I had a hunch that my church would be pretty quiet on a Saturday morning in June, so I packed up my pineapple log cabin blocks and label stickers and used the floor of the Lower Commons (a large lobby/fellowship area outside the Sanctuary) to lay out my quilt blocks.  It took me about an hour to get my 36 blocks laid out in a 6 x 6 grid without any of the same fabric strips right next to one another or too close to one another where any of the corners meet up.  

Aerial Shot Taken From Upper Commons Balcony
My blocks still have foundation paper backings, so I wasn't worried about getting the blocks dirty from the floor.  Once I'd finalized my layout the way I wanted it, I used permanent label stickers from an office supply store to label each block with its row letter and column number, to ensure that I get the blocks sewn together the same way I laid them out.

Labeled With Stickers
Yes, I could have written on the foundation paper backing, but those papers need to be removed just prior to sewing the blocks together.  I'll have slight fudging to do at the outer seam intersections due to imperfectly aligning the foundation sections prior to photocopying them, and/or photocopying distortion.  Who knows how long it will take to carefully remove all those little bits of paper, and it would be all too easy to accidentally rotate or flip a block and sew the wrong side to the next block, so I went with stickers -- and "permanent" label stickers rather than the "removable" kind, too, because I don't want them coming off accidentally.  I don't think there's any such thing as a sticker that would PERMANENTLY adhere to cotton fabric, especially to cotton fabric that has been so heavily starched as my blocks have been throughout construction.

When I headed to the church with my stack of blocks, I was planning to just lay out 30 of my blocks in a 5 x 6 grid, to which I would add a border of partial blocks around all four sides with scalloped edges to get the finished quilt large enough for my California King bed.  That would have looked something like this:

Scalloped Partial Block Border Plan
I would have had to take apart six of the blocks I worked so hard to piece, and I would have had to make twenty more partial pineapple blocks in addition to the butchered blocks...  Since each full block took 6 hours to piece, this scalloped partial block border would require approximately SEVENTY-FIVE additional hours of piecing.  And once it was done, this would not be some amazing show quilt, because I'm going to be quilting it myself with my wobbly, newbie longarm quilting skills.  

But I have already made 36 blocks, and you know what?  I just do not want to make any more of them.  I want to be DONE with this quilt; I want it out of my studio and onto my bed, this pineapple log cabin quilt that has been exactly FOUR YEARS in the making.  If I had any idea this quilt would take me so long, I would never have started it in the first place 

I don't know if this is just a summer phase, but I am moving away from clutter and overscheduling and overcomplicating and working on simplifying my life right now.  I've backed out of some commitments that were taking up too much of my time and energy, I've whacked a bunch of things off my To Do list that don't really need to get done, and I'm looking at this sewing hobby that is supposed to be relaxing and holding myself accountable for turning every single project into a giant flying stress monkey!  I have 6 quilts in progress right now, none of which are ready to be loaded onto my empty longarm frame, and I know that I also need -- WANT -- to make a special quilt for my son's high school graduation about a year from now.  

And so, I am not making any more pineapple log cabin blocks, and I am using all 36 blocks that I have already made. In order to get to the size I need to fit my bed comfortably, I will be adding a 3/4" solid blue border, same width as my pineapple strips, and then I am going to add a 6" wide outer border in this large scale Kaffe Fassett Collective print that I selected at my not-quite-local quilt shop on Saturday afternoon:

Kaffe Fassett Dream Floral in Red
I like the Bohemian folk art quality of this floral print, "Dream Floral" in Red from Kaffe Fassett Collective.  It is bright and cheerful without being too juvenile, and it has a vintage vibe.  I like the splotches of blues and greens that tie into the primary colors of my pineapple blocks, and I like that this fabric is predominantly the coral color that I used for the centers and corners of every pineapple block.

Border Fabric Auditioned in EQ8 Software
In the computer rendering above, the quilt blocks are represented by a tiled photograph of a single completed pineapple block, whereas the border is from a scan of the print fabric that I got from the fabric manufacturer's web site, imported into EQ8 software, and scaled to represent the size of the fabric print accurately.  The big difference between photos and scanned images is that photos have more muted colors and shadows, which makes the scanned fabrics look too garish and bright.  This couldn't be helped; the flat bed on my printer/scanner is not big enough to scan one of these enormous blocks!  In the photo below, you can see that the actual fabric is much softer than it appears in the computer rendering, and the colors tie in with my blocks beautifully.  I like how it plays with my drapery, pillow and upholstery fabrics, too.  

Final Border Fabric Audition, In Situ
Doesn't that border fabric look PERFECT with my blocks?!  Including these borders, my quilt top should measure approximately 120" x 120" when I load it onto my 12' longarm frame.  It should end up somewhere between 108" to 114" square after quilting and laundering, taking 5-10% shrinkage into account.  

I am SO EXCITED about this new plan that moves my pineapple quilt so much closer to completion!  Woo-hoo!

Today I'm linking up with:


Dogwood Lane Rambles said...

While your scalloped border would have been amazing I agree that you may have been over complicating your quilting life right now. This is a hobby for the long haul so put the border idea in your data bank for a time when commitments are fewer and time is more abundant. That way you can keep going into your 90's!

kiquilter said...

Absolutely love the Kafe Fassett border. So unexpected, yet so perfect. Good job!👍

Bonnie said...

That is going to be one terrific quilt. I really like how you originally designed your quilt. It would have been spectacular. On the other had I really think your solution is wonderful. And, I think it will give you more colors to choose from for pillow shams or just pillows on top of the bed. I'm looking forward to seeing the "real deal" rather than the EQ pic. Get hopping girl... there is a graduation quilt waiting to be done. (but don't stress!) And, remember, some dorm bedrooms have extra long twin beds in them.

Frog Quilter said...

I am so happy for this top to be moving! Yay!!!!

Ramona said...

If I lived closer, I'd come help you pull paper from the backs of the blocks, just so I could see this quilt finished sooner. :D The border you picked is perfect! What a great choice. And I agree 100% on simplifying. It's happening here, too.

Alycia~Quiltygirl said...

I love it - uncomplicate, de stress and enjoy!! And that pineapple quilt - Oh My Stars is it gorgeous!! the border fabric is going to be amazing on it!!!

Turid said...

Oh, I love to study all the beautiful blue and green fabrics in those blocks. A fantastic quilt. But I don't like to take away those papers, so I just wish you good luck!

Anonymous said...

I love pineapple quilts, and yours will be awesome! I don't think you could have found a better fabric for the border...looking forward to seeing it all finished!!
Thanks so much for sharing!!
Sandra B

QuilterLaura said...

Just Gorgeous!

Judy Biggerstaff said...

Just beautiful, love your pineapple quilt and the fabric you selected. Nice border too.

Cynthia Brunz Designs said...

Your quilt is going to be stunning! I don't blame you for not finishing more blocks. My pineapple quilt took me a decade to finish.

Thanks for sharing with Oh Scrap!

Linda @ kokaquilts said...

I too love your Kaffe choice for your border, it's amazing! And your pineapple blocks are truely a wonderful achievement!

SJSM said...

You are doing a fantastic job. Making a decision to simplify comes to most of us when we discover being pulled in too many directions is not making a happy life. Yes we may enjoy all the tasks we commit to and find them worthwhile but at some point we discover balance is necessary. We can’t do it all. We each need our personal time as well as family time. Love the pineapple blocks and looking forward to your finish.

Fred and/or Marlies said...

Oh WOW! Now I'm really impressed. That is some kind of quilt. I especially like this sentence in your post: "I am moving away from clutter and overscheduling and overcomplicating and working on simplifying my life right now. I've backed out of some commitments that were taking up too much of my time and energy." Relax!

I've just gone through a stack of magazines and other odds and ends your M-I-L had next to her bed. They are in the trash right now. Lots of quilting mags and other things that never got acted on. Life is short and we can only do so much.

Preeti said...

You are the most meticulous of all quilters I know. Your only devotion is to the final product. It does not matter what it takes or how long it takes. Every step, every decision and every stitch is a pursuit of perfection. And I am in awe of you. When I find suitable adjectives for the Pineapple quilt top, I will return to comment. For now I am going to Thesaurus.

colleen said...

Yippee heading toward the finish.

I do have to say I really do like the scalloped board layout you designed, perhaps for another quilt sometime or perhaps for me to use ?

I do think where you are with your own quilting the current design makes perfect since (scents, cents) English is my only language and still finding the correct word and spelling is a challenge.

Diane in TX said...

I love your final layout! That KF is perfect for the final border. So happy for you that you are on the home stretch of your wonderful gorgeous pineapple quilt!

Sara en Marie said...

I like that you're honest about being sick of a certain project and just wanting to finish it so you don't have to work on it anymore. I have three quilts like that now. I made the mistake of overcomplicating the quilting, when I really prefer the piecing... it's taking ages and making the quilts too stiff ... for two of them I can still change the plans to some simpler version, the other one I hope will soften up in the wash.