how to… make a pineapple quilt block

Do you ever get an idea in your mind that you can’t get rid of- until you actually do something about it? I’ve been thinking about pineapple quilts lately. There seems to be a few on websites and Instagram and I’ve becme curious. I think they appeal to me because they are a block for a pieced quilt, as against an applique quilt. And my over-all favourite type of quilt is one with lots of pieces which allow you to play with different fabrics and placements and variations.
So today I had to scratch that itch and try one out. This is my finished block:

LittleBirdie- pineapple block

LittleBirdie- pineapple block

As you can see, I chose to use some of my made-up fabric that I’ve put together from scraps, and contrast that with a texty-type cream fabric. This fabric actually has a print resembling vintage dress patterns all over it, with little bits of green here and there.
I cut strips out of both to use with a paper foundation. I obtained the foundation paper from the Generations Quilt Patterns site, where you can print off either 6″ or 8″ blocks. The instructions are also there for how to make the block, as well as cutting instructions for the strips you need.
I didn’t actually follow those exactly, but instead used another method of paper-foundation piecing that I prefer. You first cut the middle square and a strip to add to that to start the first round. You then use a small card to help you fold the foundation paper back over against the straight edge of the card.
Take a ‘Add a quarter Inch’ ruler that has a little ridge along it at the 1/4″ mark and hold it against the folded fabric and card. It snuggles in nicely against the card. You can then cut the fabric pieces underneath with a quarter-inch seam allowance.
When you go to add the next strip, you just have to line the edge of that strip against the cut edge of the partial block and flip it over and sew on the marked line.
Cut off the tail of the strip and use for the next piece. This also avoids having to cut exact lengths of the strips.
You then just go around the block in number order, sewing exactly on the lines of each piece. Use a smaller stitch length, e.g. 1.6, so it makes it easier to peel the paper away later.
This is what the back of the block looks like.
I also chose to only put the coloured pieces at diagonal corners. Usually, the coloured piece would alternate with the cream strips, and therefore there would be colour pieces going out to each corner like in a cross, but I had seen a picture somewhere with a striking pattern created when all the blocks are joined and just that diagonal colour stripe going through the quilt top.
LittleBirdie- pineapple block

LittleBirdie- pineapple block

Having said that though, I’m not sure if it was the right decision? or even if my choice of fabrics was the best? I like the finished block but you need to have a lot of blocks to put together so you can play around with the secondary patterns you might create. And, making this one block took me the better part of today! So the jury is still out on what I’ll do next with this- satisfied the itch though, for a little while :)

2 thoughts on “how to… make a pineapple quilt block

  1. Love how the Kaffe Fasset fabrics turned out in your block
    (hi, hi, looks like a frightened monkey looking up from a very deep well …)

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