I’ve wanted to make a pineapple quilt for a couple of years now. I heard the rulers out there were frustrating to use and someone offered to show me how to use my Square In A Square ruler, but I never took her up on it. I designed one using EQ with the intention of paper piecing, but as I’ve said before, I’m not a big fan of paper piecing and the quilt didn’t get started. Then I heard about Gyleen Fitzgerald and her ruler (see this post). She made it look so easy and a quilt friend tried it and confirmed that it was. I was getting really antsy to start a new quilt last week and it didn’t take me long to decide which one. Well, it ends up being more than one, as you will see.
Okay, a little more background before I show you how to use the ruler. I’ve been setting aside magazines and books I have with pineapple quilts in them. It wasn’t much of a collection. Looking at the quilts always confused me because they seemed to look different, but were all named just “pineapple quilts”. I guess this happens with a lot of blocks – like the pineapples cousin – the log cabin. So I spent some time studying the pineapple quilts-
“Pineapple quilt blocks are in the Log Cabin family. The difference is that there are eight sets of logs going around the central square, rather than four. Pineapple is one of the older patterns, and has many variations.”
From Patricia Cox and Maggi McCormick Gordon’s Log Cabin Quilts:
“The blocks shown so far in this section are all constructed from strips of approximately the same length in each row. Here the parallel strips are much longer than the corner sections, which create small triangles pointing out”. Flying Geese!
Ah, ha! I think this is what I was having a hard time with. They were different! And Gyleen shows how to do both in her book Trash to Treasure Pineapple Quilts using her Pineapple ruler.
I took some pics as I worked-
Always trim block from the back. To trim round 1, align the 45 degree angles along the cut edge of the center square and the centerline through the stitched corners. Double click on photo to enlarge.
Round 4 and 5 are done the same as 2 and 3.
I learned with round 8 and just used about a 2" long strip and that was plenty.
Ready for the final trim.
Turn block to the back and align the center square on the ruler with the center square of the block.
Hint: Nancy, who teaches at the Jinny Beyer Studio, suggests using a 2" wide strip (rather than 1 1/2") for round 7 and eliminate round 8. See how round 8 (above) is so tiny after trimming. Apparently round 8 is so small it can be a little difficult when sewing the blocks together. (5-22-11)
Gyleen calls this variation Pineapple Chunks-
It's the flying geese version.
The center square and strips are the same as above, but the geese triangles are made from a 3 ½” square cut in half on the diagonal.
I don’t think I could have figured out how to use the ruler without the book. The ruler does come with instructions, but I always need pictures! Show me! The ruler is truly easy to use. My only slip up was in my fabric selection so I have some orphan blocks. I tried to use a dark gold for the light flying geese in the pineapple chunk quilt, but they were really too dark so I switch to a taupe colored fabric.
I’m a pinner and I didn’t feel the need to pin while making these blocks. I just finger pressed until I completed a round and then pressed with the iron. The blocks finish at 8”. One thing I didn’t like – there was a lot of waste when trimming up, but I guess that is pretty typical of these types of rulers. You get waste for the sake of accuracy.
Barb of Fun with Barb used this ruler to make her beautiful pineapple quilt and blogged about it in this post. Her quilt, Lunar Pineapple, was chosen to hang in the Long Beach and Houston Quilt Festivals in the Trash to Treasure exhibit. Congratulations, Barb – that is really neat.
Well, I’m off to make more blocks.