Sunday, December 5, 2010

Gyleen Fitzgerald's Pineapple Quilts

Yesterday I went to Capital Quilts in Gaithersburg for a lecture/demo by Gyleen Fitzgerald ( She is a very engaging speaker and I love her philosophy of quilting - done is better than perfect, break the rules, do what works for you, have your quilts out and use them or your family will yard sale them when you are gone. She wrote a book and designed a ruler (she is an engineer) for making pineapple blocks. I’ve always wanted to make a pineapple quilt, but the rulers on the market scared me off – too many lines – too confusing. A few months ago I printed off a block from my EQ4, but I’m not really a fan of paper piecing and I was already doing a paper piecing project. Gyleen’s ruler looks simple enough to use and I know someone who cranked out a bunch of blocks quickly using her ruler. It only works using 1 ½” strips and her book has a lot of photos and examples of several variations of pineapple quilts. Here are the quilts she showed us.

Front of a vintage bow tie quilt top she bordered and had long arm quilted.

Back of the quilt above it - another vintage top.

Another vintage quilt top she bordered and had quilted.


Back - 
She has a system for her backs. 15" squares with sashing and cornerstones.

The pineapples-

Back of the quilt above it.
 She used quilt blocks she won at a guild meeting (I think) and knew she would never use for a quilt top as the cornerstones.

Here are some fabrics I picked up while I was there-

The 3 on the right were from the dog house so they were only $5 a yard. There wasn't much left of any of them so I finished the bolts. They are 1 1/2 -2 yards each. No definite plans for them - I just liked them. I wanted the grey on the left because I like the way grey and taupe look as lights. I used to rely too much on off whites and beiges. I try to remember to throw in pastels, too. The second from the left is a 1930's repro. I have a lot of these, but none are black. Makes me want to do something with those. The black and white daisy just made me smile - I love daisies and what black and whites do when combined with brights.

I wanted to get going on a pineapple last night, but I have a “quilting for others” quilt in my machine so it will have to wait. I’m doing a meander quilting pattern and got a lot done last night. The quilt is a Take Five pattern cut with the Accuquilt cutting system at one of the quilt meetings I go to. I need to get this quilt done by the 14th for delivery to Walter Reed Army Hospital.

This afternoon I went with some family to see the U.S. Army Blues perform Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite. Excellent!


  1. Interesting! Somebody left a comment on my latest blog post about my trouble with pineapple blocks. She mentioned that she was using Gyleen Fitzgerald's pineapple ruler and loved it. I'd never heard of the lady or her ruler, so I just googled it. This post on your blog popped right to the top of my Google search. I LOVE those quilts that she's showing. Great variations from the typical pineapple blocks. The fussy cut centers are fantastic ideas.
    Oh boy -- more quilts to add to my bucket list!

  2. My goodness, this is an old post, but I wanted to agree with you about Gyleen's teaching style and her Pineapple Quilts. I've made 3 or 4 so far, (on my blog) and I'm itching to make another, using softer browns and tans and pinks. If you make it to my blog, do a SEARCH on the home page.