|Pineapple Block In Progress: 33 Pieces Sewn, 64 Pieces (and 35 more blocks) to go!|
I rewarded myself for all of that grunt sewing with some pineapple play time. In case you missed my earlier post about this project, I'm making the 17 3/4" paper pieced pineapple blocks using a free pattern that I downloaded here from Fons & Porter. Now that I've worked out a few kinks, the first pineapple block is coming together very smoothly. Fons & Porter labeled this a "challenging" project, but I think it's ideal for a beginner paper piecer like me -- the only "challenging" part was figuring out how to work the large format printer at the FedEx print shop... but I'm getting ahead of myself.
|FedEx To the Rescue!|
|Default Printer Settings that Don't Work|
|Making a Start: Size 90/14 Needle, Open Toe Presser Foot, and 50/3 Cotton Thread|
I have very little paper piecing experience, and if I can do this, anyone can. I made one paper pieced star block from Carol Doake's book, and that's the full extent of my paper piecing experience. So, if making a paper pieced pineapple block was truly too challenging for a beginner, I would be having a terrible time right now. In fact, the pineapple block is really easy to paper piece because it's all done with strips that are all cut to the same width. There are no fussy little triangles that you might accidentally sew down with their points going in the wrong direction, and you don't have to stop and think about how much to overcut each piece and how to position it before you can sew it in place. The only reason this is slow going for me in the beginning is because I want a very scrappy look for this quilt and I have got LOTS of fabric strewn all over my studio -- I spend at least 15 minutes deciding which fabric I want to use next, and then I have to press the fabric and cut off a 1 1/2" strip.
|Check Fabric Alignment Just Prior to Stitching|
So if any of you have ever wanted to make a pineapple quilt of your own, I encourage you to give it a try. There are a lot of smaller paper pieced pineapple block patterns available if you don't want to deal with printing blocks as big as mine. Alex Anderson has one in her book, Paper Piecing with Alex Anderson, that can be printed on regular sized paper.
I love how my pineapple block looks so far. As I mentioned earlier, this quilt is destined for my master bedroom and it's going to need 36 of these 17 1/2" pineapple blocks in order to comfortably fit a California King bed, factoring in the inevitable shrinkage that happens during quilting and the initial laundering. That's why it's nice to have several projects -- UnFinished Objects (UFOs) or Works In Progress (WIPs) to rotate between, so I can switch to a different project when I get tired of paper piecing strips.
Speaking of WIPs, remember the Bear Paw blocks I was working on? I may have changed my mind about setting my 10 1/2" bear paw blocks on point with plain white alternate blocks as I had originally intended. I did this mockup in EQ7 quilt design software (birthday gift from my sons!) and it looks kind of boring:
Of course, I'm still learning how to use the design software and I have not yet figured out how to adjust the scale of an imported fabric image -- that's why my LouLou Thi Clippings fabric looks like an old-fashioned granny floral (no offense to you hip and stylish grannies out there). My bear paw blocks look much better in real life:
I bought some hand dyed marbled fabrics from Marjorie Lee Bevis that I really love with the LouLou Thi print. They remind me of an artist's palette, with all the oil paints swirled and blended to paint the focal print. I know I'm going to make some 3" sawtooth star blocks out of the marbled fabrics for this quilt, and initially I was thinking of using the stars for a border. But then I played some more in EQ and came up with this:
Again, I'm still learning EQ and haven't yet figured out how to get my sawtooth border sized the way I want it, or how to get rid of the gap at the corners of my ribbon border. But I kind of like the look of straight set bear paw blocks with 3" sashing and 3" sawtooth star sashing posts. So I'm going to make up sixteen sawtooth stars so I can play with them on my design wall and figure out which version I like best.
This post has ended up MUCH longer than what I had planned to write, so I'm going to sign off now and step away from the computer. Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!