You’re looking at the intersection of four pineapple blocks in my granddaughter Bethany’s quilt top. I just had to fussycut a little birdie from the focus fabric (“Birdie” by Pam Kitty Morning) in each of the four interior cornerstones.
Little birdies are in the center of every block:
Here’s a look at the finished quilt top, which measures about 62″ square:
This is the supersized version of the baby quilt I made a few months ago using Karin Hellaby’s Pineapple Plus design from her book of the same name. She has a clever method of constructing the pineapple blocks that leaves the outer edges of the colored blocks on the bias. To supersize the blocks (from 10½” to 14½” unfinished) I added two additional rounds, cutting the outer triangles so the two short edges would be on the straight of grain. A couple of those triangles were deliberately cut with the short edges on the bias to preserve the directional design on the fabric.
I guess I went a little overboard cutting triangles for the first quilt because I still have a lot left over, even after making a second quilt. Some of those triangles will wind up on the pieced backing, my project du jour.
Today happens to be a rare day with no appointments or errands to run so I’m treating it like a snow day. I’m spending the entire day in my sewing room, except for the time taken to write this post. On my agenda: working on a lap quilt for Granddaughter #4 (in birth order).
I have six granddaughters. When I took up quilting seriously a decade or so ago, my oldest granddaughters were already having babies so I started making quilts for the great grandchildren. The pineapple quilt I finished in October for Baby Alira was the twelfth one made for a great grandchild:
Now it’s time to make quilts for my granddaughters. I’m starting with #4, Bethany, for the simple reason that she told me how much she loved the fabrics I was using in Baby Alira’s quilt. Since I had plenty of fabric left over and shapes already cut, I decided to make a larger version of the same quilt for Bethany.
The pineapple blocks in Baby Alira’s quilt finish at 10″ square. By adding two more rounds, I wound up with blocks for Bethany’s quilt that will finish at 14″ square. Here are those blocks up on my design wall:
Now it’s time to add the sashing and cornerstones, to be followed by borders. Do come back soon to check on my progress!
I just got back from a fun-filled three days at Quilt Camp. Hanging out with a dozen wonderful quilting friends and working on whatever my mood dictated was a terrific way to spend 72 hours. I’ve been going to Quilt Camp for the last 10 years or so and gee, it’s great. No cooking, no cleaning, no laundry. No idling away the hours playing Scrabble online. Okay, I did play my turns in a few ongoing games but for the most part managed to stay away from electronics (except for my sewing machine).
I decided to start with a quick and easy project, this Rising Star quilt designed by Lauren Palmer that appeared in the Sept. 2017 issue of American Quilter magazine, the publication of the American Quilter’s Society:
Lauren’s quilt, made of all solids, finishes at 40″ square. It was constructed of 4″ squares and 4″ Half-Square Triangles (HSTs) plus 4″ strips for the border. I resized the blocks to 5″ to make a slightly larger quilt (50″ square) and chose pink and orange floral prints from the 2014 “Paradise” line from Camelot Cottons to go with a white-on-white background fabric and a navy blender. I switched the placement of pink and orange, using pink for the smaller star in the middle of my quilt and orange for the larger star.
After studying the design and the directions, I decided to incorporate Flying Geese and Split Cat’s Cradle blocks in my quilt to minimize the number of seams. If you’ve never heard of a Split Cat’s Cradle block, this is what it looks like:
This block could have been made of four smaller blocks — one square and three HSTs — but I didn’t want to interrupt the flow of the printed fabric with seam lines. I also didn’t want to fuss with cutting and sewing triangles so I turned to the Cat’s Cradle Ruler designed by Deb Heatherly for Creative Grids. With the ruler you start with squares and rectangles and wind up with two blocks at a time. The finished squares range in size from 1½” – 4″ square. My block finished at 10″ square so I had to do some figuring to determine what sizes my squares and rectangles should be.
I doubted one of those calculations, which was a mistake. It led me to sew eight seams using squares of fabric that were a quarter inch too small. I had to take out the stitching, cut new squares, and resew. I think I spent as much time making those Split Cat’s Cradle blocks as I did the rest of the quilt. This was strictly operator error. The ruler and directions are excellent and I will use them many times in the future.
The pink star in the center of my quilt was made with 10″ x 5″ Flying Geese blocks instead of Half Square Triangles, which also involved some quilt math.
After my quilt top was done (before borders) I put it up on the design wall and took a picture:
Oops. Do you see what I see? One of my corner hourglass blocks is turned the wrong way. I didn’t notice it until after I looked at this photo and then it jumped right out at me.
Ah, this is better:
I didn’t have enough white background fabric with me at Camp to add the border strips. I can do that now that I’m home but there are other options. I could make the quilt even bigger by adding an additional pieced border. Or I could it declare it done and move on. Right now it measures 40½” square, a good size for a baby quilt. Any recommendations?
In my next post I’ll show you what else I worked on at Quilt Camp.
I found the perfect fabric in my stash to bind this sweet baby quilt:
It’s a random blue on blue polka dot that picks up on the shades of blue on the birdies scattered across the focus fabric. I really like how the blue binding frames the quilt on both front . . .
. . . and back:
One more look:
Now freshly laundered, this quilt is ready to be wrapped up and sent to its new owner, Baby Alira.
Alira’s Quilt measures 44″ square. The pineapple blocks were made using the Four Triangle Method described in Karin Hellaby’s book Pineapple Plus (Quilter’s Haven Publications, 2010). Sherry Wadley quilted it edge-to-edge with a delightful cloud motif.
I have enough fabric left to make another quilt. I’m going to add another round to make the pineapple block bigger and make a quilt for a young mother of three little boys who needs a feminine lap quilt to snuggle up in. Luckily, I have enough left of that wonderful polka dot fabric to bind a second quilt.
Just back from the longarm quilter: this baby quilt using Karin Hellaby’s method of making pineapple blocks:
Longarmer Sherry Wadley and I decided a fluffy cloud motif would be the perfect match for the focus fabric, a delightful print featuring parasol-toting birdies. Here’s a better look at the quilting and one of those fussycut birdies in the sashing strips:
For the back I used leftover strips of fabric sewn together randomly, with angled seams for added interest:
After trimming the quilt measures 45½” square.
The next big decision: what color to use for the binding. I’m leaning toward a medium blue, the same color as the birdies, but I’m open to suggestions.
The DH and I got home today from a week-long road trip that took us north into Washington State and British Columbia. Our goal was to watch a minor league baseball game every night. (Yes, I do love baseball that much.)
Mission accomplished: seven games, six stadiums, and about 1250 miles of total driving. The trip was fun and relaxing and totally enjoyable. We took our time each day, taking secondary roads when we could and really enjoying the scenery. I’ve lived in the Pacific Northwest my entire life and never cease to marvel at its natural beauty.
Coming home to triple-digit temperatures was not part of the plan. The temperature is expected to hit 105 degrees in Portland today and 106 degrees tomorrow. My sewing room is on the second floor of our 1913 Craftsman house. Air-conditioned? Nope. Guess I won’t be spending much time up there the next couple of days.
The night before we left on our trip I finished the baby quilt top I’ve been working on:
This is a variation of the Pineapple Plus design by Karin Hellaby. Adding white sashing strips to lessen the intensity of the stronger colors was a good call. I added an outer border of the birdie fabric (Garden Birds by Pam Kitty Morning for Lakehouse Dry Goods) and love how it turned out. The top now measures 46″ square.
The only problem is I used up almost all of that birdie fabric. On a whim I decided to check the Internet to see if it was still available. You know, just in case. Not only did I find another yard of the fabric, I discovered it also came in a green background color called “lettuce.” Well, you know how much I love green . . .
Look what was waiting for me when I got home:
Do you ever like a fabric so much you search for more more when you’ve used it up? Surely I’m not the only one.
Our road trip involved stops at quilt shops in some of the smaller cities where minor league games are played. My sweet husband even made a list of shops for me to visit. Be it known: I did not come home empty-handed.
While I wait for temperatures in Portland to drop — the forecast is for another week of temperatures in the low to mid-90s — I’m going to hunker down in the basement where it’s nice and cool. Instead of sewing I’ll continue editing the photos I took at the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show last month. The plan is to have a couple of posts about that in the near future. I hope you’ll check back.
A funny thing happened when I got a few more blocks made for the baby quilt I’m making from Karin Hellaby’s Pineapple Plus book. When I put the blocks up on my design wall, I wasn’t loving what I was seeing:
No matter how I turned them, the deepest of the blue and pink fabrics seemed too intense. I was going for a softer look. When the blocks were spaced out on my design wall I liked the effect a lot better:
“Ah, yes,” thought I. “What this quilt needs is some white sashing strips.”
Then I thought of those darling little birdies in the centers of the blocks:
The birdies are scattered over the fabric every which way, which is why I didn’t fussycut them to begin with. I like the fact that no matter which way you turn the quilt, you see some birdies right side up.
I realized they were just the right size for the intersections of my sashing strips:
I wound up fussycutting a few after all. They’ll look really good against the crisp white background fabric. I like where this is going now, don’t you?
I so enjoyed making a baby quilt using the technique Karin Hellaby describes in her book Pineapple Plus that I’m making a second one:
Isn’t that a sweet block? The print in the center of the block features parasol-toting birds scattered on a field of flowers. The fabric, from my stash, is called Garden Birds by Pam Kitty Morning for Lakehouse Dry Goods. The birds are tossed every which way . . .
. . . so I didn’t bother fussycutting the blocks.
This quilt will be quite scrappy compared with the first one. I’m using mostly medium light values of blue, green, pink, and aqua for the triangles, neatly organized on a cookie sheet:
Here are my first four blocks:
This is just a temporary arrangement. I won’t decide on the final setting till all the blocks are made. The largest triangles that form an on-point square in the center can be one color, four colors, or two colors forming an hourglass as shown above.
I like the design and the process of Pineapple Plus so much I am thinking of making a grown-up version. But first I need to finish this one!
Aren’t these lovely? They are the first group of Mini Mod Tile blocks coming from the second group of quilters attending the Pine Needle Quilt Shop’s retreat in western Washington last month. (You can read all about the first group’s output in my preceding post.) The blocks you see above were made by Sandra and Dena (top row) and Linda and Barbara B. (second row).
Here are the second group of blocks:
These were made by Lorri and Barbara S. (first row) and Liz and Roxanne (second row).
The venue for the retreat was St Andrews House on Hood Canal near Union, Washington. In my previous post I showed you the view of the Olympic Mountains from the long porch at St Andrews House. Here are some photos of the house itself starting with the porch, which runs along the back of the house:
The view from the parking lot:
The herb garden:
A pleasant shaded seating area:
Such a lovely retreat and conference center!
Now for more blocks. These blue and white blocks were made by Joyce . . .
. . . and these were made by Sue and Lisa:
So far all the blocks you’ve seen measure 11″ unfinished and were made with the QCR Mini, the small version of the original Quick Curve Ruler by Sew Kind of Wonderful. Kay was one of those making my “supersized” version of Mini Mod Tiles in which the blocks measure 18″ unfinished:
What about those three blocks on top? Kay was also working on a second project, making Ribbon Star blocks from the Missouri Star Quilt C0. It’s pretty clear Kay likes color!
Another quilter making colorful supersized blocks was Kristine:
Missy was making the mini version using a palette quite similar to Kristine’s:
Three of my students were using the original Quick Curve Ruler to make different designs by Sew Kind of Wonderful. Janna started with the free pattern Spring Fling from SKW but departed from the design to do her own thing. Here’s her first block:
Katie fell in love with the pattern Dancing Churndash designed by SKW for Cut Loose Press. Here are her first two blocks:
Delia chose SKW’s Chic Diamonds design:
With the second group of students I was much better at getting pictures of them with their projects toward the end of our time together. Here is Rosalie with her five beautiful blocks:
Barbara B. completed a runner . . .
. . . and had enough fabric left to make a mini Fun Poinsettia block:
Here’s Missy with her four blocks sewn together:
Do you see how there’s a fifth block in the center that is made up of partial blocks from the four? This is an example of a secondary block design being the same as the primary.
In addition to their blocks (shown behind them), Dena and Kristine made self-binding baby blankets in soft flannels:
Dena showed several quilters how she mitered the corners on her baby quilt. Joyce practiced the technique, making a square with mitered corners in addition to her lovely runner:
Another vision in blue and white is Roxanne’s quilt top:
Linda decided to change the 3 x 3 setting to 4 x 5 to make a bigger quilt. Here is half of her Mini Mod Tiles quilt sewn together:
Mini Mod Tiles looks wonderful in both traditional and modern fabrics. Here is Sandra with her four-block runner in soothing muted colors. . .
. . . and Lorri with her five-block runner using bright Tula Pink prints:
Lisa’s runner makes me think of pink lemonade:
Or maybe raspberry sorbet?
Liz completed her purple pansy runner and made a second one with a charming pinecone print:
Sue departed from the original design by incorporating sashing strips inside some of her blocks:
Remember Janna’s bright batik block? Here is her quilt top complete with narrow and wide borders:
Here is Katie with her four Dancing Churndash blocks:
Can you believe Katie is working on her very first quilt? Amazing! She has a bright future as a quiltmaker.
Katie’s sister Barbara S. was originally planning to make a runner but she liked her blocks so well she kept making them and wound up with a quilt top!
In this photo Kay has laid out her supersized blocks and is auditioning the scrappy connector strips between blocks:
Kay also made a few more fabulous Ribbon Star blocks:
During her time at the retreat Delia finished quilting a quilt begun in an improv class with Jean Wells:
The back is as interesting as the front:
It was all quilted on Delia’s domestic machine. She was on deadline: her quilt needed to be in the mail the following week to Sisters, Oregon where it will hang in the world’s largest outdoor quilt show on Saturday, July 7.
That’s the perfect segue to let you know I am in Sisters right now with my quilt group, the Quisters. We’ve taken classes this week put on by A Quilter’s Affair and we will all be at the quilt show tomorrow where a record 1,497 quilts will be hung for one day. Of course I will be keeping an eye out for Delia’s quilt.
I hope you have enjoyed seeing the beautiful blocks, runners, quilt tops, and other projects created by my students at the two Pine Needle retreats!
The year 2017 has gotten off to a slow start in terms of finished projects. I have several projects in the hopper and a few are close to being done; does that count?
At least today I can claim a bona fide finish. Here is Baby Selene’s Pineapple Plus quilt, started in a class taught by Karin Hellaby:
Notice the binding? I made it to finish at ½” wide (rather than my usual ¼”) so it would provide a strong frame for the quilt and pick up the tiny bits of red found in three of the four prints used in the quilt:
The binding strips were cut on the bias so the cross-hatching would be oriented on the diagonal just like the centers of the blocks, which were cut on the bias because I liked the effect.
I had fun playing with leftover blocks for the back of the quilt, using two regular blocks and one larger one, all set on point to make them even bigger:
I love how the red binding pulls it all together.
The label is a simple square-in-a-square block that echoes the larger on-point blocks:
After the label was stitched in place by hand, I realized I had forgotten to put my last name on it. I’m sure Baby Selene won’t mind.
As usual, Coco insisted on claiming the quilt (temporarily, of course):
After these photos were taken, the quilt went into the washer and dryer. Here it is now in all its puckery charm:
Selene will receive her quilt in person at a family reunion in Central Oregon coming up in a couple weeks. In the meantime, I get to enjoy it in its temporary location on my quilt wall: