Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Pineapple delight: Pineapple log cabin quilts!

This is our first-ever feature on Pineapple Log Cabin quilts.  As the IQSCM explains, the Pineapple block design radiates from the center, and the overlapping angled strips produce a jagged edge that creates a whirl of motion.   Here are some dazzling examples!  (If you are interested in trying a pineapple block or quilt, scroll down for free patterns!)

Note:  We're continually posting free patterns on Twitter! Check us out @QuiltInspire.

Summer Love by Keith Dommer

Blue ribbon winner at the 2014 Tucson Quilt Fiesta for Best Machine Quilted Pieced and Appliqued quilt, Keith writes, "Finally - it's finished !  My first quilt adding turned-edge machine applique to amp up a traditional pieced quilt. And apparently 15 years ago when I started this, I really liked green and orange together."  Keith's message is humorous, but it contains an important lesson:  Never give up on a UFO ( unfinished object), because you might achieve spectacular results upon its completion !

The use of gray and black neutrals as a background really help the green and orange blocks to "pop", in order to display the distinctive triangular, geometric look of the pineapple design. The circles within the center diamonds provide an innovative adaption to this traditional pattern.

Pineapple Log Cabin quilt by Sheila Arnold

Sheila Arnold notes, "I made this quilt to research methods of construction to teach a pineapple log cabin class." Sheila's quilt was part of the "Pieced Pineapple Special Exhibit" shown at the 2014 Quilt Arizona Show in Mesa, AZ.

Close up, Pineapple Log Cabin quilt by Sheila Arnold

The pineapple pattern is one that looks great in high contrast colors, whether the fabric is batik, solid colors, or small calico prints. The midnight blue, cream, and red calico prints give a contemporary, but warm and cozy look to this eye-catching design. Extra visual interest is provided by the four-patch blocks which nicely frame the quilt's center medallion.

Red Licorice, 34 x 34",  by Linda McGibbon

Linda explains, "I used pineapple blocks in a diamond shape. I then used black background fabric in some of the pieces and Stitch-n-Ditch to make the design three dimensional." Red Licorice won Second Place, Pieced-Small, at the 2013 Shipshewana Quilt Festival. A pattern for Red Licorice is available at Linda McGibbon's website: Lakeview Quilting.

Close up, Red Licorice by Linda McGibbon

Set against the dark black background, these high-chroma hues glow beautifully, almost as if they are illuminated by a black light.

When Pineapples Kaleide by Judy D. Birchett, quilted by Kate Snyder

This elegant creation is a cross between a Lone Star and a Pineapple quilt.  Judy Birchett says that When Pineapples Kaleide was based on the New Day Dawning quilt pattern, which can be found in the book, Pineapple Stars by Sharon Rexroad (2005).

Close up, When Pineapples Kaleide by Judy D. Birchett, quilted by Kate Snyder

Judy used the word "kaleide" to title this quilt, because her design looks like the pattern seen inside a kaleidoscope, a mirror-filled cylinder which displays fragments of images when one looks into it. This intricate center star is surrounded by an intriguing quilting pattern which replicates the sharp points of the pineapple blocks, but also adds some lyrical curves to provide a sense of balance to this innovative work.

Aurora by Dixie Haywood, exhibited by Lynn Kough

Lynn Kough says, "[This] quilt was purchased at a National Quilting Association Little Quilt Auction, which benefits the Grant Programs. It's wonderful to own a pineapple quilt made by one of the "dynamic duo" - Jane Hall and Dixie Haywood."
There are actually nine pineapple blocks in this quilt. In the blocks on the edges, the four outer pineapple rings were done in a single color (purple), which emphasizes the octagonal shape within each block.

The center block, done in four different colors, is shown below:

Jane Hall and Dixie Haywood have promoted the paper-piecing method of constructing pineapple quilts in order to enhance accuracy, which you can see in these blocks. In fact, in their book Hall and Haywood's Foundational Quilts, they advocate for using paper-piecing in the construction of almost every traditional geometric pattern.

Fresh Pineapple Possibilities, 2013, by Jane Hall and Dixie Haywood (Amazon)

On her website,  Jane Hall says, "My friend Dixie Haywood and I have written six books about this old-made-new technique. We wrote the first book on Pineapples and have been known ever since as ‘The Pineapple Queens.’ "

For more pineapple inspiration, here are some fun tutorials and free patterns:

Patterned pineapple block, free pattern with templates, download at Quilt Mag

Pineapple block tutorial by Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts

Inside Out pineapple block, free pattern by Louise at Feelin' Crafty

What makes this block "inside out" ?  Louise says:  "When I really looked at... all the pineapple blocks out there, the square in the middle is little and the small part of the ‘pineapple’ is in the center. I wanted the block to be just the opposite!" This block became the center of the 2015 Seattle Modern Quilt Guild Block of the Month quilt.

Improv Pineapple Log Cabin block tutorial at The Modern Quilt Guild

The typical pineapple log cabin block is paper pieced, but this modern version by Jacquie Gering is improvisationally pieced with stitch-and-flip triangles.

Royal pineapple quilt, paper pieced, free pattern by Jinny Beyer (PDF download) 

Royal Pineapple is made with 14" blocks in a 4 x 4 setting. One of the blocks is highlighted in white in the above photo.

New Moon quilt, 95 x 95", free pattern by Jinny Beyer

New Moon features pineapple blocks alternating with mariner's compass blocks. Set side-by-side and with carefully shaded fabrics, the blocks create a soft glow.

Image credits:  Quilt show photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the Arizona Quilters' Guild show, the Tucson Quilt Fiesta (Summer Love), and the Houston International Quilt Festival (Red Licorice).

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