I spent the last couple weeks working on my blue and brown pineapple quilt. Two weeks ago, I was just finishing up some straight-line quilting in the sashing strips.
This week I finalized and began executing my quilt plan for the blocks. More on that below.
I did receive a question or two about the quilt construction. . .
. . . So, I'm taking a tiny step back to take a closer look at the pieced sashing and cornerstone elements.
When I started making this quilt, I used leftovers from a couple of packs of batik pre-cut 10" squares in shades of blue and brown. The pineapple blocks were a great way to use up the bits and pieces, but it also meant I was limited in how many blocks I could make.
I ended up with 35 blocks, each 6" square, finished size. The quilt would have been pretty small, even with borders, if I set the blocks next to each other without sashing. I added the pieced sashing and cornerstones to create an illusion of a beveled frame around each block and to make the quilt larger. This broke up the secondary patterns created by a traditional pineapple setting, and created a completely different look. The sashing elements are strip-pieced then cross-cut and the cornerstones are on-point squares with stitch/flip/snowball-style corners.
After I finished the lines of quilting along the center of each sashing strip. I decided to continue on with the walking foot and straight lines within the blocks. I borrowed the quilting pattern I used on my Swirl placemat a couple of weeks ago. However, it kinda scrambled my brain to try to envision the path of the swirl inside the traditional pineapple block. I knew the swirl was in there, but where?
So I grabbed a see-through page protector and a dry-erase marker from my office supplies, laid the page protector on top of my block and started 'swirling'.
It's hard to see the (messy, but did-the-trick) lines in the photo above, but when I take the quilt away (below), you can see the lines, and my quilt-plan more clearly.
Now that I had my path traced out, implementing it on the quilt was easier than I thought.
Each block required four passes, starting along one seam of the block center, then making a 45˚ turn, then crossing over one seam before making another 45˚ turn and repeating the process (stitch, turn, stitch, turn, etc) until the quilting line intersected the block's outer edge.
Then I'd start back in the center for passes 2, 3, and 4.
Yep, it's time-consuming (but where else am I going?) and it calles for a lot of squishing and rotating at my domestic machine, as I moved the quilt through the sewing machine throat. (I've always been more of a squisher and shover, than a roller and tucker when it comes to quilting). With a quilt this size (smallish lap size) and a decent sized throat on my BERNINA, I don't consider all the squishing a big deal. As long as I can flatten the 6" radius (give-or-take) near the needle so the quilting proceeds comfortably, I'm good!
I did have to let go of one of my original quilting objectives which was to avoid quilting over already-quilted lines. To finish the corners (red arrows in the lower right of the photo on the right), it was easier to sew over the partial quilting lines along the center of each block edge.
I'm good with the exception.
All squishing aside, this is not a fast-finish process. I usually sew for about an hour each morning. Most days, I can finish at least two and as many as four blocks this way in a one-hour session.
You can see the results, from the front, and from the back, below.
I started quilting the blocks some time last week. There are 35 blocks in the quilt (7 rows of 5 blocks) and I'm not quite half-way.
Some things can't (and shouldn't) be rushed. . .