07 Feb

Aloha Pineapple Quilt Along: part 4


Project Introduction here

Part 1 (supplies) here.

Part 2 here.

Part 3 here.

Today’s will be a short post. I had grand plans of showing off everyone’s progress, but I forgot both my camera and my phone with it’s camera.

Here’s my own progress though:

Aloha Pineapple Log Cabin

And DianeY’s progress (since she’s following along online and emailed me her photo). Check out those cute little pineapples in the center of each block:

The rest of the class has a wonderful variety — Kathleen’s has a beachy feel, Katie’s is bold and jewel toned, Deb’s reminds me of a hula festival, and Jason’s is a quilt version of a Kahala or Reyn Spooner shirt.

A couple of tips we discovered along the way:

• when trimming up for the next round, look for the line where your stitching converges in a corner or almost-corner.
• if your fabrics are bunching up when you start sewing, use a longer strip that extends beyond the feed dogs.
• Jason, Katie and Deb like to work each round by sewing fabrics on opposite sides. Kathleen prefers to work each round clockwise.
• paper piecing is for people who can’t sew straight!

Next week we’ll have more to show — I promise!

02 Feb

Aloha Pineapple Quilt Along: part 3


Project Introduction here

Part 1 (supplies) here.

Part 2 here.

Now that you’ve got your foundations printed and your fabrics cut, or at least piled nearby, it’s time to start sewing.


Take a look at the foundation. The center block is labeled #1. The next round, shaded triangles, is labeled #2 — and that number applies to all the pieces (or logs) in that round. Round #3 is white logs, and so it continues. You will work each round before continuing on to the next one.


Place the 2″ (or thereabouts) square of fabric you’ve chosen for your center, face UP, on the un-printed side of the foundation. Hold the paper and fabric up to the light to make sure that your fabric extends at least 1/4″ beyond the edges of the printed square (these are your seam allowances). I find it helpful to secure the fabric in place with a dab of glue from a glue stick. Now, take your secondary fabric that you already cut into 1.5″ strips (the solid green in my example) and cut a log a tad longer than the base of the triangle. Place this, face DOWN (some solids don’t have a right or wrong side, and in that case it doesn’t matter which side is down) along one side of your center square. Pin this in place if you’d like.



Set the stitch length on your machine to shorter than normal. Small stitches will both perforate the foundation paper, making it easier to rip off later, and makes the stitches sturdier to hold up to the ripping. Now flip your foundation paper over and sew along the printed line of the side of the square on which you placed your second piece of fabric. Start a little before the beginning of the line and end a few stitches after it ends.


Remove your project from the sewing machine. Finger press your secondary fabric open so it now covers the shaded shape.



Cut and place another bit of the secondary fabric, face down along another side of the center square. It doesn’t matter with the pineapple block if you go clockwise, counterclockwise, or opposite sides when working each round. Flip the foundation to the printed side and sew along the printed line of the side of the square on which you placed your third piece of fabric. Remove from the machine, finger press the fabric open, and add the next log to the third side of the center square. Flip, sew, press open, and add the final log in the same manner. (I’ve kind of skipped ahead in this photo and trimmed a few logs before adding the last one. You should sew on all teh logs in a round before trimming.)


Once you’ve finished a round, I like to go to the ironing board and press the fabrics with a dry iron to make sure everything is in place. Now place your foundation fabric side down on a cutting mat.


Place the straight edge of a stiff piece of paper, like a postcard, along one of the lines between round #2 and round #3 (between the shaded triangles, and the white logs). Fold back the foundation paper, exposing the fabric below. Place a rotary ruler 1/4″ over the folded edge and cut off any fabric that extends beyond that 1/4″ seam allowance. This sets up a perfect edge for you to place the fabrics in the next round!


Rotate your foundation and fold back on the next line that is also between rounds #2 and #3 (use the postcard to make the folding easier). Place your ruler 1/4″ over the folded edge and cut off any excess fabric. Do the same to the remaining two sides. Now you are ready for round three.


Place a piece of your primary fabric (scrappy aloha prints in my example above) face DOWN along one of the edges you just trimmed. You can rotary cut your fabric beforehand to 1.5″ by a little longer than the longest side of the #3 white logs, or just snip a scrap that’s about the right size.


Flip the foundation over and sew along the line between round #2 and round #3. Remove from the sewing machine and press open the fabrics. Continue the round in the same manner.


When you’ve finished the round, press it with an iron and place your foundation fabric side down on the cutting mat. This time, fold along the printed line between round #3 and round #4.


This will be across the corners of round #3, not parallel to the logs you’ve just sewn. Cut off excess fabric (leaving the 1/4″ seam allowance) as with the previous round.



After trimming all four sides, it’s time to sew on the next round, which is the secondary fabric. The logs in this round will not meet each other at the corners. That’s OK because the next round will cover those corners.


Continue sewing, flipping, pressing and trimming in alternating rounds of solid and scrappy fabric until you get to the eighth (shaded) round. Make sure that your fabrics extend at least to the dashed line (seam allowance) on this round. The ninth round are those big corner triangles of your dominant fabric. This is a great place to use those odd shaped scraps; just make sure that they too extend at least to the dashed line.


Press your finished block so all the fabrics lie flat and then trim the block square along the dashed lines. Make more blocks, using a new paper foundation for each one. The goal is 63 blocks total.

Next Monday(ish) we’ll see how everyone in class did with their “homework” and answer any specific questions that may have arisen.

24 Jan

Aloha Pineapple Quilt Along: part 1


You can read the introduction to the quilt along here.

Today was the first day of class at Ho’ae’ae Park. After catching up on who was coming to class and who wasn’t and why, and comparing notes on the geographic inaccuracies of Hawaii Five-0, we got down to the real business of what fabric we needed and how much. The class supply list is basically the following:

Basic Supplies

sewing machine with universal or microtex needle size 80
thread for sewing (all purpose polyester or 100% cotton 40 or 50 weight)
rotary cutter
cutting mat
clear quilting ruler)
pins (thin pins are best)
postcard or similar piece of stiff paper with a straight edge
paper foundations, 1 per block (downloadable next week)


approximately 3 yards of a solid colored fabric
a total of three yards of assorted fat quarters, quarter or eighth yards, or scraps of Aloha fabrics (or the fabrics of your choice)
cotton or low loft batting slightly larger than your quilt top
approximately 3 yards fabric for backing and binding

Because we’re focusing on using aloha prints, I decided that a solid fabric would be a nice foil to all the tropical busy-ness. My samples use chartreuse, but aqua or turquoise would work similarly. A neutral taupe, chocolate, or caffe au lait would really make the brights stand out and still tie them in to decor with lots of woods or other neutrals. Orange would make a wonderfully juicy quilt. Red looks great with aloha fabrics! White is a good option, as well as black, for a bold look.

I am excited to see what everyone brings to class next week. A crib/lap sized quilt that is 7 blocks across and 9 blocks down will need between 2.5 and 3 yards of the solid fabric. We’ll see how far we get over the next five or so weeks and then start making plans for the final size of our quilts.

Depending on whether you use your solid fabric on the horizontal and vertical logs, or on the diagonal logs will affect the balance of solid and print. Solids on the horizontal and vertical will showcase more of your scrappy print fabric, while using the solids in the diagonal pieces will give more emphasis to the solid fabric. It’s up to you which way to go. If scrappy kinda scares you, put the emphasis on your solid (second photo above). I want to emphasize the aloha prints, so I’ll use them in the diagonals (first photo above).

Of course, you don’t HAVE to use aloha prints. You could use contemporary florals from your stash, or how about shirt plaids? Deb in our class loves animal prints, so she could use a bunch of animal prints, combined with red solid for a wild quilt! (Her stash isn’t quite big enough for that though, but I’m betting that a bit of leopard sneaks into her tropical garden!) Another suggestion was japanese-esque indigos, which I know would look super classy with taupe.

Making the center of each block the same can add some spark to the quilt. I think red can stand up to just about anything. If a colorful solid for the logs of your blocks seems too much for you to live with, a bright center with a neutral (taupe, grey, chocolate, navy, etc.) for the other solid logs could be just the ticket! A half yard should be more than enough for all the centers.

So, gather your scraps, pick a solid you love, and we’ll meet next week to wrap our heads around the paper piecing process.

18 Jan

Aloha Pineapple Quilt Along!

It’s almost time for me to start a new class at Ho’ae’ae Park in my neighborhood. The last session went great — instead of my usual sampler quilt, I broke many of the skills down into smaller, more manageable projects. This time, everyone had at least two finished items at the end of class, and several went on to make variations and multiples!

The only problem is that we had so much fun in class almost everyone wanted to sign up again and learn to make more things! Now I’ve got to come up with something new. This seemed like a good opportunity to make the Pineapple Log Cabin quilt out of aloha fabrics that I’ve been contemplating.

I’ve decided that we can each bring as many aloha scraps or quarter yards as we have, or wish to buy, and then we can share them all for a wonderfully scrappy look and that sharing spirit of aloha as well.

Each individual will use his or her solid fabric of choice to pull their quilt together. I have only made a few sample blocks, but I mocked up an idea of what the quilts might look like. I bought a bolt of chartreuse solid last year, so that will be the grounding fabric for my quilt.

It looks pretty intense, but we’ll be using paper piecing and we’ve got ten weeks in which to make all the blocks. My mock up is crib or lap sized, but things could change as we go along.

I can think of at least two people who would like to participate in this but classes at the park are not practical. I’m also quite confident that my blog does not compete with my park classes. So here’s my invitation to you. I will post the instructions online as we proceed with the class. You don’t get to share our fabrics, but maybe you can get a friend or two to play along.


I’ll post once a week, most likely after class on Monday, which could easily end up being Tuesday posts. We’ll see how it goes. We’ll also see how the tempo of the class goes. What’s that local saying? “Relax, we’re not on the Mainland anymore.”

Class starts on the 24th. My first post will include a fabric list, some sample blocks and probably a downloadable foundation. I hope you can join us!