The Pineapple quilt block is a variation of the Log Cabin block, but with eight “logs” or strips around a center square instead of four. How to get eight strips around a four-sided square? Sew each round at a 45-degree angle to the previous one. Sound complicated? It can be, but there are great tools to help you sew a Pineapple quilt pattern!
Sewing on a muslin foundation – which stays in the quilt – or a printed paper foundation – which is removed after stitching – can help you stitch accurate blocks. A muslin foundation adds stability to the block, but also adds some bulk which might be a consideration for quilting. Foundation paper piecing gives you very accurate blocks because you stitch on the printed seam lines. While some find the process of removing the papers meditative, others find it tedious. You know which kind of quilter you are, so choose what works best for you.
Another option is to use one of the great Pineapple quilt rulers now available. The Creative Grids Pineapple Trim Tool is one of them. It has clear markings and non-slip grippers as well as clear written instructions for a free Pineapple quilt block pattern. It’s one way to sew a Pineapple quilt block without paper piecing. The Creative Grids Pineapple Trim Tool is the ruler I used in this tutorial.
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You can make Pineapple quilts blocks planned or scrappy, modern or vintage, bright or low volume. The piecing for the Pineapple variation is a step up from other Log Cabins, and alternating rows of lights and darks create a vibrant visual effect.
Pineapple quilts appeared after log cabin quilts in the 1870s and they are a form of log cabin, They sometimes have red centers, like traditional log cabins have. As with many quilt blocks, this block has alternative regional names, such as, Maltese Cross and Windmill Blades.
When Pineapple quilt blocks are set together with high contrast fabrics, they begin to form prickly pineapple shapes. These bright blues and yellows look like they were just plucked from a tropical garden.
What’s the best way to make a scrappy Pineapple quilt?
Sometimes I just want to power stitch without having to stress over intricate design and precision piecing. Scrappy Pineapple Quilt makes days like this sweet. All I needed was a pile of 2 ½-inch squares in compatible colors and random strips separated into lights and darks. Then I made a dent in the scrap bin and got a colorful quilt that required very little planning.
The first 20 blocks on the design wall, above, hint at what this quilt will become. Other than lights and darks and trying to not repeat fabrics within blocks, I did not plan fabric placement. When it was time to place a dark strip, I just reached into the bin of dark fabric strips. Whatever I grabbed declared itself the next piece. The style of fabric didn’t matter, resulting in interesting juxtapositions. Civil war reproductions next to juvenile prints next to contemporary designs next to florals, etc., etc. Because I didn’t agonize over which fabrics were good neighbors, I could just have fun sewing and being surprised. The blocks kept on coming until there were 100!
Ugh. Basting. My least favorite part of the process! But I was with good friends all working on various projects, so the time passed quickly!
Quilted and bound! I even stitched down the corner miters of the binding! Take that, quilt police! Now the Scrappy Pineapple is ready for a new home!
The Trash to Treasure Pineapples Quilts and the Colorful Stitches Pineapple Tool helped guide my planning and trimming the pineapples.
What is a Pineapple quilt block?
A Pineapple quilt block is a variation of the log cabin block. It has a center square, traditionally red, but it can be any color the maker wants. The big difference is the number of “logs” in the block. While a log cabin block has four “logs” or rounds surrounding the center square, a Pineapple quilt block has eight. How do you get eight sides on a square? By cutting each round at a 45-degree angle, creating eight “sides” on a square quilt block. When the angled sides come together in a quilt, they resemble prickly pineapples.
How do I use a Pineapple quilt ruler?
There are several Pineapple quilt rulers, and each has instructions unique to that particular tool. What they have in common is that they start with a center square and have placement markings that show you how to trim each step of the way. The Pineapple Trim Tool from Creative Grids makes 6-inch, 8-inch and 10-inch pineapple blocks. It’s important that your ruler not slip while you are cutting (that could ruin a block!), so if the pineapple quilt ruler you choose does not have built-in grips like Creative Grids rulers have, I recommend that you add quilt ruler grips such as True Grips.
How do I sew a Pineapple quilt block?
To sew a Pineapple quilt block, start with a center square. Add a segment to each side and trim at a 45-degree angle, leaving a quarter-inch seam allowance at the corners, making a square-in-a-square. Add a segment to each of the four sides you just cut and trim at 45 degrees as before. Continue adding segments and trimming until your block is the size you want. Fill in the corners with triangle pieces and square up the block.
How should I make a Pineapple quilt for a baby?
A Pineapple quilt is a great choice for a baby quilt because of its vibrant, high-contrast design. Baby quilt size is a matter of preference. Crib size battings are generally 45 X 60 inches, so that is one guideline. (But remember that for safety reasons infants should not have any loose bedding in their cribs.) 36 X 36 inches is a good tummy time size for a wee one, and you can make it a bit larger to allow for growth and/or later bedtime use. Using the Pineapple quilt blocks in this tutorial, making 16 10-inch blocks would make a 40 X 40-inch baby quilt, a good size for playtime as well as cuddle time.
Browse through more free quilt patterns on Create Whimsy.