I spent a bunch of time making pineapple blocks for the Christmas Block Swap. I wasn't finished in time for the swap, but sent word that I was making progress. (Didn't promise I'd be done in time for next month, but intend to be done this coming week.)
I made a few test blocks to be sure I could do it, and then set about cutting lots of 2.5 inch strips. For my block I only needed 2 inch strips, but I thought I needed the extra wiggle room.
I decided to use the focus fabric in the center, cutting that 3.5 inches square.
For the dark color, I decided to use the dark green I had acquired at the quilt shop fire sale years ago.
For the light colors, I used the white on whites I collected on the cross country driving trip. All purchased at different quilt shops along the way, with most of them I think from Lancaster PA shops. My plan is to use a different fabric for each round, but to use the same fabric within the round.
I sewed strips to surround the center block, then used the rulers to end up markings (using a pencil) to show me where to place the next color down to sew.
Lauren had suggested we first draw a square around the center block that was 1/4 inch, then use that to draw the fabric placement lines, but I didn't want to give the blocks with a pencil mark showing so I use the 45 degree line. I placed a mark on the ruler so I would be consistent with where I placed the ruler to draw the line.
I used the ruler to double check that I had a square.
So then it's just a matter of sewing the next color around, trimming so the log is one inch, and continuing. Lauren had suggested just trimming the fabric as you go, but I thought it was better to cut the strips up ahead of time. I made another test block and wrote down measurements for the subcuttig. After the first row, can line up with the bottom line and the previous row seams.
I cut some of my white strips so they were 3 inches long, (I wrote down the wrong amount when doing the test block!) so they were put aside to be used for another project, as I needed them to be at minimum the same length as the center block.
I was making great progress and then my iron stopped working. So unreasonable! I had purchased the iron at my Godsister's garage sale around 1975 - so it had served me very well. My son remembered that CVS carried irons so he went to pick one up for me. What a difference! Heats up so quickly! It is a good addition to my sewing tools. It was less that $30 - a Silhouette. However, the on and off switch and temperature gauges are made by letter indents in the white plastic. So once I got it on, I decided to keep it at the same temperature, and to plug it on and off instead of messing with the pretty much invisible to me markings. Anyway, I like it. And it was so nice of my son to pick it up for me.
After pressing a round down, I set about sewing some logs down - but then saw that the last pieces might end up being less that the 1.25 inch that I had planned. I realized I had been measuring from the seam of the log, but I needed to change to the tip of the center piece. (That's when I realized I couldn't make the deadline.) Luckily it meant only redoing about ten blocks - two seams each. The next morning I sewed each piece down again 1/8 inch nearer, removed the original stitching and trimmed the seams down to 1/4 inch.
Then the machine really started squeaking. So I had to put that aside and pulled out the Kenmore I had had serviced fall 2019 - but never used as I like the bobbin in the Singer and it's so much lighter. But my Mom's Kenmore is sewing like a dream so I'm happy to use it now. Very quiet. I am using the filled bobbins that I found for now - when needed will refill with the thread I had been using. My son gave me some pieces of wood to put under the machine - works much better than the magazines and things I had been using.
So here is my progress now:
In the front are the sample and test blocks that I made, then you can see the blocks I'm working on next. It will feel so good to have these done and distributed to the group. I'm guessing the group leader will just tell me to drop them off to her so she can give out next month. I'm not sure. I don't think I will feel like I can sew with them
until after our son has his second vaccine and at least two weeks have passed.
I had wanted to make the wreath blocks
, but it is a 16 grid block, where it was just easier for this swap to do something in a 9 grid design - or by changing the center to 3 inches, this pineapple became easy to end up with 9.5 inches unfinished. I think this group prefers more traditional designs anyway. So I hope the blocks turn out as expected and will be received well.
Had my math a-ha moment on this after watching Tiny Orchard Quilts:
How to Change the Size of a Quilt Block! Make A Block Any Size with These Tips!https://youtu.be/sffeszovP98
I'm supposed to have some half log cabins prepared for Lauren's class this Thursday, but I haven't even really thought about that!
So that's it for sewing this week.
In Lauren's class, one of the ladies shared another variation of a log cabin - we found a site with directions here:
The people on the Isle of Man have their reasons for using the folds, but I think it would be good to included a few folds in the quilt I'm making for our little dog - would be good places to hide treats for her to find!
This site gives permission for having different widths of logs - and trims before the next log is added on:
I did two days of walking while chatting on the phone and of exercise. I cancelled with intent to reschedule my Friday session as I was dreaming I'd be able to get the blocks done in time on Saturday...
Made some nice meals and had nice times chatting and cooking with our son and my husband.