Monday, April 26, 2021

Round Up 15: More progress on pineapple blocks

Writing this on Monday - last week seems a year ago.

Sewing - I've made more progress on the pineapples for the block swap - but not done with them all yet.  For the last block I tried a different way to make the center and I like it alot better.  Instead surrounding the center block with strips and then trying to figure the stitching lines for the next addition, I cut two squares slightly larger than the center square, and cut them in half from point to point - then I pressed in so I could see the center of the triangle and the center of the square - then placed them on top of each other and sewed.  I trimmed the first two sewn down before putting the last two down.  It was they very easy to sew and trim and mark the next sewing line.

For the class I made some half log cabins - and for this week I'm supposed to have the top done.  I doubt that will happen though as I'm still working on the pineapples.

I haven't started on my new Lone Robin.  Want to do that.  So far clues have been points, strips, and curves!


Not sewing stuff

I made a good chicken pot pie, curried chick pea dish and bought prepared food from Costco.

Very tired - so busy too - but have not finished the bookkeeping for the taxes yet so still have that hanging over me.

Am listening to the Elm Street quilters series.  Now on the Union Quilt - she mentions how the ladies had to do lists.  Could that really be?  Hard to imagine people making lists back then.  I need to check with cousins to see what regiment his relative was in the civil war.

I've made my way thru Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and no Enterprise.  I thought I had seen most of these before, but watching in order I understand things more - and enjoy them more too.

Exercised three times, walked and chatted three times - rest of the time was sewing or thinking about sewing and cooking.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Round Up Week 14: Pineapples!

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!

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.

Sewing Inspiration:

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.

: )

Monday, April 12, 2021

Round Up Week 13: Another Log Cabin Variation (Pineapple Blocks) and Log Cabin Sampler Quilt from Elizabeth DeCroos at Epida Studios

 Time is passing so quickly.  It seems like it was just yesterday that I wrote the last update!


I made a second courthouse step block:

This time I really tried to be aware of the value instead of looking at the color - but the light blue in the center, compared to the other light strips in that direction is very dark. Ah well, back to the drawing board...

So at the beginning of last week I had these blocks in my log cabin exploration stack - from the free online eventbrite class "More Quilts - Log Cabins and Power Strips". 

This week we were on to pineapple blocks. I made a few variations of this block for the Block Lotto in 2011 - Sophie always had a great way of describing the colors to use to make the blocks look so lovely together.  I wish she were continuing with her block ideas.  

By making the logs so they are one inch after three rounds the block for my online class was supposed to be 10.5 inches. (Center block is 2.5 inches.) My block was 10 inches.

I added another round, and not trimming the outer addition, now it is 12 inches square.  According to the tutorial I found (Bella SKILLBuilder) I should add one more one inch log to finish at 10.5.

Again, I started with a light blue that is much darker than the rest of the fabrics in that location...  I have one more block to make.  Hopefully the block will look okay in the group of blocks I have already made. 

I found an online tutorial for making a 10.5 inch pineapple block with the same 2.5 inch center and 1 inch logs at:
The entire quilt along info here:
This method makes use of the speciality ruler for making pineapple blocks.  Pretty neat, but I don't think I'll be making many pineapples...  The directions are very nice as they include what the measurements should be after a round is added.  Also, the cutting instructions make it easy to figure out what to do! 
Here sort of is the cutting information:
Center 2.5 inch
First round make with 4-2 x 4.5 and trim to 3.25
Second round make with 4-2 x 4.5 and trim to 4.5
Third round make with 2-2 x 4.5 and 2-2 x 6.5 and trim to 5.25
Fourth round make with 4-2 x 6.5 and trim to 6.5
Fifth round make with 4-2 x 6.5 and trim to 7.5
Sixth round make with 4- 2 x 4.5 and trim to 8.5
Seventh round make with 4-2 x 6.5 and trim to 9.25
Eighth round make with 4- 2 x 4.5 and trim to 10.5
Oops I forgot for each round also have to add the corners or maybe the information I typed includes the corners.  I'm not sure. 
So also at the end add 4-2 x 4.5 to the corners and trim to 10.5
Need to watch the video again to count things up correctly.

This site does a good job of explaining the dark and light corners using paper piecing patterns -

This pineapple has the same color for the center and the outer corners and stresses the need for contrasting values:
She also shows a different way for the first round than I have seen before. 

Added 4-13-2021: I'm thinking perhaps of making a pineapple instead of the wreath block for the block exchange I mistakenly signed up for.  I need to make 20 blocks that measure at least 9 1/2 inches - unfinished.  They must include some of the focus fabric.  (I have a half yard of the focus fabric.)  I thought the math for the Bella SKILLBuilder would save me, but it ends with a round at 9.25.  Perhaps if I started with a larger center block I would be okay?  Doing this block I could just use the fabric I have for different greens and whites and just have the red for the center and corner...  Perhaps I will know for the next Round Up post here....  : )

New-to-me Blog to Follow:

I did find a beautiful Log Cabin Sampler Quilt (doesn't look like a sampler!) from Elizabeth DeCroos at Epida Studio:

This sampler quilt has these Log Cabin block variations (click to go to her site):
  1. Getting Ready for the Log Cabin Sampler.  The blocks are 9″ square,  49 blocks total square.  Quilt will be 63" square.
  2. Corner Block  Make 11 blocks (five with a light square and six with a dark square)
  3. Bento Block Make 3 blocks
  4. Court House Steps Make 3 blocks
  5. Traditional Log Cabin Make 9 blocks
  6. Greek Keys Make 3 blocks
  7. Off Set Cabin Make 7 blocks
  8. Star Cabin Make 6 blocks
  9. Cornerstone Log Cabin Make 7 blocks
  10. Finishing it up
  11. Sampler Quilting Options
The directions for each block and information for the quilt are all generously available for free on the Epida Studios website.  

Elizabeth DeCroos's directions are very clear - so nicely arranged, I really like the way this quilt shows off the different styles of log cabin in a non-symmetrical way.  She also made the quilt with red and white and red, white and green.


So that's it for the sewing part of this entry.


As I mentioned at the start, this week went by very quickly.  I did my three times a week phone chat walk with my friend, and I did five hours of exercise with my personal trainer.  Beyond that I think it was spent taking care of our little dog, planning and preparing meals.  Some reading.  I found a book I had purchased years ago - a novel about life in Taiwan "An Orphan of Asia".  

Hopefully, next week I will have more to write about.

And have the energy required to write!

My son and I made cookies and brownies this week!

Ah, I'm reminded of an article, I think in the Washington Post, about behaviors that we should continue with even after everyone is vaccinated and the threat from Covid is over.  I can't find the article again now...  But one of the behaviors was Cooking WITH YOUR FAMILY.  That sounded wonderful.  I guess my family does cook with me, but not on a consistent basis...

Too tired to write more now.


4-13-21  I add the links to the sites with information on how to make the log cabin sampler quilt, another photo of the log cabin sampler, and more information about the Bella SKILLBuilder pineapple quilt.  And a note added about the Christmas block exchange....

Monday, April 5, 2021

Round Up Week 12: Courthouse Steps Block and Easter!

For sewing this week I made one court house step block for the In the Studio with Lauren Thursday quilting class. This time I really looked at the value of the colors and think the secondary pattern shows up a lot better.  Still have one more block to make before class.

That's it for sewing.


I made a grand Easter feast - well received.  Recipes in Dodge Eats blog under Easter.

Worked in the front yard pulling weeds.  About four hours.  Still more to do, but looks a lot better.  Pictures could be better.  I didn't realize I didn't stand in the same place for the before and after shots.  When I finish will take more.  

While I was doing it I did a lot of walking!  Chatted on the phone while I was working on a very cloudy morning - so very productive time indeed!