Our Log Cabin Design series continues...
The Pineapple quilt pattern, with all of its sharp points, is perhaps the most dazzling of all the Log Cabin quilt block designs.
At almost twice the number of pieces as a comparable log cabin block pattern, it definitely takes longer to piece.
You can choose to paper piece it or use traditional methods with specialty rulers.
On this page, you'll find design ideas and layouts, and links to printable coloring pages and free downloadable paper piecing patterns in two sizes.
Pineapple quilt blocks, like their Log Cabin cousins, are built around a center square, but instead of just four logs, every round now contains an additional four patches.
A basic pineapple quilt block is pictured to the right. Note how the 'blades' uniformly divide the block into eight sections.
Other common names include: Maltese Cross, Washington Pavement, Colonial Pineapple, Chestnut Burr and Church Steps.
Like the Courthouse Steps quilt block,
the strips on two opposite sides can be added before stopping to press.
The remaining two straight strips are stitched on and pressed.
Next a pair of patches in opposite corners are added and pressed, followed by the remaining two corner patches.
Depending on the finished size of the block, as the patches get larger, you'll be able to add four patches before pressing and speed up the whole process.
Most of the pineapple quilts you see, both new and old, are stitched together without sashing. When they are sewn this way the secondary design of the prickly 'pineapple' emerges.
Traditionally, dark fabrics compose the blades that form an 'X'.
Below is a quilt using this fabric placement in a straight set layout. Do you see the white 'pineapple' where the blocks meet?
Now swap the light fabrics for darks and the result is a more open, lighter looking design, like this...
As you can see from the two quilts pictured above, it doesn't matter whether you use an even or odd number of blocks in the rows and columns of a straight set. The design is symmetrical either way.
Continue using a straight set, use both fabric layouts--a light 'X' and a dark 'X'--a nice looking design, but without the strong secondary pattern.
To maintain the symmetry of your design when using alternate blocks, use odd numbers of blocks in the rows and columns.
Now switch to an on-point layout with the fabrics positioned to form a light 'X'...
...and now a dark 'X'.
While pineapple quilts are traditionally set block-to-block, you can insert sashing between them. Add some bright fabrics and black and you create this fun quilt...without having to match all those diagonal seams!
...and an on-point set creates this design. The patches look as if they are interlocking.
This final quilt I saw at a quilt show several years ago. It features both versions of the Pineapple design—a light X and a dark X...
The original quilt is by Anita Grossman Solomon. The pattern and instructions for this pineapple quilt pattern are found in the book, "Rotary Cutting Revolution: New One Step Cutting, 8 Quilt Blocks" published in 2010.
Anita has developed a very clever technique to piece the pineapples
that doesn't use either templates or paper. She's one smart cookie!
A link to Amazon.com is in the book section below if you are interested in it.
If you learn better by watching, then check out Anita's class on Craftsy.com called, "Traditional Blocks Made Simple". Instructions to make her uniquely pieced Pineapple quilt are included there.
Can you see how the blocks are put together?
Every other column begins with a half block, and the columns alternate between all dark X's and all light X's. The quilt is even more stunning in person!
With all this inspiration...
Visit our Free Pineapple Quilt Patterns page to download paper pieced block patterns in 6" and 8" finished sizes. There you'll find a fully illustrated step-by-step tutorial to take you through the process.
Also on that page are free downloads for coloring pages to help you design your own quilt in either a straight or on-point setting.
To learn more about Pineapple quilt patterns and the techniques used to make them, check out these offerings on Amazon.com:
Visit these topics on our website for more information on other Log Cabin quilt designs and their variations see: