Pineapple Upside Down Quilt

Well, I have finally finished all of the piecing for the never-ending pineapple quilt, but it has come at a cost.    Let me explain….

When I was at the retreat and working on these blocks, I started having an allergic reaction to some unknown substance.  I thought that my bed was probably previously occupied by some cat-fur covered individual and that I was picking it up from the bedspread.  However the symptoms weren’t the same as I normally get with cat hair.  Instead,  the skin around my mouth and lips became red and swollen….weird!!!   When I returned home, I took an immediate shower and promptly washed all of the clothes that had been at the retreat, and the allergy symptoms went away.

But then, a week later I started working on the quilt top again and, low and behold, my allergy symptoms returned.

I was racking my brain trying to figure out how the supposed cat hair could have gotten onto my quilt top and wondering if I needed to stop working on it.    Then, as I was steam pressing a seam on my Wool ironing pad, I realized that there was a smell coming from it and realized that fumes were also rising from it.  I started to wonder if this product was causing my allergies.   I stopped using it immediately and the symptoms started to disappear again.

They resurfaced briefly when I was handling all of the blocks that had been meticulously ironed on the wool surface!!

So, it looks as if I am allergic to something that resides inside the wool pressing mat.   I am so disappointed as I loved the way that the mat worked for pressing pieced seams but it simply is NOT worth the allergy!!  I will probably give it one more test in a few weeks just to be sure but I want to be completely symptom free before I do so.

Now, back to the pineapple……

The plan for this quilt was to have something to use as a bedspread on my Queen bed during the holiday season, so I sized it to fit like a bedspread.  But when I laid it on my bed, I really didn’t like it!!IMG_8448.jpg

The original plan was to have a yellow border separating the center from the border, but it  didn’t look good to have the border falling off of the edge of the bed.  So, I decided to skip the border and simply add the next set of slightly different colored blocks directly onto the main section.

This is the result…..

IMG_8459.jpg…and to be honest, I am not fussed with it!!!   The pillows here are the back of ones that are currently on the bed but knew that something was going to be needed to break up the monotony of the top.   In the long run, new pillow shams will help tremendously.

I think that this quilt does not have a “hook” to it and seems pretty boring to me, but it will suffice to be on the bed for the month of December!!

And, look how many strips I had left over…..

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I dont know WHAT I was thinking, but I will never start something like this without a plan again!!!

I am thinking that I might use the Non-Christmas Red strips in a Quilt of Valor….maybe with some white strips interspersed….but that is for another time.

Back to the pineapple again…..But now the problem of how to quilt it….

First…..I wasn’t planning to do a lot of special quilting on it…..it doesn’t need ANY more design.

Second…….I am now concerned about having my hands all of the quilt top that has been ironed on the wool pad.

Third……I REALLY didn’t want to spend days quilting on something that I didn’t like that much!!

SOLUTION…..contact my friend Sherry and ask her to quilt it for me.   I seldom quilt by check, but this is a good opportunity to do just that!!  I felt SO relieved once that decision was made!!

Now I needed to make a back for the quilt and decided that it was a good opportunity to get rid of many of those Christmas fabrics that I have had for YEARS and will probably NEVER use for anything.  It took all of one day to put the back together and I did make a dent in my Christmas stash, even using a panel that was langushing in the bottom of the box.   I dont have a large enough area to lay it out, but you can get the idea here…..IMG_8463.jpg

So, on Tuesday it goes to the quilter and I can move on to something FUN and EXCITING!!!

I hate that I am not happy with a quilt that I put so much time and effort into, but the nice thing about this quilt is that I have happy memories of the many hours that I worked on it at our guild retreats.   Those hours of fun and fellowship will add greatly to my enjoyment of the finished product.

Oh….does anyone want to buy a wool pressing mat….I have one going cheap!!!!

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Just make up your mind already!!

Over the last few years I have been slowly working on a Christmas Pineapple Quilt that will be big enough to be a bedspread during the holiday season. It has been a SLOW process as I have only worked on it at our Guild Retreats, and, let’s face it, much of that time is spent talking and eating….with a little bit of sleeping thrown in for good measure!!

But, the Pineapple blocks lend themselves to mindless sewing and that is exactly what I have wanted!!

When I first started this project, I spent quite a bit of time designing the perfect combination of blocks…..

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……but when I laid it out, it looked really muddled and you couldn’t see any defined pattern. It was disappointing but I wanted to keep sewing so just continued to make blocks.  When I got home, I tried even more layouts…..

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….and MORE layouts……img_8281.jpg

 

So, another year rolled around and I changed my mind AGAIN about how I was going to set the blocks, and made TONS of Red and Green blocks and cut out COPIOUS red strips to use in the new design……..

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Unfortunately, when I pulled it out last week, I couldn’t remember exactly what my plan had been so I had to start over yet again!!!   I THINK that I now have a good plan although I did realize that I had planned it to be 16 inches too big!!   Obviously, the Math side of my brain shut down after April 15th!!!  

Anyway, I leave on Tuesday for another guild retreat and I want to finish as many of these blocks as I can and JUST GET THE QUILT ON THE BED!!!!

I have cut all of the pieces, and bagged them up in order of use……

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Operation “FINISH THAT QUILT” commences at 10:30 Tuesday morning!!!

 

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Whole lotta quiltin going on…..

This past week I have tried to find time to work on quilting the Queen size Pineapple.

I enjoyed quilting the long, straight lines leading from the edge into the red highlight area….

…and as much as I tried, they ended up being basically symmetrical around the quilt.   It just looked better that way!!!

I wanted to highlight the red area and Michael suggested circles, so circles it was…..

You cant see a LOT of the quilting, but may be able to see the blue lines where I marked the concentric circles…..

The final step was to decide on a design for the borders.   Once I decided WHAT to do, I decided that this was a good time to try using a ruler.

When I bought the machine, I purchased a Ruler Foot as well…..

A ruler foot is different because it has a deep circle around the needle which bumps up against the ruler.  The needle is a perfect 1/4 inch inside the circle.

When I first got the machine and had played with it, I had trouble with skipped stitches and was NOT happy with the results.   After a bit of Googling, I discovered that the problem was that the foot was not sitting close enough to the fabric.  AND, after examining the foot, I discovered that there is a screw (just above the spring) that pushes the foot down.   After making this minor adjustment, I was ready to go…..

Since I wanted the grid to be 1 inch, I am placing the 3/4 inch line on the previous line.   When the 1/4 inch on the foot is added, I have a wonderful1 inch grid.  Although I marked the grid on the first set of lines, future marking has only included extending the corner lines into the border and adding the perpendicular line that marks where the line makes a 90 degree turn.

I have finished 1/2 of the border and, unfortunately, ran out of thread, but a trip to the store on Tuesday will fix that!!!

More to come!!

Next……

Now that my quilt is finished and hung…..

…it was time to attack the huge job of cleaning my studio. I tend to not worry about what it looks like while I’m working, knowing that I will clean it up after each finish. 

As I sorted through the fabrics I counted 132 different fabrics that I had pulled in making this quilt….

The big trick now is to get them all back into the boxes. Some of these fabrics have been out of their storage containers for over a year and other things have taken their place so it was a bit of a struggle to get everything in. But after 20 minutes or so of pushing and pulling I was able to get all of the boxes closed (well, sort of) and on the shelf.
I set up my quilting area, starting with my the table leaf and then adding another small table to the side just to give this big quilt enough support……

I spent a few minutes cleaning my machine and oiling it…..

It has been a long time since I have had a machine that needs oil so I am having to get used to remembering to do it.  One of the reviews that I read said that it was a thirsty machine, and I think that’s a good description of it. While I was oiling  the bobbin case area I noticed a thread that had gotten tangled in there, so I spent about 30 minutes trying to remove that thread. It was finally accomplish with the use of a pair of needle nose pliers from the garage.

As I was cleaning, I also noticed this hook on my machine…..

For the last 5 months I have been carefully threading the thread THRU the hole without realizing that there was this guide that meant the thread can be slid into the hole rather than threading…..OY VEY!!!!  This makes threading SO much faster!!!

The next project is the queen size pineapple quilt that I pieced a couple years ago and I’ve been waiting to quilt. I had some time to work on it in December and played with various quilting ideas.   The one that I liked best was quilting long lines leading into the red highlighted area. I first marked a series of lines and quilted those so the quilt was well held together. Then I started adding additional lines leading from the outside borders in as well. I marked the entire quilt and started the quilting process but felt like things were being too even and maybe I wanted a little more non-symmetry with it.
So I sprayed it down with water and removed all of the blue lines that I had already put on. I then started re-drawing the lines but again they still seem to be very symmetrical.   So I have now decided to draw some of the lines, quilt a little, draw some more lines, and quilt some more, and just see how it turns out. 

My gut feeling is that I will end up with symmetry!!!

Since the quilt contains every color in the rainbow spectrum, I am quilting it using variegated Maxi-Llock thread in each of the colorways…..