Monday Pineapple Quilt Update

2 Down, 34 Blocks to Go
Happy Monday, everyone!  As you can see, I completed my second pineapple log cabin block today.  Finishing at 17 3/4" square, with 97 pieces per block, it's not exactly a "Quilt In A Day" project.  Someone asked me how long it took to piece one of these blocks, and I thought maybe 3 hours?  It may be more like 5 hours.  It's hard to know for sure because I usually only spend an hour or two at a time on it, and I have to keep getting up to retrieve dirty Kleenexes from my dogs' mouths, move laundry from the washer to the dryer, et cetera.  Suffice to say that, if I kept track of exactly how long it took me to make each quilt, no one would EVER be allowed to touch them!

Once I had the first pineapple block done and knew I was happy with my fabric choices (and I knew the paper piecing method was working out as well), I spent two or three days savagely slicing up perfectly good fabric into 1 1/2" strips.  Then I had to order a bit more yardage, because a couple of the Kaffe Fassett Collective prints from the jelly roll of precut strips were REALLY good for this project, and I knew I wanted more of them. 

The actual sewing of the second block went faster since the strips were ready to sew.  And now that's two blocks down, and 34 more blocks to go for a California King.

In other news, I took my 13-year-old son for his first pedicure this morning, with Grammy and Grampa (it was Grampa's first pedicure, too).  Lars REALLY liked the massage chair at the nail salon:

Lars: "We need one of these chairs at home, Mom!!"

I felt that Lars deserved some pampering after scrounging around in the wilderness for three days with his father, being chased by bears (sort of).  You can read about those adventures here if you're interested -- Lars loves comments.  :-)

I'm linking up with Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times and to Esther's WOW: WIPs on Wednesday.  Have a great day!

Goldilocks and the Eensy-Weensy Sawtooth Star

3" Sawtooth Star Sashing Post Block, Paper Pieced
1 1/2 hours of aggravation yields ONE 3" paper pieced star
Having finished my first pineapple log cabin block the other day, I decided to switch gears and go back to the bear paw quilt yesterday.  I had this great idea about setting the blocks with white sashing and 3" sawtooth star sashing posts, so I spent an hour and a half paper piecing a 3" sawtooth star.  I hated every minute of it.  First of all, I was experimenting with vellum for my foundation paper, and to my dismay, the vellum curled up immediately from the heat of my iron.  This made it really difficult to keep my itty bitty fabric pieces nice and flat.  The vellum didn't grip the fabric as nicely as regular foundation paper or copy paper, either -- the fabric was prone to slipping.  Also, the sawtooth star had to be paper pieced in four separate units, and I just felt like the foundation paper added too much bulk even though I trimmed my seam allowances to 1/8" and the 50/3 cotton thread and size 90 quilting needle were all just WAY TOO BIG for the scale of the block I was piecing.  And my thread shows in the seams, too.  Yuck.  So, if 3" sawtooth stars are what I want for my bear paw quilt, I think I'm going to piece them using traditional methods, following Sally Collins' construction techniques for piecing miniature blocks.

The thing is, once I got that star up on the design wall next to the 10 1/2" bear paw blocks, I just didn't love it like I thought I would.  I think the scale is off, and the sawtooth star is just too small.  Instead of enhancing the bear paw blocks, I feel like the tiny sawtooth star makes the bear paws look too oversized and clunky.  See what I mean?

10 1/2" Bear Paw Blocks with 3" Sawtooth Sashing Post Block

The half square triangle units (HSTs) in the bear paw blocks are 1 1/2" square, and the HSTs in the sawtooth star block are only half that size, finishing at 3/4" square.  That is just looking weird to me -- I feel like these blocks don't belong in the same quilt.  Also, I can't really see enough of the gorgeous hand marbled fabric when the sawtooth star is so small.

I happened to have a 6" sawtooth star orphan block leftover from an "oops" on my Jingle BOM quilt, so I tossed that up on the wall just to see how that size would look with the bear paw blocks.  In a 6" sawtooth star, the HST units are the same 1 1/2" as the ones in the bear paw blocks:
Auditioning for Scale, 6" versus 3" Sawtooth Stars

Ignoring the fabric, doesn't the size of the larger sawtooth block look a little better?  Actually, this Goldilocks thinks that the 3" sawtooth star is too small, the 6" sawtooth star is too big, and perhaps a 4" sawtooth block will be just the right size.  A 4" sawtooth star block would also have a ruler-friendly 1" grid.  That's what I'll try next.

Meanwhile, I think it's time to start another pineapple log cabin block!  Since it's Wednesday, I'm joining up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced and WOW WIPs on Wednesday at Esther's blog.  I'm looking forward to seeing how everyone else's Love Entwined quilts are coming along.  Happy stitching, everyone!
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