Accept No Imitations! Pineapple Is Coming Back Thanks To ME!!

One of my hard-and-fast rules when I started quilting was that I would never, ever, ever like a log cabin or pineapple quilt. I have long believed that aesthetic would, in any setting, make my eyeballs vomit copiously, and figured I’d live a long and fruitful life as a quilter without ever making a quilt that deploys it. So imagine my surprise when I stumbled across this picture deep in an extremely random internet search:

Pineapple Quilt Model (Stolen)

I would very much like to credit this photo, but I can’t re-create the search that found it on a random blog (one of those shady sorts of blogs that look like they might be made by aggregator robots, might I add), and that blog hadn’t credited it well either. It claimed it was from the V&A, but had no more info or links. So I’m stealing it and breaking the law by posting it here, but I can’t help it!

It was after 2:00 in the morning. I had spent hours looking at pictures of quilts online, as a result of my Dalarnananana jealousy-induced desire to find a Scandinavian-feeling quilt pattern. And there I was staring at a mind-blowing pineapple quilt. A — dare I say it? — beautiful pineapple quilt. I had to make one. I had to make one JUST LIKE THAT.

After announcing that to the hysterical laughter of my housemates, I promptly turned around, saw French General’s “Maison de Garance” line, and declared that my pineapple quilt that is going to be JUST LIKE the inspiration picture would also be made out of those fabrics. (Perhaps I was having a hard time letting go of my Dalarnanananana jealousy and needed to go with a French General line as well.) I don’t know how my imagination thought that would happen (magic?), but my commitment to the project gelled, and there was no going back.

As soon as pre-cuts of Maison de Garance became available, Pookie supplied me with a layer cake of it (have I mentioned yet that she gave me a “custom fabric bundle” of the month for my birthday, and has been surprising me with unexpected fabrics every month? Well, she did, and this layer cake was one of the entries) with the intent that I would use it to mock up a square of Pineapple City. A cursory search of my various pattern outlets did not yield a pattern for my inspiration quilt, so I had to figure out how to assemble a pineapple square. It nearly broke my brain.

September 19 2010

Pineapple quilts are actually nowhere NEAR as complicated as they seem, and someday I’m going to look back at how hard this was for me to figure out and laugh and laugh.

Now, while I was in the process of assembling my prototype square, I noted to Pookie that you just don’t see many pineapple quilts anywhere. She agreed. I then declared that my quilt was going to be so amazing that it would take the interwebs by storm. I was going to bring pineapple back, baby!

No sooner had I made that declaration, though, than I started seeing pineapples everywhere. Damn you, Collections For A Cause Legacy, even though you’re over a year old! Screw you, random book of Edie McGinnis’s “A Second Helping of Desserts”, with your pineapple quilt made out of French General fabrics! I am bringing pineapple back! Not you! Back off, people! Gah!

I’m sorry, where was I? Oh, right. My prototype.

Pineappleback City Mock Up

Is it just me, or is it feeling pretty pineapple in here?

Shockingly, the Maison de Garance palette did not lend itself to a square that looked at all like my inspiration. But you know what? I really, really love the red/brown darks from that line. I decided to pick up even more reds as well as some of the pinker tones from the Rural Jardin line, but didn’t cut into them for this mock-up. I also decided that the overall feel I got from the inspiration picture was a quilt that had sort of lights and darks neutrals making the pineapple, with pink squares on the corners, and the odd splash of bright red and bright blue. I figured my quilt’s lights would be the tans and creams from Maison de Garance, and the darks would be the reds and browns. In place of the pink color, I opted for a robin’s egg blue from Rural Jardin. And for the accent color (in place of the bright red/blue), I really wanted a vivid, jewel green. Sadly, the green I’m imagining (I thought it was poison green, but I’m finding disputing notions around the interwebs for what that shade should be) doesn’t seem to exist except in the wood paneling in Dr. Quinn’s clinic in Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. The next best thing I could find was a green micro-dot in Holly Holderman’s Fun Flowers line.

Ultimately, despite it not being even remotely like my inspiration quilt, I am completely in love with my prototype square. It has some construction issues that I should be able to correct when I make the quilt for reals, but all in all, I’m stunned that it worked. And thrilled. It might be a traditional quilt pattern that people have been making without difficulty for hundreds of years, but dude, I just designed my own quilt! I’m a supergenius! Or, um, something.

Anyway, Pookie’s brilliant suggestion recently was to take a picture of a unit of a quilt that will be repeated, then use our extremely rudimentary photoshop skills to create an artist’s rendering of the projected finished quilt. So here it is:

Pineappleback City Projected Vision

Oh yeah. I am totally bringing pineapple back.

[Posted by Schnookie]

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17 Comments

Filed under Announcements, Pins and Needles, Quilting

17 responses to “Accept No Imitations! Pineapple Is Coming Back Thanks To ME!!

  1. Awesome! I’m inspired to jump on the pineapple bandwagon thanks to your gorgeous block!

  2. Thanks so much, Lesly! The Pineappleback movement is under way now!! :D

  3. Sarah

    Looks fantastic! I think I am most impressed by your drawing-did you have to use a compass? What have you got against Log Cabins by the way? I love them! (Not that I’ve ever actually made one…but I do like their many looks!)

  4. I tried to use a compass for my drawing, but my brain was already broken by that point. And I never really learned how to use one anyway (what a useless private-school education I received!), so it ended up just being window dressing in the picture, to make me look fancier. :P

    And my problem with pineapples was the jaggedy-ness of them. I don’t know. I can’t really verbalize it well. Log cabins often bug me when they’re very high contrast, making big overall patterns of diamonds and squares and whatnot. I think that was a popular look in the ’80s, so I’m always associating it with ’80s colors? Like, I feel like they all secretly want to be made in teal-contrasting-with-bright-white, or neon-purple-contrasting-with-preppy-pink? I think I’m just making myself sound crazy. Anyway, pineapples always seemed to me to take the ’80s problems of log cabin quilts and exacerbate them. Until now, that is. Now I love them. (I’m nothing if not fickle!)

  5. Tram

    You are SO right about the ’80’s versions of Log Cabins. They truly gave Log Cabins a bad name. Your Pineapple is going to be ***** awesome.

    The photo-shop version is terrific.

  6. You know, I’m very relieved to hear that, Tram, because the more I tried to explain what I thought was wrong with Log Cabins, the more I wondered if I was hallucinating. :D

    And thanks! (The photoshop thing is something I would never have thought of. Pookie is such a genius.)

  7. obvs I know nothing about quilts (I had to google image search log cabin quilts, and … I kind of like them :x) but I am super excited about watching this progress. It seems overwhelmingly complicated, but then I suppose that’s part of the magic of quilting. I mean, even trying to help my mom choose fabrics for the blocks she’s making out of my grandmother’s stash makes me feel a little cross-eyed.

  8. You’re totally right that the magic of quilting is how it turns really simple geometry into overwhelmingly complicated designs. I love looking at something really stunningly complex, and then figuring out the simple pieces that make it up. (But again, this design completely broke my brain. :D)

  9. pam

    I’ve made many a log cabin which always turn out great but are so freaking tedious to make. Pineapple as well.. there are many helpful techniques out there to make them, special rulers etc. (Are you hand piecing? I’m not good with remembering details like that.) I just enjoy that old classic designs are making a huge comeback.And hopefully bringing small pieces with them. This trend in ginormous pieces is bringing me down.

  10. I am hand piecing, Pam, so yeah, it’s a bit tedious. But tedium is what I really love in a craft, so it’s kind of a match made in heaven! :P

    And I am also seriously brought down by ginormous pieces. I mean, where’s the fun in that?

  11. Whoa. I was all excited when I pieced together 5 pieces in a square that looked like a Christmas tree. This is amazing! And beautiful.

  12. Thanks, Carol! I’ve been very much admiring your quilting photos on your blog — love, love, love the mug and zapper rug!!

  13. Kirsty

    I love it. I too am recently obsessed with a pineapple log cabin after seeing ‘The Proposal’ with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds on the plane from the UK to NYC last July. One look at ‘The Babymaker’ as Betty White called it in the film, and I was hooked. So much so, I got the film, had screenshots taken, made rudimentary measurements (I think the block in the film is around 15 – 18 inches) and it is next on my list of Quilts to Do Before I Die, once the Bear Paw I am working on at the moment is finished.

    For my first attempt I’m cheating, and using a foundation by the yard fabric by Bernatex I found in my local hobby shop a few weeks before Christmas. The block isn’t the same size as The Babymaker, but I don’t have the patience (yet!) to figure it all out myself!! Good luck with it!

  14. Oh man, I remember The Babymaker! That’s probably where my interest in pineapple quilts started, subconsciously. That was a gorgeous quilt. Isn’t it great to get inspiration from such unexpected places? (I’ve got another project going that was inspired by a quilt in the background of an episode of “Simon & Simon” of all things. :D) I hope that yours works out well — I’d love to hear more about it as it progresses! (Oh, and I suspect using the foundation fabric is probably a better idea than my trying to go without. We’ll have to see how huge a mistake that’s going to turn out to be. Heh.)

  15. Kirsty

    Lol, yes it’s amazing how many times people have asked what I am doing when they see me with my head turned to one side and a puzzled look on my face when watching something on TV – I’m ‘decoding’ the blocks of a quilt, obviously!!! I was doing it watching Deadwood the other night. So very, very, sad… and geeky…

    I was amazed looking at your Darla. I do NOT have that kind of patience at all! It looks fab and I had not heard of her patterns before (though knew of the fabrics from Moda Bakeshop). We are so very behind in the UK!!

  16. Wendy Devlin

    I am a little late in joining this discussion. I too watched the movie for glimpses of the quilt. I eventually paused the video and took i-phone shots of scenes where the pattern was clear. I have collected my fabrics in our Summer sales (Feb in Australia is summer) and have looked for ages for a pineapple pattern with a square on square centre. I chucked when I saw you graphing of the pattern as I completed mine yesterday. Oh!! that I had found this site earlier. What a vibrant quilt block you have. Have you completed the quilt?
    Wendy D OZ

  17. Wendy, I admire your perseverance — I love the thought of snapping iPhone screengrabs of background quilts! I’m also glad to hear I’m not the only one who labored over graphing out a pineapple block. Since mocking mine up I feel like I keep finding easy patterns everywhere for exactly the block I poured my sweat and tears into. Isn’t that always the case with quilting? And thanks for your kind words about my block — I’m afraid to say it’s at exactly the same state it was in when I wrote this post. I haven’t put in a single stitch, although every weekend I keep telling myself, “This is the weekend I start Pineappleback City.” There are just too many other projects getting in my way! I would love to see your magnum opus, either in progress or completed!!

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