Log Cabin quilts come in hundreds of variations. You might recognize the name of these Log Cabin quilt layouts showcasing different quilt block settings and quilt arrangements: Courthouse Steps, Pineapple, Barn Raising, Sunshine and Shadows, Chevron and White House Steps. As with most quilt blocks, you’ll find different names used for the same variation or quilt block.
The Pineapple quilt block looks different than the traditional Log Cabin quilt block, but it features the same basic construction. The “logs” are still constructed around a center square, but they’re angled, creating the illusion of arcs or circles across the quilt. You can see how these blocks differ in this side-by-side comparison:
The Pineapple quilt block above comes from the beautiful flannel quilt by Fons & Porter associate editor, Diane Tomlinson. Baby It’s Cold Outside can be found in Quilting Quickly Winter ’14 and, as you can see, the Pineapple quilt blocks in this lovely quilt were created on a large scale. Big block quilts have their own appeal with less time spent on preparing your fabric for piecing. Using precut strips makes piecing this Pineapple block even easier!
Sometimes, however, the Pineapple quilt block is seen on a smaller scale, like in Fiesta, a Pineapple quilt by Mary Coolsaet from Fons & Porter’s Scrap Quilts 2013 issue. Mary fell in love with the Pineapple block when she saw several of them displayed at a quilt show and Fiesta was created soon after. This quilt is the result of a fun scrap quilt pattern and uses bold and bright colors to bring the party to whatever room you find it in. It definitely makes a statement!
The Pineapple variation may offer fewer design options, but playing with color values and contrast creates a number of unique effects. A quilt using Pineapple quilt blocks can range from quiet to loud, calm to busy, and static to dynamic depending on how color is used in the arrangement. These quilts from the International Quilt Study Center and Museum give you an idea of how color can vastly change the look of a Pineapple quilt.
The Pineapple quilt block may seem like a challenge to a beginning quilter, but Marianne Fons and Mary Fons make it simple with easy to follow, step-by-step quilting tutorials. In the Love of Quilting episode, How to Make Pineapple Quilt Blocks, they make a wonky Pineapple quilt block from the quilt below by Nancy Mahoney called Pineapple Salsa. These unique quilt blocks are designed with foundation piecing paper, making the corners and points in your piecing crisp and accurate. If you’d like a refresher course on paper piecing, Sara Gallegos shows you how in this free quilting video tutorial, How to Foundation Paper Piece.
If you’re still on the fence about trying your hand at the Pineapple variation, Diced Pineapple is a great place to start. This quilt uses an “imitation” Pineapple block where the triangle are cut, then pieced, to make a traditional-looking Pineapple quilt block. The technique used in this quilt, with the assistance of the Tri-Recs Tools, makes a difficult block easy and foolproof. There’s even a free quilting video tutorial on how easy it is to piece your quilts using these tools!
Every quilter I know has a deep respect and appreciation for Log Cabin quilt blocks. The Pineapple block has a specific look and appeal that is impossible to ignore. Share your experiences with this block with us in the comments and photos of your quilts on our Facebook page!