That's a different way of saying "done". Finished. Complete. I'm movin' on to something new!
It was almost funny how fast the three blocks went... once I finally had a chance to get to them. Then I was chasing daylight trying to get the last row sewn together, then sewn to the other six rows so I could take the top outside and get a halfway decent picture.
It will get quilted - haven't a clue how but I think it just needs allover quilting - and then bound. I have already decided what to use for that - something neutral-ish. I'll get the backing pieced in the morning and then I will start working on something different. I'll tell you more about that next week, for now let it suffice to say that I really learned something making this quilt - just not what you might expect.
This quilt is made with three different blocks - 28 medium/dark blocks (light sides / dark corners), 18 light blocks (dark sides / light corners) and 6 light half-blocks. The dark blocks are set in four rows of seven blocks each, and those rows alternate with three rows of light blocks. The light rows are comprised of six light full-blocks and two light half-blocks at the opposing ends of the row. The light rows are then offset with the dark rows - the seams between the blocks fall at the half-way point of the adjacent block - and yes, I had to trim about 1/2" from each of the half-blocks.
My blocks measured 11" x 11" when they were complete - they now finish at 10 1/2" x 10 1/2" - and right now, my quilt top measures 74" x 74".
Several ladies in the club/class didn't like the ruler at all. Actually, that's putting it mildly. It isn't that it's difficult to use, it's that some aspects of it are counter-intuitive to some folks. I think it is a personal preference sort of situation, it may not be how you like to work, the sort of process that feels natural and right to you. It's a bit like cars with automatic transmission or stick shifts - you know what you prefer, and you know what you're willing to live with. With the ruler, I think the one of the biggest issues is that you have to be willing to give up a little bit of accuracy. No matter how careful you are, and no matter how perfect your seams and piecing are... the odds are that are least a few of the corners and blocks are going to get a little "off".
The primary benefit of the ruler is that it's faster than paper-piecing and you can use that mountain of scraps you've got, especially those 1 1/2" strips. If you love paper-piecing, that's the best method to get as-near-to-perfect as possible. I like paper-piecing but I don't love it... at least not enough to make a big quilt. Not right now anyway.
While I love Anita Grossman Solomon's method, I can't really speak to how it works since I still haven't used it... someday, right? If you're interested, you might want to check Anita's Craftsy class - Traditional Quilts Made Simple. (Pssst... if you use this link, you can save 25% on the class.)
As for the Pineapple Ruler, the primary challenge is keeping the blocks the same size, and keeping the strips squared up, and making sure everything is the same size. Okay, that's three challenges but they all relate to each other. It's the trimming. Just so you know, my blocks didn't all match up perfectly. About 75 percent of the seams have all six seams matching up perfectly or almost perfectly. (Yeah, yeah... I'm that lucky, not that good.) About 10 percent have one seam that is off by as little as 1/8" and as much as 1/4". The remaining 15 percent... let's just say "you won't really notice". The irony is that it is usually just one corner that's off and those three seams in the corner can be off a little... or a lot. I haven't a clue how it happens but it seems that everyone I know who uses the ruler has had that happen to some degree.
For anyone considering making a pineapple quilt with the Possibilities Pineapple Ruler, I suggest that you treat the blocks just as you would a Log Cabin block - measure, measure, measure. If you pre-cut your strips, you can see if the sides of the block are shrinking or growing. Since I was trimming my strips down by 1/4" after they were joined to the blocks, I was essentially trimming my blocks to a consistent size after each and every row. I think that was a huge help in keeping my blocks the same size.
But it meant a whole lot of additional trimming... and trimmings.
Now that I'm done, I can tell you that I fully expect to make another pineapple quilt in my lifetime - I really like the block and all the variations. And barring some revolutionary new ruler or method, I expect I'll use this ruler again because despite the drawbacks, I liked it and I am happy with the results.
Though I am going to have a chat with my brilliant friend, Monique Dillard of Open Gate Quilts. While trimming blocks, it occurred to me that her Fit to be Square ruler might work beautifully for making pineapple blocks. I'll let you know how that goes.
Just in case you're curious... the leftover strips and pieces have been bagged back up and are ready to be returned to my friend. The cutting table is clean and I've put a new blade in the rotary cutter. Cutting all those strips and all that trimming will sure wear out a cutting blade. I think I used at least three - trimming the blocks is so much easier with a sharp blade.
Two last things... I made a couple of changes to the Possibilities instructions. Instead of a single large corner triangle, I finished the corner with an additional strip and a smaller triangle in each corner. I also didn't like the idea of using rectangles for the corners. It results in a fair amount of waste and bias edges in the corners. So instead of cutting the rectangles to whatever size is in the instructions, I cut 2 squares and cut the squares in half once on the diagonal. The corners still needed to be trimmed after piecing but the trimmed corners were on the straight of grain. (Mostly.) If you're using a large triangle without the extra strip, cut the squares are 6" x 6". If you've added the extra strip, cut the squares 5" x 5". Both are "generous".
Okay, I made three changes. My strips are narrower - they finish at 3/4" wide. And there is an additional row of strips - six rows instead of five... four changes.
I'll stop before I think of something else.
So there you have it. Pina Colada. Okay, that's not what I'm calling it... I don't know what I'll call it yet. Given that my Mom has already claimed this one for her bed... I might let her decide on a name for it.
For now, I'm calling it Done.