On and off, between other projects, I’ve been working on quilting my quilt. I’m treating each block individually with quilting customized to suit the design. The block I designed, The Early Bird, and its neighbors are featured in this photo
Like many folks, I absolutely loved making the blocks in this year-long journey, but I ended up with a lot of odd-shaped leftovers. I suppose I could have followed the ScrapTherapy process outlines in my books, and cut up the pieces into 2”, 3-1/2” and 5” squares. But there were a lot of coordinated leftovers and many of the leftovers were odd-shapes or skinny strips.
Enter the Mini Pineapple Trimming Tool from Creative Grids
Since you know from all the grumbling I did when paper pieced blocks were introduced (mild grumbling, I’m really not that contentious about it!) Pineapple block patterns often start with a paper or foundation piecing technique. This ruler takes all the foundation stuff out of the picture. The blocks are pieced from strips that are slightly oversized. And the mini tool is perfect for some serious scrap consumption!
The entire block is worked in rounds. Start with the center square, trimmed to size and add four strips centered and pressed to each side. That blue pops out in several Splendid blocks and in my cornerstones, so I have plenty of that for lots of pineapple block centers. And the cream was also made regular Splendid appearances in my quilt.
Once the first round is pressed and sewn, use the lines on the trim tool and the white center square markings labeled “round 1” to trim the block edges.
And Round 1 is trimmed! Ready to add scrap strips for round 2. (By the way, the trimming tool comes with REALLY detailed instructions so you know exactly what size scraps you need)
Round 2 scraps are sewn around the four sides of the block. Line up the ‘Round 2’ lines with the center square and the block and trim. . . .
Round three set the stage for the remaining rounds. . . Once the rounds start stacking up, it can get a little confusing. So before I trim each round, I count from the center out - the center is ), then I count 1, 2, 3 by zig-zagging along the triangularly shaped corners. . .
After Round 1, the even-numbered rounds use the marked squares on the tool for line-up lines before trimming, two sides of the block at a time . . . . The odd numbered rounds take advantage of a line 3/4” away from the flat edge of the ruler (arrow) and the two dotted white lines marked with an *. Align these markings with seams, then trim one side at a time for the odd-numbered rounds.
I continued to add cream-colored odd-numbered rounds, and scrappy even-numbered rounds, trimming with the tool after the completion of each round. To make a 6” round, I need 10 rounds. Ta-da!!
For this last round, before I use the Round 10 center square alignment routine, I use the 3/4” marking on the flat side of the tool to trim each scrappy strip on the round, even though this isn’t an odd-numbered round . . .
Once trimmed, add the half-square triangles (the tool instructions give you the cutting specs) . . .
. . . now line up the center with the Round 10 lines. . .and trim
. . . and repeat! Repeatedly!
Now, I don’t know how many of these fun 6” blocks I’m going to make. I guess I’m just going to keep going until I run out of “Splendid” scraps. Then I’ll decide what to do with them—probably add some cream-colored sashing to define the blocks and add some sort of border. It’ll make a nice lap quilt, and a great project to sew one seam at a time in between the other deadline-sensitive stuff I’m working on.
As long as I was playing with this cool tool, I also tried using my scraps from my ScrapTherapy bins. Turns out that I could make a single 4” Swirly pineapple block with four 5” scrap squares. Add another for backing and a strip for binding and, *POOF!* A really fun coaster!
This tutorial makes a whole lot more sense when you have the ruler in your hand and can play with it step by step . . Would you like to try out the tool with your scraps, Splendid or otherwise?
Tell you what, I’ll throw in my pattern notes for the Swirl coaster as well as a couple of 5” fusible foam batting squares for fun. Click on the link below to grab one just for you!
UPDATE: What if you already have the Creative Grids Mini Pineapple Trim Tool, and just want Swirl? Well, click here and we've got you covered.