Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Fabric Waste

I am plugging along on the pineapple quilt, I've got 40 blocks done now. There are several ways to make pineapple quilts, and most of them waste quite a bit of fabric, something I am NOT used to. I know how to paper piece, but rarely do it because it wastes a lot of fabric. When I do knocked off corners, I almost always double sew and end up with bonus HST's, which usually net me a second quilt. String piecing ends up with fabric waste, but since most people would have tossed those bits to start with, I don't usually feel bad about it.

I am using Gyleen Fitzgerald's pineapple ruler, and I really like it. The ruler is easy to use, and you end up with very accurate blocks, with NO paper piecing. I bought the book Trash to Treasure too, but you don't need it to use the ruler. There is a youtube video on using the ruler if the directions included with the ruler confuse you.

I think I would LOVE making pineapple blocks as leaders/enders with this ruler. It would probably take me two or three years to have enough blocks for a queen sized quilt doing it as leaders/enders, but it would be more fun for me. All the trimming required for making a pineapple quilt, which you do even if you paper piece it, is really aggravating my joint issues. If I were doing it as a leader/ender project, I'd probably only get a block finished every week or two, depending on how much sewing I'm doing, but the trimming would be spread out, and not bother my joints. I also wouldn't be so aware of how much fabric is wasted.

Here is a pineapple block with just round one sewn on.  It hasn't been trimmed, and you can see I didn't use super long pieces on the sides.

Here is one of my cuts, on the third side of this block. See what is cut off? Two small triangles, too small for me to bother saving.

Here are my piles after trimming round one on 40 blocks. My nicely trimmed blocks on the left, the pile of trimmings on the right. I am not into doing miniature quilts with 1/4" finished HST's, those trimmings are indeed waste for me. The thing is, combined, it just seems like a lot of fabric waste. You get that much waste from every round you add on. I think not accounting for the fabric waste is what had me running out of fabric too soon. It's not an unreasonable amount of fabric waste, it's just not something I'm used to having. I have a large stash, but I like to use every single bit of it!

I looked up no waste pineapple block, and I found this. It's cool, and I might try it sometime, but to me, it gives a completely different look than a traditional pineapple quilt.

You know what would be perfect? If Accuquilt came out with a Go! die for a pineapple block! I'd buy it. Sure, I'd have to use fat quarters or something instead of strips, but it would be worth it. To be able to stitch up a traditional pineapple quilt with no trimming, and little waste? Perfection!

As it is, I promised to have this quilt finished by early December, so I will keep plugging along on it. I'm using a wedding quilt I need to have done by late November as my leader/enders. Two BIG quilts due in a few months, and another two smaller quilts due shortly after. I think I am a little over-committed right now. If I can actually get them all done, I will be ecstatic.

I was working on EQ this week, finally designing a quilt I've been putting off too long. I am happy with design I came up with, and hopefully I'll be able to start using it as my leader/ender project soon. I also started tweaking my design for the pineapple quilt. My original design requires 144 blocks, with a chevron border. I've only got 40 blocks finished so far. I made a newly revised plan that only requires 100 blocks, has a black inner border, the chevron border, followed by a wide black border. I haven't decided which design I will use. I'll finish the 40 blocks I'm currently working on, see how much fabric I have left, and how my wrist and elbow are feeling.

I do plan on making another pineapple quilt someday, with red centers, and super scrappy with only a light/dark thing going on. I won't be trying to complete in a couple months like this one though. I've learned my lesson, pineapple quilts should not be rushed.

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