Elizabeth Hartman released four new patterns at Fall Quilt Market and we have hard copies of each in store:
- Pineapple Farm
- Florence Flamingo
- Lloyd and Lola (the llamas) and
- Sleepy Sloth
As with all of Elizabeth Hartman's patterns, they are printed in full colour and there are oodles of really helpful diagrams. All of the new patterns come with instructions to make up quilts in at least a couple of sizes, and some, like Pineapple Farm have a cushion option as well.
Hands down the Pineapple Farm pattern is my favourite. I fell for it almost as soon as I saw it in my Instagram feed when launched at Market, so of course the pillow was going to be the first shop sample I made up. Actually, who am I kidding ? I think this pillow will be going home and be put to use on the sofa pretty smartly.
I started by making the leaves sections first, and to be honest, there was a bit of head scratching involved. I was expecting to make reverse angles, similar to making the Hazel Hedgehog blocks, but after a couple of reads through I the penny dropped that there was no need to reverse any of the units. Once I had my head around this simple fact the tops were easy to construct.
The leaves for all three pineapple blocks are able to be made out of one Fat 1/8th, however I chose to use scraps of Kona cotton solids in cyan, bluegrass and ultramarine.
When all of the units are pieced together you end up with a odd shaped section which needs to be trimmed back to size. (Please note everyone - I took this photo before I had stitched the final rectangle of background fabric to the sides of these units)
Trimming was pretty simple thanks to the clear images in the pattern leaflet, but its worth taking your time nonetheless. I think the key here is to give it a really good press before you cut.
The body of the pineapple was super quick and easy to piece. While it looks tricky with lots of angles, the body of the fruit is constructed from simple squares and rectangles. Once again you construct an odd shaped pieced section which, as for the leaves, gets turned on a 45 degree angle and cut back to the block dimensions. From here you are only a couple of seams away from you first completed pineapple.
There are no real pinch points as Elizabeth Hartman has created what appears to be a complex block using simple construction techniques. Clever, BUT, you do end up with bias edges on every side of your block. When combined with multiple seams, you need to be careful so that they don't stretch and distort out of shape.
A couple of tips for dealing with bias edges:
- Press, don't iron your seams (ie place the iron down on your block, rather than running over the surface) and if you're not confident, turn off the steam
- They are cute as a button, but try not to handle your blocks too much
- If making a quilt I would definitely stay stitch around the edge of the entire quilt top. This involves sewing a line of stitching about 1/8" from the edge of the quilt. Don't worry, this line of stitching will eventually be covered by the binding.
And finally a couple of tips for selecting your fabrics.
- This pattern is definitely a scrap buster. Elizabeth Hartman suggests choosing a light, medium and dark fabric from the same colour group for each pineapple. I played with this a bit and while one of my blocks is uses different shades of green, with the other two I mixed it up a bit. In fact my favourite is the blue and yellow one.
- I found that the scale of the print is is even more imporant than colour. In fact I think scale is critical. As you can see below, I had to remake the pink and green one. That Melody Miller telephone fabric read as the light print when I was first pulling fabrics, but once cut up it just didn't work well
While also a larger scale print, I think the cicada fabric from the Cotton + Steel Raindrop collection worked quite well. The difference is that they are tone on tone prints and don't have as much negative space between motifs.
While I am pleased with my fabric choices now that I swapped out that first awful pink block, I think these pineapples made in solids would be fabulous. The criss-crossing, woven effect of the different fabrics would be much more dramatic
For those who would like to re-create any of Elizabeth's projects as pictured in the patterns, we will have her new Pond fabric collection in-store in January.