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I love to be the first person to talk to my children when they come home after school or work.  You know why?  It’s because I love to hear their stories!  They walk in the door full of excitement and life, I love to feel the energy and share in the tidbits and happenings of their day.  When one of our children was small they always seemed to have more ‘bad day’ stories than good or happy stories.  We asked this little person to share as many positive stories as they wanted and called them apples.  The negative stories we started to call onions, and tried to keep those to a minimum.  Over time we started calling those happy stories “pineapples”.  In challenging times we would ask our children to count their pineapples, which can also be translated into blessings or really anything good or positive in life.

I’m feeling a bit sappy because one of those small children is 19 years old now, and getting ready to start some adventures of her own. When she moves out of state in a few weeks I will be sending a pineapple mini quilt with her.  There have been some cute blocks popping up on Instagram that fit our pineapple loving family perfectly!  Jackie Padesky designed a pineapple block and kindly shared her pattern with me.  Thank you Jackie, they are so cute!!  Jackie’s pattern uses strips and has easy to follow directions.

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I ended up choosing scrappy blue fabrics that have memories and sentimental value for my daughter. This way if she ever does have a bad day she will remember to count her pineapples, and will also have a visual reminder of people and experiences to make her smile.  Since I went the scrappy route I had to do things just a little differently than the pattern.

Here’s how I made mine….

White fabric: cut six 3×3 squares; and two 2.5×2.5 squares

Main section of the pineapple: cut four 3×3 squares; and twelve 2.5×2.5 squares (pulled from my scrap basket)

Leafs: two 2.5×2.5 squares; and two 3×3 squares

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I laid the squares out to make sure I was happy with my choices.  You can see the 3×3 inch squares in each of the corners.IMG_5619

On your 3×3 white squares draw a light pencil line diagonally from one corner to the other.

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Take a blue 3×3 inch square and put it right sides together with a 3×3 inch white square.  Then stitch a scant 1/4 inch from both sides of the pencil line.

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Then you separate the squares and carefully cut on that pencil line.  You will now have two triangles.IMG_5623

Take those lovely triangles and trim them down to 2.5×2.5 inches.  You can use whatever ruler makes you happy.  I like this ‘folded corner clipper’.IMG_5625

Iron those cute trimmed squares open.  You will have four extra, which I plan to use for an additional pineapple block.  But they can always go back into the scrap basket for another project.  This is when I did my final layout and stitched all the blocks exactly where I wanted them to belong in the final quilt with 1/4 inch seams.

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I will quilt and bind this for her to take when she leaves.  Now I need to use lots of colors and make tons more pineapples.  This is a great scrap buster!

Simply Kate’s Place is on Instagram and Facebook!

You may have seen our Instagram feed streaming in on the right of our website. And now we’ve decided to open a Facebook for Simply Kate’s Place! We are thrilled to have both accounts and hope if you are a fan of either (or both!) social media sites, that you will give us a follow. Kate

Simply Kates Place

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I’ve been waiting months to share these blankets.  I began working on them in the spring, but needed to keep it a secret until Christmas.  It started out simply as a quilt I called my England quilt, but all my children kept claiming it as their own.  I decided to make multiples of each block so each child would have their own at Christmas.  I love the range of blues and aquas and there are several different shades of red as well.

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The square that caused me the most problem is the teapot.  At the time, I wanted to throw in the towel, and a more accurate word would be grief.  I didn’t have a pattern, but with trial, error and easy corner triangles I am pretty pleased with the end result. The one thing I would change about this square is that I would make it a slightly darker color, so it would pop a little more.

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For Big Ben I found some great clock face patches that work perfectly.   The words ‘Telephone’ and ‘London Transport’ were embroidered, I stitched them on at the very end.

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As I was finishing up I had a brilliant idea to include some Liberty of London fabric.  This cute little star block that ended up about three inches square.  It fit just perfectly in some empty space!

IMG_8252_logoThe monogram letter is the only block that changed to fit the name of each child.  I found a font on my computer that I liked, increased the size, printed it, pinned it to the fabric then cut it out.  Then I used some heat and bond to adhere it to the fabric before stitching it in place.  The “England” section is the letters from the blog tour ‘Spell It With Moda’ last year.  The Union Jacks are from Riley Blake and all the rest are some cute fabrics from my stash and great finds on the internet.

My children thought Scout needed to be in the picture so they set him down just in time for the last shot.  I hope you had a lovely holiday and got to spend some time with the people that are special to you.  Merry Christmas!