Magic Squares & Exploding Pineapple Patchwork Blocks

Magic Squares Block

Last week I tutored a class on the above. I was shown how to make Magic Squares many years ago by Meg Leach of New Threads, Weyhill Fairground, Hampshire and have made several quilts using this method. Demonstration quilts shown below.

The first project was made using two charm packs “Simply Luscious” plus some yardage from my stash. As the triangles are all on the bias, in order to stabilise the block you need to stitch the magic squares to fabric that is on the straight grain. I used a plain Pink for the sashing with cornerstones in a complimentary fabric cut from a spare fat quarter.

simply luscious

The second project used some Fat Quarters purchased from Sew Simple in Taverham, Norfolk. This project features a print of Chickens and Sunflowers. Chickens – it was meant to be a gift for my sister who was born in the year of The Rooster and also keeps chickens in her back garden. This time, to stabilise those bias edges I cut squares and then set the blocks “on point”. Although the lap quilt was completed back in 2012, it has not yet found it’s way to Catherine! I really need to make another, this time featuring rabbits to be appropriate for me. Another project to go on the “TO DO” list!

CHICKEN magic squares

Meantime, here is how to sew a Magic Square:-

1. Starting with 2 x 5” squares, put right sides together and press. This helps  the       squares to stay together. Stitch with a 1/4” seam allowance ALL AROUND.

2. On the side that is to be the triangles, mark an X.

3. Pull the two pieces of fabric apart and finger crease the top square in the centre along one of the lines. Make a small cut along the one of the marked lines. Insert your scissors and cut along the two lines of the X. Please be sure to cut only the fabric with the marked lines.

4. Gently press the triangles away from the centre block and trim away the “fabric ears”.

Exploding Pineapple Block

This block is basically an extension of a Magic Square, proceed as follows:-

Measure your magic square block and cut another square to match this measurement.

1EP. Lay the squares right side together and repeat step 1 above. Always stitch with the new square uppermost as this is the most accurate. Don’t worry if the square underneath pops out a bit.

2EP Mark an X on the new square and continue as steps 3 and 4 above.

3EP Continue adding pineapple layers until the block is the required size.

4EP Stitch the blocks together using a 1/2” seam to make your quilt.