Pineapple Slices


    Based on 112cm (44in) fabric
  • 50cm plain white for the background
  • 50cm plain red for the cushion backs
  • 50cm assorted red prints for the blocks, borders and appliqué hearts
  • 30cm assorted navy prints for the blocks
  • Two 50cm squares of butter muslin for lining the cushion tops
  • Two 50cm squares of 2oz wadding
  • Two 38cm (15in) red zip fasteners
  • Two 40cm (16in) cushion pads

Finished Size

16in square (block 6 1⁄4in square)

Skill Level


Although the design for both of these cushions was inspired by traditional Pineapple patchwork it is far easier to piece because just a slice of the Pineapple design has been taken and made into a simple block. Each cushion is made from four blocks with borders added. The blocks are foundation pieced on paper. The same heart motif has been used for both the comer appliqué pattern and the quilting.


Cut for both cushions:

  • Four pieces 9 x 16 1⁄2in from plain red for the cushion backs
  • Eight strips 2 1⁄4 x 13in for the borders from assorted red prints
  • Eight 2 1⁄4in squares from white for the border corners

Cut for each block:

  • Five 1 1⁄2 x 5 1⁄2in strips from assorted navy prints for the centre blocks (pieces 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9)
  • Ten half square triangles cut from 2in squares in white for the centre blocks (pieces 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10)
  • Two half square triangles cut from a 4 1⁄2in square in assorted red prints for the centre blocks (pieces 11)
  • Two half square triangles cut from a 4 1⁄2in square in white for the centre blocks (pieces 12)

Cutting Triangles

To cut two half square triangles, cut a square in half diagonally. Half square triangles have the grain of the fabric along the two short sides of the triangle

Making the Blocks

  1. Make four blocks for each cushion. Draw the block design onto foundation paper, transferring all seam lines and numbers. The block measures 6 1/4in as drawn and 6 3/4in including seam allowances
  2. Cut out the strips and triangles as listed above. Place the fabric strip for piece 1 RS up on the unmarked side of the paper. Hold it up to the light to make sure the piece covers the whole area marked 1 and extends beyond the drawn lines on all sides. Secure with two pins.
  3. Place the first piece 2 triangle on top of piece 1 with RS together; pin in place. With the marked side of the paper uppermost sew exactly on the seam line between pieces 1 and 2. Begin by sewing two or three stitches before the line begins and extend a few stitches at the end of the line.
  4. Trim the seam allowance to 1⁄4in. Fold open the piece and press. Sew the second piece 2 triangle to the other side of the strip in the same way. Trim and press as before.
  5. With RS together lay piece 3 on top of pieces already in place, pin in place then sew on the seam line between the pieces. Trim the seam allowance, open up and press.
  6. Continue to add strips and triangles as shown on the pattern until the block is complete. A 1⁄4in seam allowance is allowed on the pattern, so trim excess fabric to the outside lines. Note the pattern for all blocks is the same but try to vary the fabrics as much as possible, especially the corner print pieces 11 as these may meet when the blocks are joined together.
  7. Refer to the layout diagram in Figure 1 and arrange the blocks in two rows of two for each cushion. Take special care to place each block in the right direction.
  8. Stitch the blocks into rows and then sew the rows together. Before pressing, remove the paper from the seam allowances, but leave the rest of the paper intact until the cushion fronts are complete.
Figure 1: Layout diagram
Figure 1: Layout diagram

The Border

  1. Sew a red border strip to both sides of the cushions. Press the seams towards the borders. Sew a white corner square to each end of the four remaining red border strips and then sew the borders to the top and bottom of each cushion. Press the seams towards the borders.
  2. Make a card template from the heart motif. Place the template on the WS of a scrap of red print and mark around the template. Cut out the heart adding a 1⁄4in seam allowance. Machine a scant 1⁄8in from the marked line within the seam allowance all the way round the heart. Clip the seam allowance, taking care not to clip through the stitches.
  3. Slightly gather the heart by pulling up the bottom (bobbin) thread. Insert the template on the WS and tighten the gathers around it. Press the seam allowance over the card. Remove the card. Make a further seven hearts in an assortment of red prints.
  4. With the RS up, appliqué a heart in each of the white corner squares. Press from the WS.
Pineapple Slices

Quilting and Finishing

  1. Layer and tack each cushion top with the wadding and butter muslin. Quilt the heart motif in the centre of all large red print and plain white triangles. Quilt in the ditch around the Pineapple shape and shadow quilt around each appliqué heart.
  2. Place the zip, RS down and 1⁄4in from the raw edge, on one of the pieces of plain red fabric for the cushion back. Using a zipper foot on the sewing machine sew down the length of the tape close to the teeth of the zip. Neaten the raw edge of the fabric by turning the 1⁄4in seam allowance underneath the zipper tape (to the WS) and zigzagging it to thetape. Sew the opposite side of the zip to the other piece of fabric in the same way.
  3. Fold one piece of fabric underneath the other so that the RS are together; this means opening the seam on one side of the zip, the two pieces of fabric should lie flat on top of one another with the zip to one side. Sew through both layers at each end, from the edges of the fabric to where the metal part of the zip begins. Reverse sew for a few stitches at the metal end.
  4. Open out the piece, RS uppermost, and press the fold gently over the zip. Pin or tack the fold in place over the zip. Stitch through the zip tape from the WS, right across the cushion back from edge to edge. Remove any tacking.
  5. Open the zip a little. Place the quilted front on top of the cushion back, RS together. Pin then tack the back and front together. With the cushion front uppermost sew a 1⁄4in seam around the cushion using the outer edge of the cushion top as a guide.
  6. Zigzag to neaten the edges then open the zip completely to turn the cushion through to the RS. Remove any obvious tacking and press lightly. Complete the second cushion in the same manner.

First published in Popular Patchwork Volume 12 Number 11 - October 2004