Comparing Exploding Pineapple Blocks and Square in Square

As I’m still very much a newbie to the world of quilting, I spend a lot of time online researching different block styles and construction techniques.  I really love the fact that there are so many creative people who show new ideas for tackling block construction or design new block styles from experimentation.

After posting a tutorial on how I made an Exploding Pineapple block using a technique developed by Karin Halleby (which unfortunately she asked me to remove), I received questions about constructing that same block style with triangles or in a manner where you could retain “points” a bit better.  During my research I came across a great tutorial on the Economy Block (or Square in Square) posted on Red Pepper Quilts blog, by Rita Hodge.  She also has a quilt along for this block which I’m joining as well.  Here is a link to her tutorial,

Following Rita’s tutorial I made an Economy style block of my own but used different measurements for the triangles and added a third set of triangles around the center square rather than just two.  I wanted a big block as the end result (as now I’m into making big blocks that help me make bigger quilts a little faster 🙂 ) and the center square to be on point.

Economy BlockSample

I measured and cut my squares as follows:

Center – 4 1/2″

Squares for first round of triangles – 4 1/2″ (then after sewing them on squared up my block to 6″ but added 1/4″ for a seam allowance)

Squares for 2nd round of triangles – 6 1/2″ (then after sewing them on squared up my block to 8 1/2″ and added a 1/4″ for a seam allowance)

Squares for 3rd round of triangles – 9″

I trimmed my block to finish at about 14″, leaving a rather wide frame around it. My Exploding Pineapple block was about that same size after I added the sashing.  Here are pictures of my Exploding Pineapple block compared with the other block I made.  I think the two have very similar looks and those who would like something with more distinct points would enjoy the end result of the Economy block construction.  You could easily start with a smaller center square and more rounds of triangles than what I did to get a little different look.

Economy Block Comparison

One thing I really liked about Rita’s technique was she cut over-sized triangles for easier sewing.  There was no worrying about getting tiny points stuck under your foot as you’re sewing them on.  I’ll put up with a little more waste for a lot less stress when I’m sewing!

I hope you check out this technique.

4 thoughts on “Comparing Exploding Pineapple Blocks and Square in Square

  1. Melanie in IA

    Oh my yes! I do like to cut my setting triangles too big, too. You never lose your points when you do that, and yes, construction is easier. For almost all other construction I want to cut patches the RIGHT size, but this one is a good exception.

    I do like your economy block. It looks very neat and should make up well into a quilt. Thanks for sharing your work and the link.


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