Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Paper Pieced Stars - Building Blocks Tuesday

I've been working all week on the last 6 blocks for the 3 x 6 bee, specifically my paper piecing hive.  I chose a block out of the book, Fat Quarterly Shape Workshop - really the only paper pieced block in the book.

If it looks familiar, that's because I tested the block out with my fall fabrics for the Leafs Me Happy Blog Hop last week (see the post here).  One would think that testing the block would have given me some insight on how to complete the block successfully.  Well, yes and no.  I still had troubles.  Lots and lots of troubles! In fact, I would say the test block came together the easiest.  But of course, I am too stubborn to give up easily.

If you look at the block above, you can see clearly that I need to work on those center points, and the block appears slightly off center (because it is, see the bottom fans are not even).

my favorite
The block's construction seems straightforward.  You make the paper pieces, put them together, trim the block to size, then add the borders.  I am not sure what the deal was, but one of the pieces in the pattern gave me more trouble than others, piece #3, and because of it my trimming was limited.  At first I thought that maybe that pattern piece was increased differently when I printed the pattern out, but the other pieces on the same paper were the right size, so???   And, my points just weren't playing nicely.   Something about having five pieces coming together in a half, instead of the usual four, really threw things off.  So, I looked for tips from some of my favorite paper-piecers.

Lynne at Lily's Quilts provided the help I needed (check out her post).  I added at least 1/2 inch onto the outside seam allowances, so I would be able to trim the block to size, thus avoiding the lopsidedness of my test block.  Also, Lynne recommends sewing all your individual pieces together by starting from the points outward.  This REALLY helped!  If you sew in the other direction, even the best pinning job can shift a bit, making your points crooked.

These lovely tips got me through the paper piecing of the block, but that didn't mean that disaster could strike....I trimmed one of the blocks to small on one side, and had to start the whole block over again (now I have a small red, white and blue one for myself!).  Also, one bee mate didn't choose a color combo and wanted to be surprised.  As I was cutting all my fabric out, the one box I hadn't touched in a while was my black/white/gray box.  But, I didn't consult the information about my bee mate given at the start of the bee.  Turns out she dislikes neutral colors, and what color did I make her block?  Yep, black, gray and white - can't get any more neutral than that!  So another block needed to be made for her.

I'll keep this one!
Is this more colorful?

Now, I am still no expert, and not all my points came out perfectly.  But, I think these turned out nicely.  I hope my bee mates agree.

I am considering writing up a little "review" of this block - a lessons learned type thing, since there were many.  I need a few days to put my thoughts together.  As for paper piecing, I might need to take a little break after these.  Unfortunate, since the How Far Will You Go QAL has several paper pieced blocks that I need to catch up on.  These stars were time consuming and a bit frustrating, and my brain needs to reset.  I think I will go back to curves...ha!

Now then, enough about me and my struggles for the week.  What have you been working on?

Link up your fabulous blocks.  You put a lot of hard work into them - show them off!  And, don't forget, you have all week to add them if you like.

Quilter in the Closet


1) Please link up only to the page in your blog showing your wonderful blocks, not just the blog homepage
2) Make sure to put your blog name as the description so people know where they are going or the name of your block!
3) Please consider grabbing my button and posting it in your blog post
4) Visit other linky participants!

Until next week,



  1. Despite all the trouble they have given you the blocks look good, off-kilter points and all!

  2. Your blocks look great! I have a feeling I was the "not neutral" person...though I do think your black/grey/white block turned out beautifully


I LOVE comments, they make my day! I may not always respond, but I DO read them...always.

Have a Super Sparkly Day!