Here’s another fabulous, paper-pieced block from Musical Starling.  Thanks, girlfriend!


**Disclaimer:  I apologize for the quality of the following photos.  The lighting in my sewing room is NOT great and I’m still learning how to use this new “big girl” camera.**

I’m back again for another paper piecing lesson!  I hope I haven’t scared you off by showing you Garden Party first, because it’s really not difficult!  It takes a little more thinking I guess, but it’s worth it for the results (when you’re not distracted that is! You’ll see what I mean further down…)

So, we’ll speed up a little this time, but I’ll still try to explain each step.  If I lose you somewhere along the way, don’t hesitate to ask questions!

(ND01) First step, cut apart all of the pieces to your pattern.  In this case, there are eight pieces, four of each.  This pattern in particular from the Yahoo group has one piece from each set that’s off by a smidge.  (ND02)  So, holding it up to the light (or in my case against a daylit window) I traced the new line so all four are now matching (ND03).

Now that you have two *correct* sets of templates, let’s start filling them in!  This part always feels like paint by numbers, I love it!  For this pattern you can ignore the numbers since there are only three pieces and just place your center strip where it needs to be so you have at least 1/4″ of overlap on either side and you are covering your seam allowance at the top and bottom and stick a pin in there.  (ND04) Sometimes I live dangerously and don’t use pins, but for the sake of this tutorial I did.  Then place your larger triangular piece of fabric face down on this strip so it overlaps your seam by at least 1/4″. (ND05)

Please don’t sew while you’re tired, or at least if you’re going to sew tired then have a few drinks.  Then at least you will know what to blame it on when this happens: (ND06).  Take a deep breath, have another drink, pick out that seam, and this time sew it the right way: (ND07).

Once you have your biggest triangles sewn to that center strip, it’s time for the smaller of the two.  (ND08) This is how it will look from the paper side and (ND09) this is how it will look from the fabric side.  So sew those two together, and don’t forget to trim those seams! (ND10)  These pieces go together Much faster when you’re chain piecing, so feel free to form a little assembly line for all eight little triangles like this: (ND11)

Once all eight are done (four of each) you’ll have two pretty little stacks, like so: (ND12).  So take one piece from each stack and sew them together along the longest side.  (ND13)  Ignore my crooked stitches, they are the result of multiple distractions and I got tired of ripping and sewing only to re-rip again so they became design elements.

Don’t forget to rip out the papers in those seams!  (ND14) Now complete for all four sets so you have four pretty two-colour blocks like these (ND15).

Now line up your four little squares so you can see which sides to sew together next (ND16).  Take any two adjacent squares and sew them together, then repeat with the remaining two so you now have two halves as shown (ND17).

Now, the LAST seam!!  Just sew those two halves together, rip out those papers and admire your work!  (ND18)

Well, that is, unless you got distracted by doorbells, telephones, cats, and the loving husband as I did.  Then you end up with seams like this: (ND19).  *sigh*  Oh well, it was going a little too perfect up until that point…

Now, a little overview.  I LOVE this block!  So simple, and if I had to guess it’s much easier to do this way than it will be with tiny templates (I chose this block because a lot of people had issues using the templates).  I will be re-doing this block at some point (simply because I’m re-doing them all in different fabrics) and when I do I will likely remove the papers BEFORE I join the eight triangles in the beginning.

This may seem crazy, but removing those papers first will do two things:
1. It will allow me to press those seams flat.  Every time my poor machine had to go over those adjoining seams it grumbled at me quite loudly.
2. It will allow me to pin all of those intersections so they match up much better, even with distractions!

So, that’s Day & Night!  Not too bad, right?  Even with a sketchy center seam, you still won’t see it from a galloping horse.  Hopefully yours is distraction-free and turns out much better!