Block 39 – Balls in the Air

I thought block 39 would be faster to complete than 38; now that it’s done, I’m not so sure about that.  There are some teeny tiny pieces again on this one and that added up to a lot of bulk on some of the seams, making it almost impossible to get a perfect match linng them up.  Friends, there are a whopping 64 pieces in this 6 inch block!


I’ve seen videos, read books, etc. on paper piecing and it seems like I still do mine backwards than most; I don’t know if that’s because I’m left handed or not.  The short story is I trim for the piece I’m about to sew on – I don’t trim after I’ve sewn a piece on.

The first thing I do is to measure the first piece at its longest point and again at its widest point.  I then add at least 1/2″ to each of those (to give it 1/4″ on each side) but I’m usually pretty generous with that and might make it a little bit more.

On these small blocks, I frequently put a dab of glue on the paper to hold the first piece down.  Then the very next thing I do is to folder the paper back between pieces 1 and 2, and use my add-a-quarter ruler to trim that to 1/4″.  Why?  Because then I don’t have to guess at all where piece # 2 goes.  It’s really obvious because it’s the only trimmed seam at that point.  Also, by having the two ends be just about a quarter inch seam, I also don’t have to guess too much whether to put piece # 2 to the left or right; because I have that same seam allowance pre-cut every time, the ends also line up.

Then I sew the 2nd piece on, press the fabric closed, then press it open.  And then trim between 2 and 3 and start that process all over again. It makes sense to me at least!  I know some people lay the piece down so that the “next” seam allowance lines up instead but I can’t wrap my head around that.

I’m not entirely pleased with my effort on this one because of those seams on the circle not lining up exactly on the right side.  And as you can see in the picture above, I don’t think I’ll ever get all the paper off – haha!  I even steamed it on the back to help loosen up the paper.

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The college quilt is basted and I’ve begun quilting on it (I was just waiting for the recipient to fit time in her schedule to help me baste it!).  I’m hand sewing the binding on another so lots going on recently.


8 Comments Add yours

  1. Block 39…you are dedicated!

    1. I’m still one block behind as of today but I may get to it this weekend.

  2. treadlemusic says:

    Paper piecing and I are NOT friends!!!!! I’m too much in favor of crashing through the forest rather than sauntering along the path! Your block is wonderful…….do NOT speak negatively of this cutie!!!!!!

    1. Haha! I am not friends with embroidery so I know what you mean. I prefer piecing something with a dozen pieces if the truth is told.

  3. MrsCraft says:

    That’s a lot of little pieces, a lot of sewing and a lot of talent. 😊

    1. Thank you!

  4. 64 pieces??? you’re a more patient woman than me! I would have said NO way!!

    1. Yeah, I wonder sometimes if I work on these without really thinking about that first or otherwise I’d probably skip a few of ’em!

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