The Blocks!

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I started to make the blocks in november 2015. I'm not sure if and when I will finish them!


I found a blogger who made Nearly Insane with English Paper Piecing (EPP), she sewed all the pieces by hand using paper-templates. She rated every block with a difficulty-level, from 1 to 10.

I will make the blocks with Foundation Paper Piecing (FPP), I use the machine to sew on thin paper. We'll see if the EPP-levels fit to FPP.

But I will start with the blocks which rated EPP-Level  1 or 2, I've lots of respect for the complicated blocks!

This is my personal record:

20.11.15:   5 blocks, 166 pieces
30.12.15: 16 blocks, 510 pieces
  6.01.16:  20 blocks, 773 pieces
  8.01.16:  25 blocks, 970 pieces
 10.01.16: 30 blocks, 1.118 pieces

Until now I have sewed almost only blocks with EPP-Level  1 or 2.

The blocks for Farmer's Wife were the first I ever made with FPP. I learned the basics during that project and I was very thankful that the yahoo-group provided us with a PDF-file which contained all blocks edited for FPP! All blocks were broken down into sections, you sew the sections first and join the sections to a block in the next step. The blocks of Farmer's Wife seldom have more than 5 sections.

With Nearly Insane I'm on my own. I have to analyse each block and break it down into sections. After having done 30 blocks I now feel rather competent! I understand more and more how these blocks are constructed. And I realize that EPP-levels and FPP-levels do not completely coincide. Most blocks are easier with FPP, only a few are more difficult.

Most Nearly Insane-blocks are 9-patch-blocks. Of course, most of the 9 patches consist of several sections, so it adds up to 15 sections for one block or so. But the basic construction comes down to a 9-patch-block – and that's not difficult!

So far I have only encountered two problems: a block has a lot of tiny pieces (e.g. block 25, 8 pieces in a 1-inch-square) or lots of seams have to match until all sections are sewn together (e.g. block 7).

I suppose most blocks with EPP-level 1-4 fit in this category – I would rate them with a FPP-level 1 or 2 (depending on the number of sections).

I'm dreading doing the blocks with y-seams or the notorious block with 229 pieces.

I will rate the blocks with my FPP-Levels, I think 4 levels will suffice:

1 – very easy (max. 90 minutes)
2 – elaborate, but doable (max. 3 hours)
3 – complex, needs some fiddling around (max. 3 hours)
4 – just scary

I'm looking forward to making the blocks with EPP-level 3 or 4. I suppose they correspond to FPP-level 2 or 3.

17.01.16:  40 blocks, 1.480 pieces
21.01.16:  45 blocks, 1.664 pieces
29.01.16:  53 blocks, 1.917 pieces
  6.02.16:  61 blocks, 2.377 pieces
13.02.16:  65 blocks, 2.672 pieces
20.02.16:  68 blocks, 2.864 pieces
27.02.16:   76 blocks, 3.331 pieces
  5.03.16:   82 blocks, 3.786 pieces
  9.03.16:   85 blocks, 4.312 pieces  - finished!!!!

Actually, the blocks were not very difficult. Once you made 50 of them, even the last three with 152, 181 and 229 pieces are not something to be afraid of. It just takes more time to sew all these tiny pieces on the paper.

I can't do Y-seams. I just can't.
So I decided to make two blocks using English Paper Piecing (27 und 50). The pieces are rather big, that was easy.

The blocks 43, 44 and 45 were a different matter. The pieces are tiny - too tiny to sew them with EPP. I decided to 'cheat'. I cut the Y-pieces in half (you can see that on the photos). Then these blocks were doable!
Therefore block 44 was the winner in number of paper-segments: 36!

Here are the blocks!
I put them on the yardage of the green fabric, so you can imagine how they will look 'swimming'.


To see the whole quilt click here!

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