achievement unlocked: “paper-pieced home” blocks, part eight

here are the last four (because i accidentally included six in my last post) blocks! reminder: i somehow forgot to photograph these blocks before i sewed them into a quilt top & marked my quilting lines.


watermelon slice! this was probably the easiest block in the entire book because it was only one section, maybe fifteen pieces of fabric. after sewing so many blocks that had an many as twenty sections that had to be sewn together after being individually pieced, it was almost unsettling to have a finished block after piecing just one section. i had a little bit of this great denyse schmidt print left over from making pockets for my railroad stripe suspender skirt, & i love the way it symbolizes the black seeds in a watermelon. when i made this block, ramona was going through a major watermelon phase & she kind of claimed this block as her own. “a watermelon slice for ramona!” she said, & insisted on carrying it around with her for the rest of the evening. i’m thinking about using this pattern again to make something for her. maybe a little tote bag since we can’t find her elephant print tote bag anywhere.


watering can! i chose a yellow floral print for the main body of the watering can, you know, to signify the outside, sunshine, nature, etc. i used a yellow text-y print for accents & a green polka dot print for the holes on the spout. i love purple & yellow together, & i love all the joel dewberry wood grain prints, & plus the wood grain was kind of in keeping with the outdoors/nature vibe, so that was my background choice.


seed packet! this is one of the smallest blocks in the book. i think it’s like 4.5″ by 5.5″. but so many pieces! i was kind of dreading this one, honestly, because of all the tiny, fiddly pieces. some bits of fabric were so small that i just had to balance them on my fingertip. they were too small to properly pick up. i went with this bright crosshatched green print for the corn leaves because it brought corn silk to mind. i stumbled across this interesting yellow print in my stash that looked a lot like corn kernels. i kept the rest of the block pretty simple. the white fabric is printed with a very low-volume green motif that meshed very well with the greens in the corn, & i made the label pink because, in my world, pink goes with everything. pink is like my neutral. that’s what this project has taught me. the label is fussy-cut from a green gardening-themed fabric i had in my stash & appliqued in place using a teeny tiny zigzag stitch with green thread, & i used gray gingham for the background because it gave me a country/farm sort of feeling.


last block! a hand rake & a gardening spade. i used this really interesting gray print for the metal parts of the tools. i think it’s from the “waterfront park” fabric line. more wood grain print for the handles & a pink text print for the background. & voila! all forty blocks!

i kind of wish i’d timed how long it took me to make each block. some obviously went a lot faster than others. i think i knocked out the watermelon block in like an hour (including cutting), but the clawfoot tub, for instance, took at least five hours because it had a million sections, & embroidery, & applique. altogether, i spent more than 100 hours piecing these blocks, which is part of the reason i always have to laugh when people say i should sell the things i sew. paying myself $10 an hour & not including expenses for materials, this would easily be a $2000 quilt. one woman i know, who does not sew & suggested i sell my work, told me that i could easily find someone to pay that much. be that as it may, i don’t want to sink 200 hours into sewing something for someone else.

right now i am spending every free moment on the quilting, which i decided to do by hand. i’m really hoping to have it done by the end of the month, both because it’s starting to get pretty cold at night & i want to actually use it, & because i’m thinking about entering it into an online quilt contest. i’ve spent about 40 hours on my quilting so far & estimate that i have another 20-25 to go. so! that means it’s two-thirds of the way there! i’ve also already made the binding (from scraps leftover from piecing, using 53 different fabrics), so that’s ready to be sewn on as soon as the quilting is completed.

i’ll kind of miss this project when it’s over! but i’m also looking forward to getting my life back. i’m going to have so much time!

oh! one more thing. i don’t have a bonkers huge insane fabric stash, as a person may assume from seeing all the different fabrics i’ve used for these blocks. when i set out to intentionally buy fabrics, i am generally drawn to incredibly loud prints that don’t lend themselves well to projects like this. the lion’s share of fabrics i used here are from the stash boxes put together by pink castle fabrics. i bought the rainbow box of like fifty fat eighths for myself for christmas last year, & then i signed up the monthly stash club, which gets me twelve fat quarters a month, each month focusing on a different color. this has been GREAT for acquiring a fabulous selection of colors & prints to use in paper-piecing projects & other sewing projects that require small quantities of relatively low-key fabrics.

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

2 thoughts on “achievement unlocked: “paper-pieced home” blocks, part eight

    1. oh, i’m sure some people would say the same about me. i’ve just seen photos online where people have, like, numerous dressers & wardrobes exploding with fabric & i wanted to clarify that i am not in that situation (yet).

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