Nero's Post II (2013-2015)

by Teje Karjalainen

Oh boy, this is difficult!


Hi! There has been popping out these amazing birds … woodpeckers … this is about the ‘Forest QAL’ (quilt along) and foundation paper piecing. It looks like they/you make these blocks in few moments and then show it like it wasn’t a big deal at all.  I thought to show you how it really is for a beginner like me …


I wanted to join this quilt along but they have already the third block going on. I have downloaded the first and the second block and i have decided to make them, what ever it takes!?! Today i thought to give a try … in the beginning everything was sort of fine, even I had difficulties to choose the fabrics, especially for the bird’s body. I haven’t still decided … i started to make those parts where i knew what fabrics to use …


Here is the battle for the one and only foot of the bird … i just can’t make my mind to think up side down, back words, opposite, ‘mirror’ …


… ripping is bad because it brakes the paper, too … i think at the end there wasn’t mistake and i made this again exactly as it was …


Do you think there is any hope that this could be a foot? I was very suspicious, but didn’t give up …


… and here you are … if i didn’t know what it is i would guess something else. It would be so wonderful to have someone next to me to show how this should be done! I hope i don’t make everything with the hardest way. I feel strongly that my logic doesn’t work with the foundation piecing.

paper piecing woodpecker

Ooh, now there is also some shadow of the head! I don’t know if i can ever learn this well. But i did learn something important few days ago – to make a knot! Yes really! Do you know how to make easily good knot when you sew by hand? How I never learnt this before and i have been sewing … many years! When i started to make those octagons, i thought i should learn to make better knot and then i just found it. Sorry but the link doesn’t work now. I’ll show you next time.

Here is the link for the ‘FOREST QAL’  and there is also Flickr group where you can share you blocks and find inspiration!

Anacamptis Papilionacea

Last time i showed you these little flowers and you made a good question if they could be orchids. Today i had a lovely coffee time with my friend and she had joined a guided tour to see Greek orchids! Can you believe again what coincidence? She showed me some photos and there was also this pink flower! It is Anacamptis Papilionacea.

Anacamptis Papilionacea

It’s great to learn something! No matter if it’s new flower, knot or paper pieced block! I don’t think i have energy to continue my woodpecker today … it’s already evening … could i just sew some easy piecy octagons …. pleeeeease! Nero is asking to get his evening dessert = doggie denta stick so i leave you with this other wonderful bird (please don’t ask what bird it is or perhaps you know and could tell me).


I hope you have a great weekend! Please tell me if you noticed something really wrong in my paper piecing photos. Thank you for visiting my little blog and thank you for your sweet comments!



Author: Teje

I am a Finnish woman living in Crete in Greece. Quilting, sewing, knitting, crochet and if there is still time, reading and painting, with happy company of our two sweet dogs and one cat!

27 thoughts on “Oh boy, this is difficult!

  1. Foundation piecing is hard. Angles especially ; ) have fun and don’t be afraid to waste fabric!

  2. It can be a bit daunting at first, but I know you’ll figure it out. You do such excellent work that soon this’ll be easy!

  3. I may have to work up to this lol my skills are pretty limited!

    • Thank you Lyn! This Forest qal has so beautiful blocks. Not so easy but it’s also interesting to learn something you feel difficult and that needs all your concentration. x Teje

  4. Oh dear! Paper piecing is not something I have been successful with. It has more to do with all the little slivers of fabric in the tiny spots. I have friends that do this regularly and I have decided it must have something to do with personality types (rather than strictly expertise). I wish you the very best and, please, continue to share the experience so I may learn, also. May wisdom be yours, dear Friend. Hugs, Doreen

    • Thank you Doreen! If I didn’t like these blocks so much, i don’t think i had found the courage to try. Now and then it feels great to challenge our selves! After this epp is so easy and relaxing! We’ll see if i continue foundation piecing… Have a lovely weekend! x Teje

  5. Your woodpecker is taking shape – don’t give up. For ages it looks like it doesn’t make sense because the image is reversed, but then it all comes together suddenly. You’ll get there – keep going. Jxo

    • Thank you Judith! Yes, i can start to imagine the shape and that helps to continue.I have lots of patient and here i do need it! I start to enjoy this, but i don’t know if i have so much time this foundation piecing needs. On the other hand, am i busy to finish it? Yes, just to see how it will be! Happy weekend! x Teje

  6. This was a tough one to do and i have been paper piecing for years. I agree the mirror image thing really had me with this one trying to figure out what went where. good luck and keep referring to the illustration for each piece!

    • Thank you Kathy! I shall print the illustration also as ‘mirror’ and i think that helps a lot. Have a lovely weekend! x Teje

  7. I think if someone could actually sit with you for half an hour you would get it quickly. I could be there quite quickly!

    • Thank you Dianne, that would be great! I think i have catched the idea but still need to learn to think opposite way (not easy). Happy weekend! x Teje

  8. You are doing fine! Don’t give up, I know it sometimes looks to difficult, but with all your skills you will manage it. Myself, I usually have 2 images in front of me; 1 of the pattern-side, and one of the mirrored side. That way I can always verify what I’m doing and if it looks okay. The fabrics you have chosen look great for this block.
    Have a great weekend.

    • Thank you Dorien! I’m so happy to hear from you because you also made this clever, tricky bird! I should have printed 2 images from the beginning but i do it now. Can’t wait to continue this in the evening. Happy weekend! x Teje

  9. I have done a bit of paper piecing and don’t really enjoy it…though I know many people do. The only advice I can give is use a much bigger piece of fabric than you think you will need for each section…You are doing a great job!

    I think that white bird looks like an egret! He certainly is pretty!

    • Thank you so much! I don’t know also if this is for me, but I want the learn and try. I have seen that I need to use quite big pieces even for a tiny section. x Teje

      • I know exactly what you mean – I made a quilt this way with the “Sew Out Loud” QAL – I am happy with the quilt, but will not be going back to paper piecing very soon. It really isn’t for me. Keep it up though – the result is amazing. I just don’t find it relaxing, which is mostly why I quilt 🙂

        Enjoy your spring – ours is slowly coming too – at least the days are getting longer again 🙂

  10. Good luck with the foundation piecing Teje! The designs look beautiful but complicated. I have considered trying this many times but I’ve read that it wastes fabric so I’ve resisted for now. I’m sure you will succeed 🙂 Have a wonderful week! Avis x

    • Thank you Avis! It is complicated but interesting! And it really wastes fabric so not good for me either. I think I may do this only with some super special bocks when there is now other way to make anything similar in other way. We have holiday tomorrow so the weekend continues. Wonderful week to you! x Teje

  11. You’re doing a beautiful job on your paper-piecing! And that’s a challenging pattern for a beginner – wow!

    • Thank you! I made first one very simple block but I felt that to find the courage to work this out, I need to do something special that I really want! If I didn’t like this woodpecker so much, I may have given up. At least I figured out how to do foundation piecing and I’m so eager to do other ‘Forest’ blocks! x Teje

  12. Oh boy! This woodpecker work is going to be amazing Teje! Can’t wait to see the finished quilt. Ros

  13. Oh my, I am truly taking my hat off for you, Teje! There’s no way I could never even think of starting anything like this! It’ll be gorgeous once finished!


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