Nero's Post II (2013-2015)

by Teje Karjalainen



Hello Dear Friends! I did it!!!! Woodpecker is done and finished and I love it! This block is part of the ‘Forest QAL’. I’m so happy that their first block was this amazing woodpecker who I couldn’t resist!

paper pieced woodpecker

This was a big challence – my first ever foundation paper piecing. In the beginning it was almost too difficult but this amazing woodpecker made me continue and not to give up. Later it started to be a little bit more easy but this technic really needs concentration every minute.


There are some unbelievable small pieces and when you sew them you need unbelievable big piece. That was difficult because I can’t waste fabric. Some strange things has been happening lately and here is one more – on the turquoise cheek you can see stitching – how on earth that came there?! I don’t have any idea.


I wasn’t sure if I’ll tell to hb how I have spent my time, but then we were speaking how it’s good to do sudoku to keep our mind sharp …I had to tell that I have found something much more effective! I said that this is not redy yet but you can see a head of a bird. He said ‘yes, I can see a bird’s head, it’s nice’ … nice?! So you understand that you are the only one who can understand how much effort this little head needed!

paper pieced woodpecker

Weather has been grazy – as I have heard in many other places, too. Fortunately we had sunny moments today and I was able to meet my woodpecker in the garden.


He stopped on the old wooden fence … then flew over …


… and then flew away  …


… I found him from my olive tree …

paper pieced woodpecker

On Sunday we had a lovely spring day and I was sitting outside sewing octagons … first time with bare foots!


Looks perfect or what? I moved the flower pots and made nice coffee place on the south side of the house …


… too nice to last … on Monday we had terrible strong wind – I have never seen so strong wind … and I moved all the flowers back behind the house where it didn’t blow so much. Today the weather is changing all the time and wind is still quite strong.


I’m sure that every one of you haven’t tried foundation piecing, so here are few steps from this project. I had big difficulty to find fabrics, I mean colours that I wanted. I would have prefered the body more blue and perhaps lighter blue, but these fabrics were only possibilities anywhere near what I wanted. Here I have put the pieces ready in the order they will be sewn. Under the small piece, they should be upside down.


Fabric pieces on the ‘back’ side of the paper and the wrong side against the paper. This is difficult to think! Then we sew the pieces one by one following the lines and numbers shown. It’s very difficult to think the angles how the pieces will turn after sewing.

This pattern was very good and easy to follow.  I marked always the parts i had finished. Here I have made the part I on the neck.


Here is the same I part from the right side. Now it needs to be cut on the correct shape following the seam allowance lines on the paper. This pattern has also good written guidance in which order to connect the parts together. When I showed to hb how this technic works, he asked if it’s worth … my first unsver was no … but now when my woodpecker is finished I feel that it was well worth of the effort!

‘Forest QAL’ continues and there are now following blocks: Woodpecker, Features, Forest and Maple Fox! I wasn’t sure if I can make more blocks but I want to make that super cute fox! I think I shall make all the forest – every block is so fantastic!

The woodpecker pattern is HERE! And the Flickr group is HERE! At the end there will be also contest and amazing prizes – have a look HERE!

Later yesterday evening this was the scene on my sewing table … this may look a mess and you may think it is only for fun … for fun yes but also for a good reason …


Thank you so much for your engouraging commenst on my last post! Your sweet and vice words helped me to continue this paper piecing! I know that this is not for everyone and even I really enjoyed learning and doing this, I’m more for quicker and freestyle projects.

I’m linking with Heather and Megan at ‘Fabric Tuesday’, with Connie at ‘Linky Tuesday’, at ‘Made by Me’


Thank you for stopping by and for your lovely comments! I hope to see you soon again and perhaps I have then something scrappy to show!



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!


  1. Well done Teje – it looks fantastic. I think it was well worth the effort and frustration! Also really nice to see some sunshine with you – it’s sadly lacking in the UK at the moment. Our Easter break starts at the end of this week and I’m hoping to at least see some weak sunshine soon.

  2. Your woodpecker is beautiful, Teje! I can’t imagine how difficult that was to make. I keep trying to start some paper piecing (I have a pattern) but then I put it off … maybe now I have my new sewing machine I should try again!

    • Thank you Fiona! I felt quite desperate in the beginning but then I just thought carefully and continued. It takes time but it’s also fun to do something very different for a change. x Teje

  3. Oh it’s so pretty, Teje! And it’s not only the bird, but you found just perfect fabrics for it too, I really like the turquoise there.

    Wishing you happy last days before Easter, enjoy the holidays!


    • Thank you so much Mia! I’m happy and proud for finishing this and learning something new. Now there is a fox and you know I love foxes and not only because we had sweet little Foxy.
      Our Easter is after one month, so now holidays yet. I wish you Happy Easter and hope you have time to relax and great weather! x Teje

  4. Paper piecing could be exhausting (more than other piecing methods), but after a few tries, you’ll have only fun while sewing! I’m happy that you piece the woodpecker – it’s wonderful.

    PS. Sometimes it happends that stitches are visible on the right side. I don’t really know why:(

    • Thank you so much Julianna! It is fun and I’m waiting to start the fox! For the stitching, I think I didn’t have my pieces folded right or perhaps I sew twice the same piece. x Teje

  5. beautiful! it looks like a really difficult pattern to piece together.

  6. I really like the Woodpecker! Looks VERY nice! Thank you for sharing!

  7. You did such a nice job Teje. Lovely photos too ; )

  8. Looks like your beautiful woodpecker has a lot of spots to choose from in your garden; I guess he has flown to the right place.
    You make me very curious with all those bright scraps; can’t wait to see what you are up to.

    • Thank you Dorien! After difficult beginning this was a wonderful project! About the scraps … i just finished ‘it’ but i’m affraid you have to wait to see it. x Teje

  9. Teje, I love your woodpecker, the color choices are wonderful, especially your shadow woodpecker. When I saw this on Freemotion by the River blog – I wanted to say “oh I wish I could do the woodpecker too – but I don’t know how to paper piece”. Uh – well, you certainly burst that thought as this is your first! I’m going to give it a try. Thanks for sharing your beautiful block.

    • Thank you so much Linda! I’m so happy if helped you to decide to start paper piecing! I just needed amazing block to start! x Teje

  10. Your Woodpecker is amazing – great job! And I love the ghosted image of the head pecking the tree, it’s a lovely design. Your colours are a perfect choice too :o)

  11. Wow Teje your woodpecker is really amazing….I can see how much patience that took. Just beautiful. How crazy is the weather but I could do with some of your warm sunshine. Take care Jane x

    • Thank you so much Jane! I’m so fond of this bird and also waiting to have time to make the fox! I wish I could send you real sunshine! x Teje

  12. You did THAT for your first try at paper piecing? You are very brave! Believe me, there are much easier patterns that don’t tax your brain as much? LOL.

    • Thank you Heather! I did make one very very simple block first (only 3 fabric pieces) but I wasn’t interested at all. To make a real foundation piecing block I realized that I need a special block and this was! x Teje

  13. Pingback: Strawberries and cream! | Oh Sew Tempting

  14. Wow! You did it 🙂 and it is beautiful! I also looked at the fox and it looks just as complicated. I think it was worth the effort. Thank you for reminding me about the linky parties. Avis x

    • Thank you Avis! Isn’t that fox so great! I feel that because I managed to make the woodpecker, I’m not affraid of anything now! Here I come you clever fox(y)!
      x Teje

  15. Brilliant result!

  16. This turned out great! I can’t believe it’s your first time. You certainly dove right in! And believe me, I appreciate how much work this is!

  17. Your woodpecker is wonderful! This looks a really tricky project for a first attempt and it’s turned out perfectly 🙂

  18. Congratulations! Your perseverance paid off with such beautiful results. Hugs, Doreen

  19. Very clever! I love your woodpecker!

  20. It turned out wonderfully. Great job sticking with it

  21. Super job! Glad you stuck with it , your woodpecker looks awesome. I am excited to start the fox too. he is so nice.

  22. That woodpecker is really really cool. Looks like those we see in the forest by our cabin. 🙂

  23. Wow it’s so perfect!
    Now wheres your scrappy thing?

  24. Beautiful Teje!! I haven’t finished mine yet but love this pattern! Thanks for sharing.
    Freemotion by the River Linky Party Tuesday

  25. The pattern is wonderful. But it’s your fabric choice that made it magnificent. Very good work. I have designed a few paper piecing patterns – a couple of pine trees and some other things, and was pleased with the outcome. But it is intensive work.

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