I stepped out of my comfort zone this week with my very first traditional English paper-piecing project that used a shape other than my beloved hexagon! Although I’ve worked with non-hexagon shapes before when writing Contain It! English Paper-Pieced Accessories with Mom, this was my first time doing a project with small paper inserts. Sarah of The Quilted Diary was inspired to design this block after reading Deuteronomy 28: 17-20 in her Bible. I love how this shows us that quilt and sewing inspiration can come from anywhere and everywhere! Her full quilt design uses 12 individual blocks, each done in its own colorway to create the look of gems. Using just three fabrics (light, medium, and dark) makes each block easy to pull together from your stash, and you can easily make as many or as few blocks as fit your interests. More information on her quilt along, as well as the pattern and construction information can be found on her website here. I selected purples for my block, mostly because my birthstone is amethyst and I love the color. This was my first time cutting my own paper pieces, which was easy to do using Sarah’s pattern and a light box. I probably should have paid a little more attention to detail when getting the paper pieces just right, as I think that would have made some of the final assembly a bit easier. After making all of the paper inserts the next step was to cut out the fabric for each piece, leaving just enough to turn over the edge for basting without having too much extra fabric bulk. I struggled with the “tails” that are formed when making blocks with sharp angles having never had the “tail” issue on my hexagons. Assembly was straight forward; baste the individual pieces, create small triangle units, and finally sew the units together. I was grateful that my experience with Contain It! had cured all of my fears around folding the basted pieces in order to get the seams to match up and be just right. My finished block still shows plenty of room for improvement in this respect, but I think the process would have been more challenging without the experience. Overall, I’m quite pleased with my finished block! The center point where all the seams come together could definitely use some improvement (my husband looked at and asked it if was supposed to be so “irregular”), but they’re close enough for me on this very first attempt. I love the colors I worked with, and enjoyed the challenge of working with non-hexagon shapes. I doubt that I’ll ever be able to leave my love for the simple hexagon and creating variations on Grandmother’s Flower Garden behind, but I now feel confident enough to try tackling other shapes and seeing what designs I can come up with.