for One Shiny Bee for September, Andrea requested the Wandering Foot block.

Cutting and sewing from templates is not a process that I have confidence in, especially with angles that are not the standard 45, 60 or 90 degrees.

So I converted this into a paper-piecing pattern and what follows is a tutorial to get you going up until the final step. That is, no matter how you cut it, you have to execute an inset seam on a wacky angle to finish it up. I struggled for hours to try to get it to work out–up to my own personal standards–and failed. Anyone have advice on how to do angled inset seams?? I think I’ve given up on this for now, but this seems like a good time to learn.

Anyway, I hope that this might help some of the other bee members get at least as far as I did…

Block Size: This makes one 10.5″ unfinished block.

Techniques: I need to assume that you’ve paper-pieced before. Try a tutorial like this one. There’s also a pesky inset seam, as mentioned before. We’ll need to help each other out on that…

Piecing Templates: You’ll need four copies of the square below, blown up to 5″ square, since this is the finished configuration. I usually just grab the photo, slide it into a Word window, and resize using the rulers on the screen.

One Shiny Bee: template for Andrea's September block

Materials: Scraps as provided in our bee packet. I’d need more of the blue to make the second block, though.

Cutting: In paper-piecing, it’s best to completely overshoot your regions so that coverage and seam allowances are guaranteed. Here’s how I cut: pieces A and D 2″x4″; for piece F 2.5″x3.25″; for pieces B and C 2.25″x4.75″; and for piece E 3″x2.25″. For the scrappy block requested, you only need make certain that pieces B and C and the corner A and D pieces are in the blue background fabric. Otherwise, anything goes.


1. The regions of this block have too many neighbors to allow for direct piecing. So we’ll need to cut this into parts that we’ll seam up later. See below.

2. Begin with the half-square triangles. We are going to need to make sure that we leave 0.25″ margins of fabric around our templates for seaming, since the templates represent the finished size/configuration. So set the center triangle fabrics with plenty of overhang.

3. Seam as usual, making sure that your seam extend 0.25″ past the template on each side.

4. Trim your seams to 0.25″.

5. Press and check for coverage to make sure that there will be enough of a fabric margin. You might want to do this checking before trimming.

6. Go ahead and add the third triangle, as before. Remember to trim the seam, press and check for coverage.

7. Then trim around the template. You want a margin of 0.25″ of fabric around the printed boundary.

8. The other half-square triangle goes just the same.

Trim up with the 0.25″ margins as before.

9. Match up your half-square triangles. Pin and seam as usual. You shouldn’t sew through the paper at all on this seam.

10. You are now done with the easy part. These sub-squares are a smidgen over 3.75″ square.

11. Now for the sashing with kite corner. No matter how you choose to do this, you’ll end up needing to do an inset seam. I’ll just show you how I got the best that I got. Piece together B and E.

Trim the piece to the 0.25″ fabric margin.

12. Attach C to the sub-square leaving a flap at the corner where the kite will be. And then seam B to the other side, leaving kite E flapping.

13. There remains just one more seam, the E-to-C connection. You’ll need to attain the mirror image angle to orient the fabrics properly for seaming to make it lay flat.

I spent way too much time on this. And this is as good as I could make it…

This is a 5.5″ block. You’ll then need to make three more to seam together as given on the Wandering Foot page.

This piecing is nowhere near good enough for me.

Sorry, Andrea.