I traced my cutting template on to three sheets of freezer paper, one for each colorway, and place each on a stack of ten fabrics. I sliced in the prescribed sequence of just fourteen cuts per stack. I then swapped and traded the pattern pieces per the directions. Here are my three stacks of pattern pieces, each tidily gathered on my cutting mat or in a serving tray; ten red presents with green bows on an aqua background, ten aqua presents with red bows on a green background, and ten green presents with aqua bows on a red background. I decided to chain piece each stack together one at a time, starting with the stack of red presents.
The bottom two thirds of the block is the present section. Pieces A, B, C make up the wrapping paper and ribbon part and the surrounding pieces D, E, F, G, H, when spliced together, form the wonky background. I am one of those quilters who gets great satisfaction from points meeting accurately, so loosey-goosey is a challenge for me. I really needed to relax with this as much as I could since the edges of the pieces do not align at all. For example, that bottom piece F overhangs off to the right about 1.5". There is a reason for that. The present section, with the side borders, totals four quasi-vertical seams. With a ¼" seam allowance, this removes approximately 2" of the width. The bottom border has only one vertical seam totaling about ½", hence the overhang that is biased to the right. I will trim that excess off piece-F later. The center red wrapping paper and green ribbon section was also taller than the side borders, since the aqua borders lost some height in their seam allowances. The instruction told me to even off the upper edge of the bottom present section before proceeding to attach it to the top bow section.
I kept track of my pattern pieces as I went along, taping them back together as I finished a section to keep their orientation relative to each other fresh in my mind. Note that my Scotch tape dispenser is labeled for my sewing room as a deterrent to it being borrowed and left someplace else. It does help.
I thought long and hard about this since I would be trimming either off the top of piece-L if I biased it downward or off the side of piece-L if I biased it upward, asking myself if there were an advantage of one direction over the other. Just like the Grinch, "I puzzled and puzzled 'till my puzzler was sore". I concluded it made no difference or, if so, the difference was too slight to worry about. I decided to slide it downward and line up the side of piece-L with the straight side of piece-I since that would be easier than with the pointed tip of piece-K.
I then moved on to the right bow section, pieces M, N, O, lining up piece-M and piece-N on their less slanted side.
I pressed the seam allowance toward the bow color and away from the background each time. When I stitch around the ribbon and bows in the quilting stage, I wanted them to be slightly raised from the background and present. I did trim off those overhanging sections on the right before adding on the background, the upper right corner of the entire block.
I added the background piece...
... and trimmed ever so little off the extended corner.
And here is a sample of aligned bow loops. There really is quite a bit to trim off both the top and bottom of the joined bow loop sections. Yes, the block becomes shorter because I need to trim both top and bottom, but it is worth it to me.
If I had not added piece-L (the upper left corner) shifted upward as I had, I would not have had to remove fabric from its top. But piece-L would have needed to be trimmed from the left then, so it is six-of-one and half-a-dozen of the other. I aligned nine bow sections like the sample on the right, with the tips of the two bow loops kissing each other. I will take out and re-do the sample on the left the same way.
I checked on the Sandy Gervais pattern photo, and the right bow loop does not touch the top of the package, but I prefer to slide it down so it does. I am guessing the pattern tester aligned the block edges rather than bow loop tips. A free floating bow may be a bit more whimsical, but I opted otherwise.
Here are my ten completed red gift blocks. My first impression is that the aqua background is a bit too mottled for my taste. That may just be my leaning because I am stretching my comfort zone. I tweaked and twiddled and managed the gift paper and ribbon color combos, but made a conscious decision to let the chips fall where they may for the background. Should I have kept the background all one color? I easily could have, by not reordering the pieces in the stacks. It would be a shame, however, if I wimped out and chose fabrics so similar that the wonkiness did not shine through. Sigh. This is the point in every quilt where my self-doubt creeps in.
I am withholding final judgment until I've completed the blocks from the other colorways. I noted that when I'd performed the "squint your eyes test", the ten aquas had displayed the greatest variation of tone amongst themselves. The fabrics for the red background and the green background were more subtle. Also, when the blocks have been trimmed and joined, there will be more definition of each block, and my perception may change. Piecing is my favorite part of quilting. For now, I am thoroughly enjoying the novelty and challenges of this wonky method. I am joining the WIP linky party at this week's Freshly Pieced and will take a look at what others are enjoying.