There were four main pieces to the block. A, B, and D were symmetrical and C had a left/right handedness to it. D also had somewhat of a handedness D subunit assembly since the position of the light D and dark D relative to each other had to be consistent.
They were sorted by light and dark color and stacked in the product container by shape. In other words I had a stack of light A's, dark A's, light B's dark Bs, etc. Originally I laid them out in alphabetical order with light on the left. Then I went to my well-organized, well-defined specific storage place on my open shelving and directly placed my hand on my container of Alphabitties to label the pieces.
I was stumped when I opened the container, dumped out all the tags and discovered that the plastic tabs for A, B, C, and D were missing from my storage container for them. Aaargh! I have no idea what project they were put away with! Letters E through Z were there. Numbers 0 through 9 were there. Letters A through D – not there. Go figure. So much for "a place for everything and everything in its place". No problem. They will turn up eventually. Or I will buy more.
The absence of the AWOL Alphabitties was not a major stumbling block. It made much more sense to orient and lay out the precision laser cut pieces as they would be assembled and surely I could remember three letters. I positioned the stacks so that lights and darks were alternated as they would be in the assembly. The next photo shows light and dark stacks in the upper left and a set of two assembled B/C sub unit and one D sub unit in the lower right in the corresponding positions.
OK. Maybe I did go overboard with the number of pins. But putting them in was kind of relaxing and almost a therapeutic opportunity to let my thoughts wander while I quasi-meditated. I pinned with the convex side up, capturing all those fabric poofs before they could turn into tiny tucks or puny pleats and allowing the pin heads to protrude beyond the edge. Then... the revelation! I sewed with the pin side DOWN, flipped from the way I had pinned it. Sounds simple but it had never previously occurred to me that sewing from the side opposite from which I had pinned was allowed! My pins had large, flat heads so I was able to use the tip of my forefinger to slide them out toward the right as each pin neared the toe of the pressure foot. I sewed slowly but I was able to sew continuously along that curved edge without interruption. I never sewed over any pins.
I could also chain piece any pairings I had pre-pinned. I did a set of three subunits at a time.
So how am I doing on my 2018 goal to maximize happiness and minimize guilt? I am happy with how nicely this is coming together. I am happy to be in the excitement phase of a new project. I am happy that I am learning to do curved piecing and am progressing toward kit reduction – both goals I felt guilty about failing at in 2017. I live in sunny California and this was the atypical rainy, cloudy, dreary view out my sewing room window at 2:00 pm in the afternoon; but I am happy to be ensconced and pleasantly occupied indoors within the walls of my sewing room.
The skies may be gray but the blues of this quilt are an excellent diversion. I can also be happy socializing with others at Let's Bee Social #211.