Didn't I say I was going to stick with templating these blocks, rather than trying to piece them on my own? Didn't I say that just last week?
Then along came the Broken Dishes block, resulting in unpleasant flashbacks to Birds In the Air. And I thought, no, I simply cannot and will not template another 32 triangles. So I pieced them like I usually do with HSTs. And you know what? Birds In the Air (templated) came together a lot better and more easily than Broken Dishes (not templated). My points just aren't aligned as well as they could be in this most recent block. And I'm not sure my method resulted in much time savings anyway, since I still had to trim the HSTs.
So once again, I'm convinced that the templates really are the way to go. This block is a pain no matter which way you do it—I might as well do it the "real" way, right? In the future, I really will stick to templating. Cross my heart this time. No more short-cuts.
I used the templates on this week's other block, Broken Sugar Bowl (what's with all the broken things this week?), and I'm really happy with this one.
Here's the thing (and it only took me 6 weeks to figure this out): When I use the templates, I've found that the vast majority of the work is in the cutting. These blocks generally don't take more than 15 or 20 minutes to piece, once the cutting is done. Something I have to keep in mind when I'm tempted to get lazy about those darn templates.