HIP HIP HOORAY!!
After last nights minor hiccup and a good night's sleep I was able to overcome the obstacle and achieve a victory today, namely, block 1 test came out nearly perfect. Since it isn't in the official fabric, the final version will look different, but the piecing challenges have been beaten back. Now on to writing directions for it before I forget how it's done.
I must say I was sort of trying to go for a "ribbon" look but this fabric choice didn't achieve that. The block is called Twisted Ribbon and was designed in 1976.
On to block 2.