2016 Quilt Extravaganza—December Block of the Month

NancyZieman DecemberBoM FirstWM

2016 Quilt Extravaganza—December Block of the Month

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NancyZieman DecemberBoM FirstWMThe twelfth and final block of the 2016 Quilt Extravaganza is here! This month, I’ll share how to make a contemporary quilt block, featuring layered circles on scrappy background fabrics. Use the Carefree Curves Template to create the shapes easily and without setting in any curved seams.

Have you selected fabrics and created the strata for your 2016 Block of the Month? Check out the details in the January 9 blog. I encourage you to use as many scraps from your stash as possible. I’m using bright and neutral fabrics in this quilt.

FabricScraps NancyZiemanAll blocks for 2016 will be created from pieced fabric strata. Read more on this blog post.

2016 Block Of The Month Quilt Extravaganza by Nancy Zieman | Sewing With Nancy
2016 Block Of The Month Quilt Extravaganza by Nancy Zieman | Sewing With Nancy

Block #12: Scrap Happy Circles

Supplies:

Cut Fabrics

Cut the following fabric and interfacing pieces:

  • From each bright and neutral strata: one 12-7/8″ x 12-7/8″ square
NancyZieman DecemberBoM 1
  • Cut the 12-7/8″ squares in half on the diagonal.
NancyZieman DecemberBoM 2
  • From each bright and neutral fabric strata cut one 9″ x 9″ fabric square (for larger semicircles).
  • From each bright and neutral fabric strata cut one 8″ x 8″ fabric square (for smaller semicircles and quarter-circles).
  • Cut two 9″ x 9″  interfacing squares.
  • Cut two 8″ x 8″ interfacing squares. 
  • Cut two pieces of  interfacing scraps measuring roughly 9″ x 9″ square (for optional step).

Create Larger Semicircles

  • Optional: Follow manufacturer’s directions to apply the 9″ x 9″ interfacing square to the wrong side of light strata with the same measurement.
Note from Nancy: If your neutral strata is very light, this interfacing step will improve opacity.
NancyZieman DecemberBoM 3
  • Using the 9″ x 9″ fabric and interfacing squares, pin the smooth side of the interfacing to the right side of the fabric. Make two pair—one bright strata and one neutral strata.
NancyZieman DecemberBoM 4
NancyZieman DecemberBoM 5
  • Use a fine tip marking pen to trace the medium semicircle onto the interfacing.

NancyZieman DecemberBoM 6

  • Straight stitch, using a short stitch length, 2.0—2.5, directly on the marked curve.
Note from Nancy
Use a short stitch length to ensure a smooth stitching line when sewing a curve. I often compare using a short stitch length to driving in the mountains. To maneuver the curvy road, a slower speed ensures that you’ll stay on course.

NancyZieman DecemberBoM 8

  • Use a rotary pinking blade to remove excess fabric from both the neutral and bright shapes.

NancyZieman DecemberBoM 9

  • Remove the excess interfacing from within the circle, leaving approximately 1″ of interfacing.

NancyZieman DecemberBoM 10

NancyZieman DecemberBoM 12

  • Press.

NancyZieman DecemberBoM 13

NancyZieman DecemberBoM 14

To set the strips on a perfect 45-degree angle, use this trick:

  • Position the template on the finished circle aligning the horizontal line parallel with strata seams.
  • Mark the 12 o’clock and three o’clock positions with pins.
NancyZieman DecemberBoM 15
  • Fold circle in half matching pins and wrong sides.
NancyZieman DecemberBoM 16
  • Press.
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  • Remove pins. Unfold.
  • Use rotary cutting tools to cut along the pressed foldline.
  • Repeat these steps with the neutral strata circle, which is not pictured in the above demonstration.
NancyZieman DecemberBoM 18

Create Smaller Semicircles

  • Optional: Follow manufacturer’s directions to apply the 8″ x 8″ interfacing square to the wrong side of light strata with the same measurement.
NancyZieman DecemberBoM 19
  • Using the 8″ x 8″ fabric and interfacing squares, pin the smooth side of the interfacing on the right side of the fabric. Make two pair; one bright strata and one neutral strata.

NancyZieman DecemberBoM 20

NancyZieman DecemberBoM 21
  • Use a fine tip marking pen to trace the smallest circle onto the interfacing.

NancyZieman DecemberBoM 22

  • Straight stitch, using a short stitch length, 2.0—2.5, directly on the marked curve.
Note from Nancy
Use a short stitch length to ensure a smooth stitching line when sewing a curve. I often compare using a short stitch length to driving in the mountains. To maneuver the curvy road, a slower speed ensures that you’ll stay on course.

NancyZieman DecemberBoM 23

  • Use a rotary pinking blade to remove excess fabric from both the neutral and bright shapes.

NancyZieman DecemberBoM 24

 

NancyZieman DecemberBoM 25

  • Remove the excess interfacing from within the circle, leaving approximately 1″ of interfacing.

NancyZieman DecemberBoM 26

NancyZieman DecemberBoM 27

 

NancyZieman DecemberBoM 28

  • Press.

NancyZieman DecemberBoM 29

NancyZieman DecemberBoM 30

These smaller circles will also set the strips on a perfect 45 degree angle:

  • Position the template on the finished circle aligning the horizontal line parallel with strata seams.
  • Mark the 12 o’clock and three o’clock positions with pins.
NancyZieman DecemberBoM 31
  • Fold circle in half matching pins and wrong sides.
  • Press.
NancyZieman DecemberBoM 33
  • Remove pins. Unfold.
  • Use rotary cutting tools to cut along the pressed foldline.
  • Repeat these steps with the neutral strata circle, which is not pictured in the above demonstration.
NancyZieman DecemberBoM 35

Create Quarter Circles

  • Set one semicircle of each bright and neutral strata aside.
  • Fold the remaining semicircles in half.
NancyZieman DecemberBoM 36

  • Open and cut along the pressed foldline to yield quarter circles.
  • Note: You’ll have two quarter circles left over.

NancyZieman DecemberBoM 37

Machine Appliqué

  • Machine appliqué one half of the block at a time.
  • For the bright strata triangle, arrange, layer, and pin the semi- and quarter-circles as shown:
NancyZieman DecemberBoM 38
  • The neutral strata triangle will use the remaining cut shapes.
  • Edgestitch with monofilament thread.
Note from Nancy
Notice in the photo I used an open toe foot and a narrow blanket stitch to stitch the circle to the background. Each point takes a small dip into the circle itself. Choose a blanket stitch, decorative stitch, or straight stitch to apply the shapes.
NancyZieman DecemberBoM 39NancyZieman DecemberBoM 40

Finish Block

  • Double check the circle alignment on each block half.

NancyZieman DecemberBoM 41

  • Match triangle’s right sides and pin along the longest (bias) edge.
NancyZieman DecemberBoM 42
  • Join block along diagonal seam using a 1/4″ seam allowance.
  • Use a Tailor’s Clapper to press thick seams flat open.
  • Ta-dah! The final block is complete.

NancyZieman DecemberBoM FirstWM

If you are on social sites, let all your friends know you are working on Nancy Zieman’s 2016 Quilt Extravaganza Blocks by tagging your post with the hashtag: #NZBoM.

What would a Quilt Look Like?

Suppose we were to make a quilt using only this one block style, what would it look like? All the digital concept quilts this month are five blocks by six blocks set on a traditional grid with no sashing strips. The quilts are all roughly, at least, 60″ x 72″ not including any borders.

  • This first digital quilt concept uses the positive and negative contrast of the block’s halves to create a unique contemporary chevron design in the quilt color arrangement.

Cheveron NancyZieman

  •  The second digital concept quilt continues to play with the strong diagonal line to make an arrow or box that extends past the quilt’s edges.
Diamonds NancyZieman 1
  •  The last digital quilt places the blocks in a simple identical arrangement. Even without a design wall or rotating the block, it makes a stunning quilt. One interesting thing to note on this quilt is that the binding is created with bright strata.
Alternating nancyZieman
We’re using the Carefree Curves Template throughout the entire 2016 Quilt Extravaganza. Watch episodes online for more tips on using the templates in my two-part series featuring the  Trace ‘n Create Carefree Curves template on Sewing With Nancy.

Watch Quilt with Carefree Curves (Part One and Part Two) on Sewing With Nancy online.

To watch Sewing With Nancy on your iPad, iPod Touch, or iPhone, download the app.


Sew and Share

Send in a photo of your blocks and quilts and we’ll share with others in upcoming blogs and on Facebook. I’d really like to see what fabrics you’re using! Send the images to [email protected]

Mark your calendar for December 31—my finale posting of 2016 will reveal the completed 2016 Quilt Extravaganza!

Bye for now,
Nancy Zieman The Blog

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7 Comments

  • Patricia Rhodes
    December 18, 2016

    On Fri 12/16 I printed out the pattern for Nov. went in today to copy the first and last pages in color at home and it says not found on blog is there some where else I could print these pages

  • Gari
    December 18, 2016

    I just tried to download the November block and only got a blank page. Could you check the link as I would like to make this quilt, if I am up to it. Thanks.

  • Suzie Pace
    January 1, 2017

    Will you be having a “block of the month” for 2017. I just saw the 2016 and would have loved to sew it. I watch you on PBS and record all the programs. Thank you for sharing with us and I continue to pray your health is good.

  • Sharie
    January 2, 2017

    I’ve really enjoyed doing the 2016 BOM.
    Looking forward to 2017 blocks also. Could we have a quick peek or a hint as to which templates will be used ?
    Thanks, Nancy, and so glad you are doing well !

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