2016 Quilt Extravaganza—June Block of the Month

SpinningTop BlockoftheMonth Nancy Zieman

2016 Quilt Extravaganza—June Block of the Month

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SpinningTop BlockoftheMonth Nancy ZiemanThe sixth block of the 2016 Quilt Extravaganza is here—the Spinning Top. We’ll take advantage of the direction of the sewn strata lines and machine appliqué to give the block the appearance of spinning. 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 #6: Spinning Top


Cut Fabrics

Cut the following fabric and interfacing pieces:

  • From each bright and neutral strata cut two 6-1/2″ x 6-1/2″ fabric squares (background).
  • From each bright and neutral fabric strata cut one 9″ x 9″ fabric square (for circles).
SpinningTop BlockoftheMonth Nancy Zieman 1c

  • Cut two 9″ x 9″ squares of interfacing to create circles.

Note from Nancy: Cut an additional 9″ x 9″  square of interfacing to apply behind the 9″ x 9″ square of the neutral strata if the background may show through when appliquéd.

Create the Circles

  • Optional: Apply a 9″ x 9″ square of interfacing to the wrong side of the neutral strata to prevent show-through of the bright background fabric.
  • Using the 9″ x 9″ squares of fabric and interfacing, pin the smooth side of the interfacing on the right side of the fabric. Make two pair; one bright strata and one neutral strata.
SpinningTop BlockoftheMonth Nancy Zieman b1a

SpinningTop BlockoftheMonth Nancy Zieman 3c

  • Use a fine tip marking pen to trace the 8-1/2″ circle onto the interfacing. (This is the pink ring on the template.)

SpinningTop BlockoftheMonth Nancy Zieman b2a

  • 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.
SpinningTop BlockoftheMonth Nancy Zieman b3.
SpinningTop BlockoftheMonth Nancy Zieman w3

  • Use a rotary pinking blade to remove excess fabric.
SpinningTop BlockoftheMonth Nancy Zieman 4c.
SpinningTop BlockoftheMonth Nancy Zieman 5c

  • Remove the excess interfacing from within the circles, leaving approximately 1″ of interfacing.
SpinningTop BlockoftheMonth Nancy Zieman 6c

  • Turn the interfacing to the wrong side.

SpinningTop BlockoftheMonth Nancy Zieman 7c

SpinningTop BlockoftheMonth Nancy Zieman 8c
  • Press.

SpinningTop BlockoftheMonth Nancy Zieman 9c

Divide the Circles

The circle shape is divided into fourths and, thanks to the strata, appears to spin on top of the background. Here’s a trick to create 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 on both bright and neutral circles.
Note from Nancy: You may opt to add pins at the marked location, if the marks are hard to see on colorful fabrics.
SpinningTop BlockoftheMonth Nancy Zieman b11aa
  • Fold circles in half matching marks and wrong sides.
  • Place a pin at the fold.
SpinningTop BlockoftheMonth Nancy Zieman 11c
  • Open both circles.
  • Position the template on the finished circle aligning the single pin with one of the straight lines.
SpinningTop BlockoftheMonth Nancy Zieman w15

  • Mark the straight lines in both horizontal and vertical directions on both bright and neutral circles.
SpinningTop BlockoftheMonth Nancy Zieman b14SpinningTop BlockoftheMonth Nancy Zieman w16

  • Remove the template; make sure the marked lines are visible.
SpinningTop BlockoftheMonth Nancy Zieman w17aa

  • Using rotary cutting tools, cut the circles into fourths along the marked lines.
SpinningTop BlockoftheMonth Nancy Zieman 19c

Build the Quilt Block

  • Pin quarter circles to the 6-1/2″ x 6-1/2″ backgrounds matching cut corner edges. Alternate the colors: bright quarter circle onto neutral background and vice versa.
Note from Nancy: You will have two quarter circles of each bright and neutral left over. Save those to use on a later block or to create additional Spinning Top blocks.
SpinningTop BlockoftheMonth Nancy Zieman
  • 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 appliqué the shapes.
SpinningTop BlockoftheMonth Nancy Zieman 2SpinningTop BlockoftheMonth Nancy Zieman 3
  • Arrange the block.
SpinningTop BlockoftheMonth Nancy Zieman
  • Fold the top left onto the top right square and repeat for the bottom squares. Match right sides.
SpinningTop BlockoftheMonth Nancy Zieman
  • Pin along the edges.
SpinningTop BlockoftheMonth Nancy Zieman
  • Use a 1/4″ seam allowance to join pairs.
SpinningTop BlockoftheMonth Nancy Zieman
  • Press seam allowances open.
SpinningTop BlockoftheMonth Nancy Zieman
.SpinningTop BlockoftheMonth Nancy Zieman

  • Fold the top unit onto the bottom unit.
  • Pin along the top edge.
  • Join using a 1/4″ seam allowance.
SpinningTop BlockoftheMonth Nancy Zieman

  • Press seam open.
SpinningTop BlockoftheMonth Nancy ZiemanNote from Nancy: This block will have unavoidable bulk in the seam allowances. To really flatten the seams, press with steam and then apply even pressure using a wooden Tailor’s Clapper while the fabric is warm. It’s magic!
SpinningTop BlockoftheMonth Nancy Zieman
  • Ta-dah! Another block is complete.
SpinningTop BlockoftheMonth Nancy Zieman If you are on social sites, let all your friends know you are working on The 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?

  • This first digital concept is a table runner made from five Spinning Top blocks. You’ll notice blocks consistently place a bright strata background in the upper right corner.
TableRunner Nancy Zieman
  • The second digital concept quilt uses the background strata to create a secondary design. The quilt itself is structured in a 5-block by 7-block grid. Turning every other block creates the illusion.
SurpriseCircles NancyZieman
  •  The last digital quilt is large. When finished this 8-block by 8-block quilt measures 96″ x 96″. The design uses neutral strata cut to 12-1/2″ x 12-1/2″ to create interest in the negative space.
King Diamond Nancy Zieman
We’ll be 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 tools 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]
Bye for now,
Nancy Zieman The Blog

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  • Candice
    June 18, 2016

    Your posts inspire hope and imagination! Thank you.

  • Kate
    June 25, 2016

    If only I had an ounce of your creativity and energy. You inspire me greatly Nancy, I’ve been with you since the start, and by the way you have aged so graceful, you’re such a beautiful woman and have the smarts to go with it.

  • Lorna
    July 22, 2016

    I can’t find the May 2016 block on your blog.

  • Jacqueline
    August 21, 2016

    Hi Nancy,
    I cannot find the May BOM 2016. It looks like I’m not the only one.
    Kind Regards

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