2016 Quilt Extravaganza—October Block of the Month


2016 Quilt Extravaganza—October Block of the Month

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Can you believe that we are already sewing block #10 of the 2016 Quilt Extravaganza?  Quarter Circle Medley varies two different appliqué circle sizes to create an interesting block. 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 #10: Quarter Circle Medley


Cut Fabrics

  • From bright fabric strata, cut four 6-1/2″ x 6-1/2″ fabric squares (background).

BoM October2016 NancyZieman 2

  • From neutral fabric strata, cut two squares at least 9″ x 9″  (for circles).
  • 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

  • Apply a 9″ x 9″ square of interfacing to the wrong side of the neutral strata squares to prevent show-through of the bright background fabric.

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  • 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 as we’ll make two different circle sizes.
  • Center the Carefree Curves Circle Template on the interfacing.

BoM October2016 NancyZieman 6BoM October2016 NancyZieman 6 sm

  • Use a fine tip marking pen to trace the 8-1/2″ circle onto one interfacing and the 6-1/2″ circle on the other.

BoM October2016 NancyZieman 7BoM October2016 NancyZieman 7sm

  • Straight stitch, using a short stitch length, 2.0—2.5, directly on the marked curves.
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.

BoM October2016 NancyZieman 8BoM October2016 NancyZieman 8sm

  • Use a rotary cutter with pinking blade to remove excess fabric.

BoM October2016 NancyZieman 9BoM October2016 NancyZieman 9sm

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

BoM October2016 NancyZieman 10BoM October2016 NancyZieman 10sm

BoM October2016 NancyZieman 111BoM October2016 NancyZieman 11sm

  • Press.

BoM October2016 NancyZieman 12BoM October2016 NancyZieman 12sm

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 neutral circles.

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Note from Nancy: You may opt to add pins at the marked locations.
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  • Fold circles in half meeting pins.
  • Press.
BoM October2016 NancyZieman 15BoM October2016 NancyZieman 15sm
  • Open both circles; remove pins.
  • Align rotary cutting ruler with fold. Cut both circles in half.

BoM October2016 NancyZieman 16BoM October2016 NancyZieman 16sm

  • Fold semi-circle pieces in half. Press.
  • Align rotary cutting ruler with fold to cut the circles into quarters.

BoM October2016 NancyZieman 17BoM October2016 NancyZieman 17sm

Build the Quilt Block

  • Each background square,  6-1/2″ x 6-1/2″, will have a large quarter circle and small quarter circle appliquéd in opposite corners.

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  • Pin quarter circles to the 6-1/2″ x 6-1/2″ backgrounds. Pin two background squares with the stripes horizontally, and two with the stripes vertically, as shown.
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  • Edgestitch with monofilament thread.
Note from Nancy:
Notice that in the photo I used an Open Toe Foot and a narrow blanket stitch to stitch the 1/4-circles to the background. Each blanket stitch point takes a small dip into the circle itself. Choose a blanket stitch, decorative stitch, or straight stitch to appliqué the shapes.
BoM October2016 NancyZieman 18BoM October2016 NancyZieman 19
  • Arrange the block.
  • Fold the top left onto the top right square and repeat for the bottom squares. Match right sides.
  • Pin along the edges.
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  • Use a 1/4″ seam allowance to join pairs.
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  • Press seam allowances.

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  • Fold the top unit onto the bottom unit.
  • Pin along the top edge.BoM October2016 NancyZieman 24
  • Join using a 1/4″ seam allowance.

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  • Press seam in one direction.
Note 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!
BoM October2016 NancyZieman 26
  • Ta-dah! Another block is complete.

 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 matches the larger circle quadrants and smaller circle quadrants to create an illusion of an exploding circle, once the sashing is added.
  • Setting the block identical to its neighbor and omitting sashing strips, a completely new shape is created with this second quilt.


  •  The last digital quilt is large at 72″ x 72″. It mixes Quarter Square Medley blocks with 12-1/2″ neutral strata blocks. My original idea was to have a place for the eye to rest in the quilt composition or have a place to feature appliqué flowers, shapes, or decorative embroidery designs.


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 it 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].

Nancy Zieman's Giveaway Winner

The random winner of Creative Quilting Outlines…Pumpkins with Style is Eloise. Her comment was: “I love adding embroidery to quilts, table runners, pillowcases, children’s clothing, towels, and totes.” The embroidery bundle includes 26 designs for 4″ x 4″ hoops and 14 designs for 5″ x 7″ hoops. The possibilities are endless.

CreativeQuiltingOutlines NancyZieman 1 Cover

Bye for now,
Nancy Zieman The Blog

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    October 15, 2016

    This is so cool and curves made so easy.

  • DebbieW
    October 15, 2016

    Nancy, I’ve always watched, enjoyed your shows and just became a subscriber.

    This block and the variations going back to January are amazing.

    I have some catching up to do! Thank you.

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