2016 Quilt Extravaganza—September Block of the Month

September Block of the Month NancyZieman WM

2016 Quilt Extravaganza—September Block of the Month

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September Block of the Month NancyZieman WMIt’s time for the September Quilt Block of the Month! The ninth quilt block design in the 2016 Quilt Extravaganza is named Opposing Half Circles. As you may have suspected, the quilt blocks chosen for this year’s project are easy to stitch, plus they can be made from your fabric stash. Here’s how to create the quilt block, Opposing Half Circles.


FabricScraps NancyZieman

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 #9: Opposing Half Circles


Mark and Cut Fabrics

Mark and cut the following fabric and interfacing pieces:

  • Cut 13-1/4″ x 13-1/4″ squares from both neutral and bright strip sets or strata.
  • Subcut blocks on the diagonal to yield four quarter-square triangles.
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  • Cut 8″ x 8″ squares from both the bright and neutral strata and two interfacing squares. Pin the smooth, non-fusible side of the interfacing on the right side of fabric squares to create a patchwork sandwich.

Note from Nancy

Cutting the two 13-1/4″ x 13-1/4″ background squares into quarter-triangles, yields enough quarter-square triangles to create two complete blocks. If you’d like to make two Opposing Circle Blocks, cut two 8″ squares from both the brights and neutral strata and four 8″ squares of interfacing.

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  • Center the Carefree Curves Circle Template on the interfacing side of the patchwork sandwich.
  • Use a fine tip marking pen to trace the 6-1/2″ circle onto the interfacing for both bright and neutral strata pairs. (This is the yellow ring on the template.)
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  • 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 when sewing curves to driving in the mountains. To maneuver the curvy road, a slower speed safeguards that you’ll stay on course.

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  • Use a rotary pinking blade to remove excess fabric from both bright and neutral circles. Trim 1/4″ from the stitching line.

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  • Trim away the excess interfacing within the circle, leaving approximately 1″ of interfacing.

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  • Press.

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Note from Nancy
If there is an issue of “show through,” where the background of the bright strata shows through the neutral circle, cut a 6-1/2″ circle of fusible interfacing. Fuse this to the wrong side of the neutral strata to make the neutral circle more opaque.
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Build the Quilt Block

Set the circle’s strips on a perfect 45 degree angle with 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.
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  • Fold circle in half, matching pins and wrong sides.
  • Press.
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  • Remove pins. Unfold.
  • Repeat these steps with the neutral strata circle.
  • Use rotary cutting tools to cut along the pressed foldline.
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  • Arrange the quarter-square triangle pieces to match opposing triangle strata. Remember, you will have enough background pieces to create a second block.

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  • Position the half circles on opposing strata as shown.
  • Place the circle’s finished edges 1/4″ from the center; pin.
September Block of the Month | 2016 Adventure Quilt | Nancy Zieman | Sewing With Nancy | Carefree Curves Template

  • Edgestitch, using monofilament thread in the needle and thread that matches the fabric in the bobbin.
Note from Nancy
I used an Open Toe Foot when stitching the semicircle to the background. The extra open space in the foot makes it easier to see the curve of the appliqué.
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  • Pin right sides together of adjoining quarter-square triangles, stitch with a 1/4″ seam allowance and all-purpose thread.
Note from Nancy
Notice that the fabric edges in these seams are bias. Be mindful not to stretch the stitching line as you sew. Consider using a Walking Foot to evenly feed the quarter pieces under your presser foot.
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  • Press seam allowances open.
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  • Align the two block halves; stitch.
September Block of the Month | 2016 Adventure Quilt | Nancy Zieman | Sewing With Nancy | Carefree Curves Template

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  • Press seam allowances open.
  • Ta-dah! Another block is complete.
September Block of the Month NancyZieman WMIf 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 uses the blocks laid out in a traditional quilting grid, four blocks by six blocks. The cornerstones are varied and cut from scraps, just as the strata.

SashedQuilt NancyZieman

  • The second digital concept builds on the column-style quilt design. Each column features seven blocks sewn without any sashing. The setting columns are 4″ wide neutral strata.
ColumnedQuilt NancyZieman
  • The last digital design is a festive-looking table runner. Instead of making opposing quarter-triangles, I’ve created opposing halves. The blocks are set on point with contrasting set-in triangles.
TableRunner NancyZieman
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.

Sew and Share

Send in a photo of your blocks and quilts, and we’ll share them 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 a copy of Fearless Quilting Finishes book from Nancy’s Notions is Carol KE. She said: I enjoy piecing the most, especially when I use the 1/4″ foot.

Bye for now,
Nancy Zieman The Blog

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