Learn How to Break Quilting Rules for Super Quilts!

Learn How to Break Quilting Rules for Super Quilts!

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What happens when a clothing sewing teacher starts to quilt? Answer: She teaches a hybrid of techniques! That teacher is me and my journey of breaking sewing and quilting rules all started when I taught a quilting class as part of my first job out of college. I didn’t know much about quilting, but was determined to learn. I also decided to apply sewing tips to the quilting side of being creative. Some might call it breaking the rules. I say, it’s a hybrid technique!

You’ll find those quilting hybrid techniques in my new series, The Best of Sewing With Nancy’s Super Sized Quilts. I’ll show you how on this week’s new episode of Sewing With Nancy. Why not watch online!

Drunkard’s Path

Curves in any design provide movement and interest. That principle applies to quilts as well. Yet, when fabrics are cut and seamed to create curves, the process can be frustrating trying to get the opposing shapes to turn out smooth! To make the process enjoyable, I’ll show you a method of creating curves that breaks traditional quilting rules—using fusible interfacing!

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Here’s a quick summary on how to break quilting rules!

Carefree Curves from Clover by Nancy Zieman, Sewing With Nancy

  • Cut squares of fabric and fusible interfacing. Stack the right side of the fabric and the smooth side of the lightweight interfacing.
  • Trace a circle size. There are three size options.

The Best of Sewing WIth Nancy's Super-Sized Quilt. How to make a drunkards path quilt.

  • Stitch on the marked line.

The Best of Sewing WIth Nancy's Super-Sized Quilt. How to make a drunkards path quilt.

  • Trim away the excess fabric using a rotary pinking blade.

The Best of Sewing WIth Nancy's Super-Sized Quilt. How to make a drunkards path quilt.

  • Cut the circle into 1/4-circles. There are marks on the template to ensure accuracy.

The Best of Sewing WIth Nancy's Super-Sized Quilt. How to make a drunkards path quilt.

  • Trim away the excess interfacing from the center, leaving a generous 1″ from the stitching line.

Cut the circle into 1/4-circles. There are marks on the template to ensure accuracy.

  • Turn the interfacing to the wrong side; press. A perfect curve!

Cut the circle into 1/4-circles. There are marks on the template to ensure accuracy.

How to sew a drunkards path quilt block. Nancy Zieman/Sewing With Nancy

  • Position 1/4-circle on the block; edgestitch. Ta dah!

Cut the circle into 1/4-circles. There are marks on the template to ensure accuracy.

Hearts and Gizzards Quilt

Traditional quilt blocks often have unique names. This Hearts and Gizzards design, a quilt pattern from the 1800s, features a gizzard shape, opposite the recognizable heart motif. Over a hundred years ago, this design was created with difficulty, and generally in small block sizes. Now learn how fusible interfacing makes it easy to create curves while creating jumbo-sized blocks.

  • Trace the heart shapes on a strip of fabric. There are five size options—traditional to super-sized!

How to sew a hearts and gizzards quilt block. Nancy Zieman/Sewing With Nancy

  • After cutting apart along the straight edges, position the right side of the fabric on the smooth (non-fusible) side of a strip of interfacing. Stitch along the curves.

How to sew a hearts and gizzards quilt block. Nancy Zieman/Sewing With Nancy

  • Trim away the excess fabric, using the same techniques as detailed above. You’ll find step-by-step instructions in the book and when watching the online video.

How to sew a hearts and gizzards quilt block. Nancy Zieman/Sewing With Nancy

  • Turn and press; then appliqué heart shapes to a block or half-square triangle.

How to sew a hearts and gizzards quilt block. Nancy Zieman/Sewing With NancyHow to sew a hearts and gizzards quilt block. Nancy Zieman/Sewing With Nancy

After seeing the easy demonstrations in this week’s episode of Sewing With Nancy, I hope you’ll enjoy the process of breaking quilting rules!
To create the quilts from this two-part series, add Sewing With Nancy’s Super-Sized Quilts Template, Book, and DVD collection to your sewing/quilting library.

Sew Super Size Quilts Easily with Tips and Techniques on Sewing With Nancy hosted by Nancy Zieman

Set includes:

  • Super-Sized Quilts Trace ‘n Create Template Collections:
    • Carefree Curves Template Collection
    • Dresden Plate and Fan Template Collection
    • Lone Star Template Collection
    • Grandmother’s One Patch Collection
  • Super-Sized Quilts DVD Set
  • Free Sewing With Nancy’s Super-Sized Quilts book with purchase

Watch The Best of Sewing With Nancy’s Super-Sized Quilts (Part One and Part Two) on Sewing With Nancy online.


For a chance to win a copy of the book, The Best of Sewing With Nancy’s Super-Sized Quilts, from Nancy’s Notions, leave a comment below sharing what quilting project you’ll get started on this fall.

Nancy Zieman's Giveaway Winner

The random winner of  a copy of my new McCall’s M7413 Knit Top is Kelly Sas. Her comment was: While I want to make each one, I would start with View A and use the sleeves from View C. I love wearing tunics with leggings, so this pattern is perfect!

The random winner of  the Favorite Scarves to Sew book is Susan. She said: I’d like to make a few infinity scarves for gifts. I have several granddaughters that wear these scarves.

Bye for now,

Nancy Zieman The Blog

Content in this feed is © copyright 2016 by Nancy Zieman and may not be republished without written permission. You’re welcome to forward the email to a friend or colleague but it’s not okay to add the RSS feed automatically as content on a blog or other website.
Make sure you are subscribed to my enews mailing list so you won’t miss a thing. Sign up here. Join us on Facebook, plus a host of other social media channels. Connect With Nancy today!
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50 Comments

  • Sharon K
    September 15, 2016

    This method looks like a fool proof way for some very tricky curves. I would love to try this method.

  • diane c
    September 15, 2016

    Christmas Stockings — I have 5 to make before Christmas. I sure hope I get them all done!!!

  • April Lubbock
    September 15, 2016

    I have 2 children getting married so I’ll be working on quilts for them as soon as my sewing room is completed

  • Pam
    September 15, 2016

    This series appears to be made to order for me when it comes to curves. Thank-you

  • Caroline S
    September 15, 2016

    Wow, Nancy you really make things look easy!

  • Lillian K
    September 15, 2016

    I am interested in making a drunkard path quilt. These tools would be so helpful.

  • Debbie K
    September 15, 2016

    I plan to make a couple of red & white Bear Paw quilts for Christmas gifts 🙂

  • Gwen Lormand
    September 15, 2016

    My plans are to make a pineapple quilt using two dark and one light fabric. I haven’t found the fabric yet,but I keep looking knowing that when I see it I will know that’s the fabric for me!

  • Trish in Iowa
    September 15, 2016

    I’m starting a quilt with 14″ blocks, blocks far larger than I have tried before. Can see now how using interfacing could make piecing so much easier. Thanks for the tip.

  • Susan Spiers
    September 15, 2016

    I’ll be working on the quilted ribbon christmas ornaments for my family gift-giving!

  • Jeanne L.
    September 15, 2016

    I’ll be putting together a round robin row quilt!

  • Linda K
    September 15, 2016

    I’ve got several UFOs that NEED to be finished. Thanks for the giveaway

  • Pamela Tabor
    September 15, 2016

    I love all the patterns but the hearts and gizzards grabbed me because I have many colorful batiks. I can visualize my fabric with this pattern. I will definitely watch Saturday’s show. I watch every Saturday morning.

  • Dorothy
    September 15, 2016

    Wow, that looks fun! I love the idea of being able to use some decorative stitches on the curves.

  • Patricia D
    September 15, 2016

    Although I’ve got tons of UFO’s I’d love to finish to choose from, I’m starting on a new KING-sized quilt for my sister-in-law who, in her sixties, just announced that she has gotten married! Exciting. I’d say lets hope the marriage lasts a really long time because it will take that long until the quilt is done, but I’ve picked a pattern that looks complicated with its secondary design elements, etc., but that is actually very simple in its construction, so I’m actually hoping to have it done for them by Christmas. We’ve met her husband, who is very nice. I wish them all the happiness in the world. Wish me luck on finishing the quilt (in addition to everything else going on in my life). Maybe I’ll win the book and decide on one of Nancy’s super-sized quilts instead!

  • JulieG-AZ
    September 15, 2016

    i am working on my UFO pile–and it is a pile! I have never had so many works in progress at one time!

  • Florence Dupuis
    September 15, 2016

    I am so looking forward to using the Dresden plate template when I win this give away. I have been wanting to make this pattern for years.

  • Brenda Ackerman
    September 15, 2016

    I have been wanting to make a Hearts and Gizzards quilt for quite awhile now. After reading your post and seeing your demonstrations, it will definitely be started as soon as Christmas gifts are all finished. Thank you for sharing all of your superb knowledge and chances to win your awesome learning materials. Have a fantastic creative day!

  • Helen Stewart
    September 15, 2016

    I’ve had a drunkard path quilt in mind for years. Your ideas would be a lot of help.

  • Rose
    September 15, 2016

    Have avoided curves. I think your templates and instructions would help get over my hesitancy.

  • Pat
    September 15, 2016

    I would like to make a Drunkard’s Path quilt but my skill at sewing curves as never been good enough for me to feel comfortable trying. This looks like that answer to that problem. Thanks for the chance to win.

  • Jean GB
    September 15, 2016

    The first time I saw you do this I literally walked backwards back in the room and put the TV on rewind. Well, the clouds parted, the angels sang and the light bulb turned on!! I have had a Quilts for Valor pattern I bet for 3 yrs with the flag stripes made from drunkards path. The curved seams scared me cause if I didn’t do a really great job it would show. I finished it in about a week (before I retired).The only thing I changed is I put the sticky side on the inside so when I turned it I could iron it to my block. Also I cut the background fabric away from the under side of the circle fabric to reduce bulk. Thank you, thank you!!

  • Starla
    September 15, 2016

    I’m doing several small quilts on which kids can match up the squares — holiday gifts for friends and family.

  • CINDY BEAL
    September 15, 2016

    So many things to finish this fall! My guild’s 25th anniversary show is in April so I have an big incentive now to get things finished. Would love to do the Hearts & Gizzards! I like the way you do it. Thanks for sharing!!!!

  • Carol Sorvig
    September 15, 2016

    I love circles and the bigger the better. I make quilts for incubators so love to make different colorful patterns that will soften the look of the room. What fun.

  • Diane S.
    September 15, 2016

    I am anxious to try Grandmother’s One Patch. I’ve admired it since I first saw Nancy present it in the original series. The Dresden Plate is another one I want to try!

  • Elnora Chambers
    September 15, 2016

    Thanks so much for the chance at this lovely, generous giveaway! The products look great!

  • Cindy H
    September 15, 2016

    For years I have been adamant on learning to sew the drunken path, or any curve for that matter. Over the years I have obtained the need to have my projects turn out very well, and they would be ripped apart and attempted again if it weren’t. Well, your fabulous simple technique for battling those curves has made the war I start within myself, a victory for sure!

  • Ponderful
    September 15, 2016

    I actually think I can sew curves using this method. I have avoided them like the plague so far, but now I am willing to try! This will open so many design opportunities for me. Thanks, Nancy!

  • Jan N.
    September 15, 2016

    Nancy, Nancy, Nancy, OMG! Why didn’t I ever think of this technique! Curves have always intimidated me so I avoided them. I am definitely going to try the Drunkard’s Path, but starting with a table runner for Christmas. Thank you for sharing this method of making curved blocks!

  • Kathy S.
    September 15, 2016

    I too am a former clothing teacher, Home Economics/Family and Consumer turned quilter. Also a Stout alumnus! I am always looking for new techniques to be challenged with and learn from; and they don’t always have to be the tough ones! Thanks for sharing your innovations with all of us Nancy. You keep our interest in our art form high and the dendrites growing!

  • Helen
    September 15, 2016

    Some more wonderful templates and methods of simplifying some complex patterns. You make the complicated very simple. Love it!

  • Marty
    September 15, 2016

    Last night I cut fabrics for a ‘scrappy’ autumn-theme quilt of 48 blocks & borders. It will have 24 blocks of burgundy+tan homespun surrounding 6 duplicated prints that feature burgundy borders and vintage harvest artwork (in hues of burgundy, tan, green, lavender and oranges) plus 24 blocks of a mini-print tan used above 24 different browns for bowls (those blocks to be adorned with an appliqued mixture of hues, prints and homespun Suffolk puff/yo-yo bouquets). Tonight I sew those blocks, tomorrow I cut lavender sashing and “Indian corn” borders, and most of my weekend will be spent sewing, quilting and, of course, stitching on the Suffolk puff/yo-yo appliques!

  • Nancy Johnson
    September 15, 2016

    What a wonderful tip to make those curves easy!

  • kathy
    September 15, 2016

    I would love to start some of the projects I have in mind to do, but I really need to finish at least one of the UFO’s that I have piling up!

  • Melody Lutz
    September 15, 2016

    I would like to finish ONE of the 5 quilting projects I’ve got going on!!!

  • Melody Lutz
    September 15, 2016

    I would like to finish ONE of the 5 quilting projects I’ve got going on.

  • Chris
    September 16, 2016

    I just started a Twisted Log Cabin. I must have been crazy. I love the Gizzards. Want to do that one soon.

  • Susan Rees
    September 16, 2016

    I am going to make a Christmas tree skirt. And also look forward to making a tablecloth from the Dresden template.

  • Gretchen B
    September 16, 2016

    I have made a quilt using drunkards path pattern the traditional way. I would love to try it using your method.

  • Becky Payne
    September 16, 2016

    Not only is your method a “hybrid” it also will give the quilt visual dimension with the layering and top stitching of the fabric pieces! I love it!

  • Helen H
    September 16, 2016

    Nancy, I completed a Drunkard’s path a few years ago with flannel. I am sure it would have been easier with your new methods.

  • Karen
    September 17, 2016

    Watching this episode on how easy it can be to make the circles and quarter circles and the hearts for the Super-Sized Quilts is amazing.

  • mindi
    September 17, 2016

    Nancy, you’ve done it again! Love your super size ideas and templates! You have been making quilting easier and more fun for all of us for a very long time….thank you! And thanks for a great giveaway! I would love to win your book The Best of Sewing With Nancy’s Super-Sized Quilts. Hearts and Gizzards….weird name….pretty quilt! Looks like fun!

  • Tina
    September 17, 2016

    You make it look so easy that I want to try the drunkard’s path.

  • Rhonda in KY
    September 17, 2016

    Nancy, if I can get the two unfinished projects completed, I’m planning on starting a crazy quilt.

  • Cecilia Huether
    September 18, 2016

    I have not sewn many curves, this looks so easy, and I would love to try these. I just finished a small Christmas tree wall hanging, and do hope to get back to a UFO quilt, a patriotic one made with a star pattern.

  • Jennifer Fried
    September 19, 2016

    Hello Nancy, I believe I would like to try a stack n whack !

  • Erin M
    September 20, 2016

    This technique is wonderful! I haven’t tried quilt patterns with these curves for the very reason that they look hard to do. But Nancy’s method is great, very do-able, and one that I hope to try soon. What an inspiration she is!

  • Linda M.
    September 23, 2016

    I bought the book on curves, so I just need to work it into my list of “to do” quilts…

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