Introducing the November Block of the Month

Sister’s Choice* block is the November Fat Quarter Mystery Quilt Block. Like all blocks in this year’s block of the month challenge, this block is 15″ (finished size) and is created using quick strip-piecing techniques. Simple!

During this 12-month block of the month challenge, all blocks will be made from one 24-piece fat quarter bundle and 2-1/4 yards of cream background fabric. We’re using the fat quarter bundle, Garnet, it’s Nancy’s most recent fabric line from Penny Rose, a division of Riley Blake Designs. You’re definitely welcome to use another collection of fabric, or fabrics from your stash!

Choose the Fabrics

For the Sisters Choice block, select the following fabrics from your Garnet fat-quarter bundle. If you’ve chosen another fabric collection, select three medium tones, two dark tones, and one light background tone for a total of six fabrics.


  • Four 3-1/2″ squares (medium floral fabric)
  • Four  3-1/2″ squares (medium tan fabric)
  • Four 3-1/2″ squares (background)
  • One  3-1/2″ square (dark fabric)
  • Two 3-7/8″ squares (medium floral fabric)
  • Two 3-7/8″ squares (medium pink fabric)
  • Four 3-7/8″ squares (background)
  • Four 6-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ rectangles (dark fabric)

Half Square Triangles (HSTs)

  • Layer two medium floral 3-7/8″ squares on two background 3-7/8″ squares, matching right sides.
  • Layer two medium pink 3-7/8″ squares on two background 3-7/8″ squares, matching right sides.
  • Mark each block set diagonally from corner to corner, using a fabric marking pen and ruler.
  • For greatest accuracy, use a No-Hassle Triangle Gauge. The left side of the gauge is designed to create the 3-1/2″ HST blocks used in the Sister’s Choice.

January 2017 Block of the Month by Nancy Zieman/Sewing WIth Nancy

  • Depress the button on the sliding portion of the gauge and move to the 3-1/2″ HST icon on the left side of the gauge.
  • Place gauge on the block set, corner to corner. Match corner marks of gauge with corner of block sets. Mark fabric through center of gauge with a fine-point, fabric-marking pen.

Note From Team Nancy Zieman    The advantage of using the No-Hassle Triangle Gauge is accuracy. It’s easy to double check that the block set fits within the confines of the gauge. If the block set extends beyond or is shorter, trim or cut another block.

Stitch Half-Square Triangle Block Sets

  • Attach a 1/4″ patchwork/quilting foot.
  • Set machine for a straight stitch, 2.0–2.5 mm in length.
  • Align foot along one side of the center marked line; stitch a scant 1/4″ from center marked line. Do not cut the threads.
  • Kiss the next block set to the stitched block and chain stitch from one block to the other.
  • Clip threads between chain stitched blocks. Rotate blocks 180-degrees. Align foot along second side of center marked line; stitch. Clip threads between chain stitched blocks.

  • With a rotary cutter, mat, and ruler, cut the blocks apart along centerline markings.


  • Press seam allowances toward the darker fabric.
  • Create a total of four HST units from the floral + background color combination.

  • Create a total of four HST units from the pink + background color combination.

Create the Rectangle Units

  • All seam allowances are 1/4″.
  • Create the rectangle units by using one 6-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ dark rectangle and one 3-1/2″ square.

  • Flip the square onto the rectangle, matching right sides.
Note From Team Nancy Zieman     Use the No-Hassle Triangle Gauge to mark a straight line diagonally across the square.
  These rectangle units are asymmetrical. Take care to draw diagonal lines as shown on two units and draw the diagonal lines from southwest to northeast on the remaining two.

  • Stitch directly on the marked line.
  • Use rotary cutting tools to cut excess fabric away, 1/4″ past the stitched line.

  • Open. Press.

  • Here’s a quick side-by-side glance at the asymmetry.

Create the Block

  • Join the HST blocks. Sew one pink to one floral. Use the image below to help create four total units with the floral HST on top: two pointing left and two pointing right.

  • Arrange the stitched units and 3-1/2″ squares as shown.

  • Stitch one row at a time, starting with the top row.
  • Row One:

  • Row Two:

  • Row Three:

  • Row Four:
  • Row Five:

  • Press odd numbered row seam allowances in one direction and even numbered seam allowances in the opposite direction.
  • Arrange the rows.

  • Matching right sides, fold row one down onto row two. Pin.
  • Fold row five up onto row four. Pin.
  • Interlock the seam allowances as you stitch.
  • Open. Press.
  • Add row three to the one/two unit.
  • Join the two halves. Press.

The eleventh block in the 2017 Fat Quarter Mystery Quilt is solved!

* Sister’s Choice Block, illustrated in Ladies Art Company, published in 1898. 

Share Your Success!

If you are on social sites, let all your friends know you are working on Nancy Zieman’s 2017 Fat Quarter Mystery Quilt by tagging your post with the hashtag: #NZBoM. Share your finished blocks with the Nancy Zieman Team by emailing us at [email protected].

During the 2015 Quilt Adventure and the 2016 Quilt Extravaganza, we shared three virtual quilt designs made with the month’s single block. This year, we’re changing it up and sharing block color variations of one block.  Please note that the fabrics required for color-varied blocks will be slightly different than the original block of the month directions presented.

Take Your Block to the Next Level

  • Visualize an entire quilt made from this block. Each block will measure 15″ square when sewn into a quilt. This quilt focuses on the contrasting light and dark halves of the Sister’s Choice block. A total of 16 identical blocks are used in the digital concept below. To further trick they eye with this design, notice the 1-1/2″ sashing strips are matched in value to the adjacent block’s edge.  Read more on finishing the quilt in Nancy Zieman’s book Fearless Quilting Finishes.
  • Notice the subtle differences in these four color variations of the Sister’s Choice block.

 Virtual concepts presented in this post are created using Electric Quilt 7 (EQ7) software, available at Nancy’s Notions.

Watch Fearless Quilting Finishes on Sewing With Nancy online.

If you missed any of the complete block tutorials, find the 2017 Fat Quarter Mystery Block of the Month on the Nancy Zieman blog.

Watch for the December Block of the Month on Saturday, December 16, 2017 and finishing techniques on December 31.

Happy Sewing,

Team Nancy Zieman

Nancy Zieman Productions, LLC.

Nancy Zieman Productions, LLC

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