Introducing the September Block of the Month

Whirlygig* block is the September 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 are 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 my 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 Whirlygig block, select the following fabrics from your Garnet fat-quarter bundle. If you’ve chosen another fabric collection, select one medium tone, one dark tone, and one light tone for a total of three fabrics.


  • Eight 3-1/2″ squares (light fabric)
  • One 3-1/2″ square (medium value)
  • Four 3-1/2″ squares (dark value)

  • Four 3-7/8″ squares for HSTs (dark fabric)
  • Four 3-7/8″ squares for HSTs (light fabric)
  • Four 3-7/8″ squares for HSTs (medium fabric)

Half-Square Triangles (HSTs)

  • Layer two light 3-7/8″ squares on two medium 3-7/8″ squares, matching right sides.
  • Layer two light 3-7/8″ squares on two dark 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 Whirlygig.

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.

     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.

  • Cut the blocks apart along centerline markings, with a rotary cutter, mat, and ruler.

  • Press seam allowances toward the darker fabric.

  • Make a total of four light-dark HSTs, four medium-light HSTs, and four medium-dark HSTs.

Create the Block

  • All seam allowances are 1/4″.
  • Arrange the large block as shown:

  • Join pairs of blocks to create rows.
  • 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.

  • Join rows one and two; interlock the seam allowances at each unit.
  • Press.
  • Add row three. Press.
  • Join rows four and five. Press.

  • Stitch the final row seam to create the block.

The ninth block in the 2017 Fat Quarter Mystery Quilt is solved!
* Whirlygig 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 Nancy and her team by emailing them to [email protected].

During the 2015 Quilt Adventure and the 2016 Quilt Extravaganza, I shared three virtual quilt designs made with the month’s single block. This year, I’m 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 Whirlygig block. The mitered sashing looks complicated, but it is actually made with a half-square triangle at each diagonal intersection.
  • Notice the subtle differences in these four color variations of the Whirlygig block.

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

Watch No-Hassle Triangles (Part One and Part Two) 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 my blog.

Watch for the October Block of the Month on Saturday, October 21, 2017.

Bye for now,
Nancy Zieman The Blog

Content in this feed is © copyright 2017 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.
The FTC requires us to tell you that Nancy Zieman has provided products by other companies in the course of her business. The FTC requires us to advise you to take this information into consideration when reading this posting.
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!