Introducing the first block of the m0nth in the 2016 Quilt Extravaganza, the Scrappy Circle Block. This month you’ll learn how to create a perfect circle without ever cutting a circle.

Have you selected fabrics and created the stratas 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 color-value-based quilt.

All 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 NancySupplies

Trace 'n Create Quilt Templates Carefree Curves Collection by Nancy Zieman

Construct the Block

  • Audition a 12-1/2″ x 12-1/2″ square on the neutral fabric strata.
  • Use a 12-1/2″ x 12-1/2″ Omnigrid ruler, positioned 1″ from the short end, to cut the strata on point. Leaving 1″ extra at the end of the strata, leaves behind larger triangles at the end that can be used for other 1–2-1/2″ blocks.
Note from Nancy: The term “on point” refers to rotating the block 45 degrees as it relates to the fabric grainline, and in this case, the strata seams.
  • Set this background square aside.

Create the Appliqué

  • Cut a 10″ square from interfacing and bright strata.
  • Layer interfacing on the strata, matching smooth side of the interfacing and right side of the fabric. Pin.
  • Position the curved template on the interfacing.
  • Use a non-permanent fabric marking pen and Circle Template to trace a 9″ circle onto the interfacing.

  • Stitch directly on the marked line using a slightly shorter stitch length. It’s always easier to stitch smooth curves with a short stitch length.

  • Carefully remove the center of the interfacing, leaving about 1″. Save the interfacing for a later project when making, perhaps, smaller circles.
  • Use a point turner to smooth the curved edge as the interfacing is turned to the wrong side.
  • Press
  • The circle back:


  • The circle front:

Machine Appliqué to Finish

  • Fold the background square in half twice to determine the center. Press along the folded sides.
  • Open.

  • Fold the prepared circle in half twice. Press along the folded edges.

  • Open.
  • Layer the circle onto the background square aligning foldlines; pin.

  • Thread monofilament thread in the top thread of your sewing machine and regular all-purpose thread in the bobbin.
  • Use a narrow blanket stitch, zigzag stitch, or straight stitch to machine appliqué the circle to the background.

  • Press.


If you opt to create a neutral circle to apply to a bright background, apply an additional layer of fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the 10″ square before moving to the next steps. The interfacing will prevent the bright colors from peeking through the circle.

What would a Quilt Look Like?

Suppose we were to make a quilt using only this one block style, what would it look like? Digital quilts are made using Electric Quilt 7 (EQ7) software.

  • This first digital quilt concept alternates both positive and negative colored blocks and joins them in one quilt. 24 blocks are used to create a 48″ x 72″ quilt.

  • The second digital quilt concept features only one block, twisted and turned within the grid layout. The blocks are set with bright cheery yellow sashing strips and pink cornerstones. If this quilt were to be created in fabric, I might make the sashing scrappy from leftover strata strips.

  • The last digital quilt concept creates a secondary quilt design by using background strata created in consistent sizes. Notice how the appliquéd circles appear to float above a bold diamond design.

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.

Sewing With Nancy/Nancy Zieman Carefree Curves

For an opportunity to have a Trace ‘n Create Carefree Curves Template set from Clover, simply leave a comment telling us: What is your favorite size quilt to make.

Trace 'n Create Quilt Templates Carefree Curves Collection by Nancy Zieman

Sew and Share

Send in a photo of your blocks and quilts and we’ll share 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]

Bye for now,
Nancy Zieman The Blog

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