The twelfth and final block of the 2016 Quilt Extravaganza is here! This month, I’ll share how to make a contemporary quilt block, featuring layered circles on scrappy background fabrics. Use the Carefree Curves Template to create the shapes easily and without setting in any curved seams.

Have you selected fabrics and created the strata 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 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 Nancy

Block #12: Scrap Happy Circles

Supplies:

Cut Fabrics

Cut the following fabric and interfacing pieces:

  • From each bright and neutral strata: one 12-7/8″ x 12-7/8″ square
  • Cut the 12-7/8″ squares in half on the diagonal.
  • From each bright and neutral fabric strata cut one 9″ x 9″ fabric square (for larger semicircles).
  • From each bright and neutral fabric strata cut one 8″ x 8″ fabric square (for smaller semicircles and quarter-circles).
  • Cut two 9″ x 9″  interfacing squares.
  • Cut two 8″ x 8″ interfacing squares. 
  • Cut two pieces of  interfacing scraps measuring roughly 9″ x 9″ square (for optional step).

Create Larger Semicircles

  • Optional: Follow manufacturer’s directions to apply the 9″ x 9″ interfacing square to the wrong side of light strata with the same measurement.
Note from Nancy: If your neutral strata is very light, this interfacing step will improve opacity.
  • Using the 9″ x 9″ fabric and interfacing squares, pin the smooth side of the interfacing to the right side of the fabric. Make two pair—one bright strata and one neutral strata.

  • 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 to driving in the mountains. To maneuver the curvy road, a slower speed ensures that you’ll stay on course.

  • Remove the excess interfacing from within the circle, leaving approximately 1″ of interfacing.

  • Turn the interfacing to the wrong side with a turning tool.

  • Press.

To set the strips on a perfect 45-degree angle, use 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.
  • Fold circle in half matching pins and wrong sides.
  • Press.
  • Remove pins. Unfold.
  • Use rotary cutting tools to cut along the pressed foldline.
  • Repeat these steps with the neutral strata circle, which is not pictured in the above demonstration.

Create Smaller Semicircles

  • Optional: Follow manufacturer’s directions to apply the 8″ x 8″ interfacing square to the wrong side of light strata with the same measurement.
  • Using the 8″ x 8″ fabric and interfacing squares, pin the smooth side of the interfacing on the right side of the fabric. Make two pair; one bright strata and one neutral strata.

  • 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 to driving in the mountains. To maneuver the curvy road, a slower speed ensures that you’ll stay on course.

 

  • Remove the excess interfacing from within the circle, leaving approximately 1″ of interfacing.

 

  • Press.

These smaller circles will also set the strips on a perfect 45 degree angle:

  • 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.
  • Fold circle in half matching pins and wrong sides.
  • Press.
  • Remove pins. Unfold.
  • Use rotary cutting tools to cut along the pressed foldline.
  • Repeat these steps with the neutral strata circle, which is not pictured in the above demonstration.

Create Quarter Circles

  • Set one semicircle of each bright and neutral strata aside.
  • Fold the remaining semicircles in half.

  • Open and cut along the pressed foldline to yield quarter circles.
  • Note: You’ll have two quarter circles left over.

Machine Appliqué

  • Machine appliqué one half of the block at a time.
  • For the bright strata triangle, arrange, layer, and pin the semi- and quarter-circles as shown:
  • The neutral strata triangle will use the remaining cut shapes.
  • Edgestitch with monofilament thread.
Note from Nancy
Notice in the photo I used an open toe foot and a narrow blanket stitch to stitch the circle to the background. Each point takes a small dip into the circle itself. Choose a blanket stitch, decorative stitch, or straight stitch to apply the shapes.

Finish Block

  • Double check the circle alignment on each block half.

  • Match triangle’s right sides and pin along the longest (bias) edge.
  • Join block along diagonal seam using a 1/4″ seam allowance.
  • Use a Tailor’s Clapper to press thick seams flat open.
  • Ta-dah! The final block is complete.

If you are on social sites, let all your friends know you are working on Nancy Zieman’s 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? All the digital concept quilts this month are five blocks by six blocks set on a traditional grid with no sashing strips. The quilts are all roughly, at least, 60″ x 72″ not including any borders.

  • This first digital quilt concept uses the positive and negative contrast of the block’s halves to create a unique contemporary chevron design in the quilt color arrangement.

  •  The second digital concept quilt continues to play with the strong diagonal line to make an arrow or box that extends past the quilt’s edges.
  •  The last digital quilt places the blocks in a simple identical arrangement. Even without a design wall or rotating the block, it makes a stunning quilt. One interesting thing to note on this quilt is that the binding is created with bright strata.
We’re 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 template 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.


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 info@ziemanproductions.com

Mark your calendar for December 31—my finale posting of 2016 will reveal the completed 2016 Quilt Extravaganza!

Bye for now,
Nancy Zieman The Blog

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