During this Block of the Month lesson, learn the secret to stitching perfect circle shapes. Not to worry, you will not be cutting curved shapes; the magic happens with rectangles, fusible interfacing, and a short stitch length. My quilting tip of using fusible interfacing is the key, which practically guarantees a smooth, gradual curve. September’s Block of the Month in The 2015 Adventure Quilt is the Celestial Circle. To create the Celestial Circle, use the Trace ‘n Create Carefree Curves Template Set. Here’s how:

Block #9: Celestial Circle Quilt Block

All blocks in The 2015 Adventure Quilt measure 12-1/2″ x 12-1/2″, creating a 12″x 12″ finished block. 1/4″ seam allowances are included.

Notions, Fabrics, and Supplies:

Get started by choosing fabrics. Any three color combinations will work. I had a surplus of black, white, and chartreuse green in my quilting fabric scraps. If you’ve been following along, you know that this Block of the Month series is a scrap fabric adventure.






Cut Fabrics

Cut the following fabric and interfacing pieces:

  • Cut two 6-1/14″ x 12-1/2″ fabric rectangles (background).
  • Cut two  5″ x 9″ fabric rectangles (for circles).
  • Cut one 1″ x 12-1/2″ fabric rectangle (dividing strip).
  • Cut two 5″ x 9″ interfacing rectangles (for circles).






Create the Semi-Circles

  • Using the 5″ x 9″ fabric and interfacing rectangles, pin the smooth side of the interfacing on the right side of the fabric. Make two pair.
  • Align the Carefree Curves circle template centerline with the cut edge of the fabric/interfacing pair.
  • Using a fine tip marking pen to trace the 8-1/2″ semi-circle onto the interfacing. (This is the pink ring on the template.)





  • 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.






Build the Block

  • Fold the background fabric in half to find the center. Lightly finger press.
  • Fold the semi-circles in half to find the center. Lightly finger press.
  • Align the centers and cut edges of each semi-circle and background fabric.
  • Pin semi-circles to the backgrounds.










  • Lay out the block with the center dividing strip.





  • Use a 1/4″ seam allowance to join the center dividing strip to the left side of the block.
Note from Nancy
Here’s where accuracy is important. If the seam allowance is wider or narrower than 1/4″, the finished block will not be square.
  • Press seam allowances towards the center dividing strip.





  • Use a 1/4″ seam allowance to add the right side.





Note from Nancy: Notice in the picture I used 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.
  • Ta-dah! Another block is complete.















Share your 2015 Adventure Quilt Blocks Socially

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Nancy Zieman Block of the Month
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 If you are on social sites, let all your friends know you are working on The 2015 Adventure Quilt Blocks by tagging your post with the hashtag: #NZBoM.

The hashtag is a searchable “word” associated with an event or activity, which when searched on popular social websites, like Instagram, Twitter, Flickr, and Facebook, will show every single post using that hashtag. Hashtags are a fun way to network and connect with people who share similar interests.

What would a Quilt Look Like?

As part of this Block of the Month series, included are ideas of what a quilt might look like if you made it with only this month’s block. This block inspired me; I have four digital concepts rather than three. To my surprise, I did not use sashing in any of these designs.

  • This Celestial Circle is arranged in an alternating traditional grid pattern. The result is anything but traditional.





  • I wanted to include a small design of only nine blocks. This concept lends itself to featuring the small, but bold, center dividing strip. Notice that the center block is a square without patchwork.





  • Sometimes quilts can be completely organized, symmetrical, and create great rhythm in repetition. The following quilt is one of those designs.





  • I took a bit of liberty with the block when creating this last concept quilt. For the second row, I omitted the circle appliqué on four blocks and simply created a feature-bar element in the design.






Watch 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



Don’t Miss the Other 2015 Adventure Quilt Block of the Month Features

In the 2015 Adventure Quilt Block of the Month series, we’ll be making twelve fun blocks from five different templates/tools: Carefree Curves TemplateDresden TemplateGrandmother’s One Patch TemplateLone Star Template, and the No-Hassle Triangles Gauge.

See all the 2015 Adventure Quilt Blocks HERE.

Bye for now, Nancy Zieman The Blog

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