It’s time for your next installment of our Block of the Month challenge. The eighth design in the 2016 Quilt Extravaganza is named Grateful Heart. This block creates great impact, yet can be sewn with ease.

Use the Carefree Curves Template to create the shapes easily and without setting in any curved seams.

Check out the details in the January 9 blog on how to select fabrics from your stash. Use as many scraps from your stash as possible. I’ve selected bright and neutral fabrics for 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 #8: Grateful Heart


  • One neutral fabric strata
  • Bright strata scraps from previous month’s blocks measuring 11″ x 16″
  • Lightweight fusible interfacing
  • Point 2 Point Turner
  • Trace ‘n Create Carefree Curves Template Set Hearts & Gizzards Template
  • Monofilament thread
  • Fine tip non-permanent marking pen
  • 1/4″ wide paper-backed fusible web strips

Mark and Cut Fabrics

Mark and cut the following fabric and interfacing pieces:

  • Cut block background from the 12-1/2″ x 12-1/2″ neutral strata.
  • Use a leftover piece of bright strata measuring at least 11″ x 16″.
  • Trace two half-heart shapes on the wrong side of the strata. Use a non-permanent marking pen to trace the straight lines and the second largest arc (indicated in blue on the template). Be certain to trace both the sides and the curve of the template.
  • Trace a second half-heart, keeping the template oriented in the same direction.
  • Use rotary cutting tools to cut the half-heart shapes along the straight marked lines.
  • Notice that the half-heart shapes have the same color fabric strata in the same position.
  • On the wrong side of the fabric, make certain you can see the traced curve. If necessary, darken the traced lines.

  • Cut one strip of interfacing approximately 16″ x 3″.

Create the Heart

  • Pin the smooth side of the interfacing strips to the right side of the half-heart arcs.
  • 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.
  • Use a rotary pinking blade to remove excess fabric, trimming 14″ from the stitching.

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

  • Turn the interfacing to the wrong side.
  • Use a turning tool to smooth the curves.
  • Press.

  • Repeat these steps for the second half-heart shape, if you haven’t already done so.
  • Align the half-heart shapes right sides together. Pin along one side.
  • Stitch the seam using a 1/4″ seam allowance.
  • Press seam allowances open.
  • Press 1/4″ wide paper-backed fusible web strips along each straight edge.
August Block of the Month | 2016 Adventure Quilt | Nancy Zieman | Sewing With Nancy | Carefree Curves Template
  • Remove the protective paper of the fusible web. Turn under 1/4″ along each side; press.
August Block of the Month | 2016 Adventure Quilt | Nancy Zieman | Sewing With Nancy | Carefree Curves Template.

Build the Quilt Block

  • Fold the 12-1/2″ background square in half to find the vertical center, press.

August Block of the Month | 2016 Adventure Quilt | Nancy Zieman | Sewing With Nancy | Carefree Curves Template

  • Pin prepared heart to the background, matching the background fold to the vertical seamline.
  • Edgestitch with monofilament thread.
  • After stitching, give your block a final press to rid the block of the center press mark.
Note from Nancy: Notice in the photo I used an Open Toe Foot and a narrow blanket stitch to stitch the wave to the background. Choose a blanket stitch, decorative stitch, or straight stitch to appliqué the shapes.
  • Ta-dah! Another block is complete.
If you are on social sites, let all your friends know you are working on The 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?

  • This first digital concept is a table runner made from five Grateful Hearts blocks. Your blocks will look even scrappier as they’ll most likely be cut from various bright strata pieces. Notice that I used the extra strata to create a 2″ border around the table runner. Find more information on creating a border in my book Fearless Quilting Finishes.
  • The second digital concept quilt is a traditional arrangement of Grateful Heart blocks set with a 2″ scrappy sashing. The cornerstones are cut from neutral strata.
  • The last digital quilt features the blocks set in an alternating grid pattern. No sashing is used and the alternate blocks are solid neutral strata pieces cut 12-1/2″ x 12-1/2″. You may notice the alternate blocks are rotated 90 degrees. Neutral and bright strata is used in the borders.

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.

Sew and Share

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

Nancy Zieman's Giveaway WinnerThree random winners each won a pair of Quilt Expo Tickets. The winners and their comments are:

1. Joyce—The first thing I’d do is look at the quilt displays.

2. Kathy Marlow—The first thing I will do is visit all the quilt displays to get inspired. It will also be the last thing I will do. I love seeing all the talented people’s finished products.

3. Joyce Jensen—I’d look at all of the beautiful quilts and then shop. I’d have a list of what I need and what I want to see or learn. Oh, and I’d have to buy a Quilt Expo tee shirt!

Win Quilt Expo Tickets at Nancy Zieman the Blog

Bye for now,
Nancy Zieman The Blog

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