Eeek! After this block, there’s only one lonely block left in this year’s 2016 Quilt Extravaganza—Block of the Month!  November’s block is named Meet in the Middle. Unlike the other months, November’s directions will provide enough cut pieces to create two blocks—if you like.

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 #11: Meet in the Middle


Mark and Cut Fabrics

Mark and cut the following fabric and interfacing pieces:

  • Cut 13-1/4″ x 13-1/4″ squares from both neutral and bright strip sets or strata.

  • Subcut blocks on the diagonal to yield four quarter-square triangles.
  • Cut an 9-1/2″ x 9-1/2″ square from  the bright strata and interfacing. Pin the smooth, non-fusible side of interfacingto right side of fabric square to create a patchwork sandwich.
  • Center the Carefree Curves Circle Template on the interfacing side of the patchwork sandwich.
  • Use a fine tip marking pen to trace the 8-1/2″ circle onto the interfacing.


  • Straight stitch, using a short stitch length, 2.0–2.5, directly on the marked circle.
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 when sewing curves to driving in the mountains. To maneuver the curvy road, a slower speed safeguards that you’ll stay on course.

  • Use a rotary pinking blade to remove excess fabric from the circles. Trim 1/4″ from the stitching line.

  • Trim away the excess interfacing within the circle, leaving approximately 1″ of interfacing.


  • Press.


Divide the Circle

The circle shape is divided into fourths and, thanks to the strata, appears to spin on top of the background. Here’s a trick to create 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.
Note from Nancy: You may opt to add pins at the marked location, if the marks are hard to see on colorful fabrics.
  • Fold circle in half matching 12 o’clock and three o’clock marks and wrong sides.
  • Press.
  • Fold in half again.
  • Press.
  • Open circle.
  • Use rotary cutting tools to cut straight lines along pressed folds.

Build the Quilt Block

  • Arrange the quarter-square triangle pieces to match opposing triangle strata. Remember, you will have enough background pieces to create a second block.
  • Set quarter circles on neutral strata, matching the cut corners.

  • Pin quarter circles to neutral backgrounds.
  • Edgestitch, using monofilament thread in the needle and thread that matches the background fabric in the bobbin.
Note from Nancy
I used an Open Toe Foot when stitching the semicircle to the background. The extra open space in the foot makes it easier to see the curve of the appliqué.
  • Pin adjoining quarter-square triangles, right sides together; stitch with a 1/4″ seam allowance and all-purpose thread.
Note from Nancy
Notice that the fabric edges in these seams are bias. Be mindful not to stretch the stitching line as you sew. Consider using a Walking Foot to evenly feed the quarter pieces under your presser foot.
  • Press seam allowances open.
  • Align the two block halves; stitch.
  • Press seam allowances open.
  • 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 features a four by six block grid, which rotates alternating blocks. The blocks are framed with borders cut from extra strata pieces. Notice the borders are mitered; meeting at a 45 degree angle in the corners. See how to create the look in my book, Fearless Quilting Finishes.

  • The second digital quilt concept builds on the alternating blocks. By matching bright and neutral strata sides a secondary “on-point” square design is created.

  • The last digital design is a scrappy bed runner. This project is two blocks by seven blocks and is designed to dress up the foot of your bed. By using leftover strata pieces, this runner will look extra scrappy.
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]

Bye for now,
Nancy Zieman The Blog

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