Introducing January’s Block: Goose in the Pond*

Welcome to the first block in the 2017 Fat Quarter Mystery Quilt! All twelve, 15-inch finished-sized blocks, will be created from one 24-piece fat quarter bundle and 2-1/4 yards of cream background fabric. We’re using the fat quarter bundle, Garnet, it’s my most recent fabric line from Penny Rose, a division of Riley Blake Designs. You’re definitely welcome to use another collection of fabric or fabrics from your stash!

Choose the Fabrics

For the January Block, use the following fabrics from your Garnet fat-quarter bundle. If you have chosen another fabric collection, select three darker tones, two medium tones, and the background fabric for a total of six fabrics

Cut and Create Patchwork Units

Goose in the Pond quilt block is created, using four basic units.

Unit One: Half Square Triangles (HSTs)

Cut the following:

  • Six squares measuring 3-7/8″ x 3-7/8″ from background cream fabric
  • Four squares measuring 3-7/8″ x 3-7/8″ from dark fabric
  • Two squares measuring 3-7/8″ x 3-7/8″ from light fabric
  • Pair a background fabric with each print fabric.
  • Align the blocks right sides together (the blocks are shown with right sides out).

January 2017 Block of the Month by Nancy Zieman/Sewing WIth Nancy

Make HSTs:
  • Option one: Mark each block set diagonally from one corner to the other, using a fabric marking pen and ruler.
  • Option two: Use a No-Hassle Triangle Gauge. The left side of the gauge is designed to create HST blocks.

January 2017 Block of the Month by Nancy Zieman/Sewing WIth Nancy

  • Depress the button on the sliding portion of the gauge and move to the 3-1/2-HST icon on the left side of the gauge.
  • Place gauge on the block set, corner to corner. Match corner marks of gauge with corner of block sets. Mark fabric through center of gauge with a fine-point, fabric-marking pen.

January 2017 Block of the Month by Nancy Zieman/Sewing WIth NancyNote from Nancy: The advantage of using the No-Hassle Triangle Gauge is accuracy. It’s easy to double-check that the block set fits within the confines of the gauge. If the block set extends beyond or is shorter, trim or cut another block. Stitch Half-Square Triangle Block Sets

  • Attach a 1/4″ patchwork/quilting foot.
  • Set machine for a straight stitch, 2.0–2.5 mm in length.
  • Align foot along one side of the center marked line; stitch a scant 1/4″ from center marked line. Do not cut the threads.
  • Kiss the next block set to the stitched block and chain stitch from one block to the other. Continue chain stitching until blocks have been stitched.

  • Clip threads between chain stitched blocks. Rotate blocks 180-degrees. Align foot along second side of center marked line; stitch. Clip threads between chain stitched blocks.

  • With a rotary cutter, mat, and ruler, cut the blocks apart along centerline markings.

  • Press seam allowances open or toward the darker fabric.

  • Set 12 half-square triangles aside.

Watch the No-Hassle Half-Square Triangles episode of Sewing With Nancyfor a complete demonstration of the gauge and technique.

Unit Two: 9-Patch

From the medium and dark fat quarters, cut the following:

  • From Dark Fabric: Cut two strips 1-1/2″ x 13″. Cut one strip 1-1/2″ x 21″.
  • From Light Fabric: Cut one strip 1-1/2″ x 13″. Cut two strips 1-1/2″ x 21″.
  • Arrange the strips of matching lengths in groups of three, as shown below:


  • Join a light and dark strip from each grouping; chain piece.

  • Snip the chain stitching. Open and press both pairs.

  • Add the remaining dark and light strips to each of the pressed pairs.
  • Open; press seam allowances toward the darker fabric.


  • Subcut the strip sets into 1-1/2″ widths.
  • From the shorter Dark-Light-Dark set, cut eight pieces 1-1/2″ x 3-1/2″.

  • From the longer Light-Dark-Light set, cut four pieces 1-1/2″ x 3-1/2″.
  • Save the remaining portion of the strip set.

  • Arrange the 9-patch blocks with the darker fabrics at each corner.

  • Join the top two rows, locking seam allowances.

  • Open; add the remaining row.

  • Open; press.
  • Make a total of four 9-patch blocks, which should measure 3-1/2″ x 3-1/2″.

Unit Three: Stripe

  • From the Light-Dark-Light remaining strip set portion, cut four squares 3-1/2″ x 3-1/2″.

Unit Four: Solid Square

  • Cut four blocks 3-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ from cream fabric.
  • Cut one block 3-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ from center print fabric.

Create Block

  • Arrange the large block as shown:

  • Join pairs of blocks to create rows.
  • Stitch one row at a time, starting with the top row.
  • Row One:

  • Row Two:

  • Row Three:

  • Row Four:

  • Row Five:

  • Press odd numbered row seam allowances in one direction and even numbered seam allowances in the opposite direction.
  • Arrange the rows.

  • Join rows one and two.
  • Join rows three and four.
  • Interlock the seam allowances at each unit.

  • Press.

  • Add the fifth row.

  • Stitch the final row seam to create the block.
The first block in the 2017 Fat Quarter Mystery Quilt is solved!
* Goose in the Pond, illustrated in The Quilter’s Album of Blocks & Borders by Jinny Beyer. Published by EPM Publications, Inc.  Copyright 1980, Jinny Beyer
If you are on social sites, let all your friends know you are working on Nancy Zieman’s 2017 Fat Quarter Mystery Quilt by tagging your post with the hashtag: #NZBoM. Share you finished blocks with Nancy and her team by emailing them to [email protected].

Updated to add: Wow! You have created fantastic quilt blocks. See the January Quilt Block Gallery on my Facebook Page.

In the 2015 Quilt Adventure and the 2016 Quilt Extravaganza, I shared three virtual quilt designs made with the month’s single block. This year, I’m changing it up and sharing one quilt and block color variations. Wait ’til you see how interesting each block becomes when the light, medium, and dark color values are mixed up! Please note that the fabrics required for color-varied blocks will be slightly different than the original block of the month directions presented.

Take your Block to the Next Level

  • Visualize an entire quilt made from this block. Each block will measure 15″ square when sewn into a quilt. The image below shows 20 blocks framed with 3″ sashing and pieced corner-stone blocks. Read more on finishing the quilt in my book Fearless Quilting Finishes. This digital quilt, as shown, would measure 82″ x 100″.

  • Notice the subtle differences in these four color variations of the Goose in the Pond block:

Virtual concepts presented in this post are created using Electric Quilt 7 (EQ7) software, available at Nancy’s Notions.

Watch No-Hassle Triangles Quilt Blocks on Sewing With Nancy online.

If you missed any of the complete block tutorials, find the 2017 Fat Quarter Mystery Block of the Month on my blog.

Bye for now, Nancy Zieman The Blog

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