Introducing the March Block of the Month: Duck & Duckling*

The Duck & Duckling quilt block is the March Fat Quarter Mystery Quilt Block. Like all blocks in this year’s block of the month challenge, this block is 15″—finished size—and is based on a combo of half-square triangles and squares. Simple!

During this 12-month block of the month challenge, all blocks will be made from one 24-piece fat quarter bundle and 2-1/4 yards of cream background fabric, not including backing or binding. 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 March block, select the following fabrics from your Garnet fat-quarter bundle. If you’ve chosen another fabric collection, select one darker tone, two medium tones, and the background fabric, for a total of four fabrics

Half-Square Triangles (HSTs)

Cut the following to create four HSTs:

  • Six squares measuring 3-7/8″ x 3-7/8″ from cream background fabric
  • Two squares measuring 3-7/8″ x 3-7/8″ from medium fabric (pink fabric shown)
  • Four squares measuring 3-7/8″ x 3-7/8″ from dark fabric (garnet flowers on garnet background)

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 NancyDepress 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.

Note 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.
  • 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 toward the darker fabric.

  • Set four light + medium and eight light + dark half-square triangles aside.

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

Solid Units

  • Cut four squares 3-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ from dark fabric.
  • Cut one square 3-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ from medium fabric.
  • Cut four rectangles 3-1/2″ x 6-1/2″ from medium fabric.

Create Block

  • Arrange the large block as shown:

Assemble Quadrants:

  • Working on one quadrant at a time, arrange the pieces as shown below:

  • Join pairs.
  • Press seam allowances in one direction. Press the top row to the right and the bottom row to the left.
  • Flip the lower pair up onto the top pair, matching right sides.
  • Lock the opposing seam allowances and stitch.
  • Open. Press seam allowances in one direction.
  • Repeat steps to create four quadrants.

Create Horizontal Bar Unit

  • Arrange two medium rectangles and one medium square as shown:

  • Matching right sides, sew the square to the left rectangle.

  • Open. Press seam allowances towards the rectangle.

  • Matching right sides, add the remaining right-hand rectangle to the center square.

  • Open. Press seam allowances towards the rectangle.

Build the Block

  • Each block will have two rows assembled as shown below.
  • Arrange the top and bottom rows Quadrant + Rectangle + Quadrant; as shown:
  • Matching right sides, sew the rectangle to the left quadrant.
  • Open. Press seam allowances towards the rectangle.

  • Lay the remaining quadrant on the rectangle, matching right sides. Sew.

  • Open. Press seam allowances towards the rectangle.

  • Repeat these steps to create the remaining bottom row.
  • Join top row to the horizontal bar unit. Lock the seam allowances.
  • Open. Press.
  • Join the bottom row to the horizontal bar unit. Lock the seam allowances
  • Press.
March 2017 Block of the Month by Nancy Zieman/Sewing With Nancy Duck & Duckling BlockThe third block in the 2017 Fat Quarter Mystery Quilt is solved!
* Duck & Duckling, first recorded in Ladies Art Company 1898 

Share Your Success!

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].

During 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 block color variations of one block.  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. No sashings were used to create this quilt top! The block creates a secondary design when sewn together. Read more on finishing the quilt in my book Fearless Quilting Finishes. This quilt as shown measures 90″ x 105″.

March 2017 Block of the Month by Nancy Zieman/Sewing With Nancy Duck & Duckling Block

  • Notice the subtle differences in these four color variations of the Duck & Duckling block.

March 2017 Block of the Month by Nancy Zieman/Sewing With Nancy Duck & Duckling Block
March 2017 Block of the Month by Nancy Zieman/Sewing With Nancy Duck & Duckling Block 

. .
March 2017 Block of the Month by Nancy Zieman/Sewing With Nancy Duck & Duckling Block
March 2017 Block of the Month by Nancy Zieman/Sewing With Nancy Duck & Duckling 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.

Watch for the April Block of the Month on Saturday, April 15th.

Bye for now,
Nancy Zieman The Blog

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