May Basket Quilt Block 2017 Block of the Month by Nancy Zieman/Sewing With Nancy

Introducing the May Block of the Month

May Basket* block is the May 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 created using quick strip-piecing techniques. 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. 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 May Basket block, select the following fabrics from your Garnet fat-quarter bundle. If you’ve chosen another fabric collection, select two darker tones, two medium tones, and the background fabric, for a total of five fabrics.


  • Two 6-1/2 x 3-1/2 rectangles (background fabric)
  • Three 3-1/2” squares (background fabric)
  • Five 3-7/8” squares for HST (background fabric)
  • Two 3-7/8” squares for HST (dark value)
  • Two 3-7/8” squares for HST (medium value)
  • One 3-7/8” square for HST (dark value)
  • One 9-7/8″ Square for large HST (medium value)
  • One 9-7/8” square for large HST (dark value)

Half Square Triangles (HSTs)

  • Align block sets right sides together. A print is paired with a solid block.
  • Mark each block set diagonally from corner to corner, using a fabric marking pen and ruler.
     Use this diagonal marking method to draw the line on the 9-7/8″ pair of blocks.


  • For greatest accuracy, use a No-Hassle Triangle Gauge. The left side of the gauge is designed to create the 3-1/2″ HST blocks used in the May Basket.

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.

     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.
  • Create a total of 10 HST units. (One unit will be leftover.)

Create the Block

  • All seam allowances are 1/4″.
  • Arrange the HST and solid squares as shown.

  • Join the center three HST to create the center-top row. Press seam allowances in one direction.
  • Join the 6-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ rectangle to the HST to create the center-lower row. Press seam allowances in one direction.

  • Align the center-top and center-lower rows to the large HST.

  • Fold the top and lower rows onto the larger HST, matching right sides.

  • Stitch. Press seam allowances towards center HST.

  • Arrange the right-hand column as shown.
  • Join pieces using a 1/4″ seam allowance.

  • Join the column to the right-hand side of the center unit.

  • Match right sides.

  • Stitch. Press seam allowances towards the right-hand column.

  • Arrange the left-hand column as shown.
  • Join pieces using a 1/4″ seam allowance.

  • Join the column to the left-hand side of the center unit.

  • Match right sides.

  • Stitch. Press seam allowances towards left-hand column.

The fifth block in the 2017 Fat Quarter Mystery Quilt is solved!
* May Basket Block, illustrated in Farmer’s Wife Book of Quilts, published 1931. 

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 your 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. The first quilt presented is a the May Basket block in a traditional on-point setting. Read more on finishing the quilt in my book Fearless Quilting Finishes.

  • I couldn’t resist a second quilt concept featuring the basket block. This unique layout is actually another on-point design (as above). The difference: The sashing is omitted, and the block is turned 90 degrees. See if you can spot the May Basket blocks:
  • Notice the subtle differences in these four color variations of the May Basket block.

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

Watch Fearless Quilting Finishes 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 June Block of the Month on Saturday, June 17th.

Bye for now,
Nancy Zieman The Blog

Content in this feed is © copyright 2017 by Nancy Zieman and may not be republished without written permission. You’re welcome to forward the email to a friend or colleague but it’s not okay to add the RSS feed automatically as content on a blog or other website.
The FTC requires us to tell you that Nancy Zieman has provided products by other companies in the course of her business. The FTC requires us to advise you to take this information into consideration when reading this posting.
Make sure you are subscribed to my enews mailing list so you won’t miss a thing. Sign up here. Join us on Facebook, plus a host of other social media channels. Connect With Nancy today!