Today I have another beginner quilt block tutorial for you: The Dutchman's Puzzle.
I don’t know the exact origin of the Dutchman’s Puzzle quilt block, but I have read from multiple sources that it has been around since the late 1800’s. Whenever I am stitching one up, I can’t help but think about the generations of women who did the same over the last century. Of course, a lot of these women would have been stitching by hand, or maybe treadle sewing machine...but we have a kinship just the same.
What I love about this block is the implied movement the rectangles make. Like a windmill...get it....Dutchman’s Puzzle? Even more so than a standard pinwheel block, this pattern looks like it is spinning in the wind. As a rule, my quilts usually are composed of many different types of blocks (because I have a taste for all things chaotic), but this block would really shine used alone.
This is a relatively simple block. It you keep an eye on your seam allowances (make sure they are a scant 1/4”) and remember to press well after each seam....you should do just fine.
The Dutchman's Puzzle Quilt Block
The finished Dutchman’s Puzzle Block is created from 2 different smaller blocks:
So, you will be making 4 of each of these:
These smaller blocks are technically called “flying geese”. You can find a whole host of ways to make flying geese, but the way I describe it here is my personal preferred method.
This block requires you to purchase 4 different fabrics. You can choose any fabrics you like of course, but I found that my blocks turned out with the most “movement” when I chose a light color with a subtle pattern for A.
Here is how the cutting goes:
Fabric A = cut 12 3.5”x3.5” squares
Fabric B = cut 4 6.5”x3.5” rectangles
Fabric C = cut 4 6.5”x3.5” rectangles
Fabric D = cut 4 3.5”x3.5” squares
Take all of your cut square pieces and using a ruler, draw a line diagonally across the block with a pencil or a fabric pen on the wrong side of fabric.
Time to sew a flying goose! Take a B fabric 6.5”x3.5” rectangle and place it right side up (RS). Place a fabric A 3.5”x3.5” square on top of it so the wrong side (WS) is facing up, lining it up to the right edge. (Both fabrics will have the right sides facing each other.) Pin where indicated. Stitch a seam on the drawn line where indicated on illustration below.
Trim fabric leaving a 1/4” seam allowance:
Set seam by pressing it as is, then fold the flap up and press it open. Have your seam allowance pressed upward as well so that it is underneath A.
The left side will use the same technique. When your flying geese block (including seam allowance) is done it will measure 3.5”x6.5” and look like this:
Then, take the C rectangles and using the same technique as with the B rectangles, sew the A squares and D fabric squares on:
You should now have 4 of each of the 2 flying geese blocks. Stitch one of each blocks together with a 1/4” seam allowance. Then press the seam allowance toward the top.:
The next step is to sew two of these 6.5”x6.5” blocks together with a 1/4” seam allowance. Then press the seam allowance toward the right.:
You’re almost there! The last two pieces stitch together with a 1/4” seam allowance like so:
Press it nice and flat and then you will have a gorgeous Dutchman’s Puzzle block!
Want a pdf of this pattern? Click here to go to Craftsy to download it today!