Monday, November 23, 2009

Dutchman's Puzzle

dutchman's puzzle block

Dutchman's Puzzle blocks are really fun because there are lots of variations. Basically, we're making eight flying geese blocks and then sewing them together. This tutorial uses four fabrics plus a background fabric. You could use from one to eight fabrics plus a background fabric (or many background fabrics). It's up to you.

There is also more than one way to make a flying geese block. My tutorial will leave you with lots of leftover triangles. I like this method because it makes an accurate "goose" and I can make four bonus pinwheel blocks from the leftover pieces.

If you want to make these blocks without the "wasted" fabric, try this tutorial. I've never made flying geese this way it so I don't know how well it looks pretty cool, though and I'd like to give it a try someday.

Step 1: Cut fabric as follows:

Background fabric: cut 16 - 3.5” x 3.5”
Other fabric: any combination of 8 pieces – 3.5”x6.5”

Step 2: Make your flying geese.

Mark the back of each background square with a diagonal line:


Place one square on one side of your rectangle, right sides together:


Position your block like in the picture and sew just to the right of the line. This will ensure your block doesn't end up too small.


Cut 1/4" away from your seam line and save triangles to make a small pinwheel if you want:


Press seam open (to the side is more popular, though, so do that if you want).


Place the second square of background fabric on your block, taking care to turn your diagonal line the right direction:


Cut and press open:


Step 3: Play around with your blocks and see which layout you like best:



Step 4: Sew your geese in pairs:



Step 5: Sew your pairs together to finish your block:



Trim to 12.5" x 12.5"

Here are a couple of variations for the Dutchman's Puzzle. This block uses only two colors (plus a background). This block uses many different background fabrics for a scrappier look. You can also make a pinwheel within a pinwheel by switching up some background fabric squares.
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