Inside: How to Make a Perfect Dutchman’s Puzzle Quilt Block
The Dutchman’s Puzzle Quilt Block is such a fun and cheery block! At its core it’s a simple block constructed with pairs of Flying Geese blocks.
This remarkably simple block consists of a larger triangle (the goose) surrounded by two smaller triangles (the sky). These blocks are usually made so they are twice as wide as they are tall.
Choosing fabrics with enough light-dark contrast is essential to make the geese stand out against the background of sky. It is a versatile block that can be used in any number of ways. Strips of the Flying Geese Block also make attractive borders or sashing designs.
This version of the Dutchman’s Puzzle Quilt Block is made in cool and breezy summer colors. Using half square triangles, I created eight sets of flying geese for a stunning effect (see the handouts below!). This quilt block is super easy and looks really great!
A Little History
Dutchman’s Puzzle is an old design and was first seen in publications in the late 1800s. This block is sometimes referred to as Return of the Swallows or Dutchman’s Wheel. To get the full story, I pulled out Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns (currently out of print, but you can get the digital download here) which has the most accurate information.
The name Dutchman’s Puzzle first appeared in a mail order quilt pattern company called Ladies Art Company around 1895. In 1894 the pattern was published in the Ohio Farmer and was called Wheel. The Ohio Farmer renamed the block Dutchman’s Wheel and published it in 1898.
Basically, the name depends on which direction the geese are flying. For instance, if you reverse all of the geese the block is called Mosaic. If you only reverse the top and bottom left geese, you get Return of the Swallows.
No matter what you call it, there are many ways to make a Dutchman’s Puzzle Quilt Block. This method will be the easiest way to accurately make this quilt block.
How to Make a Perfect Dutchman’s Puzzle Quilt Block
Dutchman’s Puzzle Quilt Block – Materials List
- Green Fabric (Kona Wasabi #452)
- Blue Fabric (Kona Pool Blue #45)
- White Fabric (Kona White #1387)
Dutchman’s Puzzle Quilt Block – Supply List
- Sewing Machine
- Quarter Inch foot for your sewing machine
- Aurifil 50 wt. Cotton Thread
- Sewing Pins
- Fabric Marking tool (Frixion Pen)
- Rotary Cutter with sharp blade
- Acrylic Ruler
- Self Healing Rotary Cutting Mat
- Iron & Ironing Board
Dutchman’s Puzzle Quilt Block – Cutting & Marking
- Qty (1) 8″ x 8″ Green – Kona Wasabi #452
- Qty (1) 8″ x 8″ Blue – Kona Pool Blue #45
- Qty (2) 8″ x 8″ White – Kona White #1387
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Make Half Square Triangles (HST) 8-at-a-Time
- Fig 1: Place (1) White and (1) Green square with right sides together.
- Fig. 2: Draw a line diagonally corner to corner, using a mechanical pencil or Frixion Pen.
- Fig. 3: Mark a dashed line, one quarter inch on each side of your diagonal lines (these will be your sewing lines). Sew along your dashed lines. Repeat Fig. 1 – Fig. 3 steps for Blue color square.
- Fig. 4 – Fig. 5: Cut the square units in both directions and then diagonally, corner to corner.
Psst. I’d love it if you’d Pin this image!
Now, press seams to one side, and trim the block down to 3.5 inches square.
You now have 8 HST’s in both colors!
Dutchman’s Puzzle Quilt Block – Assembly
- Fig. 1: Arrange your HSTs in correct layout (pictured below).
- Fig. 2: Using a quarter inch seam allowance, sew together in rows. Press seams in same direction on each row. Join all rows, using a quarter inch seam allowance. Take time to nest your seams.
- Fig. 3: Press your completed block and trim down to 12.5″ square (if necessary).
Psst. I’d love it if you’d Pin this image!
Don’t you just love this block – especially love these colors together. This color combination is reminiscent of beach glass and strolls along a scenic coastline!
The options for this simple quilt block are fun to imagine! You could make several more for an entire quilt or just a couple more for a beachy Table Runner.
The Dutchman’s Puzzle Quilt Block is a really fun and simple quilt block. I hope you make lots and lots of them!
Did you like this post? Check out a few of the other Quilt Blocks in this Series.