Saturday, January 11, 2014

Dutchman's Puzzle quilt block

Dutchman's Puzzle
August 11, 1933-Attractive Design Will Appeal to Quilting Novice was the title of Nancy Cabot's Chicago Tribune column introducing her pattern for the Dutchman's Puzzle quilt.  I agree. This is a very easy quilt block to make and it's great for using scraps too!

Nancy wrote,"Old pieces of prints and plain fabrics in your scrap bag can be used in fashioning the many triangles that make up the block."

The Dutchman's Puzzle block is made exactly like the Swastika block from February 27, 1933. The color placement is different according to Nancy Cabot but look at this old pattern from the Ladies Art Co. The third sheet of the pattern shows color placement exactly like Nancy's block. The fourth sheet of the pattern shows the block in color but not the way the previous page tells you to color it. The block they show in color is the Swastika Block!!

To make my Swastika block I used the Quilt in a Day flying geese ruler which was very easy. I decided to make my 6" Dutchman's Puzzle block differently just because there are so many possible ways to put it together. When looking at paper piecing it, I was thrilled to see it could be pieced in just two sections! That had never occurred to me before.  Here are the two sections-

Check out my new tutorial-How to Foundation Paper Piece to learn my easier way of paper piecing.  If you've tried it before and were frustrated by lining up the edges and holding the fabric up to the light etc., then you might like my method. Give it a try!

A couple of other ways to make this block would be to make half square triangle units or flying geese units. The half square triangle units would need to finish at 1 1/2" and you would need sixteen of them. The flying geese units would finish at 1 1/2" X 3" and you would only need eight. Just use your favorite method of making either of these units.

You can download my paper piecing pattern here. This block can also be found in Electric Quilt's Blockbase program as #1339a.

I found several examples of quilts using the Dutchman's Puzzle block-

alternated with plain squares

on point and alternated with plain squares

with sashing

straight set no sashing

multiple background fabrics

very scrappy

Tomorrow-Shooting Star

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