Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. If you buy thru them, I receive a small commission—at no extra cost to you. This helps me provide all the free information on this site. To learn more, read my full Disclosure Policy.

Indiana Puzzle Quilt Block

From our Free Quilt Block Patterns Library

Indiana Puzzle quilt block tutorial

The Indiana Puzzle quilt block is a variation on the Friendship Star block—whose star-power is bumped up with the addition of 4 half square triangles in the corners.

It's the perfect opportunity to practice the 8 at a time method for making these units. Only two lines to mark and four to stitch. It doesn't get much easier than that!

To complete the block, these 8 HST surround a Square in a Square (SIAS) unit. Directions are included to either paper piece or use connector corners to complete it.

The only puzzle to solve is just how many you'll make.

Let's get started!

Construction Instructions

1/4" seam allowances (SA) are used throughout.

Patches are first pressed closed (just as they are stitched) to set the seam, then open with the SA to the dark unless otherwise indicated.

Step 1: Download and print the paper piecing pattern for the SIAS unit

Since I prefer the accuracy of paper piecing over rotary cutting for the a Square in a Square (SIAS), there is a free pattern to download.

Choose your finished block size from the list below and print one copy. You'll only use 1 unit.

PRINT the Paper Piecing Patterns
Block Size
Link to
PDF Pattern

You'll need the most recent copy of Adobe installed on your computer. Download it here if you don't have it.

In order to print the blocks correctly, under 'Page Sizing and Handling' in the Adobe print menu, set 'Custom Scale' to 100%. Click here to see what it looks like on the Print Menu page.

Step 2: Cutting

The Indiana Puzzle quilt block design

With just two fabrics to make this Indiana Puzzle, the 8-at-a-time HST method is perfect for our needs. No waste either!

In the chart below, all the patches are squares, i.e., when you see 1-7/8" that means to cut a 1-7/8"x1-7/8" patch.

Remember to subcut the Corner patches in half once diagonally.

Indiana Puzzle Quilt Block
Finished Block Size
Patch Fabric Qty 6" 9" 12" Sub
Center L 1 1-7/8” 2-5/8” 3-3/8” na
Corner D 2 2-3/8” 2-7/8” 3-3/8” Symbol for a half square triangle
#3 L 1 6-1/4” 8-1/4” 10-1/4” na
#4 D 1 6-1/4” 8-1/4” 10-1/4” na
Unfinished Block Size 6 1/2" 9 1/2" 12 1/2" ---
Grid Size 2" 3" 4" ---

Alternate Method/Cutting for SIAS unit

In this tutorial the unit is paper pieced for accuracy.

If paper piecing just isn't your thing, use connector corners instead. Substitute the patches below for this method. 

Made using Connector Corners
Finished Block Size
Patch Fabric Qty 6 " 9 " 12"
Center L 1 2 1/2" 3 1/2" 4 1/2"
Corner D 4 1 1/2" 2" 2 1/2"

Click here for a tutorial to show you how to construct this unit using Connector Corners.

Step 3: Create the units for the Indiana Puzzle

Half Square Triangles (HST)

Half square triangles made 8 at a time

Make 8

The 8 at a time method works perfectly for our Indiana Puzzle—and no leftovers!

Mark the back of your #3 square with two diagonal lines. Layer this marked patch right sides together (RST) with the #4 patch.

Stitch a 1/4" inch away from the marked lines on both sides for a total of 4 lines of stitching.

Sew your HSTs 8 at a timeYou can just make out my pencil lines. For this 9" finished sample block I used my flower head pins to help hold the layers evenly together.

After the sewing is complete, give the unit a quick press and it's onto cutting this patch into the HST units.

Locate the Midpoint that corresponds to your Finished Block Size from the table below.

Block Size
Midpoint Trim to HSTs and center units to...
6" 3-1/8” 2 1/2"
9" 4-1/8” 3 1/2"
12" 5-1/8” 4 1/2"

At your cutting mat, align the line on your ruler that is the Midpoint with one side of the sewn squares. The opposite edge of your ruler should pretty much bisect the center of your block. If it's off a wee bit, don't worry, there's a bit of extra built into the squares on purpose.

The #3/#4 sewn patch is cut into squaresThe Midpoint for our 9" finished block is 4-1/8". Cut along the opposite side of the ruler through the center.

Rotate the patches a quarter turn. Use the Midpoint Measurement to cut the square in half again to create four equal sized squares.

Cut each apart diagonally on the drawn line between the stitching.

Press your eight HST units, SA towards the dark.

Trim to the size indicated in the chart above.

Untrimmed and trimmed HST

Click here for more detailed instructions to make these HST using this technique.

Center - Square in a Square (SIAS)

Center unit for an Indiana Puzzle quilt block

Make 1

If you'd prefer to make this unit using connector corners and have cut the patches from the second cutting chart, then click here for those instructions.

To paperpiece the center, set up your machine for paper piecing. Reduce your stitch length to 1.5mm (15-18 stitches/inch) and install an open toe applique foot if you have one.

With a dot of Elmer's Washable Glue Stick (the one that goes on purple/dries clear) position the wrong side of Center.1 on the unprinted side of the pattern. It's edges should extend approximately 1/4" past the solid line around Center.1 shown below.

Position the Center-Patch on the pattern

Now with RST, position a Corner.2 triangle centered along the edge of the first patch. The point of the triangle lines up with the corner (blue arrow below).

Stitch a corner to the center patch

From the printed side, stitch on the line between the two patches, starting and stopping a 1/4" before and after the solid line. Subsequent lines of stitching will lock these in place.

Repeat for the remaining Corner patches. You can usually stitch two opposite corners and then press for the larger sized units.

After stitching, give the unit one final press.

Trim to perfection by placing the 1/4" line of your ruler on the solid outer line and cut off the excess. Repeat for all sides. Remove the paper.

For more detailed instructions for this unit, click here.

With paper piecing, it turns out perfect every time!

A finished Square in a Square unit

Step 4: Assemble your Indiana Puzzle quilt block

Install your favorite quarter inch presser foot and return your stitch length to its regular piecing length.

Arrange the patches into the Indiana Puzzle design as shown below.

Lay out thepatches to form the Indian Puzzle design

Sew the units into rows. Notice in the photo below that the top and bottom rows are identical. (The bottom row is flipped vertically to put it in the proper position.

The bottom and top rows are pieced exactly the same.

Press the SA in the direction of the white arrows below.

Press seam allowances in the direction of the arrows for seams that nest.Press SAs in the direction of the arrows for seams that nest.

Stitch the rows together.

I pin, especially when I want the points to match precisely.

Pin the rows together and stitchThe arrow points to the matching pin I inserted perpendicularly through the points of the two HSTs I want to match.

[Click here to learn more about pinning for perfectly matched points...]

Give your block a final press. (Try my favorite pressing technique for truly flat quilt blocks.)

Congratulations! Your Indiana Puzzle quilt block is finished!

The finished Indiana Puzzle quilt block

Link to Free Quilt Block Patterns Library

Return to the top of this Indiana Puzzle quilt block tutorial

Go to our Free Quilt Block Patterns Library to find more blocks to make.

Click here to go to the Home Page

Share Your Comments, Tips and Ideas

Search This Site

Quilt patterns,
books and kits
to tempt you!

Click any of the images or links below for more info...

Fold-N-Stitch Wreath pattern
Fold-N-Stitch Wreath
by Poorhouse Quilt Design

Farm Girl Vintage
by Lori Holt

Gypsy Wife
by Jen Kingwell


Enhance your
Fabric Resource Center
aka 'Stash'

Click on the images to go to for more choices.

Click here for MORE
Kaffe fabrics

Click here for MORE
Batik fabrics

Subscribe... STASH Talk,
our free newsletter.
Simply complete
the form below...

E-mail Address
First Name

Don't worry...
Your e-mail address is
totally secure.

I promise to use it
only to send you
Stash Talk.