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!
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.
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|
| Link to|
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.
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.
|CUTTING CHART for an|
Indiana Puzzle Quilt Block
|Finished Block Size|
|Unfinished Block Size||6 1/2"||9 1/2"||12 1/2"||---|
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.
|CUTTING CHART for SIAS unit ONLY|
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"|
Half Square Triangles (HST)
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.
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.
|Midpoint||Trim to HSTs and center units to...|
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.
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.
Center - Square in a Square (SIAS)
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.
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).
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.
With paper piecing, it turns out perfect every time!
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.
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.
Press the SA in the direction of the white arrows below.
Stitch the rows together.
I pin, especially when I want the points to match precisely.
Give your block a final press. (Try my favorite pressing technique for truly flat quilt blocks.)
Congratulations! Your Indiana Puzzle quilt block is finished!
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.