Skill Level: Beginner
The Old Maid's Puzzle quilt block is a two fabric block built on a 3x3 grid.
All it takes are half square triangles and cut squares, which makes it a good block for bee and guild block exchanges.
You may know it by one of it's other common names:
There are a couple of variations that involve changes to the fabric placement that are shown further down on this page, as are additional cutting instructions for a total of 6 different block sizes.
Block Size: 6"(6-1/2" unfinished)
Grid size: 2"
All seam allowances (SA) are 1/4".
When you are instructed to press, first press the pieced unit flat to set the seam. Then open the patch, pressing from the front. Seam allowances are pressed to the dark fabric unless otherwise noted.
Click here for cutting instructions for additional block sizes.
I like to cut larger patches for making half square triangles and then trim the units to the exact size after stitching. I have done just that in this example. The number above in () is the actual size that I cut for the HST patches in this tutorial.
Three 2-1/2" squares
Half Square Triangle Units
We'll use the Quick Pieced Method for making HSTs for this block.
On the back of each 2-7/8" square, draw a diagonal line from corner to corner. I've used pen for this tutorial simply to make the lines easier to see. In 'real life' I prefer to use a mechanical pencil, marking only as dark as needed to see the line.
With RST, align the edges of one light and one dark 2-7/8" patch. Stitch a quarter inch away from both sides of the line. Repeat for the remaining two pairs.
Cut the sewn units in two along the drawn line for a total of 6.
Press them flat and then open with the SA towards the dark fabric.
The six HS triangles are ready for trimming. Trim to 2-1/2" square.
Lay out your pieced and cut patches.
Stitch the units in each row together, pressing the SA as indicated by the arrows.
Your seam allowances will nest making it easier to match your seams. Stitch the rows together, pinning if needed.
Your finished Old Maid's Puzzle quilt block looks like this.
This block is also called 'Jack and Six'.
If you'd like to over-size your half square triangle patches, they are marked with a **.
|Finished Block Size|
|Cut HSTs to...||1-1/2”sq||2”sq||3”sq||3-1/2”sq||4-1/2”sq|
You've finished your blocks...
We have quilt blocks galore in multiple sizes in our Free Quilt Block Patterns library just waiting to inspire you for your next quilt.