Dutchman's Puzzle Quilt Block Instructions

From our Free Quilt Block Pattern Library

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Skill Level: Confident beginner

The Dutchman's Puzzle quilt block is full of energy with its twirling Flying Geese units.

On this page, you'll learn how to get all those points really pointy using foundation piecing. There are patterns to download in three sizes below.

Paperpiecing streamlines the piecing process, reduces the amount of trimming,  and as an added benefit, seems to minimize some of the bulk created where the Flying Geese are joined.

It's a sweet method!

Choose your three fabrics and let's get started!

Dutchman's Puzzle quilt block instructions

General Instructions

Please read all the instructions before piecing the block.

Check out this trick for making the flattest blocks possible. It's simple. It's quick. And you don't need any fancy-shmancy tools to make your Dutchman's Puzzle quilt block lay flat!

Click here to learn more about this pressing technique.

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Click any of the images below to see the full collection, individual fabrics and find pricing/ordering information.

Check out ALL the current Fabric lines showcased on this site in one place.

Step 1: Cut the patches for a Dutchman's Puzzle

Dutchman's puzzle blockDutchman's Puzzle design

Sample Size: 6" finished / 6½" unfinished

Grid: 4x4

Attribution: Ladies Art Company

AKA: Dutchman's Wheel (Ohio Farmer), Wheel (Ohio Farmer), Wild Goose Chase (Beth and Jeffrey Gutcheon)

Design Type: Pinwheel, 4-patch

All the dimensions in the chart below are for squares. So...

...for Patches #1 and #5 for a 6" block cut one square from Fabric A that is  4-5/8" x 4-5/8". Sub cut this square twice on the diagonals to make 4 quarter square triangles.

To download the patterns, go to the row highlighted in yellow. Click on the link in the column under the corresponding 'Finished Block Size'.

You'll need the latest version of Adobe installed on your computer. Click here to get it.

In order to print blocks at the correct size, 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.

There is a 1" square graphic on the pattern to help you confirm it's the right size.

Not sure which paper piecing paper to use? Read my review and comparisons here.

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Cutting Chart for a
Dutchman's Puzzle Quilt Block

~ Paper Piecing ~

Patch Fabric Qty Finished Block Size Sub
1, 5A13-5/8”4-1/8” 4-5/8”Symbol for a quarter square triangle
3, 7B13-5/8”4-1/8”4-5/8”Symbol for a quarter square triangle
2, 4, 6, 8Background82-3/8”2-5/8”2-7/8”Symbol for a half square triangle
PRINT the Dutchmans
Puzzle pattern
4"5" 6"--
Unfinished unit
2½" x 4½"3” x 5½"3½" x 6½"--
Unfinished block
4½" x 4½"5½" x 5½"6½" x 6½"--

Step 2: Assemble the units

General Sewing Machine Setup for Paperpiecing

  • Reduce your stitch length to 16-20 stitches per inch (1.3-1.6mm). This perforates the paper. It also stabilizes the seam when you remove the pattern. [Learn more about stitch length here.]
  • Reduce your machine's speed or just plain slow down when you stitch. Sew only as fast as you can stay on the stitching lines.
  • Install an open toe applique foot (sometimes called an 'embroidery' or 'satin stitch' foot) if you have one (it's easier to see where you're stitching with one installed). 
  • As you stitch each seam, start and stop a generous 1/4" before and after the solid stitching lines. ALWAYS. Future lines of stitching secure the ends.

After adding each patch, press the unit as it was sewn to set the seam. Then press it open. The SA is automatically pressed towards the last patch added.

Steam is optional and usually curls the pattern. 

If that bothers you, don't use steam. Sometimes I do. Sometimes I don't.

It really just depends on my mood.

Remember as you follow this paper piecing tutorial, the printed and the fabric sides of this block are mirror-images of each other.

At last!

Let's sew!

Set your stitch length to 15-18 stitches per inch.

Position Patch 1 using the dashed placements lines. I use a dab of Elmer's Glue Stick to hold it in place. In the photo below, you can see where I've marked the goose patches with an 'L' (#3 and #6) and a 'D' (#1 and #5) as a reminder where the different colors go.

Position Patch #1

Align the long bias edge of a #2 with #1. It doesn't matter which side you add to first.

Align the edge of #2 with #1

Stitch from the printed side of the pattern, starting a quarter inch before and ending a quarter inch after the solid sewing line. Press.

Repeat to add the second #2.

With RST, position the #3 goose a 1/4" past the stitching line (red arrow). You should be able to see its shadow through the paper. Stitch starting before and ending after the line.

Position #3 approximately a 1/4

Trim away the excess (arrow) with a scissor...

Trim away the excess past the seam allowance with a scissor or rotary cutter

...so it looks like this...

The seam allowance after trimming

Add the #4 triangles the same as the #2s.

To add the #5 triangle, position it RST as you did the #3—a quarter inch past the sewing line. In the photo below you can see it from the fabric side of the pattern.

Add Patch #5

Stitch and press. Continue adding the remaining sky and goose triangles just as you did for Patches #2-#4.

Trim the units to size by lining up the 1/4" mark on your ruler with the solid black line around each unit. Trim with your rotary cutter. Repeat for each side of each unit. And you have this...

The units after trimming (from the pattern side)

Remove the paper. Press again if needed.

Step 3: Assemble the Dutchman's Puzzle quilt block

Return to a normal stitch length because you're no longer sewing through the paper.

As you lay out the two units, remember that the geese all point to the outside edge of the block

Since both units are identical and paper pieced, the seam allowances in the center will automatically nest which makes getting a good match in the center pinwheel so much easier.

Still, I do use pins for this.

After stitching, your finished Dutchman's Puzzle quilt block looks like this...

The finished Dutchman's Puzzle quilt block

From the back it looks like this...

Dutchman's Puzzle quilt block from the back

Same name, different block...

There are two blocks that also go by the Dutchman's Puzzle name.

An alternative version of the Dutchman's Puzzle quilt block called Mississippi Daisy

A completely different block but drawn on the same 4x4 grid. You'll need to do  set in seams and a bit of applique to stitch it!

AKA: The Breeches Quilt, Britches Quilt, Dutchman's Breeches, Mississippi Daisy

An alternative version of the Dutchman's Puzzle quilt block called Aircraft

Again, drawn on a 4x4 grid but completely different, this one is also known as 'Aircraft'. Click here for instructions to make this block.

Share your work to inspire other Quilters!

If you use our tutorials to make your blocks and quilts, there are some easy ways to share your creations so other quilters (including me!) can enjoy the fruits of your labor:

  • On Instagram please tag your blocks and quilts with the hashtag #GenerationsQuiltPatterns.
  • Visit our Show n'Tell page on the website. Click here to share photos and tell your own story, just start typing at 'The name of your quilt is...'. If you'd prefer to submit more photos than the form allows, simply email them to me at julie@generations-quilt-patterns.com.

I love seeing your work!

Our readers do, too!

For even more blocks to make...

Click here to learn about my favorite quilt book resources that inspire my patchwork designs.

For you, are quilt block patterns like potato chips...

...you can't have just one?!!

Check the amazing resources I rely on for the majority of the quilt block designs you see on this website. 

To see if they're worthy of spot in YOUR quilting library, read about them HERE.

NOTE: All the attribution and alternate names shared in the Free Quilt Block Patterns Library came from these four resources.

This article was printed from Generations-Quilt-Patterns.com

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