Dutchman's Puzzle Quilt Block Instructions

From our Free Quilt Block Patterns Library

This post contains affiliate links for which I receive compensation.

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.

The newest quilt fabrics to tickle your fancy...

Click the images below to see the full collection. We share any commercial and/or free patterns that showcase them, too. (For inspiration, of course!)

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.

Generations Quilt Patterns logo

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 (1.3-1.6 mm). This perforates the paper and stabilizes the seam when you remove the pattern. [Learn more about stitch length here.]
  • Reduce your machine's speed or just plain slow down. Sew only as fast as you can stay on the stitching lines.
  • Install an open toe appliqué 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). 
  • If your machine has a needle stop up, use it. The stitching goes faster when you don't have to lift the presser foot with every seam.
  • 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 and then open. The SA is automatically pressed towards the last patch added.

Before adding the next patch, take a look to make sure the one you just added covers the space plus seam allowance that it is supposed to.

Steam is optional and usually curls the pattern. 

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

It truly 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" from the sewing line

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.

What about a different quilt block?

For a list of all the 215+ quilt block patterns on this site, start here.

If you know the name of the block, shorten your search by using these links:




Click here if you're looking for blocks with at least some paper piecing.

Click here if you're looking for the basic building blocks of quilting, i.e., Flying Geese, half square triangles, quarter square triangles, etc., along with several techniques to make each.

And finally, use these links to find blocks in these finished sizes:

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

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