Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Dutchman's Puzzle {ornament tutorial}

I wanted some tiny quilt blocks to hang on the tree, so I pulled out my Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns and started looking for a block with lots of pieces that I could draft into a small size. Now the edges of my book are bristling with Post-It flags and I've settled on one block to start with, Dutchman's Puzzle. The pieced ornament finishes at just 2 1/2" square.


Want to make your own? I used my Easy Angle Ruler to cut the half square triangles from strips of fabric. You can pull a 1 1/2" strip from one of your other scrappy projects (if you want the backing to match, you'll also need a 4 1/2" square.) Use a solid or a very smalls scale print -- those little triangles finish at 1/2"

From a 1" strip, cut 3 dark HSTs and 9 light HSTs. From a 1 1/2" strip, cut 4 dark HSTs and 1 light HST.

Piece three of the dark and light  HSTs into squares, then press open. (If you don't usually use leaders and enders on your projects, it's a good idea to chain piece these and start and end with a scrap of fabric to keep those little pieces from getting pulled into your feed dogs.)  Add the remaining light 1" HSTs to form larger triangles as shown.


Depending on how you lined up those pre-trimmed dog ears, your triangles may look a little off --


When you sew them to the 1 1/2" dark HSTs, line up the 90 degree angle and it'll work out just fine. Sew the pieced triangles and the larger white triangle to the 4 dark HSTs and arrange into a block as shown. I left the strings to emphasize how tiny these little pieces are -- you'll want to trim yours before assembling the block.


Cut a piece of batting the same size as your finished block (it should measure 2 1/2" square) and center it on the wrong side of your 4 1/2" backing square. I used the binding tutorial from Made by RAE which shows how to fold the backing around the front of the piece. My corners didn't turn out as neatly as I'd like -- I'm thinking about finishing the next one with a zig-zag or buttonhole stitch around the edges.

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12 comments:

Tammy said...

These will look great on the tree.

Rosa said...

Lovely block.Have a fun day!

Dar said...

You must have hit your head sometime recently. Really 1/2" HST??? You have great patience, more than I do for sure. Guess you've run out of fabric in your stash!! :) This will look cute on your tree, but you need lots more, right?

Jessica Hadden said...

Lovely! I am so intimidated by tiny!

Missie of Traditional Primitives (formerly Hallbrook Designs) said...

Oh! So Cute! I made a few ornaments long ago, but they were so big we used them as coasters over the years! I bet yours are cute as a button in person...one of those things we just want to "handle"! Thanks for sharing...would love to see a picture of it on your tree! Hint hint!

quiltswithpersonality said...

Beautiful work and will look amazing on your tree! Thank you for sharing. Marie (mlismore@optusnet.com.au)

made by ChrissieD said...

Cut little block - having tried working so small yet myself - and great way to back and create binding :D

Jean Belle said...

Very cute! I've just recently tried making a couple 2 inch blocks and wondered how to finish the edges. Thanks for sharing your experience.

Connie said...

What a perfect little block to use for Christmas ornaments!! Thanks for sharing.
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capitolaquilter said...

It's so tiny and cute.

Allison said...

wow, that is some tiny piecing! I love the idea of hanging quilt blocks on the Christmas tree :)

Valerie Reynolds said...

Cute! Cute! Cute! And I don't do itty bitty....this made the perfect addition to our Tuesday Archive Christmas theme this week! Thanks for sharing!!

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