Monday, July 12, 2010

BOW #6: Dutchman's Puzzle

Dutchman's Puzzle is a series of Flying Geese units, with pairs arranged in a pinwheel arrangement.  Traditionally it is a 3-color block:  2 main colors and a background but in the icon quilt I chose to use just 2 colors.

There are several ways to make Flying Geese units.  Most often I see quilters using the "square in the corner" method.  A single goose unit is twice as long as it is wide.  The example here will be for a goose unit that finishes at 3" x 6".

1 rectangle 3-1/2" x 6-1/2" of the goose fabric (which will become the largest triangle)
2 squares 3-1/2" of the background fabric

On the wrong side of the squares draw a pencil line diagonally from corner to corner.
With right sides together, place a square on the left side of the rectangle, making sure the drawn line matches the orientation shown below:
Stitch along the drawn line.  Fold back the triangle created by the sewing in the previous step.  Press; trim the seam to approximately 1/4"

Place the other square on the right-hand side of the rectangle, making sure the drawn line is oriented as shown.
Sew along the line, fold back the triangle and press.  Trim the seam.
And you have a goose unit!

For the Dutchman's Puzzle you'll need 8 of these units, arranged and sewn as shown in the icon quilt block above.

One of my favorite ways to make Geese is to use the method shown by Eleanor Burns in this video on her website:

As with all quilt blocks, you can adapt it, change colors or arrangement.  Here's a quilt I designed for a class; the arrangement of the goose units in the block is essentially the same as Dutchman's Puzzle but, though it's a scrap quilt, the geese are all basically the same color--i.e., dark-ish brown.

So, have fun with the Flying Geese unit!  As with the half square triangle,  you'll find many blocks that include this unit.

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