Today let's sew together a Flying Dutchman quilt block. The Flying Dutchman block is a variation of the Dutchman's Puzzle block. It is composed of four Flying Geese units, four Hourglass units, and four rectangles so not very difficult and it makes an interesting design. Let's get started!
Fabric Requirements for a 12" Finished Flying Dutchman Quilt Block:
- Light/White: 2 - 5.5" squares, 8 - 2.5" squares
- Medium/Blue Print: 1 - 5.5" square
- Dark/Blue: 4 - 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles
- Dark/Pink: 1 - 5.5" square, and 4 - 2.5" x 6.5" rectangles
Flying Geese Units:
Using the 4 Dark/Blue 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles and the 8 Light/White 2.5" squares, sew together four Flying Geese units as shown in the picture below. You can find my tutorial for making Flying Geese blocks at https://fabric406.com/blogs/fabric406-blog/how-to-sew-a-basic-flying-geese-block
Using the 2 Light/White 5.5" squares, the Medium/Blue Print 5.5" square and the Dark/Pink 5.5" square, make four Hourglass units. You can find my tutorial for sewing an Hourglass (or Quarter Square Triangle) block at https://fabric406.com/blogs/fabric406-blog/how-to-sew-a-basic-hourglass-or-quarter-square-triangle-block but I'm going to walk through the steps here as well because this is a three-color Hourglass unit.
First you will need to mark a diagonal line on the back of the two Light/White 5.5" squares and then match them up with the other two 5.5" squares as shown in the picture below.
Next you will need to sew 1/4" (or a little less) on both sides of the marked line; cut on the marked line, open up the two halves, and press the seam allowances away from the Light/White fabric. This is your basic Half Square Triangle block.
Draw a diagonal line, perpendicular to the seam on the back of two of the Step 3 units (here I've used the Light/Dark Pink units). Match up a Light/Dark Pink unit with a Light/Medium unit, having the Light fabrics opposite one another as shown in the picture below.
Next you need to sew a 1/4" seam on both sides of the marked line, cut the units apart on the marked line, open them up and you've got an Hourglass unit. Press the seam allowance using the twirl/furl/tweak method as shown in the picture below.
Next you can square up the unit to 4.5" square and repeat Steps 4 and 5 for a total of 4 Hourglass units as shown in the picture below.
Putting It All Together:
Sew a Flying Geese unit to an Hourglass unit and press the seam allowance toward the Hourglass unit as shown in the picture below. Repeat for a total of 4 units.
Now you can sew a Dark/Pink 2.5" x 6.5" rectangle to the Step 7 unit and press the seam allowance toward the Dark/Pink rectangle as shown in the picture below. Repeat for a total of four units.
The rest of the sewing is just like a Four Patch block. Lay out the four Step 8 units as shown in the picture below and sew the units into two rows.
Press the seam allowances away from the Light/White fabric as shown below.
All that's left is to sew the 2 rows together, and ...
Press the seam allowances. I've used the twirl/tweak/furl method as you can see in the picture below. There's a bunch of seams coming into the center with this block so it can get a bit messy and pressing this way helps the block lay flatter. It will also make sewing multiple blocks together because the seams will nest together nicely.
The Flying Dutchman quilt block went together quickly and I like that it is a little different style than most traditional blocks.
So initially I put this block together with a different color arrangement and couldn't figure out why this is a popular block because it just looked blah. So I went online to look at other people's blocks. Well, duh, I needed a different color lay out. Now I'm happy with the Flying Dutchman quilt block and I like the way it will look in a quilt. The Dutchman's Puzzle part of the block will stand out with a darker background.
So don't do it this way (although if the 2.5" x 6.5" rectangles were Light/White, it would look better):
If you like this tutorial and want to see more, simply click HERE to sign up for my newsletter and receive a free PDF quilt pattern called "Chained Weathervane".
Until next time,