Indian Puzzle Quilt Block Free Tutorial

Posted by Elaine Huff on

Today let's take a look at the Indian Puzzle quilt block. This three-color traditional block uses Flying Geese, Square in a Square and Half Square Triangles to form a very interesting block. At the end I show what happens when you change up the color placement and values. Let's get started!

indian puzzle quilt block

Fabric Requirements for a 12" Finished Indian Puzzle Quilt Block:

  • Light/White: 1 - 4.5" square, 4 - 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles, 4 - 3" squares, and 12 - 2.5" squares
  • Medium/Blue Floral: 4 - 3" squares, and 4 - 2.5" squares
  • Dark/Blue: 4 - 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles, and 12 - 2.5" squares
indian puzzle fabric requirements

Sewing Directions:

Square in a Square Unit:

Step 1:

Using the Light/White 4.5" square and four of the Dark/Blue 2.5" squares, sew together a Square in a Square unit as shown in the picture below. You will find my tutorial for making a Square in a Square unit at https://fabric406.com/blogs/fabric406-blog/how-to-sew-a-basic-square-in-a-square-block
indian puzzle 1

Flying Geese Units:

Step 2:

Next you can sew together four Flying Geese units like the ones below using the four Light/White 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles, and eight Dark/Blue 2.5" squares. You can find my tutorial for making a basic Flying Geese block at https://fabric406.com/blogs/fabric406-blog/how-to-sew-a-basic-flying-geese-block
indian puzzle 2

Step 3:

Using the four Dark/Blue 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles and eight Light/White 2.5" squares, sew together four Flying Geese units as shown in the picture below.
 
indian puzzle 3

Step 4:

Pair up one Step 2 Flying Geese unit with one Step 3 Flying Geese unit as shown below.
indian puzzle 4

Step 5:

Sew the two units together and press the seam allowance toward the dark fabric as shown in the picture below. Repeat Steps 4 and 5 for a total of four Flying Geese Units.
indian puzzle 5

Corner Units:

Step 6:

Using the Light/White 3" squares and the Medium/Blue Floral 3" squares, sew together eight Half Square Triangles as shown in the picture below. Trim/square up the Half Square Triangle units to 2.5". You can find my tutorial for making a basic Half Square Triangle block at https://fabric406.com/blogs/fabric406-blog/how-to-sew-a-basic-half-square-triangle-block
indian puzzle 6

Step 7:

Lay out two of the Step 6 Half Square Triangle units, one Light/White 2.5" square, and one Medium/Blue Floral 2.5" square as shown in the picture below.
indian puzzle 7

Step 8:

Now you can sew the patches together just like a Four Patch block. First, sew them into two rows and press the seam allowances toward the Half Square Triangle units as shown in the picture below.
indian puzzle 8

Step 9:

Then sew the two rows together and press the seam allowance away from the Medium/Blue Floral fabric as shown below. Repeat Steps 7 through 9 for a total of four Corner units.
indian puzzle 9

Putting It All Together:

Step 10:

From here the Indian Puzzle block goes together just like a Nine Patch block. Lay out the Square in a Square unit, the Flying Geese units, and the Corner units as shown in the picture below.
indian puzzle 10

Step 11:

Sew the units together into three rows as shown below.
indian puzzle 11

Step 12:

And press the seam allowances toward the Flying Geese units.
indian puzzle 12

Step 13:

Sew the three rows together and...
indian puzzle 13

Step 14:

Press the seam allowances away from the center of the block as shown below. You're done!
indian puzzle 14

Color Options:

You can get an entirely different look just by changing up the colors of this block. Here are just a few of the possibilities that I put together.

This one is the block as I've shown in the tutorial. Now let's see what happens when you start changing up the colors!

quilt 1

This one is fun - all the dark fabrics are toward the center and create a star design, and the light fabrics outline the star. 

indian puzzle quilt 2

For this one I added in another color. All sorts of secondary designs start showing up!

quilt 3

Here's one with a border made of Hourglass blocks with Half Square Triangles in the corners.

quilt 4

And here's the block alternating with a simple chain block for another look:

quilt with chain block

Then you have all the possibilities of putting the block on point. Here's one example with the block alternating with an Hourglass block:

indian puzzle quilt on point

Conclusion:

I had fun putting this block together! The individual components aren't hard to sew and it makes an interesting block. I didn't have much trouble getting points to show nicely or having seams line up even though some of the intersections got quite bulky. It looks so different when the color placement and values are changed up. And look at what happened when it was alternated with a chain block and then put on point with an Hourglass block. You really should give this one a try!

I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial for the Indian Puzzle blockIf you liked this post and want to see more quilting tutorials like this, simply click here to sign up for my newsletter and also receive a free PDF quilt pattern called Chained Weathervane.

Happy Quilting!

Elaine

P.S. To print a PDF of this tutorial, check out the free app at https://www.printfriendly.com/. A reader and I tried it out and it worked great.

P.P.S. To figure out yardage for a quilt, check out this post: https://fabric406.com/blogs/fabric406-blog/how-much-fabric-do-i-need


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3 comments

  • This is such a lovely and versatile block, so fun to see the variations. I also appreciate that you show the back so as to see how it was pressed, very helpful. Thank you for the tutorials, I know it must take a lot of time!

    Nancy B on
  • Morning, thank you for sharing this block tutorial and many others. Your pictures and words make the complicated looking block easy for me to follow along. I hope you continue to share with us all

    Robin on
  • Beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

    Judy Polinski on

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