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How to Make Flying Dutchman Quilt Blocks
Flying Dutchman quilt block patterns are perfect for quilters who love to make flying geese patchwork . This pinwheel-like design is also called the Windmill quilt block and the Dutchman's Puzzle quilt block.
It's Easy to Assemble the Flying Geese for This Quilt Block
Each Flying Dutchman quilt block is assembled with eight Flying Geese units. The patchwork can be quick pieced in a couple of different ways -- one by sewing small squares diagonally to the ends of triangles and then trimming... along the diagonal, and the other by sewing small squares to a larger square.
The method that uses squares sewn to the ends of rectangles with a diagonal seam does result in a small amount of fabric waste but is the perfect technique to use if you like to create a scrap quilt by sewing with small leftover pieces of fabric.
An alternative technique is usually called the no-waste Flying Geese method. Four small squares are sewn to one larger square to produce four Flying Geese.
Both methods are easy to use and result in accurate patchwork.
Finished block size: 12" x 12"
Choosing Fabrics for Your Quilt Blocks
This pattern was used in a past quilting forum block exchange. Use the fabrics suggested if you wish, but don't hesitate to alter any of the suggestions to suit your own needs.
Flying Dutchman Quilt Block Cutting Chart
Cutting assumes you will use the method where small squares are sewn to the ends of rectangles.
- White on White Fabric (WoW): (16) 3-1/2" x 3-1/2" squares (the squares will become the small triangles at the side edges of geese)
- Bright Fabric #1: four 3-1/2" x 6-1/2" rectangles
- Bright Fabric #2: four 3-1/2" x 6-1/2" rectangles
Fabric Selection Tips:
- Choose two bright fabrics that are different from one another, but work nicely together.
- Create contrast between the two fabrics in different ways by altering color, scale, design, or a combination of those characteristics.
- Don't worry too much about the color value (contrast) of fabrics.
Examples of Flying Geese Color Combos
Continue to 2 of 2 below.
- Example 1: If you choose one fabric that is a larger scale multicolor print, try a second that's a tone-on-tone or small scale print. Try to avoid very large scale prints that could look very different from one area to the other when cut apart to sew in the block.
- Example 2: pull out a bright, busy novelty print from your stash for the rectangle and combine it with something less busy. Fabrics should compliment each other, not compete for attention.
- Example 3: Try combining a bright floral tone-on-tone with a geometric fabric in a similar color
- Example 4: Combine two fabrics with similar scale and design characteristics, but in contrasting colors -- such as a bright lime and a bright aqua.
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Make the 12-Inch Flying Dutchman Quilt Block
Sew the Flying Geese
Cutting and assembly instructions differ if you choose another technique to assemble the Flying Geese.
Assemble a Flying Dutchman Quilt Block
- Pair each bright rectangle with two WoW squares. White on White is actually just a tone-on-tone created with white fabric.
- Sew a square to each end of a rectangle to create a geese unit. Sizes and colors differ in this pattern, but my standard Flying Geese instructions explain how to position the squares.
- Repeat, sewing a square to each end... of the remaining four bright rectangles.
- Press to set the seams. Cut through both layers at each end, leaving about a quarter inch seam allowance beyond each diagonal seam.
- Press seam allowances in either direction.
- Repeat to make four more geese with a different rectangular fabric.
- Sew two different flying geese units together, as shown in the photo, placing the unit you wish to be on the outer edge of the block on top. Press the seam allowance either direction.
- Sew two of the new units together, placing one on the left with the center points of bright prints pointing upwards, and one on the right with the center points of bright prints pointing right. Repeat to make a second identical unit.
- Press new seam allowances towards the long edge of the bright triangle that points to the right.
- Sew the two new patchwork units together, as shown, taking care to align them so that points of geese spin in a clockwise direction. Press. The quilt block should measure 12-1/2" x 12-1/2".