Simple Version of an Old Maid's Puzzle Quilt Block Pattern

  • 01 of 03

    Make Easy Old Maid's Puzzle Quilt Blocks

    Old Maid's Puzzle Quilt Block Pattern
    Old Maid's Puzzle Quilt Block. Janet Wickell

    Use my easy Old Maid's puzzle quilt block pattern to make one variation of this popular patchwork design. You'll find at least five other quilt blocks that are known by this name, but most are patchwork-heavy, with more nine patch sections divided to create sub-units.

    This Old Maid's Puzzle is assembled from six half-square triangle units and three plain squares. I've chosen triangle squares in scrappy fall shades against a neutral background. Change the fabrics to suit your needs.

    Finished Block Size: 12-inches Square

    Cutting Chart

    • Three fabrics in fall colors: cut one 4-7/8" x 4-7/8" square of each color
    • Neutral background fabric: cut three 4-1/2" x 4-1/2" squares; cut three 4-7/8" x 4-7/8" squares to pair with fall squares

    The 4-7/8" squares are all used to make half square triangle units. Alter cutting if you do not use the method explained on page 2. Some quilters like to cut the squares oversize and then trim them back to the correct unfinished size after assembly.

    Continue to 2 of 3 below.
  • 02 of 03

    Assemble the Simple Old Maid's Puzzle Quilt Block

    Quilt Block Pattern
    Assemble the Old Maid's Puzzle Quilt Block. © Janet Wickell

    Make Half-Square Triangle Units

    1. Pair a 4-7/8" fall colored square with a neutral background square of the same size. Use my quick pieced half square triangle method to construct two half-square triangle units from the pair.
    2. Each of the new units should measure 4-1/2" x 4-1/2".
    3. Repeat, making four more units by pairing each 4-7/8" colorful square with a background square. All units should measure 4-1/2" x 4-1/2".

    Sew the Old Maid's Puzzle Quilt Block

    1. Arrange the nine block components into three rows. Each row has three units in it as shown above.
    2. Use a quarter inch seam allowance to sew the components of each row together. Use straight pins to keep fabrics from shifting as you sew.
    3. Press to set the seams. This extra step helps improve accuracy.
    4. Press seam allowances towards the plain squares when possible.
    5. Sew the three rows together to complete the quilt block. It should measure 12-1/2" x 12-1/2" square.

    If you're sewing many blocks, use lots of different fall colors to make a scrap quilt. The dark triangles will resemble leaves falling from autumn trees.

    Continue to 3 of 3 below.
  • 03 of 03

    Layout for an Old Maid's Puzzle Quilt

    Old Maid's Puzzle Quilt Block Pattern
    Old Maid Puzzle Quilt Blocks - On-Point. © Janet Wickell

    Old Maid's Puzzle Layout Option

    Try placing the Old Maid's Puzzle quilt blocks on point, so that some of the triangle square units in the quilt blocks point to the left and right and the others point up and down. A secondary star-like design will emerge where quilt blocks are joined.

    There are lots of ways to arrange your quilt blocks. Try setting them side by side, all pointing the same way, or side by side but turning them around in different orientations.

    Sew plain setting squares (12-1/2" square) between blocks to make a large quilt more quickly, or alternate the blocks with a totally different quilt block that works with the design. The choice is yours.