Old Maid’s Puzzle quilt block

Old Maids Puzzle Quilt Block

This quilt block is called Old Maid’s Puzzle, though also more recently known as the Bachelorette. It is block number 21 from issue 23 ‘Art of Quilting’. 

This is the first of my blocks, so far that incorporate a classic ‘bow’ effect, formed by the points of paired triangles touching centrally.

Though there are lots of pieces, there are no inset seams and so it was pretty straightforward. The only problem I encountered was the triangle points being drawn down into the feed dog a couple of times. I have had this issue before. Not sure how to stop it happening but it seems to happen most if I reinforce the stitch at the beginning. It kind of gets chewed up.

In a nutshell: the pink dotty and white triangles are joined along their diagonals, as are the pomegranate and lime gingham triangles. They are ‘chained’ to make 6  squares. After clipping apart they are given a good pressing. The white squares are seamed alongside the pink dotty sides of the made up squares. Then the rectangles are paired to make ‘bows’. The remaining white triangle pieces are sewn to the pomegranate and lime gingham squares to form a larger triangle and then this triangle is seamed to the larger green paisley triangle. Finally the 4 larger blocks are joined together and the final central seam pressed open.

As with most of the blocks, I’m sure they will work much better when they are in position but I do think this one is one of the more interesting ones. A bit wonky on the edges but I’m sure I can cheat that when I come to do the edging!

Block Facts:

Name: Old Maid’s Puzzle or Bachelorette
History: This block features in 19th century Amish quilts
Level: Some experience needed to create neat joins where the triangles meet
No. of pieces: 22

Progress report:

Block 1: The Double Four Patch
Block 2: The Whirlwind
Block 3: The Sailboat
Block 4: The Shoo-fly
Block 5: The Trafalgar
Block 6: The Windmill
Block 7: The Chequer Square
Block 8: The Diamond Square
Block 9: The Cactus Pot
Block 10: The Sawtooth Star
Block 11: To come!
Block 12: The Windmill Sails block
Block 13: The Basket of Flowers block
Block 14: Susannah
Block 15: Road to Oklhahoma
Block 16: Chequer Star
Block 17: Nelson’s Victory
Block 18: Fair and Square
Block 19: Diamond Pinwheel
Block 20: Whirligig
Block 21: Old Maid’s Puzzle

9 Replies to “Old Maid’s Puzzle quilt block”

  1. Oh, Ooobop! This is so inspiring. I’m starting my first quilt tomorrow (Christmas pressie for my mom, if it ever gets there on time!)

    1. Great weekend plan. I always forget how little time I have left this time of year and always tell myself ‘next year I will start sooner’. I never think of that till its too late!!

      1. Oh my god yes. I think I’ve left if much too late, but my mum’s birthday is in February, so if all else fails it’s a combo birthday/christmas gift!

  2. Dear ooobop, I alway enjoy your posts. Today i want to comment as i saw your post of the eaten triangles. I alway start stitching on a scrap of material. Next without lifting the presserfoot you stitch your triangel. Less chance that its got eaten and you use less thread.
    Greatings from Holland. Jacq

    1. Thank you soooo much Jacqueline. Such a simple and effective solution! It is always the first one in the chain that is the problem so that would work perfectly! 🙂

  3. I am making the same quilt you have done but have a problem now I am sashing I have done all the instructions that the magazine from the art of quilting if you can help me please email me at chris52@exemail.com.au thank you you’res sincerly Christina

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