Exploring the Basics Series

Exploring the Basics: Old Maid's Puzzle

ETB Old Maids Puzzle Block Badge

The designer block challenge this month was the traditional Old Maid's Puzzle.  Are you familiar with it?  It is made up of two sets of blocks: a simple block, Goose Chase (a small HST unit in the corner of a large HST) and a simple four patch made up of two squares and two HST.


Screen Shot 2022-09-25 at 8.14.26 PM

Old Maid's Puzzle looks like this (the block above).  Easy, simple, appealing and versatile.  Why do I say that?  So glad you asked!

Old Maids Puzzle Quilt 1

Here is one option - twenty of the Old Maid's Puzzle blocks all set in the same direction.  Isn't it fun how they look like stretched stars?

Old Maids Puzzle Quilt 2

And look what happens if you alternative every other block - large stars within stars!  Ah....so simple and yet so dynamic!  But that's the block as it is drafted. 

The challenge is to reimagine the block.  And so I did.  Here's how the process went - in my head:

  • Old Maid's Puzzle = puzzle
  • What happens when you are putting a puzzle together, and someone bumps the table?
  • Puzzle pieces everywhere.  Puzzle chaos.  Puzzle salad.
  • What would THAT chaos and turnover look like?

Old Maids Puzzle Remix

Here's what I think that might look like - puzzle pieces over and under each other, out of place and slightly ajar.  I tried to keep just enough of the original layout to suggest it, while giving the block a fresh new look.

If you are Instagram, check out all of the different versions of Old Maid's Puzzle.  Search #OldMaidsPuzzleblockchallenge to see all of the designer results!

Head over to Kate's blog to see her insights into the Old Maid's Puzzle block too!  Click here: Kate's Blog Post

Hey - before you go, I wanted to let you know that the next free Mystery Quilt Block Challenge starts October 6th.  Sign up and get all of the details for this free, fun month long challenge!  Because October is a heavy travel month, please sign up BEFORE October 6th to be sure to get all of the clues!

In a nutshell - I tell you how many fabrics you need and how much, then give you "clues" (instructions) on how to make units, and the final "clue" is how to put the Mystery Block together.  We had fun in June with the Mosaic block, and July's block is something completely different.  Come join the fun and click below to sign up!

Click Here to enroll


Like what you see here, and want to hear more from Tamarinis? (psst.....I have an Instagram hop coming soon, with PRIZES - I know!)

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Disclaimer Statement: This blog is my personal blog, which means it is written and edited by me - and I may sometimes have guest posts (and they will be written/edited by the guest poster - whew!). This blog does accept forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation, which may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in the blog. That content, advertising space or post may not always be identified as paid or sponsored content. Sometimes I (the blog owner) may be compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. Please be aware that, even though I may be asked to provide opinions, posts or reviews, I do always give my honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question. This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.
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