A Puzzle Tutorial

While out and about on the last three quilt related outings, I kept coming across a very colorful fabric panel with Mario from Mario Kart.  This last time, I finally found it bargained priced at Missouri Star Quilt Co.  Then, what to do with a panel.  There are oodles of fabric panels out there and when I see them I cannot quite figure out how to incorporate their loveliness into a quilt.  So, I started brainstorming.  And then it hit me while one of my children was putting a puzzle together at the kitchen table.  I could quilt the panel and make a floor puzzle out of it!

So I quilted Mario to some retired Moda fabric that was in my stash.  I decided since this was going to be cut up, I would tryout feathers in FMQing.  Feathers are not as hard as they look and this is my first go round with that technique.  (Thanks to youtube tutorials, I saw they did not have to be symmetrical or perfect to be feathers.)


I also chose not to bind it as it would be cut up and in the small hands of a child, so I just blanket stitched or applique stitched around the raw edge.  My original plan was to do this on all the raw edges, but I was afraid I would run out of the discontinued thread as this stitch is a major thread dump.

Next I determined my approximate sized pieces.  I decided to go with 5 inches since this would be easy for my scissors and for a small child to manage.  I began the puzzle process by coming 5 inches from one raw edge and marking that with chalk and proceeded to determine the intersecting square points to keep the pieces relatively square.  If you have ever done a springbok puzzle you know sometimes puzzle pieces are not square, so this effort is a little forgiving.ROW1You can faintly see my chalk lines above to make the puzzle pieces approximately squarish.  At this point I determined the applique stitching was going to cause me to run out of thread so I just straight stitched the length of the row at the raw edge.  I did this for all rows on both sides.  The row above happens to be an edge side so only one side was needed for stitching.  Now as a reflection if you quilted your panel well enough you could probably skip the stitching completely.  That would be for you to decide how you finish your edges.

After each row was cut I chained pieced with stitching if this makes any sense.  This way I would not have to think about putting the puzzle together when I was done.  This was an orderly way of doing it, but it ultimately is your choice.


Here are the rows stitched and put back into order.  Next was to make the perpendicular cuts for each puzzle piece.  I used my grid lines and at approximately 5 inches started cutting my row perpendicular to the rows I had just stitched.  The reason I did it this way was to make my puzzle pieces intersect equally, but you could make this as easy or difficult as you wish.CHAINSTITCHING

Now all my pieces were stitched and in a messed up pile, or were they?PUZZLEPILENow all they needed were a few scissor snips and placed back together.PUZZLESTACK.JPGALLTOGETHEROddly enough, I noticed because I chose to back this with other fabric you could do a different puzzle on the back and then it becomes 2 puzzles in one.  This may be a little more complicated for a young child.  But with a little bit of help, they will push through.

2PUZZLESINONEOne is the front side and one is the back side.  This project may take you a couple of afternoons.  I quilted this in a few hours one day, had another project to finish so I set this aside and the puzzle part took me around 2 1/2 hours to pull off on a different day.  It would have taken longer if I used the applique stitch as this is a slow process for my machine and the back and forth.  This was fun and I will probably find a really neat deer panel or floral panel and do a two sided panel puzzle.

The content of this post is copy-write.  If you pin this content via pinterest or other social media make sure to link to my site and give credit to me as I am the sole designer of this panel puzzle.  I hope you have enjoyed this read.  Now onto some UFO work so I can move onto other projects.

Please visit my other blog The CookBook Project.



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