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My grandmother turned 90 this year, and this amazing jigsaw puzzle quilt was my gift to her!
Not only does she love puzzles, but she and my mom are my two companions when I go to quilt shows. So, a puzzle quilt was the perfect gift idea.
I created the design in Electric Quilt 8 software and used my AccuQuilt Go! to cut every single piece. I finished up using my embroidery machine to continuous quilt a puzzle design.
I’m so please with how it turned out, and my grandmother loved it!
Want to create your own? Keep reading to grab my free jigsaw puzzle quilt pattern and the sewing tutorial.
Pattern Fabric Required + Other Supplies
I used three solid fabric colors and then five different patterned fabrics. You can customize the pattern however you desire, though.
The print fabrics were from two identical Fat Quarter bundles I splurge-purchased from JOANN.
The solids were broadcloth rather than quilting cotton because the colors just worked better, and I had so much in my stash. (Meh quality, unfortunately, but it did the trick.)
I used a little over 1 1/2 yards of 60″ wide white quilting cotton for the quilt backing. It’s the same fabric I used for the binding.
For batting, I used 80/20 cotton/poly batting. This is my favorite type; my embroidery machine loves it, and it gives the perfect feel and look to my finished quilts.
AccuQuilt Go! Dies Used (And Piece Sizes for Non-AccuQuilt Users)
I have the 8″ AccuQuilt Qube and the accessories sets and picked my quilt dimensions with that in mind.
If you don’t have an AccuQuilt and are an avid quilter who hates cutting (me, me!), I definitely recommend my AccuQuilt Go!
This pattern took 3 AccuQuilt dies:
- 4″ finished square (#1 in 8″ Qube Mix & Match Block Set, or you can get it by itself)
- 1″ finished square half-square triangles (#12.1 in 8″ Qube Companion Set-Corners or get it by itself)
- 2 1/2″ strip cutter for binding
Here are pictures of the die boxes for reference. As mentioned, dies 1 and 12.1. (Strip cutter not shown.)
If you aren’t using an AccuQuilt, make sure to factor in seam allowances.
So, cut your squares to be 4.5,” and add 1/4″ to each of the HSTs; you can cut the dog ears off your corners, too, if you’d like.
Free Jigsaw Puzzle Quilt Pattern & Layout
Above is the EQ8 pattern I designed to show the general layout. Obviously, the colors are ridiculous, but I needed to see how they would all fit together when designing. (If you want to use scrap fabric pieces, though, you could do each puzzle piece in a different color, and it might look fun!)
As mentioned earlier, each block is a 12″ square block composed of nine 4″ squares. Thus, the finished dimensions of the quilt before binding or adding any borders are 48″x48″. You can add more blocks as needed to make a larger quilt.
Here’s what each puzzle quilt block looks like up close with dimensions to help you understand the pattern better.
And, here’s a rendered version using color. The blocks next to this square quilt block are the same but rotated 90 degrees.
How to Sew a Puzzle Quilt
Here’s a brief tutorial of how I constructed my jigsaw puzzle quilt! Let me know if anything is unclear.
Also, the cutting process took one evening, the piecing process took another, and the quilting part took one more. Quick, easy, and fun to make!
1. Cut Pieces
First, cut all quilt pieces needed in the fabrics you’ve selected. I used my AccuQuilt to do all of this for me (while watching Hallmark movies!)
2. Layout Fabric Pieces
Next, I used my craft room floor to lay out the block pieces and visualize color combinations.
3. Sew HSTs on Squares
To make my assembly line piecing go faster later on, I next sewed the 1″ HSTs on the corners of the squares using a 1/4″ seam allowance.
Thanks to the HST die having dog-eared corners, this was so easy to line up without measuring and marking my squares.
Sew with right sides together as shown, clip the excess fabric from the square, and press the HST back where the clipped fabric used to be.
4. Sew Row By Row
I thought I might sew block by block (each block being nine squares), but that got tricky with the color combinations.
Instead, I recommend sewing row by row using a 1/4″ seam allowance.
After each row, press seams as desired. (Sometimes I press open, but because my yellow fabric was sheerer than I liked, I pressed to the sides to avoid show-through when possible.)
4. Sew Rows Together
Next, sew the rows together using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Press seams.
5. Prepare the Quilt Sandwich
Now, the quilt top is done! Give it a final press, if needed, and prepare the quilt sandwich.
The quilt sandwich will be the backing fabric with the right side on the floor, the layer of batting, and then the quilt top with the right side facing up.
Since I was embroidering the top, I needed the two other layers to be much larger than the quilt top itself to help with securely hooping sides and corners.
I usually use curved safety pins for basting the sandwich when I free-motion quilt, but I prefer temporary fabric adhesive spray (like Odif 505) when using my embroidery machine.
6. Quilt the Top
Finish the quilt with your preferred method (free-motion quilting with your sewing machine, long-arm quilting, sewing straight lines, embroidering, etc.)
I used a puzzle machine embroidery design for quilting my sandwich.
Machine embroidering quilts provides a much better result for me and hurts less than free-motion quilting (even when I use my library’s longarm machine). And, it takes less time, too! (I recommend the biggest magnetic hoop available for your machine if quilting with this method.)
7. Square Up and Add Binding
After quilting the top, make sure that your quilt is still actually square and won’t look ridiculous when folded. Cut off any excess batting and backing fabric also.
Then, create the binding! I sew my bindings 100% with my sewing machine and use my walking foot (or the MuVit foot on my Luminaire XP2.)
8. Add Quilt Label
No quilt to be gifted is complete without a label, so add one using your preferred method!
Mine was made with EQ8 and printed on fusible, printable fabric sheets. I cut the fabric quilt label with my Cricut Maker to make sure it was perfect.
Easy Jigsaw Puzzle Quilt Tutorial – Final Notes
This puzzle quilt involved no applique, was cut 100% with my AccuQuilt, and could easily be completed in a weekend.
My grandmother loved her quilt, and I hope you enjoyed this jigsaw quilt pattern and tutorial! Free quilt patterns are always fun to find, right?!