top of page

Official Patchwork Rules

Patchwork is a charming two-player game where you compete to create the most beautiful and high-scoring quilt! Here's a breakdown of the rules:

Objective:  Be the player with the most buttons (the currency) and the most complete quilt at the end of the game.


  • Game board: A central board with a time track and spaces for your player pieces (time tokens) and buttons.

  • Player boards: Two individual boards where you'll build your quilts.

  • Patchwork tiles: A variety of colorful fabric patches with different shapes, sizes, and button costs.

  • Time token & buttons: Each player gets a time token and a starting number of buttons.


  1. Choose Sides:  Select which side of the central time track you'd like to play on (one side is slightly easier).

  2. Place the Board: Put the central board in the middle of the playing area.

  3. Prepare the Patches: Shuffle the patchwork tiles face down and place them in a circle around the time track, with a neutral marker indicating the starting point.

  4. Starting Buttons: Each player receives their player board, time token, and starting amount of buttons (usually 5).


The game is played in turns, with players taking turns performing one of these actions:

  • Buying a Patch: Select any of the three face-up patchwork tiles positioned clockwise from the neutral marker. Pay the button cost displayed on the patch and add it to your player board. You can place the patch anywhere on your board that doesn't overlap previously placed patches.

  • Pass: If you don't want to buy a patch, you can choose to pass. This allows you to move your time token forward on the time track the number of spaces indicated on the neutral marker patch (essentially skipping your turn but gaining buttons).

Time Track & Buttons:

As you move your time token along the time track, you'll encounter spaces with buttons. These represent the income you earn for each space you pass. Additionally, some patches you buy might grant you buttons as a bonus.

Special Rules:

  • Time Track Wrap-around:  If your time token reaches the end of the time track, it circles back to the beginning.

  • Button Debt:  If you don't have enough buttons to pay for a patch, you can't buy it. However, you can still pass and move your time token to gain buttons.

  • Empty Spaces:  Leaving empty spaces on your quilt board costs you points at the end of the game (two points for each empty space).

End of the Game:

The game ends when both player tokens reach the end of the time track for the second time (having circled the track twice).


  • Buttons:  The player with the most buttons remaining at the end of the game scores those buttons.

  • Completed Squares:  Each completed square on your quilt board scores one point.

  • Buttons Used:  Subtract two points for each empty space on your quilt board.


The player with the highest total score (sum of buttons, completed squares minus empty space penalties) wins the game and becomes the Patchwork champion!

Additional Notes:

  • Planning & Placement:  Carefully consider how you place your patches to maximize completed squares and minimize empty spaces.

  • Button Management:  While buying patches is important, don't neglect to use the "pass" option to gain buttons for future purchases.

Patchwork is a strategic game with a dash of luck. Enjoy the challenge of creating a beautiful and high-scoring quilt!

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see our disclosures here.

Browse Related Games!

bottom of page