Obviously I wouldn’t dream of suggesting that anyone amongst us might over indulge during the festive season, but I have been meaning to show you the drunkards path quilt block for a long time and it has finally made its way to the top of my list. Naturally I haven’t made the true drunkards path block because that involves complicated things like curved seams (in every block!) but I have made the false or faux drunkards path which is dead simple.
The quilt is 53″ by 62″ and I have used 1/2 yard each of eight different fabrics – four dark and four light – plus an additional 1/2 yard of one dark and one light fabric for the quilt border.
From each of the eight fabrics, cut one 10″ strip across the width of fabric and one 7″ strip across the width of fabric. These measurements were chosen so that the total requirement would be just 1/2 yard of each fabric and also so that you could cut four squares from each 10″ strip of fabric.
Making the drunkards path quilt block
Cut four 10″ squares from each 10″ strip of fabric and four 7″ squares from each 7″ strip of fabric. Mark and cut a circle on each 7″ square. I used a plate which more or less filled the square for marking. The size of the circle isn’t crucial but they do all need to be the same size as each other.
Fold the circles and the 10″ squares in half twice and press to mark the folds. This shows you the middle of each square (where the two folds cross each other).
Put a pin through the middle of a circle and then push it through the middle of a square so that you are placing the circle exactly in the middle of the square. Swivel the circle to match up the folds and pin the circle in place.
Zigzag the outer edge of the circle to attach it to the square. Use a medium zigzag – I set my stitch length to about 2 and the width to about 3.
Cut along both folds of the square to create four drunkards path quilt blocks from each square. Repeat with all the squares and circles – you should end up with eight different coloured blocks as you will have some with a light circle and dark surround along with some that have a dark circle and a light surround.
You’ll notice that you have two layers of fabric in the corner of each block – the circle fabric and the background square fabric. If you prefer you can trim the fabric underneath (pink in the photo) about 1/4″ from the zigzag seam. I prefer to leave the second layer in place as it gives a bit of body to the block and I find it makes it more easy to sew the blocks together.
Assembling the drunkards path quilt
For my layout of the drunkards path quilt I have used the design on the left in the middle and repeated it above and below. I have used a layout of twelve rows of ten blocks.
On the right you can see the first four rows. The top row is made up of a series of semi circles – one pointing up alternating with one pointing down and I have kept this pattern all round the edge of the drunkards path quilt.
On the left you can see the second four rows with the final four rows on the right. They are not quite the same as each other: on the left the bottom row has two semi circles pointing upwards on each side with a downward pointing semi circle in the middle, while on the right the bottom row has alternating upward and downward pointing semi circles.
I began by trying to do something clever with the colour placement but then realised that I was going to have a nervous breakdown if I tried to form a pattern with the light/dark semi circles and also with the colours, so colour placement is fairly random and the design is driven by whether the circles are dark on light or light on dark. Sew the drunkards path quilt blocks together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.
Border for the drunkards path quilt
For the border sew together a 2.1/2″ strip of a dark fabric and a light fabric. You will need to cut five lengths of each fabric to make up the border. Make two lengths of 45.1/2″ for the top and bottom of the quilt. I had eight drunkards path quilt blocks left over so I have used four of them for cornerstones. Trim 1/4″ all the way round these blocks to make them 4.1/2″ square. Make two lengths of 54.1/2″ of the border strips and sew one drunkards path cornerstone to the top and the bottom of both these strips. They can now be sewn to the sides of the quilt.
The drunkards path quilt is now complete and ready for layering, quilting and binding. Full details of these stages can be found in the beginner quilting section.
Here’s the video:
So it just remains for me to wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year. I hope you have a wonderful festive season and thank you so much for all your kind comments and support during 2013. I’m off to Birmingham now to meet my daughter off the train and my son will be coming home on Christmas Eve.
For next Friday I have nearly finished a quillow pattern for you.