Drunkard’s Path Block

ChristinaApril 13, 2009

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First things first: you need to decide how many fabrics you want to use. You’ll want at least two fabrics, but no more than 8 for a block like this. (You’ll see why I say a “block like this” at the end.)

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Directions

1. Choose your fabrics and cut to 7 1/2” square.

2. Stack all your fabrics, lining up all edges.

3. Lay your template on top of your fabric (print out here).

4. Cut around the curve.

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We now have two pieces, I will refer to them as the curved piece (that the one in the bottom left of the picture) and the concave piece (the top right of the photo).

5. Take the top two fabrics from the concave section and move them to the bottom of that stack.

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6. Lay your first curve and concave piece from the pile together. Repeat with your second, third and fourth pieces. You should have a combo similar to this. Your fabrics curve and concave pieces will be opposite each other in this placement.

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7. Find the center of your first curved and concave pieces and pin together at centers.

8. Pin the edges of your concave piece to the straight edge of your curved piece.

9. Repeat for the other side.

10. Continue pining your curves together. The way I go about doing this is to center a pin between my end pin and center pin and I do another pin half way between that pin and my end pin and so on and so forth until my curve is totally pinned down.

Make sure your fabric lays flat in the seam allowance, so as to avoid any puckers/pleating when sewing. This is generally referred to as easing in.

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11. Sew your seam, going slow and “easing” the fabric as needed to avoid puckers.

12. Clip your curve and press. Flip over and press the top, too.

13. Square up your block to approx. 6 1/2”

14. Gather all of your squared blocks and sew together in any random pattern you want. See yesterdays post for inspiration.

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Okay, so as a quick alternative to sewing curves the way I described…remember how I mentioned that Liz goes at it her own way (much like myself)? Well, when she pined her curved piece to the concave piece she pinned at the center and worked outward, keeping it as straight as possible as she went (meaning, no bunching fabric). This resulted in having a little left over on the concave piece, as you can see here. In the end, after squaring up, her piece was the same as the rest of us. So do what works for you. Remember that there is no right or wrong way, just easier and maybe more efficient.

Here’s a good link on sewing curves. And here’s a great block that Prickly Pear Bloom did just this last week (why you may want more fabrics). I love it, and I’m going to make a block like this for my quilt. …cause apparently I’m making two quilts since I’m doing one block to show and then another block to finish taking decent pictures. All of these photos were again at night and so are not the best quality. You’ll forgive me, right?

**Updated** Make sure to check out Amy’s posts on making this block as well.

Comments (13)

  • [email protected]

    April 13, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    Oh thank-you! I need curve practice, this is fantastic! I’ll be linking.

  • Lindsey

    April 14, 2009 at 1:07 am

    Oh, my, curves! I’m impressed. And, hey! I recognize some of that fabric. My cute cousin made me a great bag with it here: http://cecilykellen.blogspot.com/2009/01/brag-book.html
    And is some of that Heather Bailey fabric?
    So cute. I love it all.

  • Stasha

    April 14, 2009 at 7:09 am

    I just use fusible applique to put a circle in the middle of a block and quarter it. Much easier.

  • pricklypearbloom

    April 14, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    Thanks for linking me! I did it the same way as Liz, but as you said, one way is easier and more efficient for one person, and another for another person. :)

  • amandajean

    April 16, 2009 at 2:34 am

    thanks so much for your tutorial. i am SO going to try this!

  • Misty

    April 30, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    This is absolutely fabulous! I’ve been trying to find a modern quilt to make for my bedroom because my hubby is a mod-lover. This is PERFECT! I’ll be linking!

  • Z Family

    April 30, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    LOVE IT!! THanks so much!!

  • Kindred Crafters

    May 4, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    Christina, To cut the curve, do you just use a rotay cutter? I haven’t tried cutting curves – how does it work – what size cutter do you use? It looks smaller than mine.

    – donna

    1. Ellen

      February 1, 2016 at 9:29 pm

      I have found using a smaller (say 28 mm) rotary cutter works best with curves. The “regular” sized ones work okay but are not as precise.

  • Aimee

    May 14, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    Thank you for the tutorial! I made a block, and it was easier than I expected! Yeah!

  • Jenny Wren

    May 4, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    Where is the seam allowance on the curve? I don’t see how this could create a flat block.

  • Iris

    February 24, 2015 at 8:28 pm

    Here is a great video on sewing this type of block without using any pins. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CN91YJkpJR8

  • Curved Piecing Quilt Patterns to Inspire

    December 21, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    […] Drunkard’s Path quilt block. Christina Lane of The Sometimes Crafter shares a tutorial for the Drunkard’s Path quilt block, which gives a nice overview of curved quilt piecing using cutting templates and plenty of sewing […]

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