2 October 2017

A Little Happy Tutorial ~ Drunkard's Path Block

Morning everyone, I hope that you all had a super weekend.  This week our first parcels full of loveliness go out to our 'Potager Medallion Quilt' Block of the Month members.  I don't think it will be a big surprise to find that the first part of the quilt that they will be making is the background centre section comprising of the Drunkard's Path blocks.  They're really lovely, but I am sure some people are feeling a little nervous about tackling those curves....so I thought it would be useful to share how I like to stitch my Drunkard's Path Blocks. 

Each Drunkards Path block is made up of two parts as shown below.  Our BOM members will be receiving these on a sheet of A4 paper.  These templates include a 1/4" seam allowance.  What I like to do for all my templates in true 'Blue Peter' fashion is to glue them on to some cereal box card to help preserve them!

I then drew around each of the templates on to the fabric.  I use a Frixion Marker for this.  For the purpose of this example and also on the Potager Quilt,  I chose a lighter 'low volume' for template one and a darker shade for template two.

I them carefully cut out the shapes along the drawn lines.  I'm all for batch cutting, but accuracy is required for this step, so I cut them all individually.

Then with RST folded each of the pieces in half, as shown on the diagram below, and finger creased the fold.

Using the fold line as a guide, with RST pinned the two pieces together along the curved edge.

I popped a second pin in matching the upper edges....

..and a third pin in matching the bottom edges.

I then added a couple more pins in the gaps. I found 5 pins worked absolutely fine, but feel free to add more should you wish.

With a 1/4" seam allowance set on my sewing machine and with the speed turned to slow, I then carefully started stitching the seam...remember to remove the pin as you approach them.  I once didn't bother and tried to stitch over the pin... but my needle hit the pin, which resulted in the pin bending in half and ramming itself in to the bobbin case, causing all sorts of damage to my machine....be warned!

Slowly keep sewing along the curved edge until you reach the end....keep the last pin in until literally the last moment!

You'll find that there maybe creases in the Template One background fabric, these will press out, as will the finger pressed fold line...but can you see how it lines up...good isn't it!

For our BOM members the Drunkard's Path block will finish at the required size of 6 1/2", but may just need a teeny bit of trimming to size....

I press my seam toward the Quarter Circle (Template Two).

Things to consider..........If you are using directional prints, you may wish to rotate the template so that it is sitting in the position as per the finished block on your quilt, see the example below....

Troubleshooting........ obviously it doesn't always go to plan, perhaps those creases shown earlier have actually caused a little pleats in your seam, or maybe you 1/4" seam allowance has gone array as below......

Don't panic, simply unpick the small area where there is an issue, pop in some pins and re sew, maintaining a 1/4" seam.

When it comes to joining blocks, to keep a nice curve from one block to the next.....

.....I like to match the two sewn curved seams first (see below) rather than say the top and bottom edges of the blocks.  Then with RST sew the blocks together again with a 1/4" seam allowance.

Also to help reduce bulk, I press my seams open.....

The fun thing with Drunkards Path block is in deciding how to join them together...for this little example block, I went for a full circle, but there simply are I SO many options.   I really want to make more of these blocks and make a quilt....but first I must tick off some of my other works in progress...who knew I could show some self control!

I hope that you have found this useful, as always if you have any questions, please do get in touch and I will do all that I can to help!

Happy Stitches!


  1. Received my first block yesterday ... such beautiful fabrics. I am a little nervous about starting with curves but hoping the little tutorial will help !

    Thank you for such a speedy service!


  2. Me too...I am not an experienced in sewing at all... But I loved the design , Thank you for tutorial I'm so nervous to make the first cut of such Beautiful fabric... I will keep checking back for future tips...May x


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