Saturday 15 October 2011

How I Sew A Drunkard's Path

Seeing as how I seem to be on a bit of a Drunkard's Path roll of late, I have had a couple of people ask me how I piece them. I use the method, as I understood it, that came in the instructions with the die from Accuquilt. Whether I have interpreted it correctly is up to discussion, but this is what works for me.

Place the quarter circle upon the larger piece,
lining up the right hand corners and the little notch at the top evenly.
Carefully flip both pieces over, maintaining the alignment,
and pin them together at the notch.
Twist the two pieces until you have the two top corners of the curve matched up.
Secure with a pin.
With your sewing machine set for the needle down position,
stitch about three stitches and then raise the presser foot and remove the first pin.
Using your fingers to keep the two fabric edges in line, sew until the next pin.
You may feel your are pulling the fabric quite a bit but if the fabric edges stay aligned you should be okay.
Sew until you reach the pin you placed by the central notch.
Stop and remove that pin.
Place a pin at the bottom corner, twisting the fabric to make it meet evenly.
Continue sewing to bottom edge,
again using your fingers to keep those fabric edges together.
This is how mine looks once pieced.
Press seams to one side so that the inner quarter circle is flat, as above.
Ignore the world's ugliest ironing board cover!
I find that the pulling of the fabric while you are sewing can cause the block to distort slightly on the inner circle corner.
Trim back into a square now.
If you wish to sew four blocks so that the quarter circles form a whole circle,
pin your pieces, matching up the seams.
After piecing.
It is best to press these seams open.
Finished circle.
Not perfect but it lies flat and I am happy with it.
Many apologies to my Brit Bee buddies who I made sew these curves without ever having reached a level of competence on my own first. I jumped in the deep end of curved piecing along with the rest of you. If the above helps anyone then it was well worth it. It works for me because I have just sewed twenty blocks without having to pick out the stitches and resew any of them.

Is anyone else in the UK suffering from incredibly slow broadband?! It has just taken me an absolute age to write this post. Many of the photos took several attempts to upload. But now it is done, it's Saturday evening and it is time to relax. I do hope you are enjoying your weekend and you have a box of Cadbury's chocolate fingers to nibble on too!



  1. Great tutorial and I love the fabrics you're sewing with!! Enjoy your chocolate fingers - there aren't any in my house (too dangerous!) but I do have a chocolate bar in my fridge that's calling my name!!

  2. You make it sound so easy - lovely photo tut! I have slow broadband all the time - paying for 20 MB and receiving 0.5 MB!! Ho hum! Enjoy your choc fingers!

  3. Great tute and beautifully pieced...if I can summon up the energy to cut out my fabric, I`ll be using this.

  4. great tutorial looks fab ,while looking i thought it is not going to fit but it did and brilliantly clever you :))

  5. Arghhhhhhhhhhhh curves! Run for the hills!

    I've bookmarked your show and tell in case I ever want to sew curves...although I've successfully managed to avoid them until now.

    Chocolate for breakfast is sounding good now. Darn ...

  6. I'm a flipper, but I don't have Go! notches. Only here does that make sense.

  7. This is so fantastic. As you know, I have a mini-pile of DP blocks waiting for me to stitch! Thank you xx

  8. Drunkard's Path is my favorite quilt EVER. I have been wanting to make one for over thirty years now. I just got my DP Go baby die last week. I am ready to master it one curve at a time. Thank you so much for the tute! Instructions with the dies??? Hmmmm, there's a concept. I haven't tried sewing any since I got it and now I can wait. You made it look so easy. I signed up for the DP quiltalong. I better get cutting. Thanks again!

  9. Thanks Susan, curved piecing is next on my hitlist of firsts to attempt and hopefully this will help me!
    My broadband is not just slow but keeps going off, its darned annoying!

  10. Dp magic! Well don on the tutorial - may just have to try some myself!

    Chocolate fingers, toes whatever - I'll eat them...!

  11. Now she tells us! I liked doing these, but I just can't imagine cutting those curves by hand!

  12. You make it easy to sew.Thanks for sharing.
    I don´t like sew curves piece.

  13. Great tute. If you don't have GO notches you can cut tiny notches into the seam allowance for matching and it also helps to ease the fullness when piecing together.

  14. Ooh, those look fab! I've had Kaspersky v Blogger pic issues, but my broadband is thankfully at normal speed (to show me they aren't playing nicely together!)

  15. You must be drunk as a skunk by now, you've done so many drunkard's paths! They do look lovely though! Jxo

  16. Thank you so much for that. You do however make it look so easy. I will have a go - maybe my girlie Pips quilt?

  17. Thank you so much for that. You do however make it look so easy. I will have a go - maybe my girlie Pips quilt?

  18. That's exactly how I ended up doing them! :) and without Go Notches, you can fold the pieces in half and put a small crease in to mark the centre points, works just as well :)

  19. Great tute! Possibly would have been more helpful at the beginning of september, lol. My blocks might have been vaguely okay, as opposed to only just passable!

  20. fab tutorial!!! I can't believe how good these are! I am envious of your curved piecing abilities.
    Love Collette x


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