Drunkard’s Path….by any other name!

Hello everyone, especially to the team of fabulous Guild Ladies who are working with me on the PEIMQG Raffle Quilt for 2018.

This picto-toot sets out how to construct a variation of a traditional block (Drunkard’s Path) in a modern way. I am using the same tools as Cath from Wombat Quilts does in her excellent tutorial.  She also has way better photos…just saying.  Click right here because you should definitely visit her blog if you are planning to make a quilt featuring the Drunkard’s Path block in the near future.

This is a method to cut convex and concave curves using an EZ Curve (Circle Cut) Ruler rather than a template.  Then we sew these units together without any pins.  Yay!

This tutorial will make a 5 1/2″ unfinished Dancing Duo unit just like this one.

Things you need:

  • EZ Curve (Circle Cut) Ruler
  • Rotary Cutter (I used the 18mm blade for this, but your 45mm blade will work fine)
  • Cutting Mat
  • 8 1/2″ (or any size larger than 6 1/2″) Square Ruler for squaring everything up
  • 6 1/2″ square of background fabric
  • 5 1/2″ square of feature fabric 1
  • 3 1/2″ square of feature fabric 2
  • Iron and Pressing Surface

This is the EZ Curve or Circle Cut Ruler; its the tool we will be using to cut the Double Dancing units. It’s available at most online shops selling notions, and maybe at your local quilt shop.  If you want to buy one from Craftsy online, go here for further information.

IMG_5657 2.JPG This is sew easy, you will be laughing at your fears in just a few minutes. I TOTALLY PROMISE!

We are going to cut 1 background “L” shaped unit and 1 quarter circle unit at the same time. Place one 6 1/2″ background square and one 5 1/2″ feature fabric #1 square on the cutting mat, with the EZ Circle Ruler positioned as set out in the picture below. Please forgive the pictures, my dog sat on the ruler and broke it (but it still works, yay). Your new ruler will be much nicer.

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Place your rotary cutter in the 10″ groove and cut out around the Arc.

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Ta Da, 1 background unit and one quarter circle unit
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Save the scraps for another project.

Next we must trim the background “L” unit to finish preparing it for sewing.

Place the background square on the cutting board with your square ruler on top.  Cut 3/8″ off both ends of the “L” shaped background piece.

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Now lets sew the unit together.  Place the L shape and the quarter circle piece right sides together as shown in the picture below. It works best for me if I place the quarter circle on top.

Put the machine needle down into the fabric and take a stitch or two.  Using a scant 1/4″  seam, sew slowly around the curve, maneuvering the bottom piece just enough without stretching it  to allow it to feed under the needle in a straight line. I lift the top fabric to allow me to see where the bottom fabric is relative to the edge of my presser foot.  This provides just enough tension to allow the curve to go smoothly under the needle. Don’t panic when you get down to the last couple inches.  I know it doesn’t look like there is enough fabric to make it around the curve. Just. Trust. Me.  There is enough and it will work out.  I sometimes use a tweezer to help encourage everything to stay put as the last little bit goes under the needle.

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After sewing the seam, press it from the back — toward the feature fabric.  It may be a tiny bit wonky, but no problem because now you get to trim it to 6″.

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Square up and ta-da you are finished with the first Arc.

If you only want one Arc, you’re done.  And its a beautiful thing.  However…. for the Dancing Duo unit that our Guild is making we are putting another Arc into this unit….Yup we are.  Do not panic, there is nothing new to learn now.  You follow exactly the same steps you just took to put in the first Arc.

Lets do it again (with a few less photos, because really you know what’s happening now…right?

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Line the ruler and fabric up again on the fold line and the centre line.  This time, place your rotary cutter in the 6″ groove and cut out another arc.

Put the cut out piece aside, because you will be using it again later.  Take a second now, to cut another arc using the 3 1/2″ square of feature fabric #2. Rotary cut this one in the 6″ groove also.

Just like with the first arc we have to cut 3/8″ off each end of the “L” shape, (no picture, but it’s exactly the same process as when you cut it earlier).

Next we sew the second arc into the unit.  Referring to the photos and instructions from the first part of the tutorial, take the fabric #2 arc and the “L” shaped piece over to the sewing machine, again carefully align the two pieces (same as before)  and using a scant 1/4″ seam and a slow speed, stitch around the curve.

Press towards the second feature fabric, and then you can square this unit up to 5 1/2″.

Now you can do the dance of joy, or give yourself a great big round of applause….and perhaps a glass of merlot and a big old chunk of expensive chocolate, because you just rocked a double drunkard’s path unit…and you did it with no pins, no pain and (hopefully) no profanity.

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