Drunkard’s Path QAL – Planning Your Quilt

Ok, sorry for the not-so-short break in QAL posts…

This week we are discussing cutting and piecing methods and going over fabric requirements!

This is probably one of the very best tutorials I have seen for making a quilt using the basic Drunkard’s path block. In fact, this tutorial probably makes any other instruction we can give you obsolete and redundant. Though, I did prefer pressing all of my seams toward the outer circle of my blocks instead of alternating. But we are also going to show you other methods you can use for cutting and stitching your blocks.
AmandaJean’s (Crazy Mom’s) Running in Circles Tutorial
http://crazymomquilts.blogspot.com/2011/06/running-in-circles-tutorial.html

Cutting Methods
There are several methods you can use to cut out your Drunkard’s path blocks. You can use a plastic template set, like in AmandaJean’s tutorial, you can use a Sizzix or AccuQuilt Go! cutter, or you could even make your blocks as full circles and then cut them into quarters, making 4 DP blocks at one time, as explained in this blog post tutorial. (http://sewnomadic.blogspot.com/2013/02/semi-simple-drunkards-path.html)

We have had offers from a couple guild members to help out with cutting:
Jamie has offered up use of her Accuquilt Go! and has dies for 7” and 3 1/2” finished size drunkards blocks. She is willing to bring her Go! to one of our meetings for others to use. There would be a small fee ($5-$10 depending on how many passes you need to make).
Kirsten’s husband has a laser cutter, and is willing to cut out templates. That would also include a small fee to cover the cost of the acrylic, approximately $10, but will depend on size of template.

Fabric Requirements
Each method of cutting will have different fabric requirements. We have used a plastic template set to cut the blocks for our quilts. We will be giving fabric requirements and instructions for this specific quilt:

Kirsten’s quilt has 6” finished size blocks, and the quilt finishes at 48” x 60”. To make this quilt, you will need:
1 3/4 yards of the outer curve fabric (navy). Kirsten used 10 different fabrics, with 6 1/2” x width of material cuts of each fabric.
1 1/2 yards of the inner curve fabric (pink). Kirsten used 10 different fabrics, with 5 1/4” x width of material cuts of each fabric.

If you want to use a different method, or want a different size, etc,  you will have to plan for different fabric requirements. If you are new to all of this or just need some help figuring out your fabric, shoot us an email and we will help you out. Kirsten is really good at this part 🙂

Piecing Methods
While we could try to shoot a video with one of us piecing the blocks, there would probably be more giggling and kids screaming in the background than an actual informative video, so I did some searching around and found some tutorials and videos to help you decide which method to use and how to use them.
This is a link to a blog post about curved piecing. Near the end of the post, there’s a great tip for sewing curves. It’s not specifically for Drunkard’s Path blocks, but could definitely be adapted for sewing your DP blocks. To adapt for our purposes, you would cut a paper the size/shape of your quarter circle half of your plastic template set to use in place of the paper pattern piece she uses in the blog post. Then draw a line 1/4″ from the curved edge of the paper pattern to stitch. This would be a little fussy to set up because you can’t just lay down a straight ruler on a curved edge to get the line 1/4″ from the edge of the paper, but it is do-able and might help if you don’t have much experience with sewing curves. This would also be most useful if you are pinning your pieces together pretty thoroughly before you stitch.
http://whatahootquilts.blogspot.com/2012/02/februarys-newfo-wipn-along-and-tip-for.html

This is another blog post for curved piecing and is specifically using a Drunkard’s Path block. It includes a video that I think is pretty good and it’s pretty short, a little over 3 minutes. This is the method of piecing that I have primarily used for my blocks.
http://kateconklindesigns.blogspot.com/2012/08/piecing-curves-without-pins-video.html

Video for using Curve Master. I haven’t ever used a Curve Master but I do have one. Sadly, I don’t have the shank extension required for my newer machine…yet.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iso3C-G0Q_8

Another video for piecing curves, not using pins. This video is a little long, 13 minutes, but has great information.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTOGt4cRdJE

Another video showing cutting with an AccuQuilt Go! cutter and piecing with a CurveMaster foot. This isn’t my favorite video, but it demo’s the AccuQuilt Go! cutter, which is a cutting method you  might choose. And it also shows how fast the Curve Master can be for piecing. And it’s a really short video, about 3 minutes.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jP8CpP0gmqE

Where the pieces in the videos show little notches or arrows on the cut pieces, those pieces have most likely been cut using a die cutting tool like a AccuQuilt Go! cutter. If you don’t use one of those tools to cut your pieces, but you still want the notches, to show your centers, you can fold your pieces and mark with a tiny snip, mark with a marking pen of your preference, or just fold and pinch to create a little crease to mark your center.

So, now you have some (more) decisions to make and possibly some accessories to purchase. Templates, AccuQuilt Go!, Sizzix, Curve Master.
Get your fabric and tools ready! Next week we start cutting!

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