Thursday, June 19, 2014

Drunkard's Path Quilt - Work in Progress

Drunkard's Path Quilt - sewing curves without pins - Red Pepper Quilts

Other than my recent adventures with free hand cutting and curves sewing, I haven't dabbled in curved piecing for quite some time. My last quilt that involved lots of curved piecing was the Gobstopper Quilt made in January 2010 and although that quilt worked out really well, I don't have the fondest memories of piecing it. All those pins!

Drunkard's Path Quilt - sewing curves without pins - Red Pepper Quilts

Let's face it. Right or wrong, I am just not a pinner. So this time around I went for a complete no pin plan, and it was a revelation!

Drunkard's Path Templates
28mm Olfa Rotary Cutter
I have used Drunkard's Path templates to make the blocks (5 inch finished block). And because I don't like tracing templates, nor cutting fabric with scissors, I have used a small rotary cutter to cut directly around the templates.The small diameter blade (28mm) is great for cutting around tight curves and templates. No tracing, no scissors.

Red Pepper Quilts --> Sewing Drunkard's Path Blocks - No pins
Sewing Drunkard's Path Blocks - No Pins
Click on image or Right Click on Image and open in a New Tab for larger view.
NOTES:
I use a quarter inch presser foot and short stitch length.
Image 1: Place the two pieces in front of you as pictured in first image.
Image 2: Flip the concave piece (on the right hand side) onto the center piece, right sides together. Align edges along the top. Drop presser foot and take one or two stitches and back stitch.
Image 3: Gather up the concave piece into your left hand, hold lightly so that it can unfurl as you stitch without stretching. Align the edges of the two pieces and stitch slowly.
Continue to stitch slowly, stopping as is required to adjust the fabric pieces and align edges of the pieces together. Stitch all the way to the end.
Press seam allowance (see second last image).

Drunkard's Path Quilt - sewing curves without pins - Red Pepper Quilts

No pinning, no matching points along the way, no glue basting, no clipping curves. This worked well for me and was way faster than pinning, but much more importantly I actually loved sewing these units! As always, you should do what works best for you. Sew and be happy.

Drunkard's Path Quilt - Work in Progress - Red Pepper Quilts

The fabrics that I have used are many of my favorites, some that I have been hoarding and collecting for a number of years and are now hard to find. Many of the fabrics are Japanese imports but if you look closely you'll also see many modern designer quilting cottons as well as a few retro prints.

Drunkard's Path Quilt - Work in Progress - Red Pepper Quilts
144 Drunkard's Path Blocks
Quilt Top measures 60 inches x 60 inches
The design/layout for Drunkard's Path blocks are endless. Half of my blocks have been made with a dark center fabric, and the other half with a light center fabric. I have then laid out my blocks so that the light/dark fabrics alternate as well as so that four blocks form a circle; a fairly traditional layout.

Drunkard's Path Quilt - Work in Progress - Red Pepper Quilts
Drunkard's Path Quilt - Work in Progress - Red Pepper Quilts

If you have any questions regarding the no-pins process please don't hesitate to ask and I will reply in the comments section.

More soon.
Rita

RELEVANT LINKS:
Drunkard's Path Quilt - A Finished Quilt

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38 comments:

  1. "Sew and be happy" = words to live by :-) Rita, once again you have made a winner! Such beautiful proportion in your colours. Thank you so so much for your generous explanations, photos, and tutorials! xxoo

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  2. Love your no pin process. I hate pinning too and do no-pin-sewing wherever I can. :-)

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  3. I do like a drunkards path and this is no exception. Good size template, mine is too big so will have to treat myself to a smaller one

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  4. Wow, what a absolutely colorful, fun, circle-e quilt, I love it! Way to go with no pinning I will give it a try tomorrow!

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  5. Your photos and enlargement option are just awesome, thanks! Another wonderful quilt!! I often wonder how much yardage you personally buy when you are shopping. Just a smitch of each, or alot? XX!

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  6. Inspiring! I love your choice of fabric and how you have achieved such great balance.

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  7. It looks beautiful! I always sew my dp blocks without pins and use tweezers to grab the last bit as I'm sewing. So easy and much faster than pinning!

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  8. Looks great!
    I also sew my quarter circles without pins -and use tweezers for the last bit,too- but I sew with the concave piece at the bottom and the quarter cicle (turned) on top. Works too! ;-)
    My templates are from Elisa´s backporch design.

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  9. Do you trim after? Or do they come out perfect 5" squares?

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    1. I trimmed my first few blocks just to straighten up, but once I got the hang of the curved seam there was no need to trim. Trimming is great though for accuracy and I had the choice of leaving them at 5.5" or trimming them smaller still.

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  10. Hi , love your work, always so cheerful, and you make them seem so easy ! I noticed you pressed the seams to the circle side, does this post any problem in terms of thickness at seams when you sew four blocks together to form a circle in the centre ?

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    1. Pressing the seam to the side circle hasn't been a problem. After the first 50 or so blocks were made I decided I was going to alternate the color layout and started pressing the seam toward the dark fabric - thereby nesting the seam. I didn't go back and re-press the seam of the already pressed blocks.

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  11. Hi Rita, I am currently working on a DP quilt, I started with 10" squares. Wondering if you had to square the blocks up and if so, how? Thanks for your constant inspiration! carolann427@aol.com

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    1. You can square up your blocks using a large square ruler. Just be consistent with placement and ensure that the side seams are the same distance from what will be the center of the block, on both sides. If you are planning on forming a circle with four blocks then those seams will match all the way around.

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  12. i keep seeing these templates around....i'm going to have to try them!

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  13. So beautiful it makes you happy just to look at this quilt! As always thanks for the great instructions!

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  14. where did you purchase the 5" templates?

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    1. My DP templates are from Victorian Textiles - an Australian based company. There are a number of different brands - look for templates with a wide concave piece which gives you greater scope for trimming your block.

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  15. I'd love a closeup of the presser foot you're using on your machine -- I have the same machine but can't quite tell which foot that is!

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    1. I am using my Juki for all my piecing - the presser foot I am using is the standard presser foot that comes with the machine. It's a scant 1/4 inch foot but you may have noticed that there are 1/4" and 1/2" markings on the stitch plate which are useful as a guide.

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  16. I love, love, love this! Your directions are both inspirational and clear - thank you so much!

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  17. Love your fabric choices ,it works so well. May have to give this pattern a go , you make it look so easy . Thanks for sharing .

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  18. Rita,
    You must be the most patient person I "know"! I can't imagine sewing all those curves and then, matching them up so perfectly. Beautiful job.

    I'm still waiting for that low-volume bundle you promised to assemble for us all......just saying'....

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    1. Thank you for stopping by Suzy! There's a great low volume bundle that I have collated available from Stash Fabrics right now (available in FQ or Half Yard Bundles:

      http://www.stashfabrics.com/product/details/red-pepper-quilts-fat-quarter-blogger-bundle

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  19. Beautiful! I love how your layout creates a subtle lattice pattern also. I'm going to have to give this a try I think.

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  20. BEAUTIFUL WORK! DO YOU REALLY LAY ALL THOSE PIECES ON A DESIGN BOARD?

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    1. Hi Audrey - I randomly pieced the DP blocks alternating light/dark fabrics, and then I arranged all the blocks on the floor, picking up one row at a time to piece together :-)

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  21. Just love your color sense and style.

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  22. I just have to tell you that you are a constant inspiration to me! I just love your quilts and I hope to one day make a postage stamp quilt like you do and have ALL my points match up! :-) Yours are so beautifully done. Thank you for the curved piecing tip! I have tried with no pins and they came out all wonky but I think I will stay the course and keep trying because I am not one to pin either! :-)

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  23. Lovely quilt, thanks for instructions, another for the to do list : )

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  24. Beautiful--Must confess I am a pinned--they are all over the floor! I might try this if I can find my courage

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  25. I'm not one to buy a lot of different rulers or templates but I think I really need to get one of these. I love the 5" size and of course your tutorial. Pretty easy to remember everything....alternate light and dark and alternate pressing. Brilliantly simple! Thanks Rita!

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  26. Fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing this technique, Rita! Maybe I'll find the courage to tackle curves now. All those tutorials that suggest using tons of pins have put me off before. Looking at your wonderful quilt, I realize how much your stash and my stash must look alike ;)

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  27. I've been using this technique for about 2 years now, and I'll never go back to pinning! In fact, I started to wing it without pins for all kinds of seams. My pins are feeling neglected ;-)

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  28. You have so much patience....and so much talent. Everything you show us is fantastic. Really like the circles!

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  29. I want to tell you how much I love your style. It's all yours, and though the quilts I make are so very different from yours, I appreciate and admire your precision, the care with which you arrange your fabrics, and that you have such a distinctive "voice", if you will. Thank you so much for sharing so much of your craft/art with us!

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  30. really love this quilt Rita - hope to see more circles in the future !

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  31. I have a drunkards path quilt in my project list that I started many years ago and then tossed it aside. I don't think it's gonna look as cool as yours but I do home to finish it one day.
    Thanks for sharing yours.

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