Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Wonky Drunkards Path Tutorial

As promised yesterday, here is the tutorial for how I made my drunkard path blocks used in my Circle Play quilt.

First cut some squares. I cut 5" squares.

Cut your squares at least an inch larger than you want to end up with. You will need two squares per block. I cut 8 squares, 4 neutral and 4 colored, and this yields 8 drunkard path blocks.

Second, stack your squares.

They need to all be right side up or wrong side up. I prefer to do right side up because that way the curve you cut is the curve you end up with. If they are stacked wrong side up, you will get the reverse of your cut curve.

Third, be really brave and cut a curve!

I do this free hand. The fabrics may shift a bit, especially if you cut lots of layers like I did. I cut 8 squares at once. As long as you get a smooth curve, don't worry about any shifting. You will square things up later.

Fourth, match up some pairs.

For this I just put them in pairs, but you can mix them up more for a scrappier look.

Fifth, pick up two pieces and prepare to sew them together.

I like to lay the quarter circle piece on top of the other piece. I just find it easiest to sew them together this way. Try it both ways to see what works best for you. Also, don't worry about putting these point to point at the starting point of your seam. The quarter circle piece will end up being a little shorter than the other piece. So you may want to shift the quarter circle piece down a bit. Again, you are going to have to square these up later so just try different things to see what works best for you.

Sixth, sew your pieces together.

You only need to worry about the part an inch or less from the needle. I place my left hand on the top piece and my right hand on the bottom piece, then sew a few stitches and stop with the needle down. Move your hands together and the raw edges will align for the next inch or so. Sew this part. Stop. Realign. Sew. Repeat. Just go slowly, stopping every inch or so to readjust your pieces. Pinning isn't necessary. These are never going to line up when you put the blocks together. If you want your pieces to line up properly you would be much better off using templates and pinning. This is not a technique for the perfectionist!

Once you have all your pieces sewn you will have blocks that should look like this.

Notice how the quarter circle pieces are smaller. The curved seam allowance causes this.

Now if you want to, you can cut another curve.

I chose to do this for only two of my pairs. I just stacked my pairs, right side up, and free hand cut another curve.

Sew this new curve just as before.

This gives you the inset curved arc like I did on my Circle Play quilt.

Time to square up your blocks.

I chose to cut all my blocks the same size. I just measured each block to figure out that 4" squares was the largest square I could cut from all of the blocks.

Then play with arrangements of your blocks.

When you are happy with them, sew them together as four patches.

And there you have it. Wonky Drunkards Path blocks and Curved Arc blocks. Have fun with them! If you make any please send me a picture or a link to your blog where you posted about them.


Barb said...

Now that is just clever....love it!

Mama Pea said...

Very cool, and great tutorial. I just love what you did. Nice going! I'm going to give that a try one of these days...when I have "free time." LOL

CindyLouWhoCO said...

Did you clip the seams on the curve so they would lie flat? Or was that not a problem?

I just stumbled onto your blog a few weeks ago, and really enjoy it!

Lynn said...

@CJ - No, I didn't clip the seams. I didn't have any problems with them lying flat. I just pressed them the direction they wanted to go.

Susan @ Blackberry Creek said...

Now I might could make one of these. Every curve piecing I do is wonky.

Peg Sullivan said...

Love doing curves. Thanks for this very exciting fear free way of doing.