Drunkards Path Free Quilt Pattern

About this Quilt

This scrappy quilt is from the International Quilt Study Center & Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska. Although this design is commonly known as Drunkards Path, it originally had several other names. Notice the left side of the quilt the quiltmaker trimmed her quilt-perhaps it was too wide? This project is Fat Quarter Friendly.

Size: 70 77
Blocks: 110 (7) blocks

Rating: Challenging

Click hereto download the free materials list, assembly instructions and diagram for this quilt.

From the Curator

Very little is known of the origins of this circa 1900 Drunkards Path quilt(68 79), except that it is a classic pattern, usually rendered in solidfabrics or calico. Originating in England, the pattern was known as Wandererin the Wilderness, Rob Peter to Pay Paul, or Mill Wheel. The Amish later calledit Solomons Puzzle or Old Maids Puzzle. Legend has it that some quiltersbelieved that it was bad luck to piece a Drunkards Path quilt-the person whoslept under it might develop a thirst for drink and wander far from home.In the 1870s and 1880s, quilt styles changed and women began makingpieced quilts of designs that were composed of many small pieces. Quilters
used the multitude of calico fabric available to them in the United Statesafter the Civil War. This quilt illustrates a classic color combination of the era,incorporating deep indigo blues, light sky blue, black, gray, and deepburgundy, in combination with shirting prints. says Carolyn Ducey, Curator ofCollections at the International Quilt Study Center & Museum. Shirtings arelight-colored cotton fabrics with small printed motifs that were popularfor clothing.

The pattern maintains its graphic quality with the contrast of small printsset on an off-white ground. The interplay of the individual blocks, with nosashing and blocks stitched directly next to each other, creates dynamicsecondary patterns, says Ducey. The balance and distribution of the lightand dark fabric is very successful.

About the Collection:

In each issue, Love of Quilting features an antique quilt and pattern from the International Quilt Study Center & Museum at the Universityof Nebraska-Lincoln. The Center has the largest publicly held quilt collection in the world. See other gorgeous quilts from the collection and enjoy interactive Webfeatures at www.quiltstudy.org under Quilt Explorer.

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