Trendy Quilting Blocks: Modern Drunkard’s Path – Quilting Daily

Is the Drunkard’s Path quilt block the new hexie? We are getting tons of submissions for Drunkard’s Path quilts in our in-boxes.

Drunkard’s Path quilt blocks make up the design in this quilt, c. 1910, from Michigan. Bill Volckening found the quilt online; it’s now in the Michigan State University museum.

“Drunkard’s Path is definitely on trend right now. Modern quilters often love block quilts with curved piecing, and there have been many variations on the Drunkard’s Path block,” says quilt collector and historian Bill Volckening.

The Drunkard’s Path was supposed to have been inspired by the way a drunkard would walk. The block has been associated with the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, active from the 1870s to the early part of the 20th century. The WCTU promoted a virtuous lifestyle, abstaining from drinking and all the evils that come with it.

Other quilt block patterns associated with the WCTU are the Goblet and the Double T (T for temperance), and they were often made in blue and white, the colors of the association, says Bill, adding, “It’s not clear of the WCTA came up with the designs or just adopted them.”

Wherever its origins, I enjoy seeing the modern renditions of the Drunkard’s Path. I’m sure one of the reasons for its revived popularity is the charming style promoted in Angela Pingel’s book, A Quilter’s Mixology, which explores many variations on the block and curved piecing.

Now she has created a Quilting Arts WorkshopTM video, Sewing Techniques for Accurate Curved Piecing: Basics and Beyond, so you can follow along while she demonstrates her incredibly easy method of piecing. One pin, and you can sew any curve – especially the Drunkard’s Path – with precision and ease.

curved piecing pillow pingel
Angela Pingel’s patterns take the Drunkard’s Path in new, modern, directions.

But Angela doesn’t stop there: she also tackles the Flowering Snowball quilt block, Improv Gentle Curves, and more. She shows all of her techniques that elevate a simple curve into an elegant design component.

After seeing Angela work, I went out and got a die cutter and have been gathering my own fabrics to create this versatile pattern. I can’t wait to try it myself.

How about you? Check out Sewing Techniques for Accurate Curved Piecing now.

P.S. If you love to see beautiful quilts and learn how they have evolved over the years, don’t miss Bill’s web seminar, Modern Materials: Quilts from the 1970s. Download it now to learn about this groovy decade in quilt design.

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