Saturday, February 9, 2013

Drunkard's Path Cutting Guide

Cutting out the Drunkard's Path block is really pretty simple. There are two tools that will save you much frustration. I strongly encourage investing in a rotating cutting mat and a 28mm rotary cutter. (I used a 45mm cutter to do the 7.5" blocks, but it was impossible to do the horseshoe bits on the 3.5" blocks. I almost kissed one of the ladies when she lent me her cutter.) My rotary cutting skills are not always accurate so I cut my strips of fabric half an inch wider than my templates and then trimmed them to size. Due to the layout of this quilt I didn't need horseshoe and pie pieces that were the same color. This layout does waste a bit of fabric, but with some careful cutting the waste is very minimal.

To cut the horseshoe shapes I folded my fabric to fit two horseshoes nestled together. (Ended up being 12" strips for the 7.5" horseshoe piece.) There's a little bit of extra space so don't worry too much about cutting an inch or so past the edges of the templates.

With a sharp blade I found that I could easily do four layers of fabric at a time. It worked best to cut the flat sides first and then anchor the template by holding a finger on each side of the square. (It's not as complicated as it sounds, but since I'm not an octopus I wasn't able to get a picture of me doing this.) The picture below shows how the two pieces nestle together once the extra fabric is removed.

To cut my pie shaped pieces I cut squares half an inch larger than my pie piece. (For the 7.5" templates the edge of the pie is 6" and my square was 6.5") When I did my 3.5" pie pieces I cut straight from the strips. The curve makes it impossible to nest these pieces the way I did for the horseshoe so I just kept the straight edge facing the same direction across the strip. 

Your horseshoes and pie pieces won't line up perfectly. It's okay. The magic of sewing curved seams will fix this in the next step.

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