Sunday, February 17, 2013

Drunkard's Path Sewing Guide part 1

The technique for sewing the 7.5" blocks and 3.5" blocks are slightly different. At the workshop our teacher began with the larger block so I'm going to start with that one. There is a little bit of a learning curve with sewing curves, but just go slow and the method will click pretty quickly. Unfortunately I was too caught up in figuring out what I was doing to remember to take pictures. Luckily one of the guys I work for celebrated his 60th birthday over the weekend and he just happens to love fish. I decided to make him a wall hanging featuring the drunkard's path fish. 

The first step is to fold the pie piece and horse shoe piece in half and finger press a small crease at the top.

Match up the two creases and pin.

Our quilt teacher taught us that we only need the one pin in the middle that moves to the end half way through sewing. I found it easier to have both pins in place right from the start. (I've seen tutorials online that use a lot more pins than this, but it's really not necessary.)

One of the major secrets of sewing the drunkard's path block is having the horseshoe side down. (I think of it as iron horseshoes weigh more than a piece of pie so they sink to the bottom. Please note that from this point on the horse shoe is in the red fabric and the pie is blue.)

When sewing this block, pull the seam so that it's straight when it's fed through the needle. You will pull the top piece a little to make sure that they match up in the middle. Make sure that the fabric going under the needle is flat and smooth. Puckers will keep your seam from laying flat and won't look good in the finished quilt. (It's a good idea to cut a few extra pieces. This is a more challenging block and you're going to mess up the seam allowance and sew puckers. A seam ripper is good for the first mistake, but the third time ripping out the seam it's easier to just start over.) 

I found that these blocks come out much more wrinkled than when I sew squares or triangles, but ironing will fix everything.

Ironing rules are the basic quilting ones. Alternate pressing seams towards the pie or towards the horseshoe, going towards the dark when possible. Ordinarily when I iron I don't use anything special, but for this block I found best press makes a huge difference in how these blocks look.

I added half square triangles to make this wall hanging size (it finishes 20"x20".) My machine has a cool stitch that looks like waves and was perfect for quilting. On the penguin quilt I did applique eyes, but since there's only one fish and this isn't going on a bed I used a button for the eye. 

I've named this quilt "The Big One."

1 comment:

  1. Great tutorial, thank you. I keep thinking I want to try this block; I think you've convinced to give it a whirl. I love your end product; the fish is adorable.