February 5, 2015

Drunkard's Path Quilt Along; Block Explorations

Block Design Explorations;  A look at some optional ways to arrange the drunkard's path units. 

I know I said in the last post the piecing directions would be next . . . but . . . I just have to share these block explorations with you before we get into the piecing. I've also added a link to the button below that will take you to the main Quilt Along page so you can navigate to all the posts from one place.

Yesterday I made a Drunkard's Path block for one of my bee mates. I used a yellow/pink/coral selection of fabrics and found it quite fun to play with a different color grouping. I'm very happy with the results.  What do you think? It's got me wishing for spring and flowers and warmer temps.

In the process, I also played with some alternative arrangements of the Drunkard's Path units within the block. Today, I'd like to share those explorations before we move on to piecing. I think you'll find this quite fun and interesting and it will give you a chance to play around a little and decide which arrangement you like best before you sew your block together. Who knows . . . it might even be just the nudge you need to join the quilt along.  : )

The original block layout was designed with poinsettias in mind because I'm making a Christmas quilt. This arrangement makes me think of the pointy petals of poinsettias. This is the arrangement that will be used for all sewing instructions, but the sewing won't be much different for the other options. All the explorations use the same 16 drunkard's path units. The only difference is the way they are arranged in the block.

The following photos all include the seam allowance thus the little extra fabric on the leg pieces. Just remember the circles will come together with no gaps between shapes in the finished block. To help see the changes, think of the block in four quadrants with each quadrant having a red/green combination.

Original block:  the red and green units within each quadrant form identical petal shapes that are positioned side by side. Each quadrant in the block is simply rotated to get the overall design. This is my Christmas poinsettia. This design features red petals in the foreground with green leaves behind the red. In the bee block above, it's all petals and no leaves which works equally as well.

Original Layout

Option 1:  Rotate the position of the red units so they go in the opposite direction of the green. The result is a tulip shape of half red/half green petals in each quadrant. A green center results with this arrangement. The green units stay in the same position.


Option 2:  Leave the inner red units in the same position as option 1 but rotate the outer red units so red half circles are formed. The green units stay in the same position.

Option 2

Option 3:  Flip the entire set of red units so they meet in the center like a pinwheel. Be sure to keep the red units with the green legs in the center so they flow into the green units. The green units stay in the same position.

Option 3

Option 4:  Leave the red units the same as Option 3 and rotate the outer green units in the corners only so they form green half circles.

Option 4

I hope these explorations have inspired you to think about all the ways you can sew your Drunkard's Path units together. If you like one better than the original poinsettia version, then by all means make that one instead. If you like them all, then consider making a sampler type quilt? Or choose your two favorite block options and alternate them in your final quilt layout. Lots to think about. Lots to play around with once you start sewing.

The next post on piecing will follow soon. Don't forget you can go here to see all the previous Quilt Along posts.  Thanks for reading.


  1. These coors look fabulous together. You've inspired me to try curves

  2. I'm really behind - it's 2022! But this is a fabulous pattern and setting and the colors are so on time - summer fruit! Thanks


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