Friday, October 14, 2011

Drunkard's Path Block Design Ideas

I don't know about you, but I can't wait to get going on this QAL!  One of my favorite things about this block design is that there are so, so many different design options - I can't wait to see all the different directions that you all take it.  Kristie has been sharing some great inspiration pics on her site too, so if you haven't checked them out, make sure to jump over there too and take a look.

I shared a bunch of design ideas before, but many of them were just sketches, so when I made my first drunkard's path quilt top, I played around a bit with the fabric and different layouts as I was making it...

Drunkard's Path - Scrappy
Drunkard's Path - Scrappy

I mentioned in my fabric requirements post that the cutting using my templates is easiest if you are going to use both the inner and outer curve piece from each fabric square in your design... But there are some pretty cool designs that use only inner pieces or only outer pieces from your colored/patterned fabric.  If you wanted to go this route, you could alternate the blocks in your quilt, or you could even think about making two quilts - one with the positive pattern and one with the negative pattern.  Here are a few examples of this kind of pattern:

Drunkard's Path - Pinwheels
Drunkard's Path Pinwheels

Drunkard's Path - Diagonal 1
Drunkard's Path Diagonal (I love this one!)

Drunkards Path - 5
Drunkard's Path - Inward facing circles

Drunkard's Path - 2
Drunkard's Path - Outward Facing Circles

If you want to keep it simple and use a design that will use equal numbers of your patterned/colored inner and outer curve pieces, there are luckily some gorgeous designs like that too.  Here are just a few more, in addition to the flower-like design I used in my first quilt (and there are lots of other ideas out there).

Drunkard's Path - Scallop
Drunkard's Path - Scallop

Drunkard's Path - Diagonal 2
Drunkard's Path - another one

I have been thinking about the design and layout as a repeating 4x4 block, but as many of the inspiration quilts that Kristie has shared show, you can really also think of it as a whole quilt design - so don't feel that you have to take a block-based approach.   I wish that I had had the fabric (and well, the patience) to try out larger layouts when I was playing around with these - the patterns just get more interesting the larger you go.  Hopefully these help to spark your imagination and you can get an idea of how cool they look when you start to see a larger pattern!  I had a lot of fun sketching out different ideas with graph paper and colored pencils, so feel free to play around with that as you think about possible designs.

Don't forget to share your photos in the Flickr group as you start picking fabrics and thinking about your design - we can't wait to see what you come up with!

{This post is part of the Drunkard's Path Quilt-Along that I am hosting with Kristie from OCD.  Check out my Drunkard's Path QAL page for the schedule and links to the posts so far, and feel free to join in any time!}


  1. My Go cutter die finally arrived so I hope I can start my quilt soon. I am so far behind!

  2. How fun! It seems as though, similar to half square triangles, the layout options are endless for these drunkard's path blocks!

  3. I am very excited to start cutting (I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of my 3.5" die) and playing with my fabric. Pretty sure I will be using your original layout (I just LOVE it!!!) Thanks for all of the inspiration!

  4. Love your colors! What a versatile block.

  5. I am so excited to have found you today! I just started my first Drunkard's Path quilt and I was googling "Drunkard's Path" to get ideas for different ways to lay out the blocks. I linked back to your post in my own blog, and I'll be checking back to see which layout you end up using for your happy sunshine blocks. Because, seriously -- your fabrics are adorable. Love!

  6. I didn't realize there were so many ways to arrange this block!! I might have to give this a whirl! :)

  7. I am so freaking excited to get started on this. Have you seen this arrangement? That is what made me want to do DP in the first reminds me of the way my daughter walks as she's starting to take her first steps. Isn't that cheesy? Hahahhaaa...


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