The Free Motion Quilting Project: 18. Piece a Cheater Drunkard's Path Block

Monday, May 5, 2014

18. Piece a Cheater Drunkard's Path Block

It's the first Monday in May and time to learn how to piece a new block! Well...technically it's not piecing because this month we're going to cheat in the construction of our block to make these curved seams super easy:

free motion quilting | Leah Day

Curved seams typically send quilters running for the hills, but not this block! I'm calling this a Cheater Drunkard's Path because we're cheating on the piecing by layering, top stitching, and clipping the fabrics to create this design.

Technically this is a raw edge applique technique and it's not only super fast, it's also super easy!

Looking for the template to make this block? Find it here in the Building Blocks Quilt Pattern.

Also make sure to use a marking pencil you've tested and are sure will come out! I used the Fons & Porter Ceramic marking pencil in the video, which easily erases or brushes off after stitching over the marks.

Layer, Mark, Stitch, Clip - it really is that simple!

The one downside to this technique is the raw edges. Some quilters love raw edges in their quilts, others absolutely hate it. I used to hate raw edges, but have since come around to find it a useful technique to use when maximum speed and minimum fussiness is needed for a quilt project.

free motion quilting | Leah Day
RAW edges?! AHHH!
Seriously - their not THAT bad!

free motion quilting | Leah Day
free motion quilting | Leah DayYes, these raw edges will fray, but no, this will not make your quilt either unstable or unusable. Think of it as just another way to add texture to the surface of your block. As the quilt is washed and used, this edge will soften and just feel nicely fuzzy on the surface of this block.

free motion quilting | Leah Day
But if you fall in the I Hate Raw Edges camp, you can always cover the raw edge with a layer of satin or decorative machine stitching. Next week I'll even show you how to cover the raw edges with free motion zigzag as we quilt our first block.

So have fun cheater piecing three blocks for this month and look forward to the awesome ways we're going to learn how to quilt them!

Let's go quilt!

Leah Day


  1. Thank you, Leah! It's so fun! I hate the raw edges. I thought to make this block with an applied reverse... but I am going to give an opportunity to your technique in this quilt because this week I am complicated time! Have a nice week!

  2. I fall into the "I hate" category! I usually make a circle with turned edges, cut into quarters, baste it with a glue stuck and stitch the top edge diwn very close to the edge. Once it's washed, the stitching barely shows...but I HAVE been trying to use some raw edge here and there "hoping" I can warm up to would really make some quilt ideas much easier! I love your work!

  3. Rosemary B here:
    Drunkards Path block is pretty challenging but I like the challenge.
    This is a great idea for a quick project!

  4. Leah, thank you for the lesson on showing raw edges. have never tried it but will be sure to do it. I have a suggestion for those that just don't like it. Try adding a narrow piece of trim over the seam to hide it. You could really dress it up and do so on other blocks in your quilt or throw. Would even look great if you were only doing a pillow. Hope this helps! Judy

  5. Leah, I've done a single bed size variation on Drunkard's Path, and I don't mind the easing-in process for curved edges. But you've given us a fun alternative. Thanks.

  6. Leah!, I love this cheat! So simple and functional and easy to hide.

    On the topic of your lovely sampler quilt, you are such a giving person who has freely taught me and thousands of others so much. I would be happy to bind this quilt for you, if you want to send it to me. Just send an email, and I'll give you my address. This is such a wonderful memory quilt for you, a real showcase of your many designs. I appreciate your commitment to keeping life simple and know what it's like to be fed up with a project and not want to finish it. Thanks for all your wonderful work. Best regards, Diana

    1. Thank you dearly for the kind offer Diana, but I already knocked out 2 sides and tomorrow I will knock out the other 2 to finish it up completely. It's time consuming, but definitely worth every stitch to do it the right way!

    2. I look at hand stitching the binding as an opportunity to snuggle up under the quilt and enjoy it guilt free 'cause I'm working while curled up in something lovely. Hope you enjoy the beauty that comes with this outward sign of the beauty from within you. Thank you for your generous spirit.

  7. Leah, I never realized until watching this video that you are left handed. To me it just looked so awkward when you were trimming the 1/4 circles and i couldn't figure out why - then all of a sudden I had that AH HA moment!

  8. Just watched and hope to get the fabric cut and started tomorrow. I am new to quilting so I have no opinion as to whether I like rough edges. I am so excited that you are doing this quilt along. Thank you so much!


Related Posts with Thumbnails