Drunkard’s Path to Patchwork Jigsaws

During the sampler course which got me hooked on all things patchwork and quilting we learned to piece curved seams by doing a Drunkard’s Path block. At the time I was only making cushions for Christmas presents, and I did two of these, twisting the pieces around in the second one to make a different design.

About twelve months later the Quilter’s Guild Of South Australia held their first quilt exhibition and one of the quilts I was intrigued by was made by Heather Dunn, a sampler quilt with 15 blocks using 16 squares with a bite taken out of them in different layouts.

Jigsaw Puzzle

includes eight Drunkard’s Path Block

A few years later I collected together all the scraps of paper I had covered with scribbled variations and discovered that I had way more than 15 variations, even though I had repeated some designs over and over again.

Bamboo and Rope Jigsaw

Bamboo and Rope Jigsaw 2

I set about trying to sort out the designs into some order, and eventually worked out a mathematical method to draw them in sequence.

The quilt designs on the following pages use a few of the blocks I found in this process. There are billions of possibilities, but I am not going to show them all. Just a few of the ones I find interesting or knock out stunning.

The first few virtual quilts were random, later additions will be more organised.

1231 Testing

This is one design I love!

It appeared when I was randomly colouring blocks, and made a mistake, and made it worse trying to fix it, when suddenly it was better!


Tesselated Tiling

Circle of Crowns


Tesselated Tiling 2

Patchwork Jigsaw 1112 a

Patchwork Jigsaw 1112 b

Patchwork Jigsaw 1112 c

Patchwork Jigsaw 1112 d

Patchwork Jigsaw 1112 e Spinner

Click here to reach all the Patchwork Jigsaws I have featured.

Right click on each blog title you would like to see, then click on ‘Open in new tag’

Quilt History Titbits

has an article about Drunkard’s Path for those who are interested.

Now, here is the secret to making these designs.

Curved Piecing Tutorial: The I-have-way-too-many-quilts-to-make-and-too-many-deadlines-and-have-no-time-to-pin-because-I-need-these-done-yesterday Method


Carolina Patchwork

This is the method I use, teach and recommend, but you can use whatever technique you want.


4 Responses to Drunkard’s Path to Patchwork Jigsaws

  1. Helen says:

    As a beginning quilter I can only dream of being able to come close to creating something as beautiful as you have repeatly done. Thanks for the inspiration.


  2. Cindy Hamilton says:

    I absolutely love 1231 testing and waterwheels. Your beautiful designs are so inspiring but one of these days I really have to quit looking and start doing!!! It is hard to stop looking at soooo much eye candy though.


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