Drunkard’s Path Piecing

Are you intimidated by sewing curves?  Kay Nikols, on quilttv, shows us how easy it is to do Drunkard’s Path piecing without using pins.

Kay Nikols is the author of Wonderful 1 Fabric Curves and she has a no fuss approach to piecing curves.  Two of her tricks to sewing a smooth and even block are taking it slow and easy and using a stiletto to help move the fabric under the needle.

Drunkard’s Path is also known as a quarter circle block and is a very old and very popular block.  There is a possible connection between the block and the Women’s Christian Temperance Union.  This article (http://quilthistorytidbits–oldnewlydiscovered.yolasite.com/drunkards-path-and-t-quilts.php) describes a red and white Drunkard’s Path quilt having one block dated 1896 and W.C.T.U inscribed across a border.

Drunkards Path Piecing

Whatever the block’s beginnings and historical uses it has remained very popular for over 100 years.  Perhaps it is the myriad of ways the blocks can be arranged to create fascinating designs.  It is worth taking the time to learn how to do Drunkard’s Path piecing so you too can create a beautiful quilt with curved blocks.

Thanks to Kay Nikols and The American Quilter’s Society quilttv




Charlotte has been quilting for more than 10 years, making both traditional quilts and art quilts and loving both processes. She teaches and writes about quilting to help introduce more people to this awesome craft. She lives in Northland on a boat with her husband, two children, a dog, a cat and two sewing machines – fabric and stitch are her escape! You can also find Charlotte's writings on her blog The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady


  1. i use my wonderful foot bought from Judy at http://www.punchwithjudy.com.au in Australia and it is so much easier than what you show here, no stilleto needed! It is called the Curve Master and if you see the tail at the end of this demo it is longer because of the stretchy curve! Well, the Curve Master does this so wonderfully as no stretching involved so no tails to cut off! Used to be so scared of curves and now sew them like a professional!

    • Tina, thanks for taking the time to give a comment and a new idea. In patchwork and quilting there are always lots of different ways to do things. In our ‘how to’ section at Quilting focus we aim to provide helpful tutorials to beginner or not-so-experienced quilters that they can use to improve their quilting, but without having to buy lots of specialty tools. (The tool you mention costs A$45 + shipping costs). At Quilting Focus we find that a bamboo kebab stick from the kitchen makes a great stiletto tool! We are pleased that you are now enjoying sewing curves and perhaps you have given some inspiration to our newer quilting readers.

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