Dancing Daisies (A Drunkard’s Path Quilt)

Hi, It’s Cathy Victor from “Me and My Mum Quilting” and I’m very pleased and excited to be posting my very first Moda Bake Shop tutorial.  This tutorial is for all of you quilters who have been nervous about trying a Drunkard’s Path quilt. I will show you an easy way to put together a layout that I call “Dancing Daisies.”
I chose to use Moda layer cakes for my quilt, but charm packs could be used instead, or yardage of course.  

I hope after seeing how easy it is to make this quilt, you’ll make one for yourself or a loved one.  Please feel free to ask any questions or leave me any comments. You can find me on my blog: meandmymumquilting.blogspot.ca
I’d also love to see any pictures of your own Drunkard’s Path.

Quilt Top

1 Layer cake (or 4 charm packs) of Marmalade by Bonnie & Camille 55050LC

1 Layer cake (or 4 charm packs) of Bella Solids 9900LC-11

4 yards of 55052-17 

1/2 yard of 55054-15 

* If making the bonus pillow you will need 46″ of additional yardage.*


Grab your Marmalade Layer Cake and open it up.  If you don’t want to make the bonus pillow, you may remove 2 squares that are doubles or that you don’t like.  I stacked three at a time, lining them up perfectly, and cut them into four 5″ squares. Continue doing this until you have completed the stack. Leave these stacks them in 4 identical piles (you’ll see why in a minute).

Grab your Bella Solids Layer Cake (or yardage), and do the exact same as above. Leave this in 4 piles, as well. You will have 40-42 squares in each pile.

Here are my piles:

4 piles of Bella Solid and
4 piles of Marmalade

Again, they measure 5″ square.

Grab 1 pile of your Marmalade squares and 1 pile of Bella solid squares and proceed to the next step…

Click on the Printer Friendly Version at the bottom of this post to download the template I used for tracing.  I traced the pattern onto some rigid cardboard, so it wouldn’t bend when I was tracing the shapes onto the fabric. You can use template plastic or just regular paper if you are careful. If you have an acrylic ruler or set of templates for Drunkard’s Path, use those instead.

Place the “clam” template on the WRONG side of your Marmalade squares.  I put the straight edges of the template aligned with the cut edges of the fabric.

I did piles of 3.  I found more than that moved too much.  Do as many as you are comfortable with.

Trace around the template with pen or pencil (that you can see) being careful not to disturb your fabric.

Next, place the “arch” template on the same pile of squares.  Match the template to the opposite corner.

There is some fabric visible at each end of the arch and also a sliver between the line you drew previously.

Trace along the edge of the Template using a pen or pencil, being careful not to disturb the pile.  You can pin the pile together in a few places to hold them together if you like.

Using scissors, I cut along the arch line, while holding the opposite end in your fingers.  Again, do not disturb the alignment of your piles.

Then, cut the tabs of the ends.

Next pick up the “clam” piece and cut off the sliver.  You can throw those extra pieces away.

Do this for all the Marmalade squares from your first pile.( 40-42 squares)

Do the exact same thing, to your pile of Bella solids.  Throw the excess cut bits away.

You now have 4 piles:

40 solid “clams” & 40 Marmalade “arches”
40 Marmalade “clams” & 40 solid “arches”.

I chose to do the Marmalade “clam” set first, but it doesn’t matter how you do it.

With right sides together, place the pieces as illustrated.  Pin.

Ease the pieces together so that they line up, every 1/2″ or so and pin.  

Ease and pin…

Ease and pin every 1/2″ or so and pin until you reach the other end.

This is what the pieces should look like when pinned.

This is the other side of the same block.

Try doing some pinned and then try some without pinning and see which method you prefer.  I don’t pin mine, but do what works best for you. 

Regardless of whether you pin or not they are sewn in the same way.  Start with the corner illustrated and using a 1/4″ seam begin sewing around the curve. 


With the needle in the lowered position, sew 5-7 stitches (1/2″) approx. then stop.

Needle down.

Lift your presser foot and line the fabrics up for the next bit.

Lower your foot and continue sewing around the curve 5-7 stitches at a time.

Stop with needle down.

Lift presser foot and align fabrics for the next bit.

Lower presser foot and continue sewing around the curve 5-7 stitches more.

Stop with needle down.

Continue doing this until you reach the end.

See how I swiveled the edges near the end so they line up.  Make sure you do this.

It goes much faster than it sounds, but again, try pinning some and not pinning some and see which method you prefer.

Do the same for the other set of pieces ( solid “clams” and marmalade “arches”.  Again with Right sides together.)

I pressed the blocks toward the Marmalade pieces.  They should measure 4.5″ at this point. 

If the “clam” or the “arch” don’t line up at the ends, you can square them up. Place your ruler onto the block and align the bottom left corner at the 4.5″ junction.  Line up the arches at the 3.25″ line in both places, as illustrated, and if anything extends outside the upper right side of the ruler you can trim this off.

 Yay! you just finished 80-84 blocks.  Take a break!!!

When you are ready, grab your 2 piles of ironed blocks…

They are laid out in this position, so find a large open space to lay out your blocks.

Grab 2 of the Marmalade “Clam” blocks and place them in a diagonal position,starting in the upper left corner and the other in the bottom right position. Do this until all your “clam” blocks are laid out.

 I tried to make sure that no 2 patterns or colors were in the same block.

Next, grab 2 of the Marmalade “Arches” and fill in the spaces left from the previous step.

Do this with all of the remaining “arches”, until you have all the blocks the way you like. DO NOT CHANGE THE PLACEMENT OF THE BLOCKS THOUGH!!!

Double and triple check that all the pieces are in the right configuration.

When you have them all verified to look like the layout on the left, carefully transfer them to a ruler or other rigid surface. 

Layer them all onto the ruler, and carry them to your sewing machine.

Sew them together, sewing first the top row and then the bottom row.  You do not need to iron them yet.

Then grab the top row and the bottom row and nest the middle seam so the top is pointing up, and the bottom is facing down ( this way they won’t get caught in the feed dogs.)

You can press the block now.

It should look like this…

and measure 8.5″ square.

Continue, sewing your blocks together, and pressing until the pile is done.

You now have 20 or 21 blocks completed to this stage.

So grab another set of 5″ squares and begin at the start, tracing, cutting sewing, etc; until that set is finished to the above stage.

Do this for the remaining sets of 5″ squares, until they are all complete to this stage.

* Note*:  I sewed these in this manner so the drunkard’s path blocks were a manageable amount and that they would be combined in an evenly random way.  Also by doing them in smaller batches your body would be less fatigued.

If you’ve made it this far, the hardest part is over.  Give yourself a huge pat on the back!! You deserve it!

Grab the first 20 blocks that you assembled earlier.  They will be laid out in the daisy shape like the picture shows on the left. I tried not to have any 2 colors or patterns touching.  

Continue making daisies until you have a row of 5 flowers. You may have to move them around a bit to find the layout you like the best.

Do the same with the rest of the blocks. Each pile will make a row of 5 daisies.

Continue until you have 4 columns of 5.

*If you opted to make all the blocks from the Layer Cakes you will have enough left over to make 1 flower block as a pillow.*

Begin sewing the blocks into rows.

Make sure that you pin every seam and match up the curves, and pin, pin, pin!!

Trust me, pins will be your friend. 

Take the extra time and match your seams.  You will be much happier with the results.

This picture shows that my blocks have been sewn into rows. 

Next, sew those rows together until the quilt is assembled.

If you wanted to add borders, you would do that now, but I liked the way it looked without borders.

To make the backing: cut your 4 yd piece in half at 72″.  Take your 2 pieces and cut the selvages off. Line up the edges right sides together along the selvage end(the 72″ long side) and sew.

Press the seam.  You now have a piece that measures: 72″ x 84″.

Sandwich your backing, batting and quilt top together, and quilt and bind as desired.  I cut my binding strips at 2″ and that gave me a 1/4″ binding.

Yay! you did it! One finished twin-sized quilt.

Next up, instructions for the bonus pillow sham….

Pillow Sham Bonus Instructions:

Lay out your remaining 4 blocks in the design shown in this picture.

Sew them together and press.

Don’t forget to pin those seams where they meet!!!

Cut your border strips :

( I used the fabric I cut off the edges off my quilt after I finished quilting it.)

2- 2.5″ x 17″    and

2- 2.5″ x 21″.

Sew the 17″ strips down both sides of the pillow block, press and trim to square.

Sew the 21″ strips to the top and bottom of the block, press and trim to square it up.

Cut a 22″ x 22″ piece of fabric and batting to create a quilt sandwich.

Layer, and quilt as desired. Trim off excess batting and backing.

Take a 24″ piece of yardage and cut it into 2 pieces measuring: 24″ x 21″. Fold both of these pieces in half so they measure 12″ x 21″, and press the fold.   Sew a 14″ along the pressed fold. Do this for both pieces.

Lay the first piece on top of the pillow with the fold in the middle and the raw edges matched up.

Pin in place and sew along the raw edges.    

Do the same for the other side overlapping the folded seams, but still matching raw edges.  Pin in place and sew along the raw edges.  Trim any excess away.  

Now, turn the pillow right side out.  Make sure your points are crisp( I used a chopstick into each corner).

Press and pin so that the borders are laying flat and the back is smooth and has no puckers.

I hand-basted around the borders, so that when I sewed it on the machine, the fabric didn’t pucker.

 Sew in-the-ditch around the borders as demonstrated in the picture.  Remove the hand-basting stitches.

You have now completed an accent pillow!! Just stuff it and it’s ready to go.

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial, and that I’ve taken some of the fear out of tackling a Drunkard’s Path quilt.

One twin-sized or throw quilt measuring approx. 64″x 80″ and one throw pillow measuring 20″x20″ ( fits a 16″ pillow). 

Cathy Victor