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Thread: Rhonda's Drunkard's Path Block shortcut method

  1. #1
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    Here is my method for making a Drunkard's Path Block. I hope you all enjoy the process of learning the DP block done with my cut down method.

    Drunkard's Path block
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  2. #2
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    Traditionally it is made by tracing out two parts of the block with 2 curved templates. But I have developed my own way of making them without having to piece any curves. The only curved sewing is when we sew the “yoyo” onto a background fabric. There are several ways you can do this so it is not a hard thing to do.

    So lets continue on to how to make a flat “yoyo” I have been told this is not really a yoyo but as it is the same steps up to the point where you sew the center hole closed I will still call it a yoyo.

    We are using a 1 ½” template but you can use any size template to create blocks of larger size. The yoyos will need to be bigger also for a bigger size block.


    TIP: To figure out the size circle you need for a larger block just cut a circle of paper to use as a trial run. Place your circle on the template you are going to use and see it that size fits


    Making a flat yoyo:

    Cut a swatch of each fabric - a swatch is a piece of fabric that you cut without measuring. You should make sure you cut at least a 3 1/2" size piece. You can cut a square but you will be trimming it down later. The reason for this is to get a more accurate block.

    Pull the thread tight across the back of the yoyo
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    Light Burgandy swatch
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    Cut a 2\u0094 circle of cardboard for a circle template. Lay the circle on the back side of the light swatch. Trim the swatch to about ½\u0094 to ¾\u0094 from the circle. It doesn\u0092t need to be cut perfectly round but don\u0092t cut it much smaller. A little larger gives you more to work with when you pull the thread.
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    Thread a needle with a length of thread at least 10\u0094 Sew a running (basting) stitch around the edge of the light burgundy swatch.
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  3. #3
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    Spray with sizing and iron. I soak mine with sizing. I like them stiff because they are easier to work with. Turn it over and spray the other side. Set aside to let it dry. I like to let it dry overnight for the stiffest results. But you can work with it if you iron it as dry as possible. You just have to be more careful to maintain the circular shape after you remove the cardboard circle. A hair dryer might dry it quicker also. Just an idea.

    Tip: I thread several needles at a time so you have what you need at hand.


    Tip: If you don’t want to get sizing all over your ironing board ( it can get sticky) you might protect your ironing board with a thin cotton tea towel before you spray. You still need a flat surface to iron on so don’t use a fluffy towel or you will not be able to get it flat enough

  4. #4
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    After your yoyo is dry - pry up one edge and pull the cardboard circle out gently. Your circle should maintain it’s shape but you need to gently pull the thread to pull it back into a circle. I like to put my thumb against(NOT ON) the thread to keep the circle in shape as I pull. Pull gently on which ever side you need to to draw it back into a good circle shape. Now you can trim the thread off.

    Pull the cardboard out gently
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    A flat yoyo or a prepared applique circle whichever you want to call it
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    Pull the thread gently til the circle is back in shape
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    Now you can trim the thread
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  5. #5
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    Ok Now to make the blocks!!


    Making the block

    Cut 4 swatches about at least 3 ½” square. It doesn’t have to be a perfect square. It can be a scrap. I tend to just hack off a piece approx. the size I want without measuring.


    Tip: If you cut all the swatches at one time it will save you time. I highly recommend that you make all of your yoyos at the same time before going on to the next step. If you leave them to dry overnight or for awhile this is especially important to make all of them now. They will be very stiff and easier to work with the longer you can leave them to dry.

    Dark Burgandy swatches
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  6. #6
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    Now lay the yoyo face up on the swatch( also face up). Pin in place. Then sew the yoyo onto the background swatch.

    Place the yoyo under the foot on your sewing machine. Sew around the edge slowly. Take a couple stitches and then evaluate whether you can take another stitch or do you need to lift the foot and turn your fabric.

    Make sure you always leave your needle down before you lift the foot! When you get practiced at doing this you can slide the fabric so it spins under the needle. But spinning them is not easy to do. And I still do it slowly.

    Continue to sew around the circle a few stitches at a time until you get back to where you started. This is the only curved sewing you will do on this project. With practice this is not really hard. It may seem intimidating but if you go slow it isn’t really that difficult to do. I can’t drop my feeddogs so I just sew it normally.

    Sew the yoyo onto the swatch
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  7. #7
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    TIP: You can sew the yoyo on in several ways. You can sew it on with the sewing machine as I show below here. Or you can hand sew it on or use a zigzag or other stitch on your machine and sew around on the edge. You can certainly use the needle turn method if that is what you are comfortable with. If you are uncomfortable with these you could use an iron on method.


    TIP: You can practice with paper to get the feel of sewing a circle with your sewing machine. Cut out a 2” circle and practice sewing it onto another piece of paper.

    --------------


    Next it is time to cut the swatch apart. You need to cut this into four but they need to be the same size.

    Basically you want to measure the width of your yoyo and cut down the middle with your rotary cutter.
    I have an 18” ruler cut into two sections. I like to use both of them so I can position them on the yoyo.

    Then I take away the right one leaving the left one in place and cut. I don’t have to figure any fractions that way. Just use the lines on the rulers to center your yoyo between both rulers.

    Some math is unavoidable but why bother if you don’t have to- right?
    Make sure to lay ruler parallel with the edge of the swatch or you will not have room for the template.
     
    This is the most important part of this process. You
    need to take the time to be as accurate as possible in your cutting. That is why it is a good idea to use the two rulers as you can get a more accurate placement of the ruler you need to cut along.

    Sorry about the change in fabrics. I had to go back and take pics of steps I didn't take the first time I wrote this lesson. And I didn't have the original fabrics. Sorry if that makes it a bit confusing.

    You should have 4 rough squares. Meaning they aren't trimmed yet. The purpose of trimming after the yoyo is sewn on is so when you cut out with a template you get a more accurate square than if you started with a perfectly cut square for the background. When you applique on it can distort the background fabric somewhat so this way the final cut is more accurate.
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    Cut out the square. Remember to keep the template from moving as you turn the mat to cut.
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    Lay one rough square on your mini cutting mat. Place the 1 1/2" template on the rough square. Match up the corner of the template with the corner of the square.
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    Fold back the light fabric and trim the bulk underneath. You can do this before or after you cut the rough square into a 1 1/2\u0094 block. Trim within a ¼\u0094 of the seam
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    The yoyo sewn onto the background square
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    Both rulers positioned on the yoyo so they are centered
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    Remove the right ruler leaving the left one in position. DO NOT LET THE LEFT RULER MOVE!
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    Cut along the ruler
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    Now take the half swatch and turn it so you can do it again and cut the half into two. Repeat with the other half. Pay attention to accurate placement of the rulers!!
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    Trim the excess fabric leaving a 1/4" seam allowance
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    Finished Drunkard's Path Block
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  8. #8
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    The size of circle I used here was a 2" to make a 1 1/2" Drunkard's Path Block to use in making a 6 1/2" quilt block.

    To make a larger quilt block we would need to use a larger circle. I don't have that math worked out but if you would like me to figure it for you just let me know and I will be happy to help.

    You can experiment with paper instead of fabric to practice these steps or to figure out what size circle you might need for the size block you want to make.


    NEW INFO--for those of you who are having trouble figuring out how to get a 2" circle for the cardboard circles I just figured out that the cap on my Magic Sizing bottle is a perfect 2"!! Who knew?!!

    So take the cap and place the open end on your cardboard and trace around it. Be careful not to squeeze the cap tho or your circle will become an oval! LOL


    Hope you enjoy this process and have many happy hours sewing!!!
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  9. #9
    Power Poster cjomomma's Avatar
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    I am so gonna try this one as soon as i get the others done. Thank you Rhonda, another great tut.

  10. #10
    Super Member luv-e's Avatar
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    Rhonda, Thank You so much for the great tut.

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