I hereby declare this is drunkards path week. First, I featured the paintings of Luiz Zerbini. Now, I want to show you two small quilts, let’s call them quiltlets, I’ve been working on. They use the modern drunkards path block.
What makes this block modern? As the photo below shows, the larger, traditional orange and yellow blocks have at least a half inch between the outer edge and the pie piece, while in the smaller modern blocks the distance between the pie and the curved piece is just 1/4 inch. When the modern blocks are sewn together, the pies touch each other. At least that’s the theory.
The 20.5 by 24.5 inch quiltlet reverses the light and dark colors from the pillow cover.
I’m still working up a quilting design for “Flower Power” but have managed to start two new projects, so I’ve shoved all the boring (to me) finishing chores to the bottom of the heap. I have a month and a half until the close of 2018, plenty of time for all the facings/bindings/quilting/hanging sleeves needed.
According to the Stephen Friedman Gallery writeup of his work, “Zerbini uses a rich and luminous palette on a range of different subject matter from landscapes, cityscapes, and domestic scenes to those with a more obscure or even abstract intention. By juxtaposing styles and techniques, organic and geometric patterns, fields of light and shadow, he creates optical effects that beckon for contemplation. He is an artist that constantly multiplies the formal possibilities related to his painting and rejects any potential stagnation of established formula, making it difficult to define any linearity in his production.”
I take that to mean you can’t really pin down his style. But, no matter, here’s some of his work that appealed to me.
I find an intriguing combination of grids and curves in Zerbini’s work, and some of his painterly effects, like the lower right corner of the last work shown above, look like they could be hand dyed fabric.
I was happy to chance upon A Quilter’s Mixology by Angela Pingel at a library visit recently. The title refers to the drunkard’s path block, not specialty drinks like sunbonnet Sue smoothies or log cabin lager.
Yes, this is a quilt pattern book (16, to be precise) but it re-imagines what can be done with the block. As the author says, “It becomes a modern and graphic design that reflects the original block, but introduces a new vision for using the shape.”
Pingel has devised a modern drunkard’s path block that has the quarter circle pieces meet at the seam line and has skinny L-shaped pieces. She uses this alone or in combination with the more traditional block.
Her book includes templates for the blocks, though she uses a die-cutting machine as a time saver. Speaking from experience, it can be tricky to cut accurately from thin template plastic shapes as little bits get shaved off when you cut fabric with your rotary cutter or scissors. I trace the shape with a gel roller pen and then cut on the traced lines.
As for sewing the curves of this block – often a sticking point – Angela shows a method of sewing halfway from one end and then sewing from the other end to the middle. The illustrations for this aren’t too clear, but I think you need to flip the block over.
Now for my favorites.
I love this clever graphic use of the modern block called Paint Drips.
The Sunrise table runner is another striking use of the modern block.
Nine Patch Curves would satisfy the more traditional quilter’s fabric choices and work well in bold solids.
Loosely Curved is perfect for a guild challenge I have due in the fall.
I think this book will appeal to a wide array of quilters. When I brought it to the last meeting of my MQG one member whipped out her smart phone and ordered a copy on the spot. You can read more about the above four plus the other twelve quilt patterns on Angela’s blog Cut To Pieces.