<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> Drunkard's Path whole-quilt mockups
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Drunkard's Path patterns

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The 13 blocks below are just a sampling of the Drunkard's Path patterns that quilters' ingenuity has produced since the 18th century. To see whole-quilt mockups, click on a block.

Drunkard's Path
Drunkard's Path
Rocky Road to Dublin

This is Carrie Hall's version of Drunkard's Path. "'Drunkard's Path' or 'Rocky Road to Dublin' before 184," she wrote, "Then called 'Rocky Road to California' or 'Country Husband.' In Salem, Ohio, it was called 'Robbing Peter to Pay Paul.'" We don't know where she found out that information.


Fool's Puzzle

Fool's Puzzle

The Fool's Puzzle block, from the Ladies Art Company's 1897 catalog, is the earliest published variation of Drunkard's Path that we know of. It appeared later in 1935 (Hall) and ca. 1958 (Aunt Martha's Easy Quilts booklet No. 3500), remarkably enough, with the same name.


Fool's Puzzle

Fool's Puzzle

Carrie Hall's 3-color version of Fool's Puzzle (1935) is shown at left. It is a curious choice of color placement. Click on the block to see a whole-quilt mockup.


Wonder of
the World

Wonder of the World

Hall's 1935 block, Wonder of the World, is simply a 2-color version of the Fool's Puzzle block above.


Around the World

Around the World

From Hall's 1935 Romance of the Patchwork Quilt in America comes this interesting arrangement, which appears to be unique among quilt publications.


Falling Timber

Falling Timber

While the block first appeared in Hall's 1935 book, it is one of 6 that reappeared with identical names in an Aunt Martha booklet called Easy Quilts (ca. 1958). They were Falling Timber, Vine of Friendship, Nonesuch, Drunkard's Path, and the 2-color Fool's Puzzle above.

In quilting's grand tradition of borrowing, Easy Quilts also included 2 designs from the Kansas City Star: Chain Links, a near-exact version of Chain Quilt (1942) and Diagonal Stripes, an extended String Quilt in a Seashell Motif (1956). Where the Star got those blocks we don't know.

Vine of Friendship

Vine of Friendship

From Carrie Hall (1935) and Easy Quilts (ca. 1958).


Nonesuch
Nonesuch
Love Ring

From Carrie Hall (1935), who included the alternate name Love Ring, and Easy Quilts (ca. 1958).


Chain Quilt
Chain Quilt
Chainlinks

This Kansas City Star block from 1942 also appeared in Easy Quilts, an Aunt Martha booklet, 16 years later. While the Star's block looked exactly as it does at left, the Aunt Martha version had 4 times as many blocks miniblocks and slightly larger quarter circles. It is that version that we show as a whole-quilt mockup.


String Quilt
in a Seashell Motif

String Quilt in a Seashell Motif

The charm of this Kansas City Star block from 1956 lies in the pattern made by the strings—which, as quilters know, are thin strips of scrap fabrics sewn to a stable backing fabric such as muslin.

String quilting was a Depression-inspired style that became a quilter favorite again in the early 21st century, long after thrift and quilting had parted ways.

Our graphic isn't exactly like the Star's. The original showed 6 blocks, but it also showed irregular string pieces, which were more numerous in the blocks in which the strings run from curve to corner.

Click on the graphic to see whole-quilt mockups.

Wonder of the World
Wandering Path of the Wilderness

Ladies Art Company #46, 1897.

Clara Stone's Practical Needlework (1906) also included it. Stone's Wandering Path of the Wilderness block was a four patch (rather than a 9 patch).

Drunkard's Path
Robbing Peter to Pay Paul

This was interspersed with plain blocks of fancy quilting in Finley's 1929 book.


Polka Dots
Polka Dots

The Aunt Martha booklet Easy Quilts (No. 3500, ca. 1958) showed Polka Dots as a Drunkard's Path design. It is: The individual blocks each include a single quarter-circle. For Snowball-style designs made of different building blocks, click here: