FREE Quilt Pattern Friday! *Drunkard’s Path*

Welcome to FREE Quilt Pattern Friday!

Today’s free quilt pattern is a scrappy quilt from the International Quilt Study Center & Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska. Although this design is commonly known as Drunkard’s Path, it originally had several other names. Here’s more on that from the curator:

Drunkard's Path Free Quilt Pattern
Circa 1900 Drunkard’s Path quilt (68½” × 79½”)

Very little is known of the origins of this quilt, except that it is a classic pattern, usually rendered in solid fabrics or calico. Originating in England, the pattern was known as Wanderer in the Wilderness, Rob Peter to Pay Paul, or Mill Wheel. The Amish later called it Solomon’s Puzzle or Old Maid’s Puzzle. Legend has it that some quilters believed that it was bad luck to piece a Drunkard’s Path quilt–the person who slept under it might develop a thirst for drink and wander far from home.

In the 1870s and 1880s, quilt styles changed and women began making pieced quilts of designs that were composed of many small pieces. Quilters
used the multitude of calico fabric available to them in the United States after the Civil War. “This quilt illustrates a classic color combination of the era, incorporating deep indigo blues, light sky blue, black, gray, and deep burgundy, in combination with shirting prints.” says Carolyn Ducey, Curator of Collections at the International Quilt Study Center & Museum. “Shirtings are light-colored cotton fabrics with small printed motifs that were popular for clothing.”

The pattern maintains its graphic quality with the contrast of small prints set on an off-white ground. “The interplay of the individual blocks, with no sashing and blocks stitched directly next to each other, creates dynamic secondary patterns,” says Ducey. “The balance and distribution of the light and dark fabric is very successful.”

Download your FREE quilt pattern here!

Keep coming back to the Fons & Porter blog for Friday fun! Every other week we feature FREE Quilt Pattern Friday and BLOCK Friday blogs.

Happy Quilting!

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