The Drunkard’s Owl Block–52 Blocks

It’s hard to come up with a new block AND a tutorial for that block every week!  Luckily for me, my mother-in-law, Diane Lapacek, stepped in and put the ‘twist’ I put on a tradition block today.  Check out what happens when your owl has too much to drink!

The Drunkard’s Owl Block


pattern by Diane Lapacek


This cute little owl is a made from the traditional Drunkard’s Path block.

To make a Drunkard’s Path template, check out this tutorial http://sewnbyleila.blogspot.com/2012/01/23-drunkards-path.html from Sewn by Leila. I used a 4” finished Drunkard’s Path with the line where the 2 pieces meet at 3¼” from the bottom and 1¼” from the top. Other sizes will work just as well.

***Don’t have a compass? Read below to see how solved that problem.***

You will need 4 of each piece to complete your owl. I suggest layering all 4 fabrics and cutting them all together. For the outside piece you’ll need 2 background , 1 owl and 1 owl accent fabric.


For the inside piece, you’ll need 2 background and 2 owl fabric. Layer and cut them all together in the same way.

Lay them all on the table to see how they will go together.

Add the details. I used Heat ‘n Bond Lite to fuse them in place. They could just be pinned and stitched down. If they are fused, the edges should still be stitched down, either now or in the quilting process later.

· For the beak, cut a 1” square. Line it up even with the corner.

· For the eyes, cut circles about 1¼” in diameter. I used the bottom of an acrylic paint bottle for a pattern. Line up the top of them with the edge of the piece.

· The eye centers are a little more than ½“ in diameter. I use the end of an AA battery for a pattern.

To sew the Drunkard’s Path curve:


Fold each inside piece in half and make a tiny notch at the fold. Remember that the seam allowance is ¼”. The notch should be no more than half of that.


Do the same for the outside pieces.


Place the outside (cancave) piece on top of the inside (convex) piece, lining up the edges. Don’t worry about the whole seam line now. Just line up the first inch or so.


Place under the sewing machine and take a few stitches.

Now, stop with the needle down and line up the notches. The top layer may need to stretch a bit.



Start stitching again. Go a few stitches, then lift the presser foot (be sure the needle is down) and adjust the layers if necessary. I like to use my stiletto to move the layers into position.

When you have stitched to the notches, adjust the rest of the seam so the ends will line up, then continue to stitch as before to complete the seam.



Press the seams toward the outside of the block.

All that’s left is to sew all 4 pieces together to complete your block.


Print a FREE PDF Copy of this Pattern HERE

So…even though I’m personally not very good at making Drunkard Path Blocks I felt like I would be failing all my followers if I didn’t make this block too.

The tutorial above that Diane links too is really helpful and will enable you to make Drunkard Path blocks in whatever size you want.  I just have one problem – I can’t find my compass.  I have no idea where it is and I really didn’t want to spend half my day searching for it.  Then I remembered – the September 2012 FREE Craftsy BOM block was the Drunkard’s Path!  And they had templates.  (If you’re not a member of craftsy – don’t worry it’s free to sign up.  If you aren’t signed up for the 2012 Craftsy BOM – don’t worry that’s free too!  But you’ll have to do both of these things to get the printable templates).


So – I went to the class lesson and reprinted the templates!  If this is the method you choose to use – cut your fabric squares to 3.5” and then cut your pieces out of the squares.


Here’s my block – before I trimmed it.  I’m not very good at these curves.  I’m thinking maybe I should start with a bigger block...


Oh well – it was nothing a little squaring up couldn’t finish.  This worked out just fine in this situation since I won’t be matching lots of drunken path blocks together…My owl ended up 6-inches square instead of 6.5-inches.


And my Drunk little Owl will eventually join in the ‘Creature’ round of the quilt I’ll be putting together from some of the 52 blocks I make this year.

I can’t wait to see what all your blocks look like!  Be sure to share you blocks and any projects you make using your blocks onto our flickr group: 52 Blocks Quilt Along

Instagram/Twitter Hashtag: #52bTT

Previous Blocks


Come by next Wednesday to see what tradition we twist next!

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