Wild Waves: A Fat Quarter Friendly Drunkard's Path Quilt

Wild Waves: A Fat Quarter Friendly Drunkard's Path Quilt

The Wild Waves Quilt is a product of me learning how to use Adobe Illustrator (AI). I took the 2023 Quilt Pattern Writing Course from Elizabeth Chappell of Quilter's Candy this past fall and this quilt was the first one I designed after learning the basics of AI. It was inspired by a Pinterest photo of a retro kitchen backsplash. 

The tiles looked like a basic Drunkard's Path quilt block but they were rotated in such a random way that struck me as wild and amazing. The second I learned how to make this block in AI, I was hooked. I made so many mock-ups with different fabric collections and this AGF True Blue version just blew me away.

I had to make it.

Get the Wild Waves Quilt Block Template Here.

The deets:

I didn't originally design this quilt with a border but I after sewing together all of the blocks, I wanted it to be a little bit bigger so I added a 6 inch border. The finished size with the border is 57" by 65".

Fabric Requirements:

Supplies Needed (other than the basic sewing machine, cutting mat, rotary cutter, ruler, etc.):

  • Printer
  • Printer paper
  • Tape
  • Pins or clips
  • Quilt block template
  • Optional: Fabric marking pen
  • Optional: Template plastic or other template making material (cardboard, cardstock, etc.) 

After printing out the Wild Waves Quilt Block Template, cut out both Template A and Template B on the outer solid line.

Then pick one of the Template A pieces and cut on the dotted line. Do the same with one of the Template B pieces. This will allow you to stack the templates and match them on the dotted lines. Tape your templates together and you're good to go!

Next, with one fat quarter folded in half, line up Templates A and B as shown and cut them out. You'll end up with two of each template from each fat quarter. 

Some tips for cutting out the templates:

1. If you have a square ruler handy, use it to cut the straight edge sides of both templates.

2. For the curved part of the template, use a small ruler and line it up with the edge of the curve. Then keep your rotary cutter up against the ruler as you move along the curve. This gives your blade something to push up against so you don't go wonky. 

    Repeat these steps for each of the 15 fat quarters. You should have 30 Template A's and 30 Template B's.

    Now mix and match your pieces! For this version, I paired a darker fabric with a lighter fabric but I tried to keep it completely random so no two blocks looked the same.

    Get the Wild Waves Quilt Block Template Here.

    On to sewing the curves!

    My best advice for sewing curves is to use pins or clips to hold everything together. 

    First, mark the center of the two pieces by folding them in half and making a crease. 

    Unfold and line up the center marks on each piece. 

    Place them right sides together and place a pin or clip in the center marks. 

    Then match up the edges of your pieces and clip or pin them as well. 

    I like to add as many clips as I can just to keep everything in the right place.

     Slowly sew the pieces together using a 1/4" seam allowance.

    Now you should have this monstrosity on your hands:

    But, don't worry. Once you iron that seam, it'll be beautiful. Press seams out toward the smaller piece of fabric.

    Continue pinning, sewing, and pressing until you have all 30 blocks ready to go!

    Get the Wild Waves Quilt Block Template Here.

    I did not do this next step but I do recommend doing it because I ended up with a not flat quilt top... Trim your blocks to be square. They will measure approximately 9 1/2" square but they may be a tad wonky because... curves. Simply give them a trim (if you have 9 1/2" square ruler, you're already halfway there) to make them all the same size and your quilt top will thank you. 

    Now is the really fun part - laying out all of the blocks in a random pattern.

    I love the look of the random rotation of each block, but if you want it to be less random, there are countless ways to make this quilt. That's the beauty of the drunkard's path. Here are some fun examples of alternate layouts:

    Get the Wild Waves Quilt Block Template Here.

    Like I mentioned before, once I pieced the quilt top together, I realized it was too small. I decided to add a border just to make it a good throw size. I cut (6) 6 1/2" x WOF strips to create the border. 

    A few years ago during a deep dive on YouTube, I came across a video describing how to add a border to a quilt in such a way that it helps square up the quilt and gets rid of any wonkiness. I cannot for the life of me remember whose video it was but I do remember the technique.

    Adding Borders:

    1. Fold quilt in half lengthwise and mark the center on both the top and bottom of the quilt.

    2. Unfold and measure the distance between your two marks. This will give you the length of you quilt in the center. 

    3. Cut two border pieces to the length of your quilt.

    4. Fold one of the border pieces in half and mark the center by creasing with an iron, putting in a pin, or marking with a fabric pen.

    5. With your border piece folded in half, fold in half again and mark the center points as before.

    6. Repeat steps 4-5 with your quilt top. You should now have three marks on both your border piece and quilt top.

    7. With right sides together, line up your center marks on the border piece and quilt top. Place a pin or clip. Repeat on the other two marks as well as the ends of the border piece and quilt top.

    8. Here is where the magic happens. Add more pins along the edge of your border and quilt top, pulling the fabric as needed to make it line up between your initial pins at the points you’ve marked. This will ease out any fullness that may be in your quilt top and help keep everything square.

    9. Sew your border piece to your quilt top and then repeat steps 4-8 to attach the opposite side border to your quilt top.

    10. Repeat steps 1-9 to measure the width of your quilt with the newly added borders and attach your top and bottom borders.

    Voila! You now have a beautiful Wild Waves Quilt top!

    Get the Wild Waves Quilt Block Template Here.

    Backing instructions:

    Cut your 3 1/2 yards in half to make (2) 1 3/4 yard (63") chunks. Or, better yet, have whoever is cutting your fabric at the store cut (2) 1 3/4 lengths for you!

    Sew these two pieces together along the selvedge edge and press seam open.

    Please share your Wild Waves Quilt with me on Instagram! Tag @bundleandbolt and use the hashtags #wildwavesquilt and #bundleandboltpatterns.




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