More DRUNKARD'S PATH
quilt designs at this site:
BUTTERFLY IN THE GARDEN
REFLECTIONS OF LOVE
SNAKE'S TRAIL (secret)
(also with Dickinson)
* SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS
* WHIRLING ARCHES
Quilt Notes: DRUNKARD'S PATH type designs use quarter-circles (see diagram left and assembly ANIMATION) drafted on squares, swapping the dark and light arrangements, as well as rotating the squares, and thereby creating endless possibilities for geometric quilt designs. However the classic DRUNKARD'S PATH is this one and it dates back to 1897, #46, in the LADIES ART COMPANY Catalogue, although some versions use half-square or third-square grids instead of quarters, see Jinny Beyer's QUILTER'S ALBUM (p. 352).
Under other names, the earliest version of the the block seems to be WANDERER'S PATH IN THE WILDERNESS, published in Farm and Home in 1888, according to Barbara Brackman's ENCYCLOPEDIA. (#1461a).
For a fine sampling of traditional variations of this type block, with full templates and cutting & piecing instructions, see: 65 DRUNKARD'S PATH QUILT DESIGNS, by Pepper Cory, Dover, 1991.
A famous DRUNKARD'S PATH poem (#214)
from Emily Dickinson's Nature Mysticism
I taste a liquor never brewed,
From tankards scooped in pearl;
Not all the vats upon the Rhine
Yield such an alcohol!
Inebriate of air am I,
And debauchee of dew,
Reeling, through endless summer days,
From inns of molten blue.
When landlords turn the drunken bee
Out of the foxglove's door,
When butterflies renounce their drams,
I shall but drink the more!
Till seraphs swing their snowy hats,
And saints to windows run,
To see the little tippler
Leaning against the sun!