Must-Try Trends: Quarter Circle Unit & Quilts


At American Quilter’s Society, we’ve always got an eye on quilting trends. From innovative techniques to returning classics, there’s a trend for everyone. This month, we’re trying the Quarter Circle unit and quilts.

This simple unit is made using curved piecing, or applique, and can be used in near endless configurations for really stunning quilt.

How to Try This Trend

Click Here to download 3″ finished size Quarter Circle Templates.

Click Here to download 6″ finished size Quarter Circle Templates.

Quarter Circle Units

Use the paper template (or trace them onto a reusable plastic template material like we did) to trace the concave shape onto the wrong side of the fabric. Cut out the shape.

drunkard's path tutorial  drunkard's path tutorial

Repeat for the convex shape.

drunkard's path tutorial  drunkard's path tutorial

Press the concave shapes in half, right sides together. Press the convex shapes in half, wrong sides together.

drunkard's path tutorial  drunkard's path tutorial

Place a convex piece on top of a concave piece, right sides together, matching the center creases. Pin the center in place.

drunkard's path tutorial

Gently bend the concave shape to match the corner of the convex shape and pin. Repeat on the other corner.

drunkard's path tutorial

Gently pull at the fabric so the edges of the concave and convex shapes match, pinning as needed.

drunkard's path tutorial

Sew with the convex side down, at a slow speed. It’s helpful to use a quarter inch foot and set the needle to end in the down position, if possible. Remove the pins as you sew.

drunkard's path tutorial

Check the seam allowance and the smoothness of the curve and make any desired corrections now. For a small Quarter Circle unit, it can be helpful to clip the seam; do what works best for you.

drunkard's path tutorial

Finger press first to ensure no fabric is left folded into the seam, and then set with a press of the iron. Press yours as best suits your plan.

drunkard's path tutorial  drunkard's path tutorial

Applique Alternative:

If you would rather applique the convex shapes, either turn under the curved seam allowance using the freezer paper method or trim off the seam allowance and fuse applique. Topstitch the convex shape to squares to make a Quarter Circle unit.

Take the Plunge!

With Quarter Circle under your belt, you are ready to branch out into projects and variations. Check out the free patterns and AQS Member Exclusive patterns below for a project to make.

Free Patterns

Drunkard's Path quilt block

Drunkard’s Path Block and Variation Blocks


State Block: Kansas


Cherry Pie Block


Empress of the Nile by RaNae Merrill


AQS Member Exclusive Patterns

Resonate by Marian Gallian and Yvette Marie Jones


Color Cascade by Connie Brown


Dragonfly Blossoms by Kay Oft


Awakening by Betsey Langford


Sugar Maples & Nose Stickers by Pat Delaney


Baby Bunting by Deborah Gordon

Ready for more inspiration?

Check out our Must-Try Pinterest board full of trendy eye-candy to get inspired, including Quarter Circle units, blocks and quilts.

Have you tried this trend? Show us your creations in our Facebook group, AQS Quilting Project Parade. We can’t wait to see what you make!

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