Diatom Progress: Row 1

Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl is hosting the Diatom QAL from December 2022 through July 2023. I decided to join along and work on the Postage Stamp Throw Quilt. I felt challenged and intrigued by doing borders with drunkard’s path blocks. Was I drunk? Possibly when I decided to do this…but doing it I am!

Postage Stamp Twin by Yvonne Fuchs @kathleenquiltsiltingJetgifl

And, if you are curious what Diatom means, here is Yvonne’s explanation:

Diatoms are unicellular organisms and they are either solitary cells or colonies. Diatom colonies can take the shape of ribbons, fans, zigzags, or stars. Living diatoms make up a significant portion of the Earth’s biomass and they generate a large percentage of the oxygen produced on the planet each year. The Diatom quilt is a collection (or colony, if you will) of star blocks.

Block 1

I have pretty funny story about this block, called the Amish Star, and it will explain the pictures. I brought it along on my retreat with my Bee Buddies and worked on it there. I proudly showed it after finishing it and my former co-worker (and still friend) said, can I use that in my color class? I have been looking for a muddy block. Well, we devolved into peals of laughter at my muddy block example. My friend Chris is a “bright quilter” and always does high contrast, so this winds up being a perfect example for her. I honeslty thought it would have a little more contrast but it doesn’t.

The interesting thing is the border helps it a bit. I am not concerned as I wanted to use up this gorgeous collection of batiks. The bright light of a perfect sunny day is also a help! You will notice the purple looks navy sometimes….and these pictures were all taken at the same time. Block 1 is the Amish Star.

Block 2

Connemara Flower

This is the second block. I worked a little harder on the contrast and it is much better. I am liking making the drunkard’s path blocks and I will talk about them in a bit. This block is called the Connemara Flower. We are hoping to go to Ireland late this year or early next year. I think the green background is perfect.

Block 3

The Moonlight Star is block 3. I enjoy the blocks – they finish at 12″ and are fairly easy to make. The surrounding DP blocks are a bit of a challenge, but I am getting there on them. My fabric collection is an Island Batik collection called “……..!!!!!”

Row 1

I decided I would put it together as I sew. It is kind of nice knowing that when you get the the last block you are done. This will just fit on my longarm, so it is the right size for me! The top picture was the first layout, blocks 1&2 connected and then block 3 sitting next to them. As I looked, I decided to sew it together with the 3rd block as the first, to move to two greens away from each other a bit.

Drunkard’s Path Blocks

I am using Jen Carelton Bailey’s templates (@BettyCrockerAss on Instagram). I purchased them at QuiltCon in 2020 and am having a blast using them. Just saying the name, makes me smile as I approach them each time! I use a 28mm rotary cutter* and a glue stick*. I am finding a groove to them, gluing in the center first, then the ends and stretch and finger pressing the seams together. They are all ready to sew once you have done this. The other thing it allows me to do is to use my finger on the point and make it spin in a circle as I sew. I will try to get this filmed one day, as I think it helps with the sewing process.

I have given up a bit of perfection and not worrying the slight off points you will see in the circles, otherwise it will never get done. I am a great believer in a done quilt is a the best thing. This also frees me up to do a lot of practice with the circles, knowing that the riot of batik beauties will make it a beautiful quilt.

My other piece of organization for this quilt will be to keep cutting and making the DP blocks inbetween weeks so that it is not the fussiest thing waiting for me. There will 240 of them, 20 for each block so I don’t want it to be the elephant in the sewing room at the end of the

Coming Up On My Blog
Winter Twist
Retreat Placemats
SAHRR Block 4
Tips and Tutorials on the 22nd 2/22/23
TGIFF 2/23/23
Dust Off a Book Blog Hop 3/8/23
Diatom Row 2 (4/13)

Linky Parties

Fabric Stash

Holding steady here…no fabric in but no finishes either. Soon!

Disclaimer: *Links with asterisk indicate an affiliate link and as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Your price is not any different, but a small percentage of the sale will go to supporting my blog.


  1. February 16, 2023 / 11:33 AM

    Your progress looks great, Kathleen! I love the Drunkard’s Path block, but I hate making them. I need to find a way and a rhythm that works for me. It looks like you are certainly comfortable with the block! 🙂

  2. February 16, 2023 / 5:21 PM

    I think it is so smart that you are sewing your DP blocks ahead of time. Due to everything else I have going on in the studio, I’m still plugging away one block at a time and am envious of your plan! Batiks can be challenging to keep from being muddy, but your second and third blocks have great contrast. I’m delighted to see your progress and love that you already have the first row pieced!

  3. February 17, 2023 / 12:56 AM

    Kathleen I’m really liking your fabrics and blocks. You are brave tackling so many Drunkards Path blocks! Your first row is really pretty.

  4. Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting
    February 17, 2023 / 8:01 AM

    Beautiful, Kathleen!!! They’re stunning already!!! So cool that you had the templates already. Yes, love the drunkards path borders!!!

  5. Vicki in MN
    February 17, 2023 / 8:42 AM

    Nice work Kathleen. All those Drunkard Path blocks would drive me to drink!! I have not mastered curves, don’t really have a desire to either!

  6. February 17, 2023 / 8:47 AM

    What a unique quilt design! Best of luck on your journey, Kathleen.

  7. February 17, 2023 / 9:39 AM

    I’m still chuckling over the muddy comment, obviously you all know each other well enough to break out in peals of laughter. Your blocks look great!

  8. Gwen M
    February 17, 2023 / 11:55 AM

    These are fantastic, Kathleen! I love your fabric choices and Block 3 is
    my favorite. It’s going to be a fun quilt!

  9. Chrisknits
    February 17, 2023 / 2:04 PM

    How fun are those blocks! But I am having enough trouble making my Riley Blake blocks, so I am not going there!!

  10. February 18, 2023 / 9:52 AM

    It’s beautiful, Kathleen! These blocks look fun, but those Drunkard’s Path blocks would definitely have me going crazy! LOL

  11. February 18, 2023 / 1:48 PM

    Muddy or not, your 1st block fits in! How fun to have a drunkard’s path border! 🙂

  12. March 8, 2023 / 3:58 PM

    I’ve always LOVED Irish Chain quilts and yours with the blue fabric is fantastic! Thanks for sharing!

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