My obsession with Courthouse Steps blocks started a while back after I saw this quilt by Melissa and this quilt by Audrie from Blue is Bleu. I really wanted to try this pattern! The Sewing Room Swap last February gave me the excuse I needed, my lovely partner, Carmen, had a Courthouse Steps Pillow in her inspiration mosaic and conveniently, Audrie had just posted this pillow tutorial. These mini blocks use 1 1/4″ strips and each block finishes at 6 3/4″.
I really enjoyed making the mini and I knew I wasn’t done with Courthouse Steps. Back in May I had a chance to do some selfish sewing, I made a few blocks using another one of Audrie’s patterns, Lanterns in the City from the book Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe. Then other projects got in the way and those few blocks were packed up and forgotten.
Over the holidays I had a chance to pull the blocks out and give them another go. It was the perfect holiday project, I was able to spend several days working away on it. I used the living area floor as my design wall. Using the floor is a good incentive to work quickly before the pieces have been walked over too many times! The blocks are 11″ square, I made 25 blocks to make a 55″ square throw-sized quilt.
I think I spent as much time deciding which fabrics went where as I did actually sewing the strips together. Not that these blocks are fast, there are 21 pieces in each block.
If you’re thinking of making Courthouse Steps blocks, my best time-saving tip is one I picked up from Marla (SewHungry on Instagram)… take care to sew the first round of strips in the correct order, after that, it’s all just mindless sewing. Thanks Marla! I had sewn 3 blocks incorrectly, by accidentally switching the first two strips, before Marla shared that tip!
To sew these blocks, I laid the strips out on the floor, then grabbed the 5 centre pieces from each block and sewed those together. I double checked that I had the fabrics in the right order by putting the pieced square back into place. The remaining strips were then just mindless sewing. To speed things up, I chain pieced three blocks at a time.
I’m giving this quilt to a friend so I’m already thinking about my next Courthouse Steps quilt, I love this pattern! Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.