Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Courthouse Steps Quilt

Like so many other quilters, I have several projects in the works.  I'll refer back to my "list".  And btw, I found my list and now have it updated in my computer.  Whew!  I'm not sure if that's a relief or not, as it now just reminds me of how much I haven't accomplished over the past 8 months. 

So I've been working on a courthouse steps quilt since mid April.  I kept putting it aside to get other things done, and not necessarily quilting things, nor sewing things.  I initially started it as a wedding quilt, but instead it is going to be a sample for the shop.  I'm really enjoying how it's turning out. 
So, these are strips for a partial block, not too exciting, right?  Hold tight, the best is yet to come.  I also used black cornerstones for the blocks.   
 This is one square completed.  This has just a little twist to a traditional courthouse steps block.  I'm using medium and darks for each colorway, a few shades off from one another.  Also, there are not too many light mediums in this quilt.  Mostly, mediums and darks.
Here is two rows of the quilt.  In order to merge the same color into the next row, you have to use sashing from the fabrics used in the blocks with black cornerstones.  Now you can see how it's hard to see where the actual block really is.  You can also see how the blocks almost look like striped fabric from a distance.  
There are a lot of different fabrics, I don't believe that I'm reusing any fabric twice, with the exception of the outside fabrics.  These are the ones that fall around the edge and I only used half of what I cut up if I use it once, so why not use it again.
When this quilt is done, it will take 879 black squares and 152 different color coordinated fabrics.  Okay, so it sounds a little mind boggling.  Rome wasn't built in a day and this quilt won't be either, but those are the ones I love best.  Back to the black squares.  I wanted to show how I cut these squares.  Of course, I didn't invent this method, I believe it's Debbie Caffrey's method.  
So, first I cut all my strips.  Then I lay them one at a time onto my cutting mat.  I space them anywhere from 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch, depending on how many I have to cut.  If I have a lot, I place them closer. 
I eyeball the 1/4 inch, lining up my selvage edge.  Now I'm ready to cut.
First I cut off my selvage.  Then, I proceed to cut a row of squares and pull them away.
I continue to cut until I don't have enough fabric to complete a square.  The benefit to doing this method is that you don't have any rocking going on with your ruler.  It lays flat while you cut all the way up the ruler. 
 Finis!  I started out with twenty strips and I now have 560 squares.  Well, it's not quite enough for the whole quilt, so I will have to do this again with another 15 strips.  If I would have done my math first, I could have had them all cut the first time around.  Oh well!
So, here they all are and now I'm ready to sew blocks.  I'll keep you posted on how the quilt is coming along.  My goal is to have it done by Aug17th.  Wish me luck!



  1. That is a fabulous design. Can't wait to see it as it grows!

  2. I too will watch this as it grows. It is going to be special. I would like to make one also. I guess I need to find a pattern for the dimensions if it would be acceptable for me to make one also after seeing yours.. thank you for sharing what you are doing.

  3. Looks like you are no longer blogging. Still making quilts?