(Click on the image to visit the Shades website.)
This quilt is called "Magic Steps" in our Log Cabin ABCs book, Product #8043. In case you are tempted to make a similar wallhanging or quilt, I’m going to share a secret that is in the book. I learned it when looking at an antique quilt. It is quite common to see what I call “double-wides ” in Courthouse Steps quilts. That happens when people make blocks all the same size (which is a sensible thing to do…) and all of the blocks start with pairs of light strips and end with dark or vice versa. Then, when the blocks are set together, the smooth stair step design you see in the quilt above doesn't happen because it is broken by the double wide strips.
Here is the TrickIn this block, the last pair of strips in the block are dark.
1. When the blocks are joined into horizontal rows, position the light strip on the sides and the dark strips on the top and bottom. But, don’t join them yet.
2. Cut additional strips of the light fabric(s) the same width as the strips in the block, and the length of the block. Sew them between each block and at each end of the rows.
3. To keep those new light strips from connecting when the rows are joined, cut dark strips the same width as the block strips and as long as the rows and sew them between the rows of blocks.
4. To complete the look, sew a dark strip on all four sides of the quilt interior as we did in the "Magic Steps" quilt shown at the beginning of this article.
Here is Paul, our Courthouse Steps Block
Click on the image for a larger view. Click the link below to download the Chart for cutting and making Paul:
From Marti Michell Chart #57
Visit these other Farmer's Wife Sew Along blogs, too, for sewing tutorials and other info about the Farmer's Wife block:
The Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt: Inspiring Letters from Farm Women of the Great Depression and 99 Quilt Blocks That Honor Them by Laurie Aaron Hird for Fons & Porter/F+W.