Saturday, March 28, 2009

Courthouse Steps Quilt Blocks

I've been making Courthouse Steps blocks... my centers are 2" and the strips are cut 1 1/2" . So far I've made 25. There is no rhyme or reason for the fabric I am using... just yellow on the outside, darks toward the edges and lights inside. Every fabric is different except a few of the yellows I've had to repeat. The contrast will be subtle... and I am interested to see how it will come out. The ones that are safety pinned together are already squared up.

To keep track I glued my fabric to a copy of the paper pattern. Little, itty, bitty snippets of fabric - just to help me stay organized. Because with courthouse steps - you need to pay attention. I always sew in the same order - left/right first and then top/bottom. By sewing 4-5 blocks at a time chain piecing goes fairly fast without having to keep track of a huge pile of different strips. I used a pen to block out squares and "X" through them as I made them, but it is hard to see...

The more blocks I made, the harder it got to see exactly what I had made. So, I photocopied my fabric collage and then colored out the blocks already made. I discovered I had made 1 more after I took this photo. I can cross reference the 2 different papers to see what still needs to be pieced. As you can see by all the blacked out squares... I am a little more than 1/2 way done!
All in all, I think this has been a good method for keeping track of my blocks without keeping my blocks all over the floor (and I don't have a design wall). I am also using up an odd assortment of older fabrics, but it has occurred to me - I sure would use up some of these fabrics faster if I could pick a pattern that used bigger pieces. All these small strips and ironing are time consuming! But I can't help myself, I really like designs that are made from small pieces.

UPDATE:  This post gets alot of traffic so I thought I would post a follow-up photo here of my top once it was pieced together:
This is a fun pattern, but next time I make it I will be using slightly larger strips/centers to make up a little bigger but without taking forever!


Kare said...

Oh no, those blocks look like something I could/should make from my stash . . . hhmmmmmmm

Cher said...

fun to use up your scraps whatever size you enjoy. This looks a good project for working on as you find time

Scrappy-Quilter said...

what a great set of blocks this will be and a great scrap reducer. can't wait to see the finished project.