“Cats” Courthouse Steps

I made this wall hanging for my son to hang in his new office. He just graduated from law school and has started a judicial clerkship. After all the years of being a student – finally a real job he’s interested in and pays more than sub minimum wage! Yay adulthood 🙂

I called it Cats Courthouse Steps only because I decided to make it out of his undergraduate alma mater’s colors – blue and gold for the Montana State Bobcats! Of course the courthouse steps block looks great in any contrasting colors, so you can be creative and do your own thing. Most of my quilts are made with scraps, or at least made by chopping up fat quarters I’ve bought along the way, and this little mini quilt is no different. I have a lot of blues and yellows in my stash, so it was easy for me to make all the steps in each block different, but it would look just as good if you made the two steps across from each other out of the same fabric – that way you would only use 4 different fabrics in each color, instead of 8 like I did.

The courthouse steps is an easy block to construct – very beginner friendly. You can do the blocks like I did in Cats – all the steps are the same width and the center squares are all the same size, or it is equally effective to use improv piecing. I plan to make this wall hanging a free pattern on my website soon – just need to finish up the graphics and I’ll have it available.

I also have a new free tutorial on how to apply a facing – which I used on this wallhanging. Sometimes a binding just doesn’t fit a quilt aesthetically, as in the case of Cats Courthouse. The finished steps are only 1″ wide, and a binding would cover up another 1/4″ – 1/2″ of the steps on the outside edges of the blocks – to me that would mess up the symmetry of the block. Also if I used blue bind it, that would affect the pattern within the blocks of blue on blue and yellow on yellow by having blue on yellow around the edge on half the blocks, and same if I used yellow to bind. Somehow, both of those problems were annoying to me – so facing was the answer! The method I use to apply facing also ends up giving you a way to hang the mini quilt as well – a win win! I won’t go into any more facing detail here – the tutorial is free and should be up on my website by the time you read this 🙂

Quilty Stats: My mini quilt is made with 100% cotton fabric and batting. I quilted in the ditch with my domestic machine, a Baby Lock Crescendo, using cotton thread and a ditch foot. Overall dimensions (before washing) 18″ x 32″.

Peace my quilty friends! I’m off to mail this to Montana!


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