How to Sew a Classic Courthouse Steps Block

Sewing a classic courthouse steps quilt block from 2½” pre-cut strips is fun and fast! In this tutorial, I’m going to teach you how to make a pretty block with two color gradients, going from lightest to darkest.

How to Sew a Courthouse Steps block

You can sew this block in so many different ways, orienting it in your quilt top for lots of exciting looks. For a whole quilt, you could make half of the blocks going from dark to light and half going from light to dark for a good contrast.

Arrange the pre-cut fabric strips according to color

Cutting directions

To make one block, you’ll need seven pre-cut strips in a variety of colors. I used a roll of Boundless Blenders Botanical Fabric, which are are 2½” wide x 44″ long.

Here are the complete cutting directions, but I recommend cutting as you go, so you don’t have to measure. Just line up the fabric with the side of your block, and cut it the equal length.

  • White: 1 square 2½” x 2½”
  • Light Blue: 2 squares 2½” x 2½”
  • Light Purple: 2 strips 2½” x 6½”
  • Medium Blue: 2 strips 2½” x 6½”
  • Medium Purple: 2 strips 2½” x 10½”
  • Dark Blue: 2 strips 2½” x 10½”
  • Dark Purple: 2 strips 2½” x 14½”

Step 1:

Arrange the center row of the courthouse steps block

Lay out the white square between two light blue squares. Sew the blue squares to the left and right sides of the white square, using a ¼” seam.

Step 2:

After piecing the center row of the Courthouse Steps block, add the top and bottom purple strips

Finger press the seams outward, away from the white. (Continue pressing all seams outward as you sew the block.) Lay out the light purple strips on the top and bottom of the block. Sew together using a ¼” seam.

Step 3:

Add the left and right Courthouse Steps block strips

After finger pressing the seams outward, lay out the medium blue strips on the left and right of the block. Sew together using a ¼” seam.

Step 4:

Sew the top and bottom Courthouse Steps block strips

After finger pressing the seams outward, lay out the medium purple strips on the top and bottom of the block. Sew together using a ¼” seam.

Step 5:

How to Sew a Courthouse Steps block: Add the left and right strips

After finger pressing the seams outward, lay out the dark blue strips on the left and right of the block. Sew together using a ¼” seam.

Step 6:

After finger pressing the seams outward, lay out the dark purple strips on the top and bottom of the block. Sew together using a ¼” seam.

Step 7:

Press the seams outward

Flip the block over to the back and press the seams flat with a hot, dry iron. Make sure not to move the iron around from side to side, but press it flat so you don’t distort the seams!

How to Sew a Courthouse Steps block from a Jelly Roll

Wasn’t that easy? This block measures 14½” unfinished (14″ finished). I hope you’ve enjoyed this courthouse steps block tutorial, and let us know in the comments if you give it a try.

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