The courthouse steps quilt pattern is a very common traditional quilt block. It is perfect for beginners using only squares and rectangles. There are no tricky seams or bias (stretchy) edges, just straight seams. The quilt block is worked from the center square out. Strips of fabric are sewn to both sides until the block is your desired finished size.
Considered a classic quilt block, the courthouse steps is very versatile. Switch up the fabric choices and placements for very different looks in your finished quilt.
Courthouse steps quilt pattern lends itself to being made time and again. There are so many different layout options. The key is to try to keep each of the fabrics a different value to show the design. Try prints, or four different fabrics for the strips around the center.
Here is a variation on the courthouse steps where I started with a rectangle and added different color strips with each round.
How is the Courthouse Steps different than the Log Cabin quilt block?
Both the courthouse steps and the log cabin quilt blocks start with a center square or rectangle, and then strips of fabric are sewn around forming the finished quilt block.
The difference is with the log cabin the block is turned 90 degrees each time to add a new strip. With the courthouse steps quilt block, the strips are sewn on opposites sides, building up the same fabrics on each side, looking like steps.
Can I use a jelly roll to make a courthouse steps quilt?
Yes! In the tutorial above I started with a 1-1/2 inch square. If you are using a jelly roll, start with a 2-1/2 inch square, since the jelly roll is 2-1/2 inches wide. Then begin adding strips to both sides of the center square as we did above.
Browse through more free quilt patterns on Create Whimsy.