These Courthouse Steps blocks are so addicting, I am not sure I can stop! I have made a dozen and could happily keep going indefinitely. I have been raiding my stash of browns, blacks, rusts, golds and now some greens. Some of these fabrics have made appearances in other favorite quilts I have made, and I am enjoying handling them again and remembering past projects. And also wishing I had purchased more yardage of some of them! This project is perfect for someone like me, whose greatest joy is putting fabrics together!
I have decided upon a process for making the blocks that is giving me good results. You can absolutely make these Courthouse Steps blocks with any ruler, but I decided to use the six inch Log Cabin Trim Tool by Creative Grids. Here's why: It has amazingly clear markings, both in white and in black, and all sorts of lines to help you line up your block to trim perfectly accurately. Only one problem: the block only has three rounds around the center square and I want four.
So here is what I am doing. I am cutting my center square 2 inches square, and my strips are 1 1/2 inches. You do not have to precut the strips into various lengths (a major pain), you just trim up after each round. When I get to that missing fourth round, I sew the strips just as I have with the other rounds, and then trim to a perfect 8 inch square with my Creative Grids 8 1/2 inch ruler.
After sewing the first two strips of the last round, I use the ruler to even things up a bit so the sides are straight. Sew the last two strips on.
Use the 8 1/2 inch ruler to trim the top and right hand sides of the block. Flip the block and trim the other two sides.
And you have a perfect 8 inch unfinished block (7 1/2") finished. I have my five fabrics and the narrow strips I wanted. Those 1 1/2" strips I was sewing on each got trimmed down so they are 3/4" finished.
Now, there is an 8 inch Creative Grids Log Cabin Trim ruler, which I have used previously in other projects, but you only get the three rounds of fabrics and the strips are wider, resulting in a "clunkier" look to me. I wanted to show off more fabrics and use thinner strips. Using the combination of the 6 inch Log Cabin Trim ruler plus my 8 1/2 inch regular ruler is giving me exactly the results I wanted.