Sew Courthouse Steps blocks using purple batiks from the Artisan Batiks: Blossom 2, Elementals: Botanical, and Elementals: Lots of Dots collections by Lunn Studios for Robert Kaufman. For striking contrast between blocks, use dark strips for all sides of the B blocks.


Inspired by Small Steps from designer Jo Morton

Quilt tester: Laura Boehnke

9x22" piece (fat eighth) red batik (block A)
1/8 yard black batik (block centers)
4-9x22" pieces (fat eighths) assorted light batiks (block A)
5-18x22" pieces (fat quarters) assorted purple batiks (blocks A and B)
7/8 yard purple-and-black batik (border, binding)
1-1/4 yards backing fabric
43" square batting

Finished quilt: 34-1/2" square
Finished blocks: 5" square

Quantities are for 44/45"-wide, 100% cotton fabrics.
Measurements include 1/4" seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

About the Method

In the featured quilt, the 1x1-1/2" and 1x2-1/2" strips for the B blocks are cut from the same batik. The 1x2-1/2" and 1x3-1/2" strips are cut from different but matching batiks, as are the next two rounds of strips. Extra yardage has been allowed for cutting strips in this manner. To make a scrappier version of the quilt, you will need only three 9x22" pieces (fat eighths) of assorted light batiks and four 18x22" pieces (fat quarters) of assorted purple batiks.

If you wish to cut all of your 1"-wide strips to exact length first, refer to diagrams 5 and 6 for the necessary measurements.

Cut Fabrics

Cut pieces in the following order.

From red batik, cut:
3-1x18" strips

From black batik, cut:
25-1-1/2" squares

From assorted light batiks, cut:
22 to 32-1x18" strips

From assorted purple batiks, cut:
64 to 74-1x18" strips

From purple-and-black batik, cut:
4-2-1/2x42" binding strips
2-5x34-1/2" border strips
2-5x25-1/2" border strips

Assemble Blocks

1. Sew a red batik 1x18" strip to one edge of a black batik 1-1/2" square (Diagram 1). Press seam away from solid black batik square and trim strip even with edge of square. Sew trimmed red batik strip to opposite edge of black batik square. Press as before and trim even with edge of square (Diagram 2). Set aside the trimmed red batik strip for use in other blocks.

2. In the same manner, sew an assorted light batik 1x18" strip to remaining edges of Step 1 black batik square. Press seams away from black batik square. Trim as before to make a block center (Diagram 3). The block center should be 2-1/2" square including seam allowances; square up, if necessary. Set aside the trimmed light batik strip for use in other blocks.

3. Referring to Step 1, sew, press, and trim a purple batik 1x18" strip to opposite edges of block center (Diagram 4).

4. Continue adding light batik strips and purple batik strips to block center in the same manner, pressing all seams away from block center and squaring up after each round, if necessary, to make Block A (Diagram 5). Block A should be 5-1/2" square including seam allowances.

5. Repeat steps 1–4 to make 12 A blocks total.

6. Using purple batik strips for the red and the light batik strips, repeat steps 1–4 to make 13 B blocks (Diagram 6).

Assemble Quilt Center

1. Referring to Quilt Assembly Diagram, lay out blocks in five rows; alternate A and B blocks and rotate B blocks a quarter turn.

2. Sew together blocks in each row. Press seams open. Join rows to make quilt center; press seams open. The quilt center should be 25-1/2" square including seam allowances.

Add Border

Sew purple-and-black batik 5x25-1/2" border strips to opposite edges of quilt center. Join purple-and-black batik 5x34-1/2" border strip to remaining edges to complete quilt top. Press all seams toward border.

Finish Quilt

1. Layer quilt top, batting, and backing; baste.

2. Quilt as desired.

3. Bind with purple-and-black batik binding strips.