Indigo Courthouse Steps Quilt Tutorial

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Happy Wednesday! Today I have a finished quilt to share, plus a tutorial for it!

This quilt has been a few years in the making! I've made a few really simple quilts from my hand-dyed indigo fabrics, but I was craving something with a bit more piecing for this quilt. Most of my hand-dyed fabric stash is fat quarters, so I knew I wanted to come up with a design that would take advantage of fat quarters. I ended up choosing 8 different indigo fat quarters for this quilt, and immediately cut them all up into 2.5" strips.

I've never made a courthouse steps quilt before, and I liked the idea of making essentially two color blocks and playing with the arrangement to almost create the look of half-square triangles. Lucky for me, the resulting quilt turned out just as I had envisioned it! I like how even though the fabrics have been cut up, you can still get a sense for the dye pattern within each block.

This entire quilt is made from white Kona Cotton*. The dyed prints were indigo dyed by me over the course of a few summers. For more information on indigo dyeing, check out my Indigo Dyeing Tutorial.

The backing is pieced together with some pieces of white fabric and hand dyed pieces. I repurposed a shower curtain I dyed and made a few years ago. It didn't fit with our new shower here, so I thought it would be more useful to revert it back to fabric!

For the quilting, I sent the quilt to Melissa Kelley of Sew Shabby Quilting. The quilt design is called Malachite. The quilt is bound up in more indgo fabric!

There are so many ways you could customize this design. I kept my quilt really simple, only using a single print and background fabric for each block. You could use as many or as few fabrics as you want for yours! The tutorial is written to be fat quarter friendly, but I think it would look really good done up in scraps. Or you could take advantage of a couple jelly rolls! I've included a table with all the piece totals if you'd rather cut from scraps or other yardage.

Indigo Courthouse Steps Quilt Tutorial by Jeni Baker

Sewing Level: Beginner Friendly
Finished Size: 72"x72"
Finished Block Size: 18" square

- 8 print fat quarters
- 3 yards of background fabric
- 80"x80" quilt batting
- 4 1/2 yards of backing fabric
- 5/8 yard of binding fabric

From each print fat quarter:
Cut (7) 2.5"x21" strips

Using the graphic above for reference, subcut the strips into the following:
- (4) 14.5"x2.5" strips
- (4) 6.5"x2.5" strips
- (4) 10.5"x2.5" strips
- (4) 2.5" squares

From background fabric:
Cut (16) 2.5"xWOF strips:
- Subcut each strip into (2) 18.5"x2.5" strips

Cut (8) 2.5"xWOF strips:
- Subcut each strip into (4) 10.5"x2.5" strips

Cut (16) 2.5"xWOF strips:
- Subcut each strip into (2) 14.5"x2.5" strips and (2) 6.5"x2.5" strips

Cut (1) 2.5"xWOF strip:
- Subcut strip into (16) 2.5" squares

Piece Totals
If you'd rather cut from stash or scraps, here is how many of each piece you'll need to make this quilt!

2.5"x2.5" 6.5"x2.5" 10.5"x2.5" 14.5"x2.5" 18.5"x2.5"
Print fabric 32 32 32 32 0
Background fabric 16 32 32 32 32

Indigo Courthouse Steps Quilt Instructions:

*Use a 1/4” seam allowance unless otherwise noted.*

Block Construction:
Each block is made from a single print fabric and background fabric. For a scrappy look, feel free to use a mix of prints in each block.

1. Sew a 2.5" print square to both sides of a 2.5" background square. Press seams away from center.

2. Sew a 6.5"x2.5" background strip to both the top and bottom of the center block. Press seams away from center.

3. Sew a 6.5"x2.5" print strip to both sides of the center block. Press seams away from center.

4. Sew a 10.5"x2.5" background strip to both the top and bottom of the center block. Press seams away from center.

5. Sew a 10.5"x2.5" print strip to both sides of the center block. Press seams away from center.

6. Sew a 14.5"x2.5" background strip to both the top and bottom of the center block. Press seams away from center.

7. Sew a 14.5"x2.5" print strip to both sides of the center block. Press seams away from center.

8. Sew an 18.5"x2.5" background strip to both the top and bottom of the center block. Press seams away from center.

Trim block to 18.5" square if necessary. Repeat steps 1-8 to create a total of 16 blocks.

Quilt Top Construction:

1. Arrange blocks into four rows of four blocks each. Sew blocks together in each row. Press seams in one direction, alternating direction every other row. Sew rows together, press seams open. Press top well from the right side.

Quilt Assembly and Finishing:
1. Making Backing: Cut backing yardage in half. Press. Trim off the selvedge and sew your pieces together lengthwise. Press seam open.

2. Basting: Using masking or painter’s tape, tape the backing to a clean, hard surface, right side down. Spread out your batting on top of the backing. Smooth out any wrinkles. Carefully spread out your quilt top on top of the batting, right side up. Pin your top, I like to use curved safety pins, spacing the pins a few inches apart. Make sure that your pins are going through all three layers.

3. Quilting: Quilt as desired, by machine or by hand. Trim away excess batting and backing fabric.

4. Binding: Cut yardage listed for binding into 2.5” strips. Trim off selvedges and sew your strips together to form one long strip, press seams open. Fold in half lengthwise, pressing with your iron as you fold. Attach binding using your preferred method. For a detailed tutorial on attaching your binding to both sides by machine: Machine Quilt Binding Tutorial.

I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial! I have lots of other tutorials for everything from quilts, pillows, bags, and holiday items to informational series and techniques. Find all my tutorials here: Tutorials. My online shop is filled with patterns for quilts and bags. Find my patterns here: Jeni Baker Patterns

If you make something using one of my tutorials or patterns, I hope you'll tag me @jenib320 and use my hashtag #jenibaker on instagram!

Happy Quilting!

*Note: Any links marked with an asterisk in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click through and buy something, I make a small commission, at no extra cost to you.


  1. Just beautiful - it reminds me of the Greek islands. The colors are peaceful and calming. Thank you for the great tutorial and especially how you cut from fat quarters. I'm inspired!

  2. Stunning Thank you so much xo

  3. Very pretty quilt. I've never made a courthouse steps quilt; this is tempting. I certainly have some FQ bundles and some jelly rolls that would work well. Thanks for a great tutorial.

  4. Your quilt turned out beautifully! Thanks so much for the tutorial!

  5. This is lovely. And I appreciate your tutorial as it is so precise and yet not complicated to follow. Thank you for all your work in doing this,

  6. Beautiful! I love that you dyed the fabric yourself.

  7. This is beautiful and I appreciate the tutorial!

  8. I came across your tutorial and plan to make a two color quilt. Maybe red and white or black and white. Thank you for your great cutting instructions. Btw do you really need any 18 1/2 strips of the print fabric?

    1. Oh dear, you don't! Thank you for the catch, I will update the post now!

  9. I have linen I have dyed this way but also an entire bolt of the same Kona fabric just waiting to be dyed. This is inspiring. Thanks.

  10. What a lovely design! You've got to feel good about using all your pretty self-dyed fabrics Though I've made Courthouse Steps blocks in the past, I've never made a whole quilt with them. Looks like there are many layout options, though I like best that scraps can be used. I don't buy jelly rolls... hmm, but then I haven't bought prints in ages. With fabric prices rising, I'm focussed on using up stash; only small-sized pieces are left. Perhaps enough for some Courthouse Steps blocks. Thanks for sharing your tutorial!


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