With spring in the air, I’m sure that many people will be organising weddings. My niece is getting married in September which is very exciting. So it seemed very appropriate to use the Steps to the Altar quilt block in a quilt pattern. This is one of several quilt blocks with that name, but it’s the one that I like the best. The quilt measures 52″ square, so it’s a good sized throw. I have used 1.1/4 yards each of dark blue and white, with 3/4 yard of light blue.
4.7/8″ squares: sixteen each in dark blue and white, thirty two each in light blue and white
2.1/2″ squares: ninety six each of dark blue and white – but cut these in lengths so that you can use strip piecing. Six strips each of dark blue and of white.
2.1/2″ strips for the border: five strips of dark blue fabric
Make half square triangles
Use all the 4.7/8″ squares to make half square triangle units. Place a white square right sides together with a dark or light blue square and mark a line along the diagonal. Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line to produce two half square triangle units from each pair of squares.
Make four patch units
Sew together a 2.1/2″ strip of dark blue and white fabric. Press the seam allowance towards the blue and cut at 2.1/2″ intervals. This will give you strips made of one 2.1/2″ square each of dark blue and white.
Sew these together in pairs, rotating one of the pairs of squares so that the white squares are diagonally opposite each other.
Steps to the altar quilt block layout
Lay the squares out in three rows of three. The dark blue/white half square triangles are placed in two opposite corners with the white on the outside. There is a light blue/white half square triangle in the middle of each edge of the block and you’ll have to check the photo to see which way the triangles are placed. The four patch units are placed across the remaining diagonal. Note that the four patch units in the first and second rows have the blue on the left in the top half while the four patch unit in the third row has the blue on the right in the top half. Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows together to complete the steps to the altar quilt block. Make twelve of these blocks.
Alternative layout for pinwheel blocks
The four blocks in the middle of the quilt have a slight alteration to them to make a pinwheel for the centre of the quilt. The only difference is the dark blue/white half square triangle in the bottom right corner. This is rotated so that the blue is top right of the square instead of facing towards the middle of the block. Make four of these alternate blocks.
Assembling the steps to the altar quilt
Sew the blocks together in four rows of four. The first row is made with four of the standard quilt blocks. Place these so that the light blue triangles form a stripe going from bottom left to top right for the first two blocks and then going from top left to bottom right in the second two blocks.
The second row is made with two of the pinwheel blocks in the middle and a standard block at each end. Place the blocks so that the light blue triangles follow the same lines as the first row above them. You should now see the top half of the pinwheel in the middle of the bottom of the second row.
The third row is again made with two pinwheel blocks in the middle and a standard block at each end. This time the light blue stripes are placed to form stripes going in the opposite direction to form the bottom half of the diamond shapes that are being created. You should now have the bottom half of the pinwheel at the top of this row.
The fourth row is made using the remaining four standard quilt blocks. Again take care to place them so that the light blue stripes come down to a point in the middle.
Sew the blocks together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.
Border for the steps to the altar quilt
I have used a simple frame of 2.1/2″ strips of dark blue for the quilt border. You will need two lengths of 48.1/2″ for the top and bottom of the quilt and two lengths of 52.1/2″ for the sides.
That completes the steps to the altar quilt top. It is now ready for layering, quilting and binding and you can find more detail on these steps in the beginner quilting section.
Here’s the video:
Craftsy have a spring sale with up to 50% off all classes (see below) and you’ll be pleased to hear that I’m going to sign up for one of their photography classes! Someone complained about my blurry photos the other day and I can hardly blame my camera for that, so I hope that I can improve the photos of my projects that I show you.