Candy Stripe Binding Courthouse Steps Quilt

Candy stripe binding

Candy stripe binding

In this quilt pattern I have used candy stripe binding to make a simple quilt into something that bit different.  I used seven fabrics within the quilt and then used all seven of them in the binding.  Each quilt block is  14″ square finished size.  The Courthouse Steps is a variation on the log cabin style of block and the alternate block was made with large half square triangle units.

The quilt measures 46″ square and I needed 1.1/4 yards of dark blue, 1 yard of light blue, 3/4 yard of red, 1/2 yard each of medium blue and brown, with 1/4 yard each of orange and natural.  As ever, you can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.

In order to show you the binding I had to finish the quilting so for once I can show you the quilting as well!




Completed blocks

Completed blocks

Cutting requirements for the candy stripe binding quilt

2.1/2″ squares:  five red, ten natural

6.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ rectangles:  ten light blue, ten orange

10.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ rectangles:  ten medium blue, ten brown

14.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ rectangles:  ten dark blue

15.1/4″ squares:  two dark blue, two light blue

For the border you will need to cut four 2.1/2″ red strips across the width of fabric

For the binding you will need an additional 2.1/2″ strips cut across the width of fabric of each of the seven fabrics.

Central area

Central area

Make the Courthouse Steps quilt block

Courthouse steps is a variation on log cabin blocks but you add opposite logs at the same time rather than working round the central square.  All the pieces are 2.1/2″ wide so that you can use jelly rolls if you wish.

So place a 2.1/2″ red square in the middle with a natural square on either side.  Sew these three pieces together in a row.  Add a 6.1/2″ light blue strip to the top and bottom.

Press the seam allowances away from the red square

Press the seam allowances away from the red square

You need to press the block at each stage and it is best to press all the seam allowances away from the red square.

I have shaded the colours away from the central square – light, medium and dark blue in one direction and natural, orange and brown in the other direction.

Second round

Second round

Make the second round with a 6.1/2″ orange strip on either side and a 10.1/2″ medium blue strip on top and bottom.

Full layout

Full layout

For the third and final round, you need to sew a 10.1/2″ brown strip to each side with a 14.1/2″ dark blue strip to the top and bottom.

At this stage the block measures 14.1/2″ square and you need to make five of these.

Cut along both diagonals

Cut along both diagonals

Make the alternate block

Cut the 15.1/4″ dark and light blue squares along both diagonals to create four triangles from each square.

Alternate block layout

Alternate block layout

Place two dark blue triangles with two light blue triangles to re form the square shape.  Make sure that the colours alternate.

Sew the triangles together in two pairs and then sew the pairs to each other.  The block measures 14.1/2″ square at this stage and you need to make four of them.

Row one

Row one

Assemble the quilt

Sew the blocks together in three rows of three.  Row one contains an alternate block in the middle with a courthouse steps block on either side.  Place the alternate block so that the dark blue runs from top to bottom of the block.

Row two

Row two

In row two place a courthouse steps block in the middle with an alternate block on either side of it.  This time the dark blue in the alternate blocks should run from side to side.  Together the blocks form a shape almost like a sweetie or a Christmas cracker.

The third row is the same as the first row – an alternate block in the middle with a courthouse steps block on either side.  The dark blue in the alternate block runs from top to bottom.

Sew the blocks together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.

Quilt border

Quilt border

Add the border

For the border I have used 2.1/2″ strips of red fabric.  You’ll need two lengths of 42.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 46.1/2″ for the sides.

Embroidered quilting

Embroidered quilting

Quilting the quilt

As I wanted to show you the candy stripe binding I had to complete this quilt, so I chose a simple embroidery stitch for the quilting.  I used a contrasting thread (red) rather than a matching one and used the stemstitch option.  I quilted around the central area of each Courthouse Steps block, round the central blue diamond and round the edges of the light blue star shape.

Sew a strip of each fabric

Sew a strip of each fabric

Cut the candy stripe quilt binding strips

Sew together one 2.1/2″ strip of each fabric along the length.  This will give you a panel 14.1/2″ wide by about 42″ long.  Press all the seam allowances open.  Place your ruler so that the 45 degree line runs up one edge of the panel (where my fingers are in the photo).  Cut that bottom triangle off at somewhere round the 4 to 5″ mark.  This triangle can be discarded as it’s too small to be of any use.

Cut the first strip

Cut the first strip

Now move your ruler up so that the 2.1/2″ line runs along the edge that you just cut – where my thumb is in the photo.  Cut along the edge of the ruler.  This will give you a strip 2.1/2″ wide.

Continue cutting strips

Continue cutting strips

Continue moving your ruler up 2.1/2″ at a time, cutting more candy stripe binding strips.  These will get longer and then start getting shorter again as you reach the end of the panel.

Join the strips to make one long strip

Join the strips to make one long strip

Join the binding strips

When you place the binding strips side by side you’ll see that you have two 45 degree edges to join together.

Sew them at right angles to each other

Sew them at right angles to each other

In order to sew these together, you need to place one at right angles to the other.

To make sure that you end up with a straight line you need to offset the two strips against each other.

This happens if you don't offset the strips

This happens if you don’t offset the strips

In the photo above the blue sticks out above the red at the top and the red sticks out below the blue at the bottom.  If you don’t do this your line of binding will not be straight – as you can see in the photo on the side.  When you have joined all the strips together, fold and press the entire strip in half along the length.

It should now resemble an ordinary binding strip and you can sew it to the quilt in the normal way.  Full details of this step can be found in the beginner quilting section.

Here’s the video:

My personal favourite

My personal favourite

Festival of Quilts

Last week I spent a wonderful day at the Festival of Quilts – much more easy for me to get to now that I live in Birmingham.  All the quilts were wonderful, as always, but there were two that really caught my eye.  This one was probably my overall favourite.

Beautiful design

Beautiful design

This one was very cleverly designed and really striking.

Neither of my choices matched with the overall Visitors’ Choice quilt.  After it was announced at the end of the show I looked in my photos and found that I hadn’t even taken a photo of that one to show you.

Best miniature quilt

Best miniature quilt

There was one more which was quite breathtaking – a miniature quilt by Philippa Naylor which was quite out of this world – compasses and prairie points in a quilt that probably only measured about 10″ square!  It well deserved to be winner of that category.

Bletchley Park

Bletchley Park

And finally.  I visited an extraordinary place recently – Bletchley Park, home of the codebreakers.  This was the home of all the people who worked on breaking codes during the war.  It’s a fascinating place and very visitor-friendly.  You can see more about my trip by clicking here or click on the photo.

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Comments

  1. Sandra Barnett says:

    Oh Rose,
    Love the idea of the candy striping for a binding Must use that next time. This quilt is unique and I will definitely will try it. Worried that with all the rain we have had that we would be flooded out and I would lose all my fabric so far the river has not gone over its banks and we are still safe. Not doing much except worrying and watching the river.
    Thank you for the tour. Love those quilts. None of the ones in the pictures you took won awards?/ They were works of art.
    Too bad the conditions for the codebreakers was so rough. I bet that would be a unique job. Of course I don’t think I would like the long hours.
    Good luck on your trip to Wales I bet you will see some more unique quilts
    Have a great weekend and Happy Quilting.
    Sandra

    • Hi Sandra. So sorry to hear about your bad weather. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that you don’t get flooded.
      I thought that the quilts I liked were much nicer than some of those in the winner categories, but then the judges take a lot more into account than I do when they’re judging – techniques used and that sort of things. I just look for the wow factor.
      The previews of the show in Swansea look promising – lots of lovely works in all different textiles.

  2. I love this idea – besides that it will coordinate beautifully, it will have a striped look, which is my all time favorite.

  3. Debra Friendly says:

    I often use “leftovers” from the project to do multi-fabric binding but have never seen the candy strip version. What a lovely accent to a quilt! This will be added to my binder of “techniques”. Thank you, once again, for a great idea.

    • Hi Debra. It’s certainly a useful way of using up leftover fabrics – and you can make it look as though it’s part of the plan rather than just using up stash!

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