Friday, June 17, 2011

Modern Stair Step Tutorial

Hello Everyone.  My name is Lisa and I want to share with you a tutorial for  my Modern Stair Step Baby Quilt.  I generally make this Quilt using Riley Blake's All Star 2 Fabrics and 1-2 coordinating solids.  This is a very easy pattern and the quilt is fast to finish if you chain piece and follow these steps.

Material List:                
  • 7 or more Fat Quarters in any print, or 1 jelly roll and 1 charm pack
  • 2 1/2-3 yards of Coordinating Solid Fabric
  • Rotary Cutter, mats, ruler, sewing machine, 1/4" presser foot.  (the usual stuff)         

Cutting List:

  1. From the Solid Fabric, Cut 6 2 1/2" strips.  You may need more or less but can use any excess for binding.  (Note)- you will be cutting from 1/2 yard or more of fabric so you will have two times the fabric than you will with just a fat quarter.
  2. From the Print Fat Quarters cut --  
  • 2 - 2 1/2" strips        
  • 2 - 4 1/2" strips               

Sub-cut each 2 1/2" strip into 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" squares.    Cut all 4 1/2" strips into 4 1/2" squares.

The top right shows the larger Brown Strips.  When I started making this quilt I realized the brown had no partner because there were no other dark brown fabrics in this line.  If you choose this route this is how the blocks would be arranged.  You basically Alternate the fabrics until you used all the fabrics.  choose lighter shades for the steps and darker for the 4 squares and visa versa.

 But for this example I am using my solid for the 4 step squares and not using the solid anywhere else in the quilt.  

The next step is to choose your fabrics for each block.  I liked pairing the light blue, white, and dark blue prints with each other.  I think it would look good either way!  This pattern is very forgiving and looks good anyway you choose.   I chose my blocks first and then group them together.   With this tutorial you will get around 28 blocks.  You can really make it with at least 20 blocks.

Start chain piecing your 4 square units first.  Each solid is matched with a print.  This can be random unless you are like me and want your stripes to line up.  I arrange all these blocks on my cutting board and pin accordingly.  

Using a 1/4" seam allowance sew the two patches together.  You may continue making the block or you can simply stack them on top of their 4 1/2" "mates."

I tend to do things in stages.  I sew all the 2 patch units, press, then sew the 4 patch, then press then sew.  

Press your seams towards the brown patches.  Feel free to finger press here as well.  

Nest your seam for each 4 patch unit.       
You really don't have to pay much attention to arrangement in these steps unless you have a directional print or want to keep your stripes in the same direction.  I paid attention here and wouldn't you know i had some stripes not line up....but OH WELL!

Sew the 4 patch units together.  I always finger press my units into a fan to make the seam lie flat in the center. you may have to use your stitch ripper to loosen those threads.  

Sew Each 4 patch unit to the matching solid square and press towards the 4 patch unit. Nest the seams and sew and press into a fan with this block as well.  

Here is your finished block.  

I arrange each block to create an X with the brown or solid squares.  When you are finished it will look like this.

I sewed a 4" border to this quilt and mitered the corners.  I had about 4 blocks leftover that I split in half and sewed end to end.  I needed a few more fabrics to have a big enough backing.  I added the leftover pieces from when I cut my 4 1/2" squares and added this as well.

Please pardon the thread!  

I will post more after I finish quilting.

The previous Modern Stair Step quilts were made with the Orange and Green variations.  These fabrics had a brown Medallion print.  In this case I used my solid brown in the larger blocks.  I also had each print take a turn being the 4 patch stairs.  It really can be done either way.  I like this version better actually because it plays with the negative spaces a bit more.  If you decide to do this, you should cut 1 less 2 1/2" strip and cut at least 1 4 1/2" strip of the brown, and you will need to cut at least 1 more 2 1/2" strip of each print to make the 4 stairs.  

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