A Rectangular Log Cabin Variation

Posted by on March 1, 2013 in housekeeping | 3 comments

Nan-9In March, we’re choosing colors to mix with gray and white and putting together this simplified version of a log cabin blocks that I’m calling STEPS. Nan made this  lovely example.

The assembly is like the Courthouse Steps variation of the log cabin block. The block itself most resembles a block published by the Ladies Art Company in 1895 as Whitehouse Steps.

Download the print-friendly directions here:

Steps Block Pattern

For those who received the sneak peek, the block directions have been updated with corrections (thanks to those who caught them for me), a foundation for anyone who would prefer to paper piece the block, a coloring page and a mini-version of the virtual quilt below.

Tags & Categories

This month, use the tag steps.

As usual, please choose the category blocks for posts containing photos of your blocks, sent and received for messages about blocks mailed and received and show and tell for photos of your projects made using this block.

Guidelines for Foundation Piecers

If you foundation piece your block(s):

  • Be sure your printed foundation is the correct size.  The outside rectangle should measure 6-1/2 by 9-1/2 inches.
  • If you use a paper foundation, it must be removed from your block(s) before you mail them to the winner(s).
  • You may use foundation products which are designed to disolve and/or are intended to be left inside the quilt.

 Fabric Guidelines

Each block is made from THREE fabrics:

WHITE–may be solid, a white-on-white (WOW) print or a multicolor print that is predominately white and “reads as white” if you are looking at it from across the room. If you make multiple blocks, you may use the same WHITE fabric in all your blocks

GRAY–may be solid, a tone-on-tone (TOT) print or dyed fabric, or other multicolor print that is predominately gray and will “read as gray.”  If you make multiple blocks, you may use the same GRAY fabric in all your blocks

QUILTERS CHOICE fabric–may be a solid or TOT fabric that reads as the color of your choice.  If you make multiple blocks, you may use this fabric in up to three blocks, as long as the placement of colors is unique in each block.

The Virtual Quilt

These blocks were made by Cynthia, Kathie, Kim, Margaret, Marybeth, Nan and me.

Cynthia-1 Cynthia-2 Nan-3 Marybeth-2 Marybeth-1
Nan-8 Kim-4 Margaret-1 Sophie-1 Margaret-2
CYnthia-3 Nan-2 kathie3 kathie2 Sophie7
Nan-1 Sophie3 Sophie6 Cynthia-4 Sophie10
Sophie8 Kim-2 Nan-6 Kim-5 Cynthia-6
Nan-4 Nan-7 Kathie1 Kim-1 Cynthia-5
Kim-3 Sophie2 Sophie9 Nan-5 Sophie5

You can find full-size photos of all the virtual blocks in my Flickr photo set Steps – 2013 Lotto Blocks.

Quilt Design Ideas

Linda C (catlineye) spent some time playing with our blocks in EQ and came up with some interesting setting ideas.

 Zigzag Zig Zag

In this layout, a 3-1/2 by 9-1/2 background rectangle is sewn to the side of each Steps block to create a 9-1/2 inch square (to finish at 9 inches).

Mazes Mazes 

Mazes uses the same block (with added background rectangle as Zig Zag), but rotates them to form a Maze design.

 Stacks Stacks

In this layout, a 2-1/2 by 6 1/2 inch rectangle is added to the end to make a 6×11 block (finished size). The blocks are set like a strippy quilt, with  2-1.2 inch vertical sashing creates the”stacks” (which look like they’re about to topple.)

In all three quilt designs, Linda added a narrow border to make the centers float, and then a squares and strips border.  She said that she paid only nominal attention to the size of the finished quilt (they’re more or less quilt shaped…).  My guess is that they are approximately 65 x 90 inches.




  1. WOW! I hope I can up my number of chances this month so I win! I LOVE this block!

  2. Congratulations on another great block Sophie. Will definitely be making the full 9. maybe I’ll break my “not winning” streak 🙂

  3. Liking this a bunch and I have these fabrics – so really good chances I can play this month.

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