Log Cabin Variations: Courthouse Steps


10 Ways to Love Improvisational Quilting


Lesson Info

Log Cabin Variations: Courthouse Steps

So we've got a couple other variations were going to play with and then we're going toe to toe leave the esteemed log cabin on dh move onto something else so the next one we're going to do is this kind of log cabin courthouse step variation and I actually have this's so this is the house talk though the one that was finished sample was tigress you're for a second this is a house topped the one thing this sample let's go on to the next image s so we're going to make a log cabin variation courthouse steps and now this actual one was made with hand dyed stripes pretty wide stripes, so but it was peace in very much the same way that we're going to peace are courthouse steps ah sample, I have made a sample and I've actually brought one that's that's you know paris the thought a measured example so here's just a pillow that I made where everything is measured all the the I don't remember what the exact measurements are but just by looking at it I think it's one and a half by one and a half e...

ach center square on these strips are all the same with um and so I mean it's not that it's not a beautiful example I used all striped fabric which which also kind of made it maybe feel a little bit more a little more contemporary but also and these air fabrics from one of my fabric collections my first fabric collection for moto stitch in color I I was always include a stripe in my collection of really really like stripes so these air from this quilt and I suspect is wrong way um this quilt is from of one that I made about a year ago for motor called from outside in also stripes and they're all it's all improvisational e pieced and the block is actually this segment right here, okay, so what we're going to do is we're going to make make this block before we move on and make the last variation and it's just kind of nice tio they come together when you put the blocks together, they come together in this kind of off kilter way, but it's just another way to make law cabinet just this one happens to be called courthouse steps because it makes these like steps or they're here like steps leading up to the leading up to the courthouse, I guess you know, quotes, I have said coal blocks has such great names um, you know, they it's ah, it be a great job just to come up with cruel names um so we're going to go ahead and make one of these blocks and I made a little sample free all but but actually apparently I got too carried away and I mean more than one sample and so what we're going to need is a center square I used red you don't have to use red but I handed out to everybody um some of these fabrics um so ah there there should be four color ways of these stripes fabrics and what you want to do it I picked a particular color order you want to repeat that color order to make the steps obviously but you don't have to follow my color order what I did is I started with it's kind of you know, I started with the red square and I added I'm going to call it mostly yellow stripe and then I added a mostly green stripe and then this kind of gray stripe and then the blue and then I repeated that three times so if you wanted to do it in a different way I opted to do it because I felt like these were similar to each other more than these were so I wanted some contrast um it with ah I felt like if I put the green next to the blue they would read is too similar but if you don't agree that's great then you should do it differently um so what I'm going to do is just kind of get some little square for myself a little warm ah kind of future colored square um I was also really interested in preserving a certain directionality to my stripes I mean, this this comes into the category of I don't even know if anybody ever notices, but a lot of times when I work with stripes I'll play around with making the stripes meet up in different ways and you know this this definitely falls into my might be the only one who notices this kind of stuff um and so um so I wanted I wanted my stripes this silly is it's going to be is for all the blue kind of light blue portions tio to read across I just really wanted to and so I went to all the trouble to cut him that way so I'm going to cut a strip thiss way and then soon as I find the rest and I'm going to cut a green one and they all have either light bluer or a light gray um this too much and if you're wondering about how these so see how these air all have picked edges when um apparently when you and I've asked other motive designers when you design fabric for motta they they make all sorts of kind of prepackaged uh, fabric you know, like they're layer cakes and the jelly rolls and every collection you get a box a big box kind of box and could potentially get a hernia carrying up the stairs filled with the what I think is are the ends teo the jelly rolls and the that they made for you you know or that there it's just it end pieces you know? And you know, you amass these boxes and I asked another design what do you do with these boxes? I don't know um no I the other day I mentioned it to one of the producers here and he said I could mail it to them so I think you don't pay the postage and it's yours because I am running out of closet space for the boxes um the current box for my new collection, which isn't coming out to till it's premiering and market in october and they all are going to get the other sewing with some of it today and tomorrow dot box is still sitting in my bedroom because I just haven't mustered up the enthusiasm to carry it up the stairs. So ok, so so I'm going to keep going until I have three layers of yellow and three layers of green three layers of gray and three layers of blue and then so it all together and that makes my courthouse steps block do you know where the name for that came from? I you know, I assume it has something to do with it looking like a stepford courthouse, you know, a lot of times the kind of most important in the main square the mains of the of the town you can go to some of these old texas towns and you still see you know, domains square and uh it'll be in the courthouse is like the center building so there's a great texas town I got I've been there before but I got to teach in called lagrange it's um I don't know maybe an hour and a half east of boston where I live and it's where they felt what were the story of the best little whorehouse in texas originated from that's where it happened and but they have an amazing old courthouse it was restored um I don't know how long ago not that long ago, not a long, long time ago and you know, with all these information about the courthouse and it's it's it's quite the quite the building you know, the records of who owned the property around the courthouse so and they do have some fabulous full steps leading up to it so well too I was born in courthouse road I don't know what the history was because of a certain no courthouse anywhere on that road, but maybe they're one absolute or maybe it was a road that led to the court actually one of the other wouldn't it be something tells me that you also courthouse road is a little older than little lagrange courthouse you know the saying and ost well actually south of shape I say that in austin anything that's lasted more than ten years is a tradition you know, maybe not so much in in england so I'm gonna lay it all out before I put it together and then I'm gonna make my block and here too I made them um I made them as actually made the miss course ines so I could make another foursome here out of these four this curious now when you put those steps together do you like to match the pink with the pink and the other what they all do ever switch them around so they don't create steps? Oh no, I've never done that but you know, I mean only because of the pattern calls for that but I mean it would look more like the other kind of log cabin variations because a log cabin is nothing more than they call them logs I mean, they're these strips ago around the center, you know, peace. So I think that that would look a little bit more like the other variations that we've done, but it might be interesting because they're similar in the fabrics are so similar they're all stripes yeah, I mean it just means the same family just a different color right it's exactly that same fabric but in different color ways all right? So that's pretty much laid out you know it's always amazing to me is you know it looks so big when it's all laid out but then when you sew it together like and you know sharing so much when it loses the winding needed because of the same allowance now holly you're saying I know you're using what you fall colors for yours when you're going do you often find that the season inspires usedto what colors you use? I mean, do you do shift you find your you're working in completely different thoughts around the holidays as he would maybe in the summer? Uh no you know, because I live in austin we have two seasons you know, hot and not hot um, hot and I'm so grateful that it's not hot anymore and elizabeth is asking action line do you have a dye your fabric after you've made your quilt? Brooke I had done things where I've sewn stuff together and then because there's another I use a variety of techniques when I die fabric I rarely died just solids most of the solids at hand it's all of that I brought today were became hand ayatollahs in preparation for having patterning put on them so there's some techniques that I use that that kind of lend themselves to being over died um s o yeah, I've certainly tried that before it's fun to play around it means like it could go on endlessly like that that was sarah. We have seen your work for a while. How are you doing over here? Oh, I am I got so excited that these fabrics that kind of used it um thank you for the rooftops I'm so new to all this terminology technical steps yes through court yeah, yeah I'm just taking some notes at the moment yeah, but you know that I laid out all my fabrics and now I'm going to start selling them around you know, cliquey oh, I haven't folded haven't started selling with it yet do you think it's too bob how you seem to like working really kind of small too because you people seem very intricate stripping here kind of color and trying to make sure I'm still kind of stuck on making it right but messy restaurant I love what you've done with the lines here maybe hold that up for a drink see over here because it does seem that you've got some wade got the wife through to the narrow it's really, really nice to joan and this will be the next block go that way. Cool. Yeah, good stuff on jimmy how are you doing? Having lots of fun? Well, that's good that's why we want you here and I'm just on my second oh, I like the way that they they contrasts well that's really cool yeah because you've got the same fabric here in ages, but otherwise you from different stuff. He thought about it, and I'm just having fun. Yeah, but that's absolutely that's all it's about yeah, it's really good. So all of you to the courthouse steps patton before is that something you've used this's a first time for you? Yeah, I'm not really give it following, I've never done in really the traditional patterns. I was kind of get image in my head, and then I try to figure out how you're supposed to hit exactly. So the improvement is right up your street, it's perfectly like, oh, because I get excited about the color and the textures, and then I want to go from there and then, but it is what it looked like that photograph, but it'll match this chair or, you know, yeah, so well, that's the way it should be. I'm always trying to solve a problem that I have, and I'm like, I'll make it work somehow. Oh, that would be wonderful, it's a great idea when you do that, we need to see pictures so upload those twelve gallery a long time to come on everything he knew it wasn't built in a day, start with some of the stars, started a small city and work your way up. That would be it definitely america people in beach asking the chapmans about books et cetera where they can find you know u you've written quite a few on various different subjects is they're quoting book of yours out there that people should be looking for um yeah so I wrote fresh quilting fearless color design inspiration came out a few years ago through interweave press and you can still buy it on amazon and I wrote a dying book that relates to the very kind of dying that I dio in my home studio and that one is called color your cloth of coulter's guide tio dying and sewing pat of fabric yeah no culture is going to die in patterning fabric so um that was those are my two books from testing all right we're cooking with gas again brought chaos and that piece back coaching you know pick your stitching because way into wearing check could be a problem given is a bit that's when you need what ali said previously yeah you know max it next to a secure mystic that's a good point is thinking of a slug would be good to see that too all right, so yes and now I'm adding on the various I do want to just kind of I'm not going so it I just wanted to give you a one other variation this is kind of ah variation that I've I've designed and it was originally uh a measure designed but I've been prompted and it's just something to think about um s o I'm going toe so on this block for just a few more minutes and then I want to share that with you all and then we will in the next segment move on two triangles because there's more than one shape on the earth. So one day I decided on instagram I was making this quilt because I made it last year for to promote my fabric a market I decided I'd make a little instagram video and s o I made a video of every step you know you can make you know, so you know the first step in the second step and just kind of step by step video what I didn't account for I have a dog in my house charlie tucker he has if a hyphenated name on and uh um s o in the video you know, you did not only I didn't talk, you know, you see, you know, the process of piecing the quilt charlie also lends his very special voice teo teo the quilt or something to the block okay, so, um I'm gonna add one more round and then I'm gonna talk to y'all about this windows variation like I said, we're not going to we're not going to make that particular that particular ah variation because we're really to kind of try our hand at some other stuff but I wanted to at least put it out and and to see you know, to challenge all to kind of find your own variations mother, let me ask you a question can working machine for daniel cleaning and service I can't that questions come up online is this something you should do annually or perhaps more from not so often it all depends on how much so and you do at one point I was taking my z and once a year um but I believe it's how much sewing do that makes perfect sense or if something happens before that year is up you're too unless unless you so a lot um that's why I have to the exact same machines because I do so every day and I can't be without my machine so when I take it one in for service I still have the other one that makes sense but I probably taken mine every six well, I should take them in every six months but I'm okay with saying over the very top of the segment one that you you got an art bug when you were eight years old was sowing some of that came from your family was that something your mother or grandfather grandmother did your grandfather well not my grandfather for sure um not that that wouldn't been terrific no ah my grandmother on my mother's side was she was crafting in many ways she beat it she admitted she sewed but my mother was not she wasn't is interested in it but my buddy I definitely it seemed to kind of skipped a generation, but I definitely my mom my grandmother made some amazing things and but for her it was out of necessity I mean, she had children to clothe and and who needed sweaters and that kind of thing. So so I'm just going toe talk about this last, um kind of variation something we can think about in terms of the in terms of the log cabin, so I call this the windows pillow, but mostly because it relates tio a design that I made for my book for fresh quilting, which is a very measured designer called it the windows of sewing machine cover, but this is basically the same idea you've got a block and then you've got some kind of border around it, and so it is that's all that the little foursome blocks are made out of it's a block a square with a border of white a square with a border of some kind of neutral and it's all about how the pieces they're put together and the decisions about how they're going to be put together that makes it into this block um where you have the center square where they all meet together I want to show you all one other variation of that e made it is a table runner as well so it's the same idea you've got this you've got the center blocks and I spoke earlier about how you make decisions about what's important to you in terms of the design it was important to me that the center block read as one unified bloc that all the points their meat and so if I had to add fabric or delete fabric or even trim them a certain way so that they would meet and I did that and in terms of the rest of it I wasn't as concerned that things about the placement didn't concern me as much I didn't I worry all the time about whether the points the kind of diagonal points they come off that center square met many times they did sometimes they didn't but my my focus was what was happening in that center square so it's just again another variation I'm going to go back to the pillow it's just another variation of this idea of a a block that is then surrounded by other logs or strips and that's really all there is tio that variation theirs like I said there's so many possibilities with with the log cabin block with the original design and you can look him up on online and cease I see lots of traditional patterns and then play off of that and decide whether whether you want to play off of it in terms of color, in terms of value. It's, really. I mean, we could make an entire workshop of nothing but this. But we're not going to, because we're going to move on to triangles.

Class Description

Custom quilts are the kind of heirloom craft everyone longs to create, but stitching together a unique pattern can be seriously overwhelming. In 10 Ways to Love Improvisational Quilting, Malka Dubrawsky will introduce you to new forms of quilting — with fresh color combinations, techniques, and patterns.

Malka will get you started by showing you how to cut and create a simple log cabin nine-patch block. You’ll learn how to incorporate triangles, pinwheels, and curves into your designs to make them more versatile. You’ll build the skills needed to take any quilt block (and even other patterns, like wallpaper or a painting) and deconstruct it so you can create something similar.

If you want to create bold and memorable quilts and learn new ways to express your creative style through quilting, this course is for you.


Me F

Another great class. I love the approach that encourages spontaneity and decision-making throughout the process! I was not at all put off by Malka's speaking style -- I found her informative, articulate, thoughtful and funny. I would, however, have appreciated much less time watching her sew, although I realize she likely did that in this class to allow her in-person students to have time as well. A bit tedious, however, when it's not live or you're not sewing along. I loved the idea from another reviewer to have samples of Malka's quilts hanging in the studio throughout all the sessions so we could refer to a finished piece that demonstrated the skill she was teaching. I would recommend this course to anyone who loves quilting or wants to learn.