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Courting Sew Along Begins!

Hi everyone and welcome to the Courting Sew Along!

There will be four weeks of Sew Along.

Week 1 - Fabric choices

Week 2 - Making the Hearts

Week 3 - Making the blocks and troubleshooting

Week 4 - Assembly and borders

All you need if you would like to stitch with me is the Courting pattern. That's available here.

If you are a StitchyMItes member, you have a discount code so don’t forget to use that! StitchyMites also have a little bit of extra info this week to help you along, and a video about foundation paper piecing too. If you would like to become a StitchyMite its just $5 AUS a month, and you can join here

This week for the Sew Along we are going to chat a little bit about your quilt size, and fabric choices. Really the first thing. You need to decide is how large you would like your quilt to be. The pattern gives you sizes for King, Queen, Single, Throw and Cot sizes, and each needs a different number of strips and amount of fabric, and several have a different block size. Once you have decided what size you are making, go through your pattern with a highlighter and mark the measurements and numbers for your quilt size on each page, so that you can’t get lost or confused.

My quilt is made in colours I like to call “squashy”. That's my highly technical term for not having a lot of contrast. The fabrics that I used in my “white” selection all have white backgrounds, but they all have coloured patterns on top. The fabrics that I used for my “pink” selection are all soft - medium pinks, and a few hot pinks, with not a lot of contrast between them on the whole.

This results in the pattern running across the quilt quite clearly, but not being very sharp, which is the way I planned it.

Courthouse Steps quilts are traditionally quite sharp in their contrast though!

A Courthouse Steps block is what we are making in this pattern, with of course the addition of my little heart in the centre. A Courthouse Steps block is kind of like a Log Cabin, except that the strips build outwards on alternate sides of the centre square instead of wrapping around it, like the Log Cabin block does. Because of this symmetry, the strips look like a set of stairs, which is how the block got its name - although where the original Courthouse was is anyone’s guess. The block pattern dates back to the 1700’s in the USA, however stitched and folded Log Cabin and Courthouse Steps patterns were wrapped around mummified cats, dogs and other animals in ancient Egypt, so there’s no claiming that as a first I’m afraid. The Courthouse name did originate in the USA though. If you’re interested in reading more about the history of cat mummies with quilts on them (how could you not be?!), Barbara Brackman has a wonderful post about it so I won’t expand on her expertise - you can find it here

I digress. Here are some examples of antique Courthouse Steps blocks. You can see that the contrast is rather more in most of them than in mine. The best example really is the wonderful black and red one here, which is actually by a Gees Bend quilter - it’s not at all symmetrical or perfect in its construction, but isn’t it wonderful? And that sharp edge contrast between the colours really shows the pattern off.

All that to say, don’t be afraid to stray from the pink and white path when choosing your fabrics. You could choose navy and very bright white, red and yellow, or even put your strips in rainbow order across the quilt for the pink, and make your “white” strips all black! I would love to see what you all get up to in choosing your fabrics, so please make sure and post your choices on instagram using the hashtag #courtingquilt, or join my Facebook group Sarah Fielke Quilts and post your choices there. Sew alongs are always much more fun when you can see everyone else’s progress, so please don’t be afraid to share.

Have fun getting your fabrics together this week, and don’t worry if you aren’t quite there - next week we are making the Heart blocks so thats really all you need to have in hand before then.

If you want to get organised for next week, you will need some foundation paper for your heart piecing - I sell the Carol Doak brand of paper and I have plenty in stock! Have fun and don’t forget if you’re having trouble you can always send me an email sarah@sarahfielke.com

See you next. Week

Sarah x

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1 Comment

I’m excited to make use of a couple of Valentine themed jelly rolls in my stash! Also appreciate the alternatives that you included in today’s StitchyMites post. Will be cutting my pieces this weekend.