How to Sew a Steps to the Altar Quilt Block

Posted by Elaine Huff on

Let’s learn how to sew a Steps to the Altar quilt block today!

This is the last block for a quilt I’ve been working on for a couple of years – Yeah!! I got the pattern from Kim Diehl’s Evening Star Quilt pattern. It is a Steps to the Altar quilt block with a color placement variation. It is a great block to use up your medium and dark scraps and creates a nice secondary pattern when put together in a quilt. Of course you could use light and medium fabric colors and get a whole different feel to the finished quilt. You can see more of Kim Diehl’s patterns and fabric on her Facebook page

steps to the altar

Fabric Requirements for a 12" Steps to the Altar Quilt Block:

  • Black Print – 6 – 2.5″ squares
  • Medium/Dark 1 – 6 – 2.5″ squares, and 3 – 5″ squares
  • Medium/Dark 2 – 3 – 5″ squares

Sewing Directions:

We’ve already gone over the two patches that make up this block – the Four Patch and the Half-Square Triangle.

Step 1:

Four Patch Units:

Using the 2.5" Black Print squares and the 2.5" Medium/Dark 1 squares, make 3 Four Patch units. You can read the tutorial for the Four Patch block here: 

Step 2:

Half-Square Triangle Units:

Using the 5" Medium/Dark 1 squares and the 5" Medium/Dark 2 squares, make 6 Half-Square Triangle units. You can find my Half-Square Triangle tutorial here:

Steps to the Altar 1

Step 3:

The sewing construction goes together just like a Basic Nine-Patch block (

Layout the Four-Patch and Half-Square Triangle units as shown above and sew into 3 rows. Press the seam allowances in the top and bottom rows toward the outside of the block and the middle row toward the inside of the block.

steps to the altar 2

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Here you can see the direction for pressing the seam allowances.

steps to the altar 3

Step 4:

Then you sew the 3 rows together and you’re done!

steps to the altar 4

Step 5:

Press the seam allowances toward the center of the block. Here is a picture of the back of the finished block showing the direction of the seam allowances.

steps to the altar 5


To make the quilt, the blocks are put together with every other one being rotated. The way we have pressed the seam allowances makes the seams nest together so you get a nice intersection.

steps to the altar 6

Here is my layout for 1/4 of my quilt top. The blocks make a wonderful secondary design of X’s and diamonds. My design wall is only 4′ wide so it only holds 1/4 of a queen-size quilt. But that’s big enough for most projects. If I need to lay out the whole quilt at once, I just use my bed or the floor.

steps to the altar 7

When I was laying out the units to take a picture, I accidentally did it wrong – no, not wrong, just different. So this layout would work too and would give a totally different look to the finished quilt.

steps to the altar 8

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial for a Steps to the Altar quilt block. When I get my quilt quilted, I'll post a picture of it.

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial. If you like it and want to see more, just click HERE to sign up for my newsletter and receive a free PDF quilt pattern called "Chained Weathervane".

Happy Quilting!


P.S. In case you missed it, check out my roundup post of easy quilt blocks at

P.P.S. Check out my patterns I have for sale on Etsy at


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