Dec 12: Grammy’s Staircase

Hello, Bakers! I’m Heather Long of Coffee and Quilts and I’m sharing a block I’ve titled “Grammy’s Staircase” today. In my husband’s family, on Christmas morning all the children gather on the staircase. No one (except grown ups!) is allowed downstairs before everyone is awake. It’s wonderful to see all the children anxiously waiting while us grown ups get ourselves a cup of coffee. We photograph the children on the stairs in their pajamas, and it’s so wonderful to see the changes over the years.

This block finishes at 6″ or 12″ square.

6″ Block 12″ Block
From white fabric, cut (5) 2” squares, cut once on the diagonal From white fabric, cut (5) 3” squares, cut once on the diagonal
From solid red fabric, cut (1) 6″ square, cut once on the diagonal From solid red fabric, cut (1) 11” square, cut once on the diagonal
From red print #1, cut: (6) 1 ½” squares From red print #1, cut: (6) 2½” squares

  • Starch makes working with bias edges easier, but it’s not required.

Make sure you only press, not iron, your seams. Place your iron directly on the seam to be pressed and lift it straight off. Don’t move side to side as this can stretch bias edges.

Starch fabrics if desired. Cut fabrics according to sizes above.

Layout the block, taking care with any directional prints.

First, we’ll sew the red print squares to the solid white triangles. Skip the uppermost red print square for now. Flip the second square from the top to the left, right sides together with a white triangle.

I find it easiest to always work with square edges when possible. Sew quarter inch seam allowance.

Sew the remaining four red prints squares to their corresponding triangles in the same manner. Press towards the red.

At this point, I like to rotate my cutting mat where I have my pieces arranged 180-degrees, so I can work top to bottom again.

Our top stair is completed, so working as before, flip the second red print square to the left, and align with a solid white triangle.

Sew quarter inch seam, and repeat with remaining four red print squares. Press towards red again.

Trim the dog ears from your blocks.

Arrange your stairs.

Fold the top stair unit down, right sides together with the second stair. Your seams will nest.

Sew together with a quarter inch seam. Repeat to sew all stairs together, checking alignment and that seams are nesting. Press seams in one direction.

Use the 45 degree line on your ruler and trim off excess white triangles, leaving quarter inch seam allowance.

Repeat on the opposite side.

Sew a solid red triangle on each side, making sure to take care sewing bias edges. Your red triangle will extend at least one quarter inch on each side.

Press towards red triangles.

Square and trim.


This block finishes at 6″ or 12″ square.

Thank you for Counting Down to Christmas with me! Please visit my blog and follow me on instagram to see what I’m up to. I’d love to see your finished #grammysstaircase blocks. For my own blocks, I added some machine embroidery with the names of the grandchildren and finished each block into a mini quilted wall hanging.

Heather Long

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6 comments on “Dec 12: Grammy’s Staircase

  1. Cathy says:

    Thank you for this sweet memory.
    I’m from a rather large family (3 kids 6 year gap and 3 more) and after the older ones got married, had kids of their own, my mother still wanted all her kids home on Christmas morning. Tradition was to take our presents from Santa to her house as we bought them and my Dad would take all the younger ones (if they could feed themselves they went) to Christmas Eve Breakfast. While he had the kids occupied we would feverishly wrap their presents. The day was always fun filled with cooking, clucking and cackling. Then the little ones were sent off to all the beds available. The older ones just napped where they fell. My Dad would sneak upstairs(about 5 am) and grab the youngest one and proceed to wake all the others up and he would lead the Christmas PJ Parade down the stairs. Head count was usually around 20 after the younger ones added to the parade was reaching past 30. What a memory!!!! My Dad passed away in 2010 and his grandkids continue the Christmas Eve Breakfast with his great grandkids. Thank you again

  2. Love this! I will need to start sewing it. Thank you.

  3. Mary Andra Holmes says:

    It’s fabulous. Thank you

  4. Laurie says:

    I got a bit behind. Cut the pieces on the 12th but just stitched it together today. Loved it! Thanks for the block.

  5. We did this with our children too. They hung up their stockings downstairs and magically they were at the bottom of their beds filled with lots of goodies. They could open them when they woke up but, not allowed downstairs till everyone was awake. Needless to say the first one awake soon woke up the rest before trooping into our room where they would climb into our bed and we would open our stockings together. Daddy would run downstairs and switch on all the lights and make hot drinks. He would the get the camera ready and call us all down. Such excitement and memories.

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