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Starting with a small center square, piece strips of similar color value (either light or dark) to the top and bottom of the center square. Add pairs of strips to the growing block, alternating between adding them to the top and bottom and then to the sides of the square until the block is the desired size.
The colors selected for each set of strips and the order in which they are pieced determine the design of the finished block. Traditionally, the Courthouse Steps pattern is pieced with all the dark fabrics on the top and bottom and all the light fabrics on the sides, or vice versa, creating the illusion of steps surrounding the center square.