Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bug Jar Tutorial

I think I found something really exciting. I am a total insomniac. I stay awake for a long long long time every night after everyone else has gone to bed. I have three dogs snoring softly (some NOT so softly) and I can hear Frank snoring from all the way out in the living room with the TV going! I watch a lot of late night TV and cruise the quilt sights on my iPad until about 2 or 3 AM every night.

One of my favorite blocks has always been the Bug Jar. I have collected fabrics to make a Jar Quilt for a long time but have never really made one. Maybe this will turn the corner on that idea today!

I thought we could make a Fabric Jar Block. I envision a quilt with jars of different colors – one red scraps, one blue scraps, a yellow and a green jar. An orange sitting on one corner and a tall purple one in the middle maybe.

Wouldn’t it be cool to have a whole shelf unit full of different sized jars of fabric? Way cool. You can have mixed up colors of the rainbow in each jar and maybe different sizes of jars of multicolored scraps. You can dream in rainbows! If you can sleep!

Here is how to make a bug jar. I will show you some variations as well and you can get creative from there.

You need a background fabric. And a lid fabric. The coolest lids I have seen are from stripes so find a nice stripe scrap for your lid.
For a 12 inch finished block this will measure 12.5 inches unfinished. Oh, just for reference .125 is 1/8 inch and .825 is 7/8 inch.


8.5 x 8.5 of jar contents – this is your made fabric
1.75 x 5.5 – this is your striped fabric lid
Background – 2.5 x 12.5 block top
                      1.25 x 12.5 block bottom
                 Two 2.5 x 8.5 block sides
                  Two 1.75 x 4 lid sides
                 Four 1.5 x 1.5 squares for jar corners

You can make a 6.5 inch jar block by cutting the following:
4.5 x 4.5 jar contents
1.125 x 3 – striped cap fabric
Background – 1.5 x 6.5 block top
                      .825 x 6.5 block bottom
              Two 1.5 x 4.5 block sides
              Two 1.125 x 2.25 lid sides
              Four 1 x 1 squares for jar corners

To assemble:

1. Get your bug jar square made fabric. Mark a diagonal line on your four jar background corners. Place the background fabric corner squares on the four corners of the bug jar square and sew on the diagonal (actually just to the outside of the line). Press toward the outside and trim the excess from the back of the jar. This makes the jar corners.

2. Sew the background jar sides to the sides of the jar piece.

3. Sew the lid between the two lid sides background pieces to form a long skinny strip.

3. Lay out the block in the following order:

block top (background)
lid strip
jar strip
block bottom (background)

4. Sew the block together and trim to 12.5 x 12.5 inches. If you are making the smaller block you will trim your block to be 6.5 x 6.5 inches.

If you want to be creative and make a different size jar you can sketch your block in a program like EQ or on draft paper. Here are some measurements for a tall block and a baby food jar block. You assemble the block the same way as before.

Tall block that finishes 8 x 12. To make it finish 12 x 12 just add 2 inches to your sides to make the block background wider.

For an 8 x 12 finished block:                                             For a 12 x 12 finished block:

              2 x 8.5              Block top (background)                2 x 12.5
              2 x 3.5              Lid (stripes)                                  2 x 3.5
      Two 2 x 3                Lid sides (background)                   2 x 5
            5.5 x 8                 Jar fabric (made fabric)                5.5 x 8
 Four 1.5 x 1.5                Jar corners (background)               1.5 x 1.5
    Two 2 x 8                 Block sides (background)               4 x 8
      2 x 8.5                     Block bottom (background             2 x 12.5

If you want a flat bottomed jar, leave off the two bottom corners of the jar. You can tweak the measurements in any number of different ways and make a variety of different shapes and sizes. Oh, you can make the top corners of the jar larger than the bottom two corners and have a different sort of jar.



1 comment:

I love to hear from friends! Thanks for leaving a message!