Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Wednesday Sewing - Bug Jar Quilt/ Quilting Basics - Part I
Bug jar quilts were very popular several years ago (maybe quite awhile ago!) and I always wanted to make one but didn't have any little ones to sew for, so I never did. These are quilts with jar shapes cut out from bug themed material and appliqued onto the quilt top - like the jars of bugs I collected when I was growing up. The arrival of a new great-nephew inspired me to finally do it! Actually, I made two since he joins a 3-year-old big brother.
Over the next two weeks I'll show you how I made the quilts. Even if you don't want to make a bug jar quilt, I'll be showing you simple quilting techniques you can use on any beginning level type of quilting. This week we'll work on making the quilt top and next week we'll put it all together.
The quilt turns out about 48" x 40", depending on how much you have to trim off after quilting
*At least 9 different types of bug (or creepy crawly) cotton material. I made my quilt top with 9 jars, but you could add another jar per row for 12 jars if you wanted. A fat quarter of each is good or if you "collect" (ahem ... hoard) material like me, go ahead and get a 1/2 yard!
Some good places on the internet to look are Bug Fabric, eQuilter, and Spoonflower.
*grayish fabric for the jar tops (about 1/2 yard)
*1 1/2 yards top material - something that looks good with bug jars
*1 1/2 yards backing material - I decided on stars
*crib sized quilting batting (I decided to try the fusible kind on these quilts - the quilt turns out a bit stiffer even after washing. It's a toss up as to which is easier to use - regular batting requires a lot of pinning and re-pinning, fusible bunches up and requires re-ironing.)
*5 yards binding - I used Satin Blanket Binding
*a lot of large safety pins if you use regular batting
*thread to match or coordinate with your top fabric
*machine quilting foot with line guide
*bug jar and lid pattern
1. Wash and dry all your fabric. I find it easier to make appliques if it's ironed smooth.
2. There are lots of different patterns for the jar shape on the internet, but they all have straight sides with points where the jar tapers up. I wanted one that looked like a real Mason jar, so I developed this one you are free to use for your quilts. Please don't sell the pattern and if you re-post it, link back to this post. Thanks!
Cut nine jars from bug fabric and nine lids. I also cut a bug out of one of the fabrics to make an open jar on the bottom:
3. Attach one side of the Steam-A-Seam 2 to the back of the jars and lids. This leaves the sticky back side showing - it's helpful to have this side sticky when you are placing the pieces. If you haven't made appliques this way before, take a look at this past post for more details.
4. Place your jars and lids on the quilt top. My rows are 7 inches apart and the jars in each row are 5 1/2 inches apart. How far in from the edges will depend on the width of your quilt top material.
5. When you have the jars and lids placed where you want them to be, iron into place.
6. Zigzag stitch around each jar/lid. I used a .2 length and 3.5 width (make a test on scrap first). I started at the bottom of one lid, went all the way around the outside of the jar and lid until I got back to where I started and then sewed across the bottom of the lid.
Your quilt top is finished! Next week we'll put everything together and quilt and bind it.
Happy Creating! Deborah