Bug Jar Quilt Block Patterns to Mix and Match

  • 01 of 04

    Bug Jar Quilt Block Patterns

    Bug Jar Quilt Block Patterns
    Bug Jar Quilt Blocks. Illustration © Janet Wickell

    This duo of bug jar quilt block patterns was originally designed for a block swap on the Quilting Forum. The theme possibilities are endless, because the jars needn't hold bugs. Any pictorial fabric will work just fine.

    Fabric possibilities for jars:

    • Buttons
    • Thimbles
    • Spools of thread
    • Candy or other Foods
    • Seashells
    • Anything you like.

    Bug Jar Quilt Block Size Options

    Both of the bug jar quilt blocks finish at 9-inches tall, but their widths differ. The quilt block with the tall jar finishes at 6-inches...MORE across, and the block with the shorter jar finishes at 4-1/2" wide. The differences allow you to add a bit of variety to your jar shelves.

    Make Six 6" x 9" Bug Jars

    Background Fabric:

    • six 2" x 6-1/2" bars (top trim)
    • twelve 1" x 8" bars (side trim)
    • twelve 1-3/4" x 1-3/4" squares (jar top corners)
    • two 1-1/2" x 6-1/2" strips (for strip pieced lid units)

    Jar Fabric:

    • Six 5-1/2" x 7-1/2" bars

    Lid Fabric

    • 3-1/2" x 6-1/2" bar (strip pieced lid units)

    Make Six 4-1/2" x 9" Bug Jars

     

    Background Fabric:

    • six 4" x 5" bars (top trim)
    • twelve 1" x 6" bars (side trim)
    • twelve 1-1/2" x 1-1/2" squares (jar top corners)
    • two 1-1/4" x 6-1/2" strips (for strip pieced lid units)

    Jar Fabric:

    • Six 4" x 5-1/2" bars

    Lid Fabric

    • 2-1/2" x 6-1/2" bar (strip pieced lid units)

    Keep units for each block size in a separate area so they don't intermingle.

    Continue to 2 of 4 below.
  • 02 of 04

    Make the Bug Jar Quilt Blocks

    Bug Jar Quilt Block Patterns
    Assembling a Bug Jar Quilt Block. Illustration © Janet Wickell

    The drawing illustrates step-by-step assembly of the block with the larger bug jar -- the jar that finishes at 6-inches wide.

    The more narrow jar is assembled in exactly the same way, but with the slightly different patch sizes listed in the cutting chart on page 1.

    Use 1/4" seams throughout unless the directions specify another method.

    Make the Strip Pieced Lid Units

    1. Find your lid fabric strip and the two lid background strips. Sew a background strip lengthwise to each long edge of the lid...MORE strip. Press seam allowances towards the lid strip.
    2. Square-up one end of the strip using the same method as for squaring-up fabric before cutting long strips. Cut six 1-inch wide segments from the squared-up end (segment width is the same for both block sizes).

    Assemble the Bug Quilt Blocks

    1. Use the quick-pieced triangle corners technique to sew squares to each top corner of your jar fabric. If your fabric is directional, take care to orient it correctly before sewing on the corners. Trim excess fabric as directed and flip corners right side up. Use my general instructions for corners, but with a slight difference: you'll only sew squares to the top corners of these bug jars.
    2. Sew the lid unit to the top of the jar. Press the seam allowance towards the jar.
    3. Sew a narrow background side unit to each side of the jar. Press the seam allowances towards the jar.
    4. Sew the top background unit to the jar unit. Press the seam allowance towards the background unit.

    That's it -- you're finished! Your bug jar quilt block should measure either 6-1/2" x 9-1/2" or 5" x 9-1/2". If it doesn't, press again and recheck. If it still isn't quite right, use my easy squaring-up method before swapping it or sewing it to other blocks.

    Make five more bug jar blocks from the remaining patches.

    Continue to 3 of 4 below.
  • 03 of 04

    Short & Fat Bug Jar Quilt Blocks

    Bug Jar Quilt Block Patterns
    This type of quilt block is often called a "bug jar," but you can fill it with anything you like to make it a candy jar, fairy jar -- or even a people jar. © Janet Wickell

    If you're making a bug jar quilt for yourself, consider this short and squatty jar variation. The pattern includes two block sizes: a square bug jar block that finishes at 6-inches square and a larger block that finishes at 12-inches square.

     

    Bug Jar in a Square Block

    Continue to 4 of 4 below.
  • 04 of 04

    Bug Jar Variation: Tall Bug Jar

    Bug Jar Quilt Block Patterns
    Tall Bug Jar Quilt Blocks. © Janet Wickell

    This bug jar quilt block is not used in the Quilting Forum swap, but you might want to try it for your own quilt.

    Tall Bug Jar Variation