I know jar quilts abound. I've always wanted to make one, and I had few fabrics at my quilt shop that were good candidates for jar contents. The only problem with these particular fabrics was that they were scattered prints, and nothing that would fill a jar in a pleasing way. For example, I have some fruit and veggie fabrics that would work nicely by cutting to size and having a jar full of, say, strawberries or tomatoes. But the fabrics I wanted to use had creatures scattered all around and would be difficult to cut for the jar unit without cutting the creature next to it in half. What to do?
Here's what I came up with! The blue bug quilt (pictured top) is the one that I made for my Grandson, Bear, while drafting a pattern. The Hungry Caterpillar quilt- aptly named Captivated Caterpillars, (pictured directly above) is the one that Sarah made for her son, Eric, and the one that I'm offering as a kit. She took the design and ran with it, having so much fun with the fabrics. We used the scattered prints successfully by building around each jar content motif, log cabin style. The sashing idea was meant to be reminiscent of a starry summer night of bug collecting! Just look how much they both enjoyed their quilts!
You know that feeling you get when you give something to someone you love and they love it? My Grandson, Bear, melted my heart. He knew it was his and his alone.
This is Sarah's little Eric. He's underneath his Captivated Caterpillar quilt, reading his Hungry Caterpillar book! He even has a stuffed Hungry Caterpillar, so this quilt is extra special to him!
Here's how we built the jar block: (Note: the pattern has all the specific measurements for each step.)
- Cut the motif from your fabric that you want to place in a jar. Your motif doesn't have to be a square, but be sure to cut each side straight with a rotary cutter and ruler. It could even be a hexagon or triangle shape! Also cut some strips of fabric, width of fabric, to build around the motif. Our background on the strawberry print is white, so we cut white strips. Look closely at the large pictures of both quilts (top) and study the seam lines around the motifs.
- Build onto this motif unit log cabin style. Sew a white strip on one side of the motif. Press it open and trim the edges straight, in line with the motif's edges, with a ruler.
- Sew another strip on a side of the motif unit. (That's Sarah, Eric's mama and one amazing quilter/sewist!)
- Trim the new strip's edges straight.
- Continue to sew strips around the motif until the unit is large enough to trim down to the needed square size.
Snowball the block by sewing a square onto each corner of the square.
Make the jar lids. Cut a strip of yellow jar lid fabric. Cut two strips of green fabric and sew one on each side of the yellow strip. Subcut this into nine units for the jar lids. (See 1, below.) Again, the pattern has all the specific measurements.
Sew green strips around the block to frame the jar. Now, on to the sashing! The great thing about this technique is that your star tips are supposed to be wonky! Sew them on as shown below:
- Place a star tip rectangle on the sashing strip so that you can stitch from the center (on short edge) to the side. You don't have to be dead center. Make the tips different lengths. This just adds to the twinkle effect.
- Press it over and trim away the excess star tip fabric, so that the edges are even with the sashing.
- Repeat for the other side of the star.
- Press, flip and trim.
Make eight (8) with star tips on one end of the sashing, and four (4) with star tips on both ends.
That's just about it! Arrange your jar blocks and sashing stars and sew them all together into rows, then sew the rows together. Add borders, layer, quilt as desired...and give to someone you love!