Easy Bug Jar Quilt Block Pattern

  • 01 of 04

    Sew Square Bug Jar Quilt Blocks

    Easy bug jar quilt block pattern
    Janet Wickell

    This easy Bug Jar quilt block pattern explains how to sew a square bug jar that's a bit different from most of the other bug jar quilt block patterns we've seen.

    Bug jar quilt blocks often depict jars that resemble tall, quart-sized canning jars. We wanted to design something a bit shorter, with more jar width to accommodate large prints. The result is a jar quilt block that looks a bit like an old-fashioned pickle jar.

    Fill your bug jar quilt blocks with bugs, of course, or consider candy, flowers, cookies, any pictorial fabric that suits your needs will do.

    Finished block size: 12" x 12"

    Use any background you like. Black is effective for colorful prints and can make the jar seem to pop out from the fabric, but another color might work better with your quilting fabrics.

    12-inch Bug Jar Quilt Block Fabric Cutting Chart

    Jar Contents

    • one 8-1/2" x 8-1/2" square

    Jar Cap

    • one 1-5/8" x 5-1/2" bar


    • Block Top: one 2-1/2" x 12-1/2" bar
    • Block Bottom: one 1-1/4" x 12-1/2" bar
    • Block Sides: two 2-1/2" x 8-1/2" bars
    • Cap Sides: two 1-5/8" x 4" bars
    • Jar Corners: four 1-1/2" x 1-1/2" squares

    More Bug Jar Quilt Blocks

    Continue to 2 of 4 below.
  • 02 of 04

    Sew the Center of the Bug Jar Quilt Block

    Jar quilt block patterns
    Janet Wickell
    1. Find your jar square.
    2. Draw a line from one corner to the opposite corner on the reverse side of each small background square.
    3. Align a square in each corner of the block as shown, right sides together. Take care to align raw edges as closely as possible. (See "A")
    4. Stitch a seam directly on each drawn line.
    5. Trim excess edges, leaving about 1/4" past the seam line. (See " B")
    6. Press as-is to set the seam (improves the accuracy of any patchwork).
    7. Flip the corner patches right side up. Press the seam allowance towards the bug fabric. (See "C")

    This is the same technique often used to sew Snowball Quilt blocks and (one type of) Flying Geese patchwork.

    Continue to 3 of 4 below.
  • 03 of 04

    Finish Sewing the Bug Jar Quilt Blocks

    Jar quilt block patterns
    Janet Wickell

    Use a 1/4" seam allowance to assemble the quilt block, placing units right sides together for sewing and matching raw edges carefully. Use straight pins to hold patches together if it helps you keep them aligned.

    1. Sew a background sidebar to two opposite sides of the bug jar square. Press seam allowances towards the sidebars.
    2. Stitch a background cap side to each side of the cap along short edges as shown in the middle row above. Pres seams allowances towards the darker fabric. If you strip pieced the unit, it is already assembled.
    3. Make the top of the block by sewing the bug jar cap unit to the long bottom edge of the top background bar. Press the seam allowance to the top background bar.
    4. Sew the cap/top background bar unit to the top of the bug jar unit. Press the seam allowance towards the cap unit.
    5. Sew the bottom background bar to the bottom of the block. Press the seam allowance towards the bottom strip.

    Your completed block should measure either 12-1/2" x 12-1/2" or 6-1/2" x 6-1/2".

    If your block is smaller than it should be, or skewed, then press again and recheck. If it still isn't quite right, use the easy squaring-up method before sewing it to other blocks.

    Continue to 4 of 4 below.
  • 04 of 04

    Add Sashing to Bug Jar Quilt Blocks

    Jar quilt block patterns
    Janet Wickell

    Here are two examples of Bug Jar quilt blocks sewn with sashing between them. Sashing helps make the blocks appear to be sitting on a shelf.

    You could eliminate the vertical sashing and use only long strips between rows of quilt blocks that are sewn side by side.