The Broken Bars Quilt: Easy Quilting Tutorial with Jenny Doan of Missouri Star Quilt Co. Jenny teaches us how to make the Broken Bars Quilt using pre cut fat quarters of fabric.
Find details here: http://land.missouriquiltco.com/broken-bars
Video Transcript (Downloadable PDF Here):
Hi, it’s Jenny from the Missouri Star Quilt Company. Take a look at this great quilt behind me. Isn’t this awesome? I just love it. This pattern is actually inspired by our friend Shea Henderson from the Empty Bobbin and it is just beautiful and just so quick and easy. We call it, “Broken Bars”. And to make this quilt what you are going to need is a Fat Quarter Bundle like this. See all these beautiful bundles? The fabric behind us is called Patchwork City. It’s by Elizabeth Heart for Kona and, it’s just, you know, this, it’s colors are just amazing. They’re so bright and happy and it’s so easy to do.
So, let me show you how to do this. I’m going to set this over here and we are going to use some Fat Quarters. Now, Fat Quarters are the original precut. This was before any, any kind of ten inch squares or five inch squares or jelly rolls, we have the Fat Quarter. The Fat Quarter is actually half a yard, cut at the fold, so it’s a piece of fabric that is about 18 by 22 inches. It’s just like this. And the way this pattern works, it’s based on ten inch squares, or ten inch strips, I mean.
So I am going to lay several of these down together. I am actually going to,we are going to have to cut these going the short direction. So I am going to take these and fold them in half like this, because we are going to cut them into ten inch strips. So I am going to lay a couple of these out here, fold it this way, and so this now, right now I have four layers and that really is plenty to cut through. So I will cut through a few of these and then I will cut through a few of the others.
So I am going to straighten up my line here and, I am going to go ahead…I’m going to scoot this over just a hair, straighten up my edge, and I’m cutting these into ten inch strips. Alright, there we go. Now we have two sets of ten inch strips and I am going to cut a couple more because this is just so fun when you get going. Things like this for me are really freeing because I tend to be kind of an “in the box” kind of girl, you know? I kind of like, I like things, I just like them orderly and kind of the same and so this is a little bit freeing, a little bit out of my box. And so, it’s just kind of fun to show you guys how to do this.
Again I am opening up these Fat Quarters. I am unfolding them and laying them so that they’re…the longest part of them is directly in front of me, like this. And I am going to stack them in a little stack and then I am going to cut them into ten inch strips. Let’s scoot this over. Make sure I get my, make sure nothing is, everything is flat under here. We don’t want any folds or anything like that. And I am going to come over ten inches and cut again and come over ten inches and cut again so I am at 22. I got to cut at 12. There you go.
Alright now the fun really starts. So we are going to open up these, these strip sets right here, and I am going to lay these in, oh, let’s see, piles of maybe, maybe four, five? It really depends on how sharp your blade is and how, you know, how strong your cutting arm is. So I’ve got my ten inch strips all running this way. Ok, so what we are going for here is we are going for strip sets that are about twenty to twenty-four inches long and, you have to decide a number because they all have to be the same, but they are all going to be ten inches wide.
So what we are going to do now is, we’re going to take this little strip set right here that I’ve got piled up and we are going to cut this and we are going to cut this in random widths. So, this is where the “out of the box” part comes in. So I am going to cut this first little strip set, and mine aren’t all in the same place, but it’s not going to matter because, because the strips are supposed to be all different sizes. So I am going to cut one strip set here, and I am cutting right here on the two line. I am going to cut on the three line. I am going to cut on the inch and a half line. I probably wouldn’t go too much smaller than an inch and a half, but I am just going to cut these all different sizes. And then, basically what you want to do is, you want to just mix them all up and sew them together, just, you know, catawampus, however you want to.
So let’s go ahead and cut some of these. And I think I will just leave that one be. So then these can all just, like, go in a bag or a pile or something because you just want to mix up all these colors and cut them in random, you know, sew them together randomly so that you, that you don’t put any two fabrics right next to each other. So let’s take a look at some of these that I’ve sewn together here. So here is this right here, and it’s the beginning of a strip set, and I have another one right here. And, basically, you are just going to put your strips together just like this. You are going to sew a quarter of an inch right down the side, just like this. Let’s go to the sewing machine and I am going to show you how we are going to sew these together. Here we go. Alright, so we are just going to sew right down here, and then we are going to iron this open.
This is just one of those fun and freeing, oops, fun and freeing quilts that, you know, it’s just whatever you want to do. It’s no rhyme, no reason. But, what we are going for here is, we want to make a strip set that is, you know, you want to decide on a number but you want to make sure that they are all the same, so say that I decide that I want my strip sets to be twenty-two inches long. So, this one is 22”x10” wide. All of my strip sets are now going to have to be that. So this one right here, it needs another strip on here. So, let’s say I add another strip on here… let me just go ahead and add. Oh, I will add one of these pink ones. And I am going to put this right sides together, just like this, and sew this back because this in an important part of what we’re doing. So I am adding this pink strip. There you go. And now what we are going to do, let me get rid of some of these threads right here. There are a lot of those. There we go.
So now we are going to iron this open. Now if we had decided that twenty-two is the length we want to end up with, then this is, now this is the really important part right here, is we’re going to cut this to twenty-two. So we are going to lay this on the zero line and, you can see right here is the twenty-two line, right down here, right down the middle. So what I am going to do then is, I am going to go ahead and trim this at twenty-two right here. Now there is a reason for this. You know some people may wonder, can’t you just do the, you know, the whole long row? You really can’t. It gets crazy wonky.
So what we do is, we sew these sections together like this. They are all different sizes. We will line them up like this and sew these sections together. So once you get, what do we have here? One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, seven sections together, that actually makes a row and, I know you can’t see this, but I am going to show it to you because this will surprise you. So here is where our seam line is. Right here. See how it comes right through here, all the way across here? And that is where we put these seams.
So we have one row of this together. We are going to put this row together. Then, we are going to sew this…these two sections together. And you only sew four sections and your quilt is done. And so it’s really one of those fun projects where you just sew strips and cut them into ten by, I decided on, twenty-two inch segments. Whatever you want to do and it just works really great.
So, at the Missouri Star Quilt Company we like everybody to make a quilt and my grandson Noah works here with us and he fell in love with this pattern and so he recently made his first quilt out of this pattern, so I want to show it to you. Noah, come on in here. So, this is my grandson, Noah and this is his first quilt. We are very excited about this. Let’s hold this up. Take a look at that. Isn’t this great? I mean, he just loves it and I just think it came together so cool. So, Noah when you started doing this what was the thing that surprised you the most about sewing? Because Noah can cut. He cuts fabric, you know, he is really good at the rotary cutter and that sort of thing but, but what was it that surprised you the most about sewing do you think?
Noah: Well it was probably the difficulty of actually using the sewing machine.
Jenny: Oh yeah? So what, what happened with that?
Noah: Well I couldn’t keep my seams very straight, you know, it took a little while to get that down.
Jenny: That control? Well that’s really cool, it’s always interesting to me to know what is the hard part. Now, one more thing I want to show you about this pattern before we quit is we have made it in solids and Noah made it in solids and it looks beautiful, but I want you to see what happens if you make it in a regular printed fabric. So we have one here and, look at this fabric. Is this not gorgeous? So, take at look at this quilt. This is parka gray fabric. It’s called, “Empire for Free Spirit” and it is just beautiful. I just love all the texture, I love all the different designs and patterns, and it’s beautiful. So, no matter how you make this quilt, whether you use a beautiful print or you use the solids, this is a wonderful quilt and it just goes together quick and easy. I am pretty proud of this guy that he made his own first quilt and we hope you enjoyed this tutorial on the Broken Bars pattern from the Missouri Star Quilt Company.