Tutorial Reboot: Broken Bars Quilt Featuring Guest Blogger Cristina Tepsick

Tutorial Reboot: Broken Bars Quilt Featuring Guest Blogger Cristina Tepsick


Hi Y’all. I’m Cristina Tepsick from Pretty Little Quilts and I’m really excited to be here today! I’m a mother of three, an active duty member of the US Air Force, and a quilter. I started quilting a few years ago to occupy my time when I had to be separated from my family, and although those months were miserably lonely, quilting gave me a tangible way that I could express my love for them. It makes me teary just thinking about it, but I don’t want to depress everyone, so let’s get started with the tutorial!

broken bars cristina pinnable

Today I’m going to be showing you what I did with Jenny’s Broken Bars tutorial. When I was looking at her quilt it reminded me of rows of books. I absolutely love reading, so I knew this was the project for me. It’s such a simple project that yields some amazing results.

I used a fat quarter bundle of Magnolia fabric by Camelot Designs, and coordinated it with some Bella Solids. Although this fabric is modern, the warm color palette and florals really give it a romantic feel, and in the quilt it reminds me of a Jane Austen library.

To make the quilt, I first took my fat quarters and paired them up in sets of two.

Then I cut the pairs of fabric into strips between 7-11 inches. In Jenny’s tutorial you’ll see how she made hers into 10in strips and I used her method, with the exception of changing up the sizes. You really want to vary your strip sizes of your patterned fabric to give it that authentic bookshelf feel.

To give it a little more detail, I cut smaller strips of fabric (1in-2in) from each of the fat quarters and used the coordinating fabric (from the sets) to give it a little more interest. Let me show you how I did it in this one:

First took a set of 10in strips. Then I cut some 1 1/2in strips off the bottom.

I had a remaining 7in strip piece that I cut into three parts and sewed the 1 1/2 strips of the alternating fabric in between. Then I cut a strip of white fabric and sewed it to the top. My final rows were 12in, but I cut the white strips so the row would be a little taller so I could trim them down later. (Note: Since each of the colored fabric are different sizes, each of your white strips will also be different sizes to meet the 12in row size.)

Once you have that all together, just use your ruler to cut your “bars”. I varied the width of each of mine from 2in-3 1/2in, but the great thing about this project, is there are no specific rules, so you cut them however you like.

I made each of my strip sets different, and the funnest part was sewing them together into blocks. A good tip in Jenny’s tutorial that I would like to emphasize is deciding how many bars (or books) you want in each block, because the more bars you add the wonkier it gets. Each of my blocks were 10 bars (or about 20 inches) and I had used two per row.

Then the hard part was done. It’s a no borders quilt, but you could absolutely add borders or strips of fabric between each row to make it look more like a bookshelf.

This was a really fun and easy project and I hope it gives you some inspiration for making your own quilt!! To see more of my work you can follow my blog, Pretty Little Quilts, or follow me on Instagram @prettylittlequilts.

THANK YOU, Cristina!! We loved having you and love what you’ve done with the Broken Bars pattern!!! If you’ve made it this far in the post, we’ve decided to do a little giveaway to go with this fun project! We’re giving away 1 Magnolia Fat Quarter Bundle to one quilter! Here’s what you have to do to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

cristina pinnable

  • Christine Sherman

    Love it, so pretty!

  • So glad you like it, Christine! Thanks for your comment!! @christinesherman:disqus

  • Joanne Hubbard

    Such a fun quilt! Thanks for sharing this with us. 🙂
    Happy New Year, Happy Quilting Year!

  • TheGranChris .

    Turned out lovely. Such a great way to start the year.

  • Cynthia Lanahan

    Beautiful! Always enjoy a “new” quilt pattern

  • Justhaveinfun

    That is a very cute quilt! Easy my grand daughter could make. She is 11. Can’t wait.

  • WesternNYLady

    I like the concept. I’d add a kitty among the “books”.

  • ADK Kate

    Love the way your directions and pictures lay everything out step-by-step so nicely. As a retired librarian I love the bookshelf look….and these “titles” will never get out of order 🙂 Thank you!

  • Cheryl

    I love the book shelf look!!!

  • Regan McKinley

    I’m thinking about making a small wall hanging like this for my classroom (I teach ELA). It will be so cute and fun! Thank you for the idea!

  • @reganmckinley:disqus That would be so cute!!! We’d love to see if you try it out!

  • Isn’t that a fun interpretation of the Broken Bars quilt?? We just love it!

  • Thanks for the comment, @adkkate:disqus! We love knowing what resonates with our fans! 🙂

  • Now THAT would be so adorable!!

  • Yes! This is a simple pattern that looks harder than it really is. It would a great starter! 🙂

  • Happy New Year and Happy Quilting to you too! 🙂

  • Lora Rodgers Whitfield

    So pretty! Love the pattern and the fabrics you chose ❤️

  • WesternNYLady

    My cats like to “help when I sew anything. Laying atop an ironing board is standard stuff for them. I could easily see a few “books” knocked out of the way for a cat on this quilt. I’ll have to give it a try. Perhaps size it for a kitty quilt to contain the fur on their ironing board. Don’t worry they have a separate board away from my iron when I work. The kitties just like to be present.

  • Nanni Miranda

    My sister-in-law teaches reading to 1st and 2nd graders, that would be awesome in her class

  • tcboucher

    I Love how you changed the pattern to look like books. I work in our church library and It would be sweet to make this to welcome people.

  • sandy h

    Pretty quilt! I have a charm pack that I’m trying to figure out how to use. Maybe this’ll do the trick!

  • Elizajane

    This would be an easy pattern for my 11 yr old granddaughter’

  • Melissa Greenfield

    Love these colors. My granddaughter would really enjoy this. I’m new to instagram and entered my info incorrect

  • beth daniels

    To do this quilt would be great for me.

  • Sew Happy

    I love the pattern and fabric. How do you enter the give away if you are not into Facebook and instagram?

  • dj

    how many fq or total yds did it take?