Jewel Box Quilt and Quilt Block

What’s a Jewel Box Quilt?

My Jewel Box quilt and quilt block pattern is suitable for quilters of all skill levels, and beginners should be able to construct the quilt with ease. Jewel Box Quilt and Quilt Block and Buckeye Beauty are both the same quilt design, but Jewel Box quilts are made from multiple 4-block groups (see steps 2 and 4), and are usually sewn in vibrant jewel-tone fabrics against a contrasting (often black) background. These instructions explain how to make either individual Jewel Box quilt blocks in step 2, or sew a 70″ x 90″ Jewel Box quilt (step 3).

The Jewel Box quilt block has been around for a long time. It’s a simple patch of four with just the simplest of patches used in quilting – the square and half square triangle. This quilt block is a perfect choice to use all the tiny scraps you’ve saved. An ipotese for this name is that the quilters wore flaps of colored jewelery and thus created the name of this block (but it is only a guess). In any case, the more scraps you have, the better.

This version of the quilt block uses a single light-colored fabric but you can choose to use a variety of fabrics for this. The only requirement is that there is a lot of contrast between the background screen and all other screens used. (* Note – many quilters choose a dark tissue for the background, and then, of course, you should also have a lot of contrast with the remaining tissues.)

Finished block size: 10″ x 10″

Jewel Box Quilt Block Pattern

Jewel Box Quilt Block Pattern

Make a Jewel Box Quilt Block.  

Janet WickellFabrics for One Quilt BlockChange fabrics to suit your needs.

Black:

  • (4) 3″ x 3″ squares
  • (1) 5-7/8″ x 5-7/8″ square (cut two to go scrappy)

Brightly Colored Fabrics:

  • (4) 3″ x 3″ squares from at least 2 different fabrics
  • (1) or 5-7/8″ x 5-7/8″ square (cut two to go scrappy)

Sew the bright squares along the quilt block’s diagonally and use a minimum of two fabrics—it’s fine to use a wider variety of colors. You can make the two outer corners of the block from half-square triangle units, in a black/bright combo.

About Half Square Triangle Units

Half-square triangle units are simple to quick-piece by pairing 5-7/8″ squares, and each sewn pair of black/bright squares produces two identical half-square triangle units.

Sew the Jewel Box Quilt Block

  1. Sew a 3″ x 3″ bright square to one side of a black square of the same size. Press seam allowance towards the black square. Repeat to make three more batik/bright units.
  2. Sew two Step 1 units together to create a four patch, placing blacks on the diagonal from each other and butting seam allowances for a perfect match. Press new seam allowance either direction. Repeat to make a second four-patch unit.
  3. Use the easy quick piecing method to make two half-square triangle units by pairing a 5-7/8″ black square with a bright square of the same size. When complete, the two units produced should measure 5-1/2″ x 5-1/2″. (Repeat if you have opted to make scrappier blocks with another color combo, and save the extras for another block.)
  4. Arrange all units into two rows as illustrated. Sew components of each row together.
  5. Press center seam allowances in opposite directions and then join the rows. Press. The quilt block should measure 10-1/2″ x 10-1/2″.
  6. See step 4 for the 4-block unit used to create quilts.

How to Make a Jewel Box Quilt Jewel Box Quilt.

Jewel Box Quilt

 Janet WickellMake a Jewel Box Quilt

This Jewel Box quilt contains 48 individual quilt blocks sewn together into groups of four as illustrated in step 4. Blocks are quick pieced, but components are assembled in small groups to keep it scrappy. The quilt measures about 70″ x 90″ (with a 5″ finished border).

Fabrics and Other Materials

  • Black: about 3 yards total needed for quilt, not including borders
  • Batik: about 3 yards total in a variety of fabrics
  • Borders: about 1-3/4 yard for crosswise borders (must be pieced from shorter strips), or about 2-5/8 yards for borders cut on the lengthwise fabric grain (will have leftover fabric).
  • Backing: about 5-1/2 yards (if using borders as shown)
  • Batting: about 80″ x 100″ (if using borders as shown)
  • Continuous Binding: about 350 running inches of doublefold binding cut on the crosswise grain.

Cutting & Sewing For Each Group of 3 Blocks

Refer back to step 2 as necessary, and see the Buckeye Beauty quilt block pattern for an example of illustrations for strip pieced and quickly pieced units for this block.

Black

  • (3) 5-7/8″ x 5-7/8″ squares
  • (1) 3″ x 37″ strip (or selvage-wide to yield extra for more segments)

Batiks

  • (3) 5-7/8″ x 5-7/8″ squares (same or different)
  • (1) 3″ x 37″ strip (or selvage-wide to yield extra for more segments)

Make Half Square Triangle Units

Use the quick piecing method linked in step 2 to combine each 5-7/8″ black square with a batik square of the same size. When complete, you will have six 5-1/2″ x 5-1/2″ half square triangle units with black in one corner and a batik in another.

Make the Four Patch Units

  1. Sew a 3″ wide black strip lengthwise to a batik strip of the same size. Press seam allowance towards the black strip.
  2. Square up one end of the strip set and cut (12) 3″ long segments from it.
  3. Set all components aside and repeat to make 15 more sets of components by combining black strips with a bright strip.
  4. Sew two unlike black/batik 3″ segments together to make a four patch unit as shown in step 2. Press seam allowance either way. Repeat to make a total of 96 four patch units.
  5. Refer to step 2. Sew a block together as shown.
  6. Cut more squares (remember, so far you’ve cut enough for only three blocks). Make a total of 48 Jewel Box quilt blocks.
  7. Sew blocks together into groups of four as illustrated in step 4 (or in another layout if you prefer).
  8. Create three rows, each with three 4-block units. Sew rows together and press.
  9. Sew borders to the quilt (5-1/2″ wide strips) if desired. Mark for quilting if necessary. Sandwich the quilt with batting and backing, baste and quilt. Carefully trim excess batting and backing and finish with mitered binding.

Group of Four Jewel Box Quilts

Jewel Box Quilt Block Pattern

Four individual blocks are sewn together to create the Jewel Box grouping that’s used in the quilt in step 3.

  1. Arrange four individual blocks into two rows of two each.
  2. Sew blocks in each row together.
  3. Press seam allowances in adjoining rows in opposite directions.
  4. Join the rows and press.
  5. Confirm measurements—the 4-block unit should measure 20-1/2″ x 20-1/2″.

See too: A Tarted Up Pineapple Quilt

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