I’ve often looked at jewel box quilts longingly but felt that I couldn’t be doing with all those triangles everywhere. It took my tiny brain a while to work out that they were in fact squares for the most part, but I got there in the end. I’ve seen many jewel box quilt patterns with much smaller pieces than I have used, but for this quilt I have stayed with my favourite 2.1/2″ size because it is such an easy size to work with.
six pairs of fabrics (one dark and one light in each colour): one 2.1/2″ strip and one 4.7/8″ strip of each
black background fabric: twelve 2.1/2″ strips and twelve 4.7/8″ squares
Making the jewel box quilt blocks
Using a 1/4″ seam and with right sides together sew a 2.1/2″ black strip to a colour strip along the length. Repeat with the other colour fabric of that pair. Cut these strips at 2.1/2″ intervals.
Place a black and colour 4.7/8″ square with right sides together and mark a line along the diagonal. Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line to produce two half square triangles.
Take two of the 2.1/2″ strips of black/colour fabric and sew them together with the black squares diagonally opposite each other to make a four patch unit. This and the half square triangles are the basic units of the jewel box quilt block. That’s how simple it is.
To make the centre of the jewel box quilt block, take four of the four patch squares and four of the half square triangles and lay them out as shown. The small squares (the jewels) are starting to form a frame around the big square (the jewel box) in the middle, so make sure you place them as shown with the light and dark alternating.
The rows above and below the central square are both made using a half square triangle at each corner with two four patch units between them. Again, be careful to alternate the colours so that you continue the frame around the central square of the jewel box quilt block. Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows together.
The central square is obviously the two paired colours that you began with: the triangles in each corner of the jewel box quilt block will form another square but with the three different colours of the blocks around it.
Continue making more jewel box quilt blocks with all the other pairs of fabrics. I had enough fabric to make two quilt blocks with each pair of colours, giving twelve blocks in total. There are two options: one quilt using four rows of three blocks or two lap quilts each using three rows of two quilt blocks. Each block is 16″ square so the first option would give you a quilt 48″ by 62″ (before the quilt border is added) and the second option of two lap quilts would be 32″ by 48″ before the border. I have chosen the two lap quilts option.
The jewel box quilt border
After completing the twelve jewel box quilt blocks, I was left with enough half square triangles to be able to use them in the border – you know how I hate having fabric left over. Sew them together in pairs and then make two strips of eight squares each for the short edges of the quilt.
In the photo the quilt border has been added along the bottom edge of the jewel box quilt. Make two strips fourteen squares long for the border strips for the sides of the quilt. Note that the end square of these is a single half square triangle (the red) rather than a pair (the yellow). This gives you the effect of a black square straddling the corner, which I quite liked.
I hope you loved this jewel box quilt pattern as much as I do. It really does have simple building blocks, doesn’t it!
Here’s the video: