Thursday, 3 February 2011

Jewel Box Quilt Pattern

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 pattern I have stuck with my favourite 2.1/2" size because it is such an easy size to work with.


I rummaged around in my fabric stash looking for pairs of colours that I could theme together:  one dark and one light.  I ended up with six pairs of colours (12 fabrics) and cut a 2.1/2" strip and a 4.3/4" strip across the width of each of these fabrics.  Batiks would look absolutely gorgeous in a jewel box quilt but I didn't have any of them.  You will also need twelve 2.1/2" strips and twelve 4.3/4" strips in black.

Using a 1/4" seam and with right sides together sew a 2.1/2" black strip to a colour strip along the length.  cut across the width at 2.1/2" intervals.  Do the same with another black strip and the colour that themes with the first one.

Take a black/light colour 2.1/2" strip and a black/dark colour strip and sew together to make a four patch square as shown below.


Take a black 4.3/4" strip of fabric and a colour 4.3/4" strip.  Lay them with right sides together and cut across the width at 4.3/4" intervals to make 4.3/4" squares.  Mark a line along the diagonal of each square (these are pairs of squares, black and colour) and sew a 1/4" seam either side of the marked line.  Cut along the marked line and you will have two squares each made up of one black triangle and one colour triangle.


These two quilt blocks are all you need for the entire jewel box quilt pattern:  that's how simple it is. 
The video shows the block construction:


To make the centre of the jewel box quilt block, take four of the four patch squares and four of the triangle squares and arrange them 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 of a triangle square at each corner with two nine patch blocks 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.




The central square is obviously the two themed colours that you began with:  the triangles in each corner of the jewel box quilt block will form another square (jewel box) with the three different colours of the blocks around it.

Keep going and make more jewel box quilt blocks with all the other colours of fabric.  I had enough fabric to make two quilt blocks in each pair of colours, so that I ended up with twelve jewel box quilt blocks.  There are two options:  one quilt using four rows of three quilt blocks or two lap quilts each using three rows of two quilt blocks.  Each quilt block measures 16" square so the first option would give you a quilt 48" by 64" (before the border) and the second option of the lap quilts would be 32" by 48" before adding the border.  I decided to go for two lap quilts.

After completing the twelve jewel box quilt blocks, I was left with  enough triangle squares 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 for the short ends of the quilt.

In the photo on the right the quilt border has been added along the bottom edge of the jewel box quilt.  The border strip to sew along the edge needs to be fourteen squares long but notice that the end square is a single colour rather than a pair of colours.  that way you get the effect of a square going into the corner, which I quite liked.


I hope you enjoyed quilting this jewel box pattern as I did.  It really does have simple building blocks, doesn't it?





Thanks for visiting my blog.  You'll find more ideas for quilt patterns at Ludlow Quilt and Sew.
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