Jewel Box Pieces

Here are the pieces for the Jewel Box:

Starring the half square triangle, which I chose to be 4″ finished:

The four patch, which I chose to be made of pieces cut 2 1/2 inches to total 4″ completed:

Each four patch is united with a half square triangle:

Completed component (1/4 of the finished block)

Completed block is composed of four component blocks, above, each rotated to complete the box:

My all time favorite quilt book is “It’s OK If You Sit on my Quilt” by Mary Ellen Hopkins, and I like it because it helped me quilt without having to follow someone else’s idea of how my quilt should be. When I found a jewel box pattern, it was bigger than I wanted, so I scaled it down. This jewel box pattern is a great practice for your first effort at changing scale, because the size you choose for your four patch and your half square triangle changes everything. You could use 1″ blocks, or you could use 12″ inch blocks, and the pattern would remain the same, only the scale would change.

I’ve seen this quilt done with a light background and with a dark background. I made one big mistake right at the beginning; I cut the half square triangle background out of a dark navy blue and the 2 1/2 inch background squares out of black. If I had it to do over again, they would be the same fabric.

If you want the variations in color, you will need small amounts of a LOT of fabrics; this is a great opportunity to ask for small donations from your quilting friends. What is fun is that you later can look at the quilt and remember who gave you that perfect shade of coral, or fuchsia, or pistachio, or parrot, that icy blue. I have a dress I love, ruined by a drop of bleach; a piece of that dress is in my quilt.

As I look at the completed top, below, I am reminded that classic patterns have their own timelessness and elegance, and can look totally different from one another, depending on fabric choices. I would do this one again in a heartbeat; I love the diagonal lines created by the half square triangles.