Easy 12" Bento Box Quilt Block Pattern

  • 01 of 07

    What's a Bento Box Quilt?

    Bento Box Quilt Block Pattern
    Make a Batch of Bento Box Quilt Blocks. Janet Wickell

    This Bento Box quilt block pattern explains how to assemble each corner of the block separately, a simple method that will help you create a variety of quilt layouts if you like to use a wide assortment of fabrics to make a quilt.

    Bento Box quilts are sewn from easy quilt blocks that make use of color and contrast to create a unique look when blocks are sewn together — see examples on pages five and six of the pattern.

    If you like to sew with strip piecing techniques, be sure to look at the Nine...MORE Patch Bento Box quilt pattern, a design used for the 2015 New Year's Day mystery quilt.

    If the layout seems confusing, try working with only three fabrics for your first few Bento Box quilt blocks. After you're familiar with the design, sew with additional fabrics if you like.

    Color and contrast are sometimes a bit confusing to new quilters. A few quilting tutorials will help answer your questions.

    The Bento Box quilt block finishes at 12" x 12" and is made from 2-1/2" wide strips of fabric cut in different lengths. Reduce cutting chores by using jelly rolls — coordinated packs of fabric made up of 2-1/2" wide strips cut from selvage to selvage. Compare Prices of jelly roll packs.

    Sew your Bento Box quilt blocks with a quarter inch seam allowance.

    Cutting for One Bento Box Quilt Block

    Choose three fabrics: one light, one a darker cool (such as the blue) and one a darker warm (represented by the magenta). Scratch through my color choices and pencil in your own colors.

    Light Fabric

    • (2) 2-1/2" x 5-1/4" strips (for strip piecing)
    • (4) 2-1/2" x 4-1/2" strips
    • (2) 2-1/2" x 6-1/2" strips

    Blue Fabric

    • (1) 2-1/2" x 5-1/4" strip (for strip piecing)
    • (2) 2-1/2" x 4-1/2" strips
    • (2) 2-1/2" x 6-1/2" strips

    Magenta Fabric

    • (1) 2-1/2" x 5-1/4" strip (for strip piecing)
    • (2) 2-1/2" x 4-1/2" strips
    Continue to 2 of 7 below.
  • 02 of 07

    Sew Bento Box Block Corners

    Bento Box Quilt Block Pattern
    Sew Magenta Corners for the Bento Box Quilt Block. Janet Wickell
    1. Sew a 2-1/2" x 5-1/4" light strip lengthwise to a magenta strip of the same size. Press seam allowance towards the magenta strip.
    2. Square up one end of the strip set and cut (2) 2-1/2" segments, starting at the squared up end. Figure 1.
    3. Grab one Figure 1 segment and a 2-1/2" x 4-1/2" magenta rectangle. Sew the magenta strip to the top of the segment, taking care to align the magenta portion of the 2-color segment to the left as shown, Figures 2 and 3.
    4. Press the seam allowance towa...MORErds the magenta rectangle.
    5. Align a 2-1/2" x 4-1/2" light strip vertically to the left of the Figure 3 unit (see Figure 4). Connect the two and press the seam allowance towards the magenta areas.
    6. Sew a 2-1/2" x 6-1/2" light strip to the top of the partially complete patchwork, Figures 5 and 6. Press seam allowance towards the magenta areas.
    7. You should have one block corner that measures 6-1/2" x 6-1/2".
    8. Make a second identical block corner.
    9. Once you're comfortable with the assembly process, use chain piecing to sew patchwork in assembly-line fashion.
    Continue to 3 of 7 below.
  • 03 of 07

    Sew Remaining Bento Box Corners

    Bento Box Quilt Pattern
    Sew the Blue Corners of the Quilt Block. Janet Wickell
    1. Sew another strip set, pairing the 2-1/2" x 5-1/4" blue and light strips. Square up one end of the set and cut two 2-1/2" segments. Figure 7.
    2. Sew a 2-1/2" x 4-1/2" light rectangle to the top of a Figure 7 segment, orienting the blue portion of the segment in the lower left as shown in Figures 8 and 9. Press seam allowance towards the blue/light segment.
    3. Sew a 2-1/2" x 4-1/2" blue rectangle to the right of the segment as shown in Figure 10. Press seam allowance towards...MORE the blue rectangle.
    4. Sew a 2-1/2" x 6-1/2" blue bar to the top of the almost-complete unit and press seam allowance towards the new bar. The unit should measure 6-1/2" x 6-1/2".
    5. Sew one more blue/light block corner.
    Continue to 4 of 7 below.
  • 04 of 07

    Assemble the Bento Box Quilt Block

    Sew Bento Box Quilt Blocks
    Sew a Bento Box Quilt Block. Janet Wickell
    1. Arrange block corners into two horizontal rows as shown, left.
    2. Sew the two corners in each row together.
    3. Press new seam allowances in adjoining rows in opposite directions and join the rows. The quilt block should measure 12-1/2" x 12-1/2".

    Optional Assembly Method

    If you are making a scrap quilt, you might prefer to arrange block corners on a design wall or other flat surface before joining any of the units. That method allows more layout flexibility for the finished quilt.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Faith Hall's Bento Box Quilt

    Bento Box Quilt by Faith Hall
    Faith Hall

    A Bento Box quilt made by a Facebook group member, Faith Hall.

    Continue to 6 of 7 below.
  • 06 of 07

    Bento Box Quilt by France Powers Gilmour

    France Gilmour Bento Box Quilt
    France Gilmore

    Another Facebook group member, France Powers Gilmour, made this Bento Box quilt.

    Continue to 7 of 7 below.
  • 07 of 07

    Patch Sizes to Sew Bento Box Blocks One Piece at a Time

    Bento Block Patch Sizes
    Bento Block Patch Sizes. Janet Wickell

    Use this schematic as a cutting reference to Bento Box patch sizes.

    All squares are cut 2-1/2" x 2-1/2". It's perfectly fine to sew Bento Box quilt blocks one patch at a time rather than assembling them with strip sets.