Friday, October 4, 2013

Scrappy Bento Box Block - Tutorial

You've likely seen a Bento Box Block before. It's not a tricky block to sew, there's no curves or triangles to piece, but this block can be infinitely more appealing by making it scrappy. 
 
My first Bento Box project followed the most widely recognized version of piecing.
Click here to view that quilt.
 
Now, let's take this regular version...



and jazz it up by making it scrappy!
 
See what happens to this simple block when you piece it using a scrappy assortment compared to the regular pieced version?





In it's simplest form, the bento box block can be broken down into quadrants. Colour arrangement is repeated in two and then reversed in the other two. Easy right?
 

To make a scrappy version, choose two colours from your fabrics, making sure to include light, medium and dark values of each. I'm using red and white in my blocks, but you will notice that I have different values of each. If the values are randomly placed, the block looks more complex than it really is. This is a key to making your scrappy blocks look their best.




I have selected 8 different fabrics for the white colourway and 8 different fabrics for the reds.



Cutting list to make one Scrappy Bento Box Block:
* this block will be 12.5" when pieced
* 16 different fat eighths would work great for this block or use scraps

Colour 1 (white):
A: Cut two at 2" x 2"
B: Cut two at 2" x 2"
C: Cut two at 2" x 3.5"
D: Cut two at 3.5" x 3.5"
E: Cut two at 3.5" x 6.5"



Colour 2 (red):
A: Cut two at 2" x 2"
B: Cut two at 2" x 2"
C: Cut two at 2" x 3.5"
D: Cut two at 3.5" x 3.5"
E: Cut two at 3.5" x 6.5"

Here's the layout for the pieces cut...

* Sew with a scant 1/4" seam for all piecing and press all seams carefully.

Step #1. Starting with one quadrant of the bento box block (I'm using the A,B,C,D,E pieces shown in the bottom left of the piecing layout photo), take one A(red) and one B(white) and stitch together.
 
 
Step #2: Press the seam towards A (the red piece).
 
 
Step #3: Stitch one C (white) to the AB unit just sewn - with A being at the top when stitching the new seam.
 
 
Step #4: Press this seam towards A (the red piece).
 
 
 
Here's how the first three pieces should look when pieced and pressed.


 
Step #5: Stitch one D (red) to the first ABC unit, placing it so the seam will join it to B and C (shown below).
 


Step #6: Press this seam towards D (red).


 
Only one seam left on this to make one quadrant of the Bento Box Block!
 

Step #7: Stitch one E (red) so that it is joined in a seam with C and D.

 
Step #8: Press the seam towards E (the largest red piece).
 
 
One quadrant of the Bento Box is complete!
 

Three more quadrants to piece!
 

Repeat all of the steps above for piecing the remaining 3 quadrants. Follow the same pressing and stitching instructions for the matching quadrant to the first one pieced. For the other two quadrants, you will reverse the colours given for A,B,C,D,E and reverse the direction for pressing each seam (eg. for the first seam with a light coloured A, press the seam towards B and so on. See photo below.).


Why change the pressing direction of the seams? It will make it easier for joining the finished quadrants together. The seams will butt against one another, matching perfectly.


Here are the quadrants pieced, pressed and ready for joining...



and afterwards.

 
 
Congratulations! You've sewn yourself a Scrappy Bento Box Block.
Would you like some project ideas for using them?
How about sewing some for a table runner with matching place mats to keep or place mats to give...
or kitchen chairs to make your decor look unique?
Perhaps you may even want to make a quilt!
 
 
 
 
How about making a pillow? (click here for my pillow tutorial)
 
 
 
 
* I originally shared this tutorial on Sew We Quilt as the first post in a month long series of quilt block tutorials and am now adding it to
Both sites are lovely resources for inspiring quilt blocks to get you sewing.  Enjoy!

5 comments:

  1. love your blocks. i may try them soon

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great tutorial! I love how just changing the fabrics to your scrappy version changes the resultant pattern so much.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love your Bento Box quilt! Fabulous!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I just finished your Bento Box block and tutorial. Sew cute! I'm adding it to my El's Kitchen quilt in place of an apron block. The Bento Box block is still kitchen themed! Loved your tutorial and all went perfectly! Thank you! :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you for your tutorial. I will make a quilt with this block. Love your red quilt!

    ReplyDelete

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