Free Traditional Quilt Block Called Aztec Jewel

Posted by Elaine Huff on

This classic quilt block is mostly made with Flying Geese and Half Square Triangles. While it's not a beginner block, it is fairly easy to sew together.

Update: I've added some layout options at the end of the tutorial.

The Aztec Jewel appeared in the Quilter's Newsletter and was designed by Virginia Outerbacker. It uses a light, a medium and a dark fabric and is very striking! Let's get sewing!

aztec jewel quilt block 

Fabric Requirements for a 12" Finished Aztec Jewel Quilt Block:

  • Light/Ivory: 8 - 2" x 3.5" rectangles, 24 - 2" squares
  • Medium/Coral: 12 - 2" x 3.5" rectangles, 2 - 4" squares
  • Dark/Aqua: 2 - 4" squares, 1 - 3.5" square, and 4 - 2" squares

aztec jewel fabric requirements

Sewing Directions:

Flying Geese Units:

Step 1:

Using the 12 Medium/Coral 2" x 3.5" rectangles and the 24 Light/Ivory 2" squares, sew together 12 Flying Geese patches like the ones shown in the picture below. You will find my tutorial and method for making Flying Geese blocks at

aztec jewel 1

Step 2:

Sew together 3 of the Step 1 Flying Geese patches as shown in the picture below. Press the seam allowances away from the points. Repeat for a total of four Flying Geese units.

aztec jewel 2

Corner Units:

Half Square Triangle Patches:

Step 3:

Using the 2 Medium/Coral 4" squares and the 2 Dark/Aqua 4" squares, make four Half Square Triangle patches as shown below. Press the seam allowances toward the Dark/Aqua fabric and trim/square up the units to 3.5" square. You can find the tutorial for making a basic Half Square Triangle block at

aztec jewel 3

Step 4:

Lay out a Step 3 Half Square Triangle patch, two Light/Ivory 2" x 3.5" rectangles, and one Dark/Aqua 2" square as shown in the picture below.

aztec jewel 4

Step 5:

Sew the patches into two rows and press the seam allowances away from the Light/Ivory rectangles as shown below. 

aztec jewel 5

Step 6:

Sew the two rows together and press the seam allowance toward the Half Square Triangle. (Sorry - I forgot to take a picture of this step.) Repeat Steps 4 through 6 for a total of four Corner units.

newsletter signup

Putting It All Together:

Step 7:

Lay out the Flying Geese units, the Corner units, and the Dark/Aqua 3.5" square as shown in the picture below.

aztec jewel 7

Step 8:

From here the block goes together like an uneven Nine Patch block. First, sew the units into three rows as shown in the picture below.

aztec jewel 8

Step 9:

Press the seam allowances away from the Flying Geese units as shown below.

aztec jewel 9

Step 10:

Now sew those three rows together.

aztec jewel 10

Step 11:

And press the seam allowances toward the center of the block as shown in the picture below. You're done!

aztec jewel 11


While this is not a beginner block and the Flying Geese patches are a little small, the block still went together easily. I'm really happy with how it turned out!

Layout Options:

Here's the typical 4 x 4 layout. It makes an interesting design with the Flying Geese patches.

quilt 1

Here's an example of the block with sashing and cornerstones. Very nice layout!

quilt 2

Here the same sashing and cornerstone layout only done on-point.

quilt 3

And here's taking the above layout one step further. The alternating blocks are based on the Aztec Jewel block but without the Flying Geese and Half Square Triangles. I really like this one!

quilt 4

So then I had to see what the above layout looks like in a normal horizontal layout. So different!

quilt 6

hope you've enjoyed this Aztec Jewel quilt block tutorial. If you liked this post and want to see more quilting tutorials like this, simply click here to sign up for my newsletter and also receive a free PDF quilt pattern called "Chained Weathervane".

Happy Quilting!


P.S. To print a PDF of this tutorial, check out the free app at

P.P.S. To figure out yardage for a quilt, check out this post:

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