Hot Air Balloon Mini tutorial, section 1

This hot air balloon mini tutorial is turning out to be a very fun and creative project for me. I’ve enjoyed making this one and now I get to share the instructions with you!  Section 1 will include one hot air balloon and a small tree.  {Please keep in mind that this is just a tutorial and not a pattern that has been tested.  If you find an error, please let me know.}

section 1 final pin

EQ Sections

Finished quilt size: 22″ square

Materials for entire quilt:

  • Background:  1/4 yard white fabric
  • Balloons:  assorted scraps of rainbow-colored fabrics
  • Flying geese, trees and baskets:  black, gray, tan, brown and green scraps
  • Binding:  1/4 yard fabric
  • Backing:  3/4 yard or 25″ square of fabric
  • Batting:  25″ square

Section 1 Cutting Instructions:

Hot Air Balloon:

  • Purple:  (2) 3″ squares
  • Blue:  (3) 3″ squares
  • Aqua:  (4) 3″ squares
  • Green:  (4) 3″ squares
  • Yellow:  (4) 3″ squares
  • Orange:  (3) 3″ squares
  • Red:  (2) 3″ squares
  • Dk. Brown: (2) 1″ x 2 1/2″ rectangles
  • Brown:  (1) 3″ x 3 1/2″ rectangle
  • White:  (4) 3″ squares, (2) 2″ x 2 1/2″ rectangles, (2) 2″ x 3″ rectangles

balloon 1 cutting inst.

Small Tree:

  • Dk. Green:  (1) 2″ x 3 1/2″ rectangle
  • Lt. Green:  (1) 2″ x 3 1/2″ rectangle
  • Brown:  (1) 1 1/2″ x 2″ rectangle
  • White:  (4) 2″ squares, (2) 1 1/2″ x 2″ rectangles

small tree pieces info


White:  (1) 1 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ rectangle, (1) 3″ x 6 1/2″ rectangle, (2) 2″ x 5″ rectangles, and (1) 2 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ rectangle

Hot Air Balloon Construction:

  1.  Make half square triangle units from the 3″ squares in the following pairs:

balloon 1 pairs info

2.  Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of one 3″ square in each pair.  Stitch on each side of the diagonal line and cut apart.  Press open or towards the dark.  Trim each HST to 2″ square.  (Note:  I pressed all of my hst’s open which is not my normal routine.  I had a headache trying to figure out which ones got pressed towards the dark/light to achieve nesting seams.  Pressing open took the guess work out of it.  Feel free to press as you wish.)

hst collage

3.  We’re going to create the upper right and lower left corner units of the balloon.  Draw a diagonal line on the remaining two white 3″ squares.  Place each one on a yellow/green HST and a green/aqua HST, making sure the diagonal line is running perpendicular to the seam of the HST.  Stitch ON (or just next to) the diagonal line.  You’ll be using only one half of this unit.  Trim 1/4″ from seam, and make sure you’re trimming the correct side.  It should look like the photo below (right).  Your units should measure 2″ square.

Corner HSTs explained

4.  Arrange the HST’s to form diagonal color bands across the balloon.  (You’ll have a few extra, unused HST’s). Arrange the basket parts and background pieces as shown below.  Stitch the units into rows.  Sew the rows together.  The hot air balloon unit should measure 6 1/2″ x 12 1/2″.

balloon 1 assembly

Small Tree Construction:

  1.  Create two flying geese units using the 2″ x 3 1/2″ rectangles and the 2″ squares.  I used the stitch and flip method as shown below.  The unfinished size should measure 2″ x 3 1/2″.

flying geese collage

2.  Assemble the tree using the flying geese units from step 1 and the remaining tree pieces as shown below.  The small tree should measure 3 1/2″ x 5″, unfinished.

tree assembly

Section 1 Assembly:

Arrange the background pieces, hot air balloon and small tree as shown below.  Stitch the units together. Section 1 assembly

Section 1 should measure 6 1/2″ x 22 1/2″.

section 1 final assembly

You’re done with the first section of the Mini Hot Air Balloon Quilt!  If you want to print or save these instructions, use the “print friendly” button below.  This allows you to save or print with or without images and to delete sections as needed.

Section 2 will be coming up next Friday!



Jaftex Blog Hop Giveaway Winners

I almost forgot to pick a winner for my giveaway in the Jaftex Blog Hop!  Better late than never really late!  I hope you all had fun seeing everyone’s project for the celebration.

Jaftex giveaway

I used the True Random Number Generator to pick a number between 1 and 340.  The first winner is from comment #89, Carol, who said “I signed up to follow by email!”


The second winner is from comment #294, Mary, who said “I follow you on Instagram, Pinterest, and Email. I love your balloons. It would be just so much fun to come up with different designs.”

TRNG 294

Congratulations Carol and Nancy!  I’ll be sending each of you a fat quarter bundle of Fusion Illusion from Blank Quilting. Thanks to ALL of you for participating.  I enjoyed reading all of the comments and hearing how (and if) you follow me.  It was very encouraging!

Don’t forget, I’ll be sharing the first part of the Hot Air Balloon Mini tutorial on Friday.  Stay tuned!


Sew Thankful Sunday, October 2015

{I love the idea of “paying it forward”.  I think the world would be a better place if we could spread some joy and acknowledgement of good deeds done by others.  I try to do that once a month for my Sew Thankful Sunday posts.  I highlight some great content that I’ve found on other people’s blogs that I hope will inspire you and reward the originator by bringing traffic to their site.  If your blog has been mentioned without your consent, please let me know and I will take you off the current list of featured bloggers.}

Sew Thankful Button

It’s October already!  Am I the only one that looks at the calendar and wonders where the year has gone?  I love the changing seasons and I look forward to Autumn.  At the same time, I feel the end of the year (and Christmas) is closing in.  I hope you take the time to slow down and enjoy the moment and also this amazing list of things to be thankful for!

(Remember, you can click on any of the images in this post and it will open up a new tab to the associated link).

  1.  Never under estimate the power of glue basting.  Cristy at Purple Daisies is one of the pioneers of this method and she’s given a crash course on her blog of why it works and how many ways it can be used.
glue basting

Glue Basting Technique at Purple Daisies


2.  I always look forward to seeing what’s cooking at the Moda Bakeshop.  A few weeks ago I was happy to see this Prairie Rose Garden quilt tutorial by Sarah Zimmerman featured.  It’s such a happy looking quilt!

Prairie Rose Garden Quilt


3.  If you’re a paper piecer, you will really appreciate this free, paper pieced pattern from Amy at 13 Spools.  How pretty is that star!



4.  Here’s a framed mini quilt that you’re going to adore.  Hello Fall is a perfect way to greet the changing seasons from Jen at Jen Daly Quilts.  The precision of the leaves comes from foundation piecing.

Hello Fall

Hello Fall framed mini quilt by Jen Daly Quilts


5.  Here’s something easy for Halloween that you could make with a mini charm pack or your own fabric scraps.  Amanda at Jedi Craft Girl has the full tutorial to make a Spooky Mini Quilt that will add some charm to your October decor.



6.  Fabric manufacturers are a great resource for free patterns.  I love this In Stitches wall hanging by Little Miss Shabby for RJR Fabrics.  It would be so cute in a sewing room!

In Stitches by LMS

In Stitches Wall Hanging by Little Miss Shabby for RJR Fabrics


7.  A new blog hop and challenge has just begun at Blossom Heart Quilts.  Alyce will be working with you to get you designing and making your very own quilt block designs!  Follow along and learn the basics from a large group of bloggers and designers.



8.  Have you been following along with the Jaftex Blog Hop?  Recently, Melissa at Happy Quilting shared her project and tutorial for Traffic Jam.  This is a beautiful quilt made from fat quarters of Fusion Illusion from Blank Quilting.

Traffic Jam


9.  Melissa at Polka Dot Chair is starting a new block of the month series, and she’s leading it off with Quilting Basics. This looks like it will be a perfect way for the newer quilter to learn some fresh skills.  You old timers will appreciate it, too!



10.  One of the biggest sew alongs in blogland has just kicked off this month at Gnome Angel.  The Farmer’s Wife 1930’s Sew Along is a big undertaking, but Angie has rounded up some talented bloggers to help her out.  Each week, she will give tips and instructions for two blocks from the book,The Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt.  You’ll need your own copy of the book if you want to sew along.

The Farmer's Wife 1930's Sew-along: Learn to sew the 99 Blocks from Laurie Aaron Hird's book The Farmer's Wife 1930's Sampler Quilt" with Angie Wilson of, Fat Quarter Shop and From Marti Michell Perfect Patchwork Templates. Find out more here:

The Farmer’s Wife 1930’s Sew-along: Learn to sew the 99 Blocks from Laurie Aaron Hird’s book The Farmer’s Wife 1930’s Sampler Quilt” with Angie Wilson of, Fat Quarter Shop and From Marti Michell Perfect Patchwork Templates. Find out more here:


11.  It’s not too late to whip up this cute Candy Corn Pinwheels Pillow from Lindsey at Fort Worth Fabric Studio.  I love projects that work for multiple holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving!

candy corn pinwheels pillow


12.  Kimberly of Fat Quarter Shop and Art Gallery Fabrics have joined together to bring you this free quilt pattern, Welded.  It showcases the Artisan collection by Pat Bravo.  I love the bold design and easy construction!


Welded quilt pattern by Kimberly of Fat Quarter Shop for Art Gallery Fabrics


When the weather turns cold, it’s time to make like a squirrel and start hiding stuff get busy!  I hope you’ve found some inspiration to do just that.  Thanks to all of the bloggers featured today!


Hot Air Balloon Mini update and appledoodles

Hey everyone!  I’m almost done with the mini version of my Watch Out for Those Geese quilt.  The mini still doesn’t have an official title, so for now it’s the Hot Air Balloon Mini.  Here’s what it looks like in EQ:

Hot Air Balloon Mini Quilt by Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter


As I think about making the tutorial for this mini quilt, it’s becoming apparent that it might be a long one.  A tutorial like this is too lengthy to print out and too much information to take in at once.  So, with that in mind, I’m going to break it up into three sections.   I’ll post one section each Friday starting next week, October 9.

Hot Air Balloon Mini Quilt by Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter


The finished size of the quilt is 22″ square.  It’s a nice size for a wall hanging and it would make a great gift, too.  That open space in section 2 would be the perfect spot to personalize this quilt with someone’s name or initial.  You could use applique or embroidery.

Hot Air Balloon Mini Quilt by Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter

Hot Air Balloon Mini Quilt @ The Crafty Quilter


How about a graduation gift?  I love this idea and if you start now, it will be ready long before graduation season!

Hot Air Balloon Mini Quilt by Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter

Hot Air Balloon Mini Quilt @ The Crafty Quilter


I’m using left over scraps from the Fusion Illusion line from Blank Quilting.  This is the same fabric that I used in the original quilt for the Jaftex Blog Hop.

Watch Out for Those Geese by Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter

Watch Out for Those Geese by Julie Cefalu


If you want to start planning for the mini quilt, you’ll need 1/4 yard of background fabric and scraps of fabric in a rainbow of colors.  I used 10 different colors plus black, grey, and brown.

Let’s switch topics and talk about cookies.  Have you ever heard of Appledoodles?  I hadn’t either, until today.

{You may not want to read further, because this could lead to extra unwanted pounds and a serious addiction to a new fall favorite cookie.}

The recipe I used for Appledoodles came from Christy at The Girl Who Ate Everything.  It’s like snickerdoodles meets apple pie.  It is a winning combination!  Luckily, I get to share mine with my BOM group, so they won’t all end up on my waistline.



I followed the recipe ingredients exactly as written.  I didn’t have time to refrigerate the dough for an hour and then roll in cinnamon/sugar, so I just spooned mine onto the cookie sheet and sprinkled them with cinnamon and sugar before baking.  Moist, chewy and so delicious!

Applledoodles and mugrug copy


If you’re wondering about that cute little mug rug underneath my cookie, it’s a tutorial from several years ago.  You can find it here:  Holiday Mug Rug Tutorial.

Holiday Mug Rug Tutorial @ The Crafty Quilter

Holiday Mug Rug Tutorial @ The Crafty Quilter


This Sunday is Sew Thankful Sunday for October!  You’re going to love this one!  See you then!


Cozy Afternoon giveaway winner and Fat Quarter Shop sale

The winner of the September giveaway for the Cozy Afternoon BOM is Monica Kostak!  Congratulations Monica!  You’ve won two awesome patterns from Jacquelynne Steves.

Giveaway for September- Cozy Afternoon Free BOM


If you’re a fan of Cotton & Steel fabric, then you’re going to love this great sale going on at Fat Quarter Shop.  You’ll receive 20% off with the coupon code:  CS2015


This offer starts today, MONDAY, September 28 until SUNDAY, October 4 at 11:59 pm CST.

I hope you’re week is starting off right!