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Hot Air Balloon Mini Quilt, Section 3 & finishing

This is the final section of the Hot Air Balloon Mini Quilt tutorial, plus I’ll give you some finishing instructions.  You can find instructions for the first two sections here:

section 3 finished graphicEQ Sections

Finished quilt size: 22″ square.  All seams are made with a scant 1/4″ seam allowance.

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 3 Cutting Instructions:

Hot Air Balloon:

  • Yellow:  (1) 1 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ rectangle
  • Orange:  (1) 1 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ rectangle, (2) 1 1/2″ squares
  • Red:  (1) 1 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ rectangle, (1) 1 1/2″ square
  • Dk. Red:  (1) 1 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ rectangle, (3) 1 1/2″ squares
  • Pink:  (1) 1 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ rectangle
  • Dk. Brown: (2) 1″ x 2 1/4″ rectangles
  • Brown:  (1) 2 3/4″″ x 3″ rectangle
  • White:  (4) 1 3/4″ squares, (2) 1 3/4″ x 2 1/4″ rectangles, (1) 2″ x 2 1/4″ rectangle, (2) 1 3/4″ x 2 3/4″ rectangles

balloon 3 cutting instructions

Small Tree:

  • Dk. Green:  (1) 3″ x 5 1/2″ rectangle
  • Lt. Green:  (1) 3″ x 5 1/2″ rectangle
  • Brown:  (1) 2″ x 3″ rectangle
  • White:  (4) 3″ squares, (2) 2 1/4″ x 3″ rectangles


  • White:  (1) 1 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ rectangle, (1) 4″ x 5 1/2″ rectangle,

Hot Air Balloon Construction:

  1. Sew the pink, dark red, red, orange and yellow rectangles together to form a strip set.  Press all seams in one direction LIGHTLY.  You will need to re-press some of them in the opposite direction in a later step.  Straighten one edge, rotate, and cut into (5) 1 1/2″ wide strips.

strip set steps

2. Lay out the strips as show below.  Add the red, dark red and orange squares to each strip set as shown.  Remove (un-sew) the bottom yellow square from the center strip set.

balloon 3 strip parts graphic

3.  Re-press the seams of strip sets #2 and #4 in the opposite direction so that you have nesting seams.  Sew the strips sets together.  Press the seams to one side (or open).  Square up the unit, if necessary, to 5 1/2″ x 6 1/2″.  The ruler in the far right photo (below) is NOT lined up with anything – it’s just a photo prop (apparently – not sure what I was thinking).

balloon 3 strip set seam steps

4.  Draw a diagonal line on each 1 3/4″ white square.  Sew a square to each corner of the balloon on the drawn line.  Trim and press.  The balloon should measure 5 1/2″ x 6 1/2″.

balloon 3 corners

5.  Assemble the basket as shown below and attach to the balloon unit.  You can see that I could have eliminated one seam on each side of the basket section.  My apologies.  The completed hot air balloon should measure 5 1/2″ x 10 1/2″.

balloon 3 steps

Large Tree Construction:

  1.  Create two flying geese units using the 3″ x 5 1/2″ rectangles and the 3″ squares.  I used the stitch and flip method.  The unfinished size should measure 3″ x 5 1/2″.
  2. Assemble the tree using the flying geese units from step 1 and the remaining tree pieces as shown below.  The large tree should measure 5 1/2″ x 8″, unfinished.

Large tree steps

Section 3 Assembly:

Arrange the background pieces, hot air balloon and large tree as shown below.  Stitch the units together.

Section 3 assembly

Assemble Sections:

Arrange sections 1, 2 and 3 as shown below.  If necessary, trim them along the bottom edge so that they are all the same length.  Stitch the sections together and press towards section 2.

Sections assembled

Your Hot Air Balloon Mini Quilt is complete!  This would make a great wall hanging for a baby’s room, especially if you personalize it with a name in the center section.  I think it would also make a great graduation gift with an embroidered quote just above the middle balloon.  Hmmm…. Who will I give this to?  You’ll have to wait and see.  I’m working on personalizing it right now!

Hot Air Balloon Mini copy

If you’re following along with this series, I would love to see pictures of your finished quilt top.  It’s so fun to see what it would look like in different fabrics.  Remember, you can use the “Print Friendly” button below. Thanks for joining me and have a great weekend!


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  1. What festive hot air balloons! I was in a Round Robin where hot air balloons were the theme, yours would have worked well in that quilt! Nice tut, thanks for sharing.

  2. all saved,loving this quilt, machine man is picking up my machine this morning for repair, do have an old new home but would rather wait for the bernina to be erpaired and hopefully stitching mojo will come back then

  3. This is just the cutest, Julie, and as always, your instructions are clear and precise. I look forward to making this when I get settled in Tx for the winter months and have access to some fun, new, bright, and colorful fabrics. My daughter loves having mini quilts that she can display and change with the seasons and holidays, and this will be a beautiful addition to her collection! Like last year’s Nordic Mini, this will be first on my list!

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