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

You can find the other 2 lessons here:

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!




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  1. have saved the link as the bernina packed up this morning, bobbin problems and 2 tiny screws fallen out. Fingers crossed the repair man is back at work he has been off having a hip replacement, will pop into town on monday and see if he can sort it.

  2. OMG !!!! I just love this. I will be making mine this afternoon. Thanks for all the hard and wonderful work.

  3. I love your easy to follow pic tutorial with words for clarification… looking forward to watching this vertical row by row come to life too.. glad it isn’t paper pieced !!! lol Kathi

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