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Quick & Easy Quilts
This quilt is made of two layers. The first layer is a simple and classic Log Cabin quilt and the second is made up of 2in squares pieced together and then cut out to make a red balloon in appliqué. I always loved the French film Le Ballon Rouge, and how everything in that film was in black and white except for the balloon itself. This quilt was designed to reflect the simplicity of the photography in that film.

Finished size
52½in (135cm) square approx.

F8th = fat eighth (9in x 22in approx.)
FQ = fat quarter
Use ¼in seams, unless instructed otherwise

Fabrics used
Quilt top and binding: Modern Backgrounds by Zen Chic for Moda fabrics with assorted reds from my own stash for the balloon
Quilt back: Quilt Back by Whistler Studios for Windham Fabrics

Posted by Tuttle Publishing Published See Tuttle Publishing's 92 projects »
  • 2019-03-27-201215-Red+Balloon+Temp+A.jpg 37.5 KB [ Download ]
  • 2019-03-27-201221-Red+Balloon+Temp+B.jpg 36.8 KB [ Download ]
  • 2019-03-27-201224-Red+Balloon+Temp+C+bmp.jpg 64.7 KB [ Download ]
  • 2019-03-27-201228-Red+Balloon+Temp+D+bmp.jpg 40.6 KB [ Download ]
© 2022 Lynne Goldsworthy / Taunton · Reproduced with permission. · Quick & Easy Quilts published by The Taunton Press 2017 by Lynne Goldsworthy, and photographer by Jan Baldwin.
  • Step 1


    1 Cut the grey 9in square into nine 3in squares, for the center of the Log Cabin blocks.

    2 Cut each of the twenty-two cream and white fabric F8ths into three 3in x 22in strips. Sub-cut the strips as follows (you will have some strips left over for the binding):
    • Cut each of nine strips into one 3in and one 18in length.
    • Cut each of eighteen strips into one 5½in and one 15½in length.
    • Cut each of eighteen strips into one 8in and one 13in length.
    • Cut each of nine strips into two lengths of 10½in.

    3 Trim the remaining strips of cream and white fabrics into 2½in strips to be used for the binding.

    4 Cut two 1in wide bias strips from the balloon “string” fabric FQ. Cutting it on the bias will allow you to curve the fabric strip slightly.

    5 Cut the backing fabric into two equal lengths.

  • How to make a patchwork quilt. Red Balloon Quilt - Step 2
    Step 2

    Making the Blocks

    6 Sew each of the nine Log Cabin blocks in the same way, as follows. Start with the grey 3in center square and add cream and white strips around it, starting with the shortest lengths and working up to the longest, working clockwise with the strips shown in Fig 1. Press seams away from the center after each new piece is added. Add the strips in the following order: 3in, 5½in, 5½in, 8in, 8in, 10½in, 10½in, 13in, 13in, 15½in, 15½in, 18in. When the block is made, check that it is 18in square.

    7 When all nine Log Cabin blocks are made, sew them into three rows each with three blocks. Press seams in opposite directions in each row. Sew the three rows together and press seams.

  • How to make a patchwork quilt. Red Balloon Quilt - Step 3
    Step 3

    Making the Balloon

    8 Sew the seventy-two red 2½in squares together in an 8 x 9 layout, in the order shown in Fig 2, where L = light, M = medium, MD = medium dark and D = dark. Sew the squares into rows first, pressing seams in opposite directions in each row, then sew the rows together. Press seams as preferred.

  • How to make a patchwork quilt. Red Balloon Quilt - Step 4
    Step 4

    9 Cut out the four balloon templates (A, B, C and D) and tape together as shown in Fig 3. Trace the complete balloon shape onto the back of the fusible web and cut out. Note: Remember that the image will be reversed when you lay it out on the quilt.

    10 Fuse the fusible web balloon shape to the back of the red squares piece, placing the shape at an angle and making sure that the lighter squares sit in the A section of the template and the darker squares in the D section of the template. Cut out the balloon shape neatly. Peel off the backing paper and fuse the balloon to the quilt (see quilt photo). Topstitch, zigzag-stitch or blanket-stitch around the edge of the appliqué to secure.

    11 Sew the two bias-cut strips of string fabric together end to end and press the seam open. Create a ½in bias tape by folding the outside edges to the center and pressing. If you have one, a bias tape maker is a useful tool for this job.

    12 Pin the balloon string onto the quilt (see photo for position) and hand- or machine-stitch it in place to finish the quilt top.

  • Step 5

    Quilting and Finishing

    13 Sew the two pieces of backing fabric together along the long sides using a ½in seam and press the seam open. Make a quilt sandwich of the quilt back (right side down), the batting and the quilt top (right side up).

    14 Quilt as desired. The quilt shown was quilted with horizontal lines approximately ½in apart in cream thread.

    15 When all quilting is finished, square up the quilt, trimming the batting and backing.

    16 Sew the remaining strips of cream and white fabrics together for the binding, sewing the strips end to end using diagonal seams or straight seams, as preferred—you will need a sewn length of about 220in. Press wrong sides together all along the length to make a double-fold binding. Bind the quilt to finish, taking care to miter the corners neatly.

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