Up Up & Away – OBW #75

Quarantine quilt number 4 – “Up Up & Away, in My Beautiful Balloon”. While I was visiting my family in Lake Havasu City last January I got to attend their Hot Air Balloon Festival. It was fabulous.

I saw this panel by Greg & Company on eQuilter and just had to get it for a One Block Wonder.

First thing, decide what size strips to cut. I start by trying to get an idea of how many hexies will fit across the top and/or bottom of the panel. It is just like making a pieced inner border to fit around the center of a quilt. The width of the panel should be evenly divisible by the  finished size of my hexagon block. This panel measured 34″ x 44″. Even though it is a large print that would support a 6″ finished hexie, the 34″ width is not evenly divisible by 6″. I did not want to trim too much off the panel so I decided to cut my strips 3 1/2″ wide. That would yield 5 1/2″ finished hexagons. If I trim one inch off the panel side making it 33″ x 44″, meaning 33″ divided by 5.5″ = 6. Now I know I will get 6 hexagons (or 12 half hexies) across the width of the panel both top and bottom. Download my Tips for Using Panels for a OBW:

I started at the bottom and worked my way up the sides and across the top.

I used most of my hexagons and got achieved a design I was pleased with.

I number my rows and stitch the half hexies into rows. Then I join the rows pressing all seams open. I cannot stress enough how much easier it is to press your seams open with the help of my Strip Stick. I have 4 different sizes. The 48″ Strip Stick makes pressing the long seams open go quickly without disturbing the previously pressed seams.

I stitch my hexies into 4 groups. Top, bottom, left and right.

I decided I wanted to applique the bottom section to the panel first. Instead of trimming the points I pressed under a 1/4″ seam and stitched it onto the bottom of the panel. I chose to attach the right side next by matching up the dog ears as you would when joining the rows and stitch three quarters of the way up towards the top of the panel (partial seam).

By using a partial seam, it allows you to match up the dog ears of the top hexies with the side rows of hexies. 

I will mark where the top hexies hits the top of the panel, add a 1/4″ seam allowance, trim the hexies and stitch to the top of the panel. I decided to trim the hexies because I did not want to cover the balloons.

Now I can finish the partial seam.

With the top, bottom and side hexies stitched in place, I can easily attach the left side hexies to the panel matching up the dog ears.

This is one colorful One Block Wonder. I have ordered some great fabric from Fabric.Com for the back.

As soon as it arrives I will quilt it and send it you Angie!

Tucker Approved!

13 thoughts on “Up Up & Away – OBW #75

  1. Daniela

    Hi Jackie,

    So sorry to read of your diagnosis. My best wishes for a speedy recovery.

    Excited to start the “Up Up & Away – OBW #75”.
    I got fabric thanks you blog but before I start I’ve some stupid questions.

    “…so I decided to cut my strips 3 1/2? wide.”
    Question: You cut the stipes horizzontally? You got 12 horizontal strips?

    “That would yield 5 1/2? finished hexagons.”
    Question: Could you please explain me how?
    3.5 + 3.5 = 7

    Are the seams 0.25 inch wide?
    I’ve to buy a piece for my italian sewing machine to sew quarter of inches 😉

    Thank yoy very much for your kind support and again my best wishes for a speedy recovery.
    Your big italian fan.



    1. ifthesethreadscouldtalk Post author

      Hello Daniela, good morning from New York. I have cut strips horizontally and vertically it doesn’t matter. I don’t remember how many strips i got from Up Up & Away. If you cut your strips 3 1/2” wide they will yield 5 1/2” finished hexagons. That means once the hexagon is stitched into the top it will measure 5 1/2” wide from side to side. Yes, when quilting in the USA we always use our very best accurate 1/4” seam allowance. Thank you for writing, I hope i have answered your questions. Good luck!


  2. Pegg Hislop

    Thank you for the wonderful tutorials! I so enjoy your great instructions and your little chi too! We have 2 chihuahuas- Nikki and Fifi!💕


      1. Daniela

        Thank you, Jackie, it was a great help.
        It works !
        Time ago I’ve made an error in buying a cuddle fabric. I didn’t notice it. Do you think I could use it to make an one block wonder quilt? Can you please give me some advice?
        Thank you very much for your great tutorials.


      2. Daniela

        Hi Jackie,
        I’m sorry for Amy late answer.
        I cecked. This is what I sound smoking for cuddle fabric.
        “Cuddle fabric is a micro-fiber plush fabric, perfect for your ultra-soft and cuddly quilt, blanket, or cozy toy. With heavier weight, stability, less stretch, and durability, cuddle fabric is the most superior minky fabric in the world”.
        Mybe I can use it for sound simple quilt.
        Thank you for you wonsorful ideas ànd tutorial.


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