BALKAN PUZZLE QUILT PATTERN


Balkan puzzle quilt

Balkan puzzle quilt

I wanted to make a happy and exuberant quilt and decided on the Balkan Puzzle quilt block, also known as the windbown star.  This block has been around for nearly a hundred years and is made from half square triangles only but manages to look far more complicated than it really is.  It uses five fabric colours which is more than I often use, but it gave the happy exuberance that I was looking for.  The finished quilt measures 43″ by 54″ and I used half a yard of all five fabrics.

Cutting requirements

each fabric:  five 3.1/2″ squares cut across the width of fabric

Making the balkan puzzle quilt blocks

Cut the strips into squares

Cut the strips into squares

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

Cut four 3.1/2″ strips each of the brown, red and green and two strips of the yellow and flowered fabrics.  Cut into squares by cutting across the strips at 3.1/2″ intervals.

Place a green and brown square with right sides together and mark a line along the diagonal.  Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line to produce two half square triangles.

Balkan puzzle quilt block layout

Balkan puzzle quilt block layout

 

Repeat with the red and brown squares, red and flowered, green and yellow squares.  Lay the squares out as shown.  The balkan puzzle quilt block is actually made of only two row – the bottom two rows and the top two rows are the same as each other.

 

 

Sew the squares together across the rows

Sew the squares together across the rows

Completed balkan puzzle quilt block

Completed balkan puzzle quilt block

 

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows together to complete the balkan puzzle quilt block.  Make twelve blocks and join them in three rows of four quilt blocks.  At this stage the quilt measures 31.1/2″ by 41.1/2″.

 

 

First Balkan puzzle quilt border

Cut the strips in half lengthways

Cut the strips in half lengthways

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

As usual I wanted to use all the fabric up so for the quilt border I cut two of the flowered strips in half along the length.  This gave me four strips 1.3/4″ wide.  Sew one of these along each 41,1.2″ edge of the quilt top.  Cut the remaining two strips to 34.1/2″ long and sew them to the remaining two edges of the quilt top.  Keep the trimmed ends.

 

Second quilt border

Add the second quilt border

Add the second quilt border

Add half a square in the corner

Add half a square in the corner

Putting aside the two yellow strips of fabric (to be used for the outer quilt border), cut all the remaining fabric into 3.1/2″ squares.  Sew the squares into two lengths of fifteen squares and two lengths of fourteen squares.  Sew the fifteen square lengths to the long edges of the quilt top.  The remaining short edges of the quilts are actually 13.1/2 squares long, but I felt that it didn’t show so I used the 13.1/2 squares rather than trying to adjust the length of each square to make it an exact number of squares.

Third Balkan puzzle quilt border

Third quilt border

Third quilt border

Use all the leftover fabric in the border

Use all the leftover fabric in the border

To finish off the quilt border I used the final lengths of the yellow fabric.  Cut the two lengths in half along the length to make four 1.3/4″ strips.  Sew one each of these to the short edges of the quilt.  You will have a short length left over from each one.  Sew this and the leftover flowered fabric to the end of the remaining strips of yellow fabric and sew this lengthened strip to the long edges of the quilt top.

 

The balkan puzzle quilt top is now complete and ready for layering, quilting and binding.

Here’s the video:

 

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Comments

  1. Colleen McKinlay says:

    Hello Rose,
    I have been enjoying you tour wonderful emails for the past year but the last 4 weeks your posts have been unreadable. Could you check into this. I really miss your wonderful tutorials and quilt block patterns.
    Colleen
    Vancouver Canada

    • Hi Colleen. Sorry to hear that you’ve been having problems. I can tell by the number of comments and emails that I receive that everyone else is able to read my quilt patterns, so I suspect that the problem may be yours only. Have you tried a different browser? I use firefox most of the time, but sometimes a few sites play up and then I go to internet explorer and can read them fine.

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