Chinese Lantern Quilt Pattern

Chinese lantern quilt

Chinese lantern quilt

When I was asked for a Chinese lantern quilt pattern, I hadn’t realised quite how many variations there are for the Chinese lantern quilt block.  I have used two different designs in this quilt, both of them easy to make.  I’ve used the sashing to make a small star floating in the middle.  Again this is very easy to piece.

Cutting requirements for the Chinese lantern quilt

2.1/2″ squares:  thirty six blue, thirty six pink, thirty three white, eight black

2.7/8″ squares: nine each in pink and white, nine each in blue and white

1/1/2″ white strips:  eight at 12.1/2″, eight at 4.1/2″

2.1/2″ white strips:  eight at 16.1/2″ long, four at 14.1/2″ long

1.1/2″ black strips:  four at 4.1/2″ long

2.1/2″ strips cut across the width for the border:  four blue and four pink

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Making half square triangles

Use all the 2.7/8″ squares to make half square triangles.  Place a white square with either a blue or a pink square with right sides together.  Mark a line along the diagonal and sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line.  Cut along the line to produce two half square triangle units.  Press the seam allowance towards the blue or pink and trim the corners.



How to make the blue chinese lantern quilt block

Layout for blue chinese lantern quilt block

Layout for blue chinese lantern quilt block


Lay the squares out as shown.  This is another block where I find it more simple to set up the outer frame first and then just infill the middle with blue squares.  I have used 2.1/2″ blue squares so that you could choose to make it a multi coloured block, but if you wanted to use all one fabric, as I have done, you could always replace two squares with a 4.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ rectangle or you could use a 6.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ rectangle instead of three squares within a row.

There is a 12.1/2″ by 1.1/2″ white strip at top and bottom and a 16.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ white strip on each side.

The outer frame of the chinese lantern

The outer frame of the chinese lantern


Inside this frame, there are two 2.1/2″ black squares at top and bottom and three white squares placed around each corner.  Once the outline of the lantern has been made using the half square triangles, it is simple enough to place 2.1/2″ blue squares pretty much everywhere else.

Sew the rows down the middle first

Sew the rows down the middle first

Sew the squares together across each row, sew the rows to each other and then add the white strips on the sides.  You will need two of these blue chinese lantern blocks.

How to make the pink chinese lantern quilt blocks

Layout for the pink chinese lantern quilt block

Layout for the pink chinese lantern quilt block

The pink block is similar to the blue one, but with the addition of the 1.1/2″ black strips to cut the lantern into segments.  These are 12.1/2″ long.

In order to keep both blocks the same size as each other, I have reduced the black at the top and bottom of the lantern to 4.1/2″ by 1.1/2″ strips.  They then need 4.1/2″ by 1.1/2″ white strips on each side of the black.  Apart from that, the layout is broadly the same as for the blue chinese lanterns.

Sew the rows together

Sew the rows together

Sew the squares together across each row, sew the rows to each other and then add the side strips.  You will need two of these.  The colour seems to have changed in this photo and I’m not sure why – it’s actually the same pink as the photo above!

Sashing for the chinese lantern quilt

Create the star with the sashing

Create the star with the sashing

I wanted to place a star floating in the middle of the quilt and I have done this within the sashing.

Place the blocks in two pairs so that the blue and pink lanterns are diagonally opposite each other.  Cut four 14.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ strips.  Sew a blue/white half square triangle to two of them and a pink/white half square triangle to the other two.  Check the photo to be sure which way to place the triangles.

Sew the blocks together with the sashing

Sew the blocks together with the sashing

Place one of these sashing strips between each pair of lantern quilt blocks with a white 2.1/2″ square in the middle.  Sew one sashing strip between each pair of blocks and sew the sashing strips for the middle of the quilt together in one long row.  Sew the three rows to each other and you will see the star form in the centre of the quilt.

Borders for the chinese lantern quilt

Add two quilt borders

Add two quilt borders

I have used pink 2.1/2″ strips for the first border.  Sew two lengths of 34.1/2″ to the top and bottom of the quilt and two lengths of 38.1/2″ to the sides.

For the second border of blue fabric you will need two lengths of 38.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 42.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the chinese lantern quilt top.  It is now ready for layering, quilting and binding.

Lantern quilt block patterns

Lantern quilt block patterns

I was rather taken with the number of different ways that you can make really pretty lanterns in quilt blocks.  I have made a few different ones and you can see them at lantern quilt blocks.

Here’s the video for the chinese lantern quilt:


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  1. Barbara a Stokes says:

    Hello Rose,
    Enjoying your quilting website although I haven’t had much time of late to make any of the projects I’d like to. I would like your permission to include your instructions for the, Window Cat Quilt, in a small booklet I’m helping to prepare. I am one of three coordinators for Mid and East Lothian Project Linus Organisation and we are compiling a small instruction booklet for beginner quilters. We would also like to sell this booklet at a forthcoming Quilt Show, a nominal price to cover cost of production and maybe some left to go into purchase of more fabric.
    Hope you will allow this, promise to make it myself and send a photo.

    • Hi Barbara. I’m happy for you to use my window cat quilt pattern as Linus is such a great charity. I’d appreciate it if you could credit my website for the pattern. Best wishes and good luck, Rose.

  2. Thanks for such a good video . . . so excellent for a novice quilter. I wish I had seen your website 18 months ago when I first started quilting and had a Million Questions ; thanks for all your time Rose. Isn’t the internet wonderful! You in UK and me in Melbourne !

    • Thanks, Janine. I’m glad you found the quilting video helpful. You’ve no idea how silly I feel when I’m effectively talking to myself as I make the tutorial!

  3. Dear Rose, Fabulous, what a beautiful piece of art. Thank you so much for sharing.

  4. Thanks Rose, for sharing this quilting. design and tutorials.

  5. Thank you Rose for another pretty quilt.

  6. Alana Roberts says:

    I have been sewing for a long time but lack confidence enough to try complicated. When I sew quilt tops for my church I usually just make them with 10″ squares or 5″ or a strip quilt. But we make ours and give them out to homeless shelters. So I do quantity over quality. Someday I will make one for me. Although I made a Ninja turtle quilt for my grandson and a California king quilt for my daughter for Christmas this year. I did 24 Dresden plates with assorted colors with purple sashing and purple trim (her favorite color). That is as far “out of the box” I have gone. Your instructions are very good and feel I can do them when I get time, LOL. Appreciate you very much, thanks for sharing your time and knowledge. God bless you.

    • Hi Alana. It sounds like you are making loads of quilts. Well done. I’m sure they are all very much appreciated. I would say that making a king size quilt for your daughter is a major achievement!

  7. Ihave been looking for a pattern for my granddauter . This is just whas what I was looking for,Thank You.

  8. I can’t wait to do this one. Your patterns are easy to follow too.

  9. This pattern is one that I’ve never seen before. Thanks for introducing it to me. Your quilt looks beautiful hanging in the background.

    • Thanks, Claire. This was a small quilt so I could hang it on my design board rather than having it spread out in front of me.

  10. This is awesome, thank you Rose. May I ask what do you do with all the quilts that you make? All of them are great.

    • Thanks, MaryAnn. I rarely finish quilts, but I am going to try and get more finished this year. Then I might think about selling them.

  11. Sandra Barnett says:

    Dear Rose,
    Love the patterns. I could make one of these for next Chinese New Year’s. No, I am not Chinese but I do celebrate it. You out did yourself because you did more than one pattern. I stopped working on your Christmas pattern, I’ll finish it in the summer for next Christmas.
    Winter will not go away. We are supposed to get a LOT of snow on Monday.
    Hope you enjoy the craft show. My trouble is whatever I see I want to make.
    Sometimes I actually get it finished.

    • Hi Sandra. I think that like you a lot of people celebrate Chinese New Year without being Chinese – it’s nice to celebrate something so happy and colourful. I hope you don’t get too much snow next week.

  12. Gail Thompson says:

    I love all of your quilts. I’ve made several of them and am always pleased. They look much prettier than they do on the web. Thanks Rose for doing this. Awesome job girlfriend. 🙂 Gail

  13. Thanks for a great pattern and choices.

  14. absolutely wonderful pattern. Thank you and good wishes