Vintage Airplane Lap Quilt

You guys! I made a quilt! A real, bonafide, pieced-together, quilted and bound quilt!

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Wanna see it?

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A good friend just had a baby boy – I made this quilt for his vintage-airplane-themed bedroom. It was my first time ever piecing a quilt together, and I almost jumped ship before I even started. My mom designed the simple airplane pattern for me and cheered me along the whole way when I didn’t think I could really do it. It wasn’t hard at all when you take it one step at a time – but it does require some detail-oriented sewing, which is not exactly my forte. Regardless, I am pretty smitten with the end result!

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All the fabrics are by Moda – the blue stripes and gingham are from the Strawberry Lemonade line. The planes are white, but the fabric has these wonderful tone-on-tone stars to give it some great detail. I originally planned to make this much more colorful with all different color planes; but once I played with the blues and whites, I couldn’t move past the idea. It felt like the perfect balance of whimsy and classical…white planes in a blue sky…and once it was all put together, I knew I made the right call!

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At first I was really stressed about using stripes for the background, knowing that I would NEVER be able to match all the lines for every piece of the blocks.  Once I let go of perfection, I embraced the lines, not only letting the stripes not line up, but used them in vertical and horizontal ways to add interest without becoming too busy!

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After cutting all the different pieces, piecing all the blocks together, deciding on the sashing and the borders, I was actually most nervous about quilting the finished quilt. In the two quilts I have done in the past (which were basic patch quilts – one and two), my quilting efforts yielded bumpy, puckered, crooked results. But then my mom opened my eyes to the magic of a walking foot; and boy-oh-boy, does that make a huge difference! After some practice, I knew I could do this.

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I decided to go with straight-line quilting. Not only was it my simplest option, but I think it looks oh-so-chic! It was some effort to wrangle it all under my machine, but in the end, I just couldn’t get over that I made this whole thing, start to finnish, by myself…and it turned out pretty decent!

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One of the most gratifying parts of this whole project was that it took time. At least for me, a quilt is not something I start and finish in one day or one sitting. I was able to work on it here and there over the course of about 4 weeks. I’d put it away when I needed a break or had something else to work on, and would pull it back out when I needed something to keep my hands busy (or baby was coming soon!). I loved watching this quilt come together starting with the original yards of fabric…down to lots of little pieces…and back into a wonderfully patterned and whimsical unit. I think for the first time ever, I understand the allure of quilting, and I’m kinda hooked. I can’t wait to start another one!

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The other gratifying part was giving it to the Mama and new Baby Boy – I hope they enjoy it as much as I enjoyed putting it together for them!

 Megan

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