Another Airplane Baby Quilt – Finished!

I bet you thought I forgot about this one… Well, I did! So there! My mother took it to Virginia to bind it for me, and even sent pictures when she finished, and I’m just getting around to posting it. But, it looks pretty good, don’t you think? (So do Mom’s hardwood floors. Jealous!)

Totally semi-related, the local quilt shop teaches a class on how to sew with minkee (which is the real name of evil chenille.) The Wee One wants me to take the class so I can sew him a blankie to match his blankie pouch. (Have I ever posted that? Another day!)

Published in: on October 20, 2009 at 9:15 am  Leave a Comment  

Another Airplane Baby Quilt – Basted, Quilted & Half-Bound


While I was living like a vagabond in Virginia, my mother taught me to baste a quilt. It works really well if you have a (clean) kitchen island and excellent hand sewing skills. Or, um, any hand sewing skills. I have neither.


Basting involves hand sewing red thread loosely throughout the quilt. Or threading needles for Mom while she hand sews red threads loosely throughout the quilt. She could do an entire line before I was a quarter of the way through mine. And being, um, like me, she gets impatient when you can’t keep a straight line or keep picking the quilt off the kitchen island. Eventully she sends you outside so she can work in peace.

Eventually, someone has sewn red thread about every five inches through the quilt, both vertical and horizontal.

Most of the quilt didn’t shift when I quilted it, except for the (evil) chenille. Since it was Mom’s old thread, it broke quite often while I pulled it out. That’s ok, I have great seam-ripping skills and it works most excellent on loose threads like basting.

Still, since I don’t have a table at the right height and the hand sewing skills, I’m going to skip this kind of basting. After we got to Oklahoma, I bought basting safety pins, which look just like safety pins, but cost more!


Binding was my least favorite part of quilting. I was really, REALLY bad at it. Sometime during Fat Quarter Month, I was perusing Sew Mama Sew and the FQ doll quilt-along, and I discovered that the reason I dreaded binding was because I was doing it absolutely, totally wrong. Couldn’t have been more wronger. I bought double fold binding and tried to sew across the top of it while trying to hold the quilt edges together. I figured using a decorative stitch would make up for the terribleness that was the binding. It was REALLY bad. And I dreaded it!

Well, yeah, binding’s actually pretty easy. UNFOLD the double fold binding, pin the edge to the edge of the quilt, and sew along the fold. So incredibly simple!


The corner stumped me at first, even when following pictures. Luckily, Youtube exists just to show me the technique! Thank you so much to my sister (who found the video) and Shelley Cordsen!


Look at that corner! Even the corners that are (evil) chenille turned out perfect. I suddenly love binding! I can’t wait to work with real fabric instead of double fold!

Except… It’s so perfect, I don’t know how to do the other side. I was going to do a decorative stitch to seal the whole thing together, but the yellow looks so nice and perfect that I don’t want to ruin it. And, as previously mentioned, I don’t hand sew.

Mom’s coming next week. Guess what Mom’s doing next week?

Published in: on August 10, 2009 at 6:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

Another Airplane Baby Quilt – Fabric & Pattern

It’s really not my fault. My husband’s in the Air Force. Most of our friends are Air Force. Most of our friends who have boys go with the airplane nursery theme. I’m not one to talk – the Wee One’s nursery was airplanes. (Now it’s a wonderful mix of space, airplanes and Mickey Mouse.) So when my friend J found out she was having a boy, I got ready to make another airplane quilt!

At least my sister-in-law is having a girl and has requested butterflies. And my next quilt for an Air Force friend will be monkeys!

So I got started on this one while in Virginia visiting my parents and continuing to live like a vagabond. (Virginia would be the third state and fourth address in nine months. Oklahoma is the fourth state and fifth address in ten months. Being a military family is super great!) Being a vagabond meant my sewing machine and the pattern I did for the last airplane quilt are in storage in Oklahoma.

But that’s ok – J got an assignment to England, so I had to make it quick, which for me, means a nice simple block quilt. I thought I’d pick some nice different types of fabric, like fleece and flannel and chenille, like all those pre-made block quilts you cn buy and finish at Joanns and Hobby Lobby.

Yeah, those suckers are not made by real people. Chenille SUCKS to quilt with. Luckily I got to leave all the delicate seam ripping to my mother. Love you, Mom!

Fabric choice was not too bad (though I’m sure Mom and the Wee One, who were dragged all through Joanns, would disagree.) We found some dark blue Air Force fabric right away, and debating using it for the front or back. After not finding much fabric that matched, we decided it would be the back and picked the following for the blocks on the front:


Clockwise from left top: blue terry cloth, blue & yellow stars on flannel, airplanes on polyester, stars on (evil) chenille. There were 17 blocks of airplanes and 6 blocks each of the others. And of course, now I don’t remember the yardage.

I cut everything into 6.5″ blocks because I couldn’t decide on a pattern. On paper, they all looked bad. Laid out, it was a harder decision. I asked on Facebook, and it became obvious that all the women in my family have OCD.




Design A didn’t look right with all the deep blue in the middle. Design B was random (as random as my OCD mother and I could make it.) Design C split up the deep blue and won the Facebook poll.

My original goal was to get the entire quilt done on Mom’s machine and shipped off to J before they left for England in July. The top went together fast – especially since Mom handed me each set of blocks ready to be sent through the machine. Even though we had issues with the (evil) chenille pulling and bunching and generally being evil, we had the top done in two hours.

(BTW, chenille melts when you iron it. It’s evil for quilts!)

Mom taught me to baste (next post) and I was all set to machine quilt it together and have it on its way. But Mom’s machine disagreed. Poor old thing. I suppose with a walking foot or maybe better thread it would have worked, but at that point I should have been packing for Oklahoma. So we gave up and decided I would finish it as soon as I got my sewing area set up in Oklahoma. After all, we had until July….

Yeah, J is in England already. She even has a house there. I think the baby is due in six weeks. And I still haven’t quilted it together. Thank goodness for APO addresses, at least! My goal is to get it quilted and bound and in the mail by the end of the week. Since the husband is off on yet another TDY, I have plenty of spare time! *sigh*

Published in: on July 27, 2009 at 4:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
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