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Mr. P's Baby Quilt - Airplane Quilt - Throwback Series

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I recently found an external hard drive that had been missing for about 3 years. I am so excited because I had previously come to terms with loosing several years worth of family pictures and quilt pictures. But lo and behold, I found it and now I can add several quilts to the blog! A number of the quilts are unfinished in the pictures. I don’t know why I took pictures of unfinished quilts, but I’m glad I did because most of these quilts were gifted away several years ago so these pictures are the only records I have of them.

I’ve decided to make a mini-series of these quilts not only to show off my profile, but it’s also interesting for me to see how my quilting has improved over the years. I was always a little intimidated by the immaculate, intricate quilts of my mother in law or the displays in fabric stores, so I think it’s good to show people that everyone starts somewhere!

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This airplane quilt was made for the son of some very good friends of our (you can find quilting for Mr. P’s siblings here and here). It was so fun making this quilt for Mr. P because his mother and I were pregnant at the same time, Mr. P is only 11 hours younger than M, and they were born in the same hospital. There was a party in the maternity ward that weekend! Unfortunately Mr. P and his family moved out of Colorado a few years ago, so when I lost the hard drive, I thought I had lost the quilt pictures completely. But now I have three, very grainy pictures to show off to you lovely readers.

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This airplane quilt was my first attempt at free motion quilting, and I was so nervous and determined to “do it right the first time”, that I ended up making life harder for myself. I drew the swirly cloud design on tissue paper and covered the entire quilt in tissue paper! The quilting itself was easy enough, there were some hiccups because it was my first time with FMQ, but that wasn’t the issue. The real problem came when I tore away the tissue paper and millions of tiny tissue paper pieces were left stuck underneath the quilting stitches! I’m pretty sure I spent more time cleaning the stitching with tweezers than I spent actually creating the quilt.

I’ve never really had much luck since with FMQ, and I find that I have an affinity for simple, strait, top stitching. Maybe my experience with this quilt scarred me for life, I don’t know, or maybe I’m just holding out for a long arm machine from Handsomepants (I won’t hold my breath!), but that just sounds like a convenient excuse to keep top stitching.

Happy Quilting!

  • Rita

Independence Day Quilt Pattern

At the beginning of the year, I had made a series of New Year's resolutions that were selected in order to increase my skills in quilting.  All of my life I had been mediocre at everything I tried, a jack of all trades, master of none.  But quilting has been the only hobby I actually stuck to longer than a year, and it's something I plan to master.  One of the ways in which I wanted to stretch my abilities was to write my own quilt pattern.  This would challenge my creativity, help me master the art of quilty math, and would be a pretty legit thing to have on my "resume".  So without further ado, here's "Independence Day."

I've always really admired flag quilts.  The variety and colors are beautiful, and the scrappy fabrics and long tradition of flag quilts gives you a feeling of historical continuity.  Looking at those quilts gives me a sense of national pride and connection that all of their creators must share.  Binge watching Netflix documentaries on the Civil War and the World Wars helps too.  

I wanted something quick and easy, so "Independence Day" is an over sized, modern take on the American flag.  The lines of top stitching are 3" apart.  I didn't want the quilting to distract from the pattern, and sometimes I find that are quilted with a tight pattern are stiff and not as comfy-snuggly as I like a quilt to be.  I thought a snuggly patriotic quilt was appropriate, it should feel like a hug from friends, family, summer nights, bare feet, fireflies, and clean sheets.  It should feel like home.

I think this beauty will make a nice addition to our fireworks viewing this year too!

I will say that I have a new found appreciation for pattern writing.  In the future I'll plan better instead of just diving right in with piecing and making it up as I go.  That's how I usually quilt, but I learned a lot about the importance of organization.  Thank you Robert Kaufman Fabrics for your Quilter's Friend QuiltCalc, you saved me from several headaches!

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I also have a new found respect for those bloggers who regularly create pdf downloads, they are way more involved in creating them than I had anticipated.  I'm sorry to all of those blogger's whose downloads I abused and underappreciated in the past.  

You can download the pattern HERE

M helped me take pictures and decided she was tired after about 3 pictures.  I had to take the rest while she took a nap that afternoon!

M helped me take pictures and decided she was tired after about 3 pictures.  I had to take the rest while she took a nap that afternoon!

Do you like what you see? Let me know in the comments bellow!

Happy Quilting!

- Rita