Tag Archives: baby quilt

Airplane Quilt Block

I have been practicing my drawing and designing skills using Electric Quilt and Nancy Martin’s calendar for my tools and inspiration. Nancy Martin CalendarLooking back, I can see lots of personal growth.

However, the Airplane block was a bit of a drawing challenge for me.  It is not done with an obvious grid.

Airplane Quilt Block

But I conquered! 

In fact, as I sit here, writing, and looking at the block, I realize that I may have drawn this the hard way.  Those bright yellow squares are now jumping out at me, and they would make an obvious grid to use as a starting off point.  Something I did not do (Why didn’t I see that when I was drawing?!).  LOL!

I started out with the EasyDraw worktable.  Mistake!  If you want to practice this block, choose the EasyDraw + PatchDraw worktable.  You’ll need the PatchDraw to draw the propeller.  If you forget, and use the EasyDraw worktable, like I did, you will need to copy your block and paste it to the EasyDraw + PatchDraw worktable. 

Thank you, Electric Quilt Genies, for making it possible to copy and paste entire blocks for folks like me!  I really didn’t want to have to redraw the whole thing!

And here is the quilt design that I came up with:

Airplane Quilt

All of the blocks can be found in Electric Quilt’s block library.  How cool is that?!

ABC Quilt

I bought an alphabet panel a couple of years ago.  It was on sale at a quilt show.  It is the only panel I have ever bought, and it was designed to be sewn into a fabric ABC book.

Alphabet Panel

Since my granddaughter is having another birthday (all of my grandchildren refuse to remain babies), I decided I had better get this done.

I’m not making a book.  I’ve chosen to sew the letters into a quilt.  She can drag it around, and have picnics on it, and give her dolls naps with it.

Alphabet Quilt in Progress

It isn’t fancy, but it is finished, and a little girl will have fun using it!

Alphabet Quilt

The quilting isn’t fancy, but it should hold up well with a lot of use.

ABC Quilt Closeup

Make It Work

I’m back from a terrific road trip with Hubby and ready to sew! 

Having said that, what should have been a pleasant hour on a rainy afternoon machine quilting a simple doll quilt, turned into a discouraging several hours of sewing and ripping.  My beloved Bernina (a 1530 acquired in 1997…for those who want to know these things) was skipping stitches like crazy.  I tried switching needles, switching threads, switching tensions all to know avail.  She has really had a meltdown and needs to make a trip to the hospital.

With Tim Gunn’s words in my head, “Make it work!”, I got out my lonely little Janome Gem Gold and got reacquainted.  With the help of some quilting books (they make a nice extension table) and the Supreme Slider, she did a great job! 

 I am quilting with Aurifil 40 wt. #4665 in the top and WonderFil Invisfil 100 wt. #103 in the bobbin (and they work together just fine).

Front side…No skipped stitches!

Back side…great tension!

I’m glad I started with the doll quilt because the baby quilt will be a real challenge with this tiny machine.  There is just not that much space to work with.

Teeny arm space…too teeny for machine quilting!

The doll quilt and baby quilt aren’t going to make it on the runway, but they have a higher calling and they will be ready.  

Make it work!

Machine Quilting

I am sneaking in some time (slacking off from garden and kp duties if you really want to know) to work on the baby and doll quilts.  I’ve pin basted, so it is on to machine quilting.

I am using my beloved machingers quilting gloves, denim sharp needles (in this case a 70/10 will do), and a Little Genie Magic Bobbin Washer.

Yes, I know I could use a new pair of gloves. But hey…you can see how well I like them by how worn they are!

Since I am going to begin by stitching in the ditch, I don’t need decorative thread.  I’ve chosen 100 wt. WonderFil Invisifil 103 for the bobbin and Sulky Premium monofilament for the top.  These are fine threads that won’t add weight to the quilt and will virtually disappear in ditch quilting.

I stitch in the ditch for two reasons.

  • I can remove safety pins while stitching, which in turn, removes some of the weight of the quilt, and removes obstacles when I get around to free-motion quilting.
  • Since I am quilting on a domestic machine, as opposed to a long-arm, I feel the need to stabilize my quilt sandwich for free-motion quilting.

I am using a walking foot to evenly feed the layers as I stitch.

I like to begin by bringing up the tails.  This is habit from free-motion quilting, and it isn’t absolutely necessary for ditch quilting.  But it does make it convenient to cut off the tails later.  I lower the stitch length to zero and gradually increase it to the length that I prefer, about a 3 on my machine…you may prefer a different length.  There are no quilt police to say that I am wrong and you are right.  (Lucky for me!)

Here’s how the stitching looks on the front of the doll quilt:

And on the back of the doll quilt:

And then I realized how silly I was for using the monofilament at all (You never do silly things, do you?), so I switched to the WonderFil Invisifil for both the top and bobbin threads to work on the baby quilt.   And I was silly, just in case you were asking yourself this ever since I gave my thread choices, because the Invisifil thread is so fine that it is all that is needed.  Duh!

So here is how the baby quilt looks after stitching with Invisifil thread:

Oopsies…missed the ditch a little bit!

Had I had my thinking cap on (which is almost always missplaced these days), I would’ve switched to black Invisfil for the bobbin thread.  Why?  Because the backing on the baby quilt is black.  Lucky for me, it worked out anyway.

Baby Quilt

A baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on. ~Carl Sandburg

Remember these?:

I have sewn snowball blocks:

And sewn the quilt top: 

I wasn’t so sure that I was going to like it when I bought the fabrics, but I love it!

I even got creative and sewed the leftover triangles from the snowball blocks into squares.  They were so cute!

So these cute little squares became the inspiration for a doll quilt for older sister:

I’m using this for the backing:

What are you working on?  Writing a novel?  Redecorating a room?  Building an ark?  I’d love to hear from you!