I'm starting to add things to my "Finished Projects" page, but as I do, I want to highlight each one.  They all have their own story, some short, some long.

Today, I start with the one closest to my heart.

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* Soarin' * 
(Paper Airplane Quilt)
For: Tanner, my oldest son
Finished: June 2010

This is by far one of my favorite quilts ever.
Not for the quilt itself, but who it is for.

Tanner has always been a paper airplane fanatic. We've often joked that no piece of paper is safe around him. From standard paper to little 3" x 3" post-it notes, he has made paper airplane out of almost everything. He's even been called on by friends wanting him to teach them how to make them. He's like a paper-airplane pro.

(I keep encouraging him to follow the path to real airplanes... aviation engineering, my boy!)

This quilt started out as a homemade pattern using a basic T-block and a flying geese block. I picked out fabric for the front out of various vintage airplane fabrics, with a red solid, and started cutting a gazillion little triangles. (oh, the humanity!)

Like most normal (**cough**) people, I soon began to hate triangles and, whatdayaknow, I couldn't get the darn things to line up for a block. Not a smart choice for a new quilter.

So, I stopped.

Fast forward a year or two.

I finally came to terms with the fact that I never, ever, ever, ever, ever wanted to touch those tiny little triangles again. E-V-E-R. About the same time, though, I had taken and finished the quilt top for my girly-girl quilt.

So I sat down with Tanner and broke the news. The airplanes had to go. The back (paper airplanes) would now be the front. He could get his heart set on the vintage planes and probably be 40 before he got his quilt or he could let me change patterns, put the paper on the front and call it good.

We called it good. And I'm sooooo glad I did.

Within a few weeks, I had the blocks pieced and ready. Then, it was off to the long-arm (a friend of mine rents out her machine...*squeal*). I quilted the girly-girl one first as a practice run, then this one.

I wanted to do a loop-de-loop pattern on the front, resembling the way plane movements are drawn out in comics and stuff. Kim (the long-arm quilter) and I decided to use a variegated thread I had on the blue areas, but a clear thread on the paper airplanes. Oh, it turned out so good! We used the clear so we wouldn't detract from the planes themselves, and it rocked.

Tanner himself picked out the backing. A nice fabric of Air Force jets (even though we'd prefer him to be a Navy pilot). The Navy fabric had ships on it too, so it lost out on the deal. The back thread is solid navy blue (ha - there you go, Navy!) and clear, so the navy thread wouldn't pop up on the front where the planes were.

Binding, as with all my work, is machine stitched to the front and hand stitched on the back. I finished the binding while we were at the beach, after he would go to bed, and then gave it to him for his 10th birthday, our last day at the beach.

I had prepped myself for a not-so-big reaction, as he is quite the easy-going kid. When he looked up at me and asked if we could put it on his bed that night, our last night in the house, I melted, and knew he loved it.

Still makes me smile. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi,

    What cute paper airplane fabric! I have a paper airplane loving boy too--could I ask who makes it?

    Thanks so much!