Tips And Tools Tuesday – I HATE MAKING THIS BLOCK!!!!!

So, it was about 19 years ago, I’d successfully made two quilts and now I wanted to make a special one for my husband, Rick.

I bought several books, searching the pages for just the right one. At last, I found the perfect pattern!


Since his early teens, Rick has loved airplanes and becoming an airline pilot was his dream. He got a job at Fort Lauderdale airport gassing planes, (where he met Jackie Gleason and gassed his private plane)  took flying lessons, and was well on his way to realizing that dream.

Then, well, life happened, and he had to give up his dream of piloting a commercial airplane. But, his love for flying  remained.

So, when I saw this quilt

in Diana McClunn and Laura Nownes book

I knew I’d found the perfect quilt pattern for Rick!

I love the positive/negative effect of the planes, so I bought lots of fabric. The book provided pattern templates, cutting and piecing instructions, and the beautiful sample to follow. So, I got busy. I cut out all of the pieces for several planes, then sat down to sew.

It was a lot more difficult to put together than I thought. (Remember, I’d only made two quilts.)

I’d bitten off way more than I could chew.

Wait. What? Who said that?

After making five blocks, I found myself saying, “I hate making this block!” and thinking, ” I don’t want to have to do this 59 more times!” So, the idea of making an airplane quilt for my Sweetheart was abandoned. However, I was still determined to make him a special quilt, and that’s how I ended up making all of the various blocks you see in the finished quilt.

I did include one of the airplanes that I had originally made, and added a bit of information about the planes he flew in the quilting.

This represents the plane he first learned to fly, a Cessna 150. Later, he flew a Cessna 172.


I told you all of this to give you some background as to why my Tip on this Tuesday is…

Make a test block, or two, or even three, before committing to making an entire quilt out of one block.  By only cutting out the pieces for one or two blocks and sewing them together, you can get a good “feel” for how the rest of your project will go. It will save you time, fabric, and frustration in the long run.

I plan to put the airplane blocks into an orphaned block sampler that I’m building, so, they won’t go to waste.

I’ve also gained quilting experience over the last 19 years, and now this block is not so intimidating. In fact, I’ve devised a way to turn it into a paper-pieced pattern which will make the construction easier and more accurate for me.  Some day.

By sharing my I HATE MAKING THIS BLOCK! experience, my hope is that it might save you a little time, fabric, or frustration.

Quilting is fun! I want to keep it that way!


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