My oldest loves airplanes.

Airplane nose

I never knew how often I tune out the sound of an airplane passing by. I never knew how long a little person could be entertained by sitting around watching for airplanes. I never knew that our airport had an observation deck with a playground. We’ve never actually played at that playground because my son can spend the better part of an hour dashing around the observation deck shouting, “THERE’S AN AIRPLANE!” each time they take off or land. I doubt even Santa can elicit that much excitement.  I now know these things.


So, naturally, I feel like I should make him a quilt with an airplane.


I started by making a paper piecing template for a 9″ x 17″ airplane. (It’s in my Craftsy shop.)

Airplane prep

Those passenger windows are pretty small, but because of the 90 degree angles of the windows, they sewed up very quickly.

Airplane Windows

To minimize waste, I used strips of fabric and trimmed the strip away after each seam. By alternating strips, I was able to move quickly and didn’t need to think about fabric size and placement.

Using strips for tiny piecing

If you’re new to paper piecing, you might not realize it, but many patterns have registration marks. Those marks help with accuracy when joining various sections of your paper pieced block. When joining two pieces, you align the registration marks and pin through them. If your two sections aren’t lined up properly, the pin won’t catch both registration marks. You’ll see that the pin lands to the right or the left of the mark and can unpin and adjust – which is much faster than unpicking and resewing a seam.

Registration marks

There’s one long seam in my airplane template that requires exact accuracy else the airplane’s two halves won’t come together. The first time I sewed this, I was just the tiniest bit off, and it bothered me. I knew I’d pinned perfectly through the registration marks, so I unpicked the seam and used my walking foot to resew it with much better results.

Using a walking foot to sew thick seams

I’d like to give away two copies of this paper piecing template.  If you’re interested, leave a comment telling me where you’d go if you could drop everything and go get on a plane.  I can’t figure out how to close comments on this blog, but I’ll pick two and announce them on Monday, November 10!

Handmade Holidays Series at Sew Mama Sew

If you haven’t been over to Sew Mama Sew today, I invite you to check their Handmade Holiday series.  Every day in November, a different Sew Mama Sew reader curates tutorials, printables, and recipes to help you create handmade gifts.  Today is my day, and I picked a few tutorials perfect for gift giving to the frequent flyer in your life!



  1. Sarah

    I would drop everything and fly to a nice cozy cabin in the middle of the woods with nothing to do but sew and drink hot cocoa while nibbling cookies. 😀 And while we’re dreaming, can there be a nice slow snowfall that doesn’t accumulate and need shoveling too? 

    This pattern is AMAZING!!!! So much detail! Great, great job 😀

  2. Pingback: Handmade Holidays Nov. 5: Gifts for the Frequent Flyer | Sew Mama Sew | Outstanding sewing, quilting, and needlework tutorials since 2005.

  3. Snow

    The British Isles. My hubby wants to see all the whiskey distilleries in Scotland, I want to haunt Dr. Who sites, and we both want to see castles.

  4. Amy

    I would drop everything and take my husband to Scotland! If I won this pattern, I would make a quilt for him. The entertainment with planes didn’t end as he grew up. He works with flight simulators and loves it. 

  5. usairdoll

    What an awesome pattern! I saw your sneek peek on IG the other day. Love it! If I could drop everything today and fly it would be to Okinawa, Japan.  My son is deployed there with the USMC for six to eight months. 

    Thanks for a super giveaway and a chanbe to win.


  6. Bonnie

    I’d fly with my two boys and my husband across the country to California to meet my niece who is 9 months old already! 

    Awesome airplane. My boys would love it!

  7. Michele

    I love your pattern … The details are superb!! I’d drop everything and fly to Spain to see some professional soccer, preferably Real vs Barca, and only as long as I could take my family with me!!! 

  8. Nesta

    I would love to visit Spain! I’m in Italy so it’s not far but I haven’t had the chance to go to Spain yet!
    Your pattern is incredible!

  9. Nicole

    I would drop everything and just fly. I got my private pilot license last year and don’t fly nearly enough.

  10. kathyh

    My answer was running off to Japan to visit my friend and I made that happen next March. So excited. I would jet down to Guatemala to see my daughter who is wintering there and in costa rica. It would be fun to travel together.
    My family loves planes – we live on an airpark in Oregon and own two planes.
    Love your jet liner – off to see the craftsy class.

  11. Tamie

    My oldest daughter and her family moved from the east coast to the west coast and took our only grandchild- imagine that! If I could drop everything, that’s where I would go.

  12. Monika

    I would drop everything and take my son Alex (and of course my husband) to Singapore. Alex is almost 2 and LOVES ‘cahs’, ‘choo-choos’ & ‘eh-pehys’ (cars, trains & airplanes). Singapore’s Changi Airport is always voted of the top airports of the world. There Alex could check out all the planes and would see the super-large A380 Airbus. He’d probably poop his diaper!!! Wait, he already does that…

    (This quilt would be great for his eh-pehys, choo-choo & cahs themed room I am working on!)

  13. Paula K.

    i would go back to Budapest in a NY minute!   What a great and interesting city. Visit it once and you too will want to return. Sincerely, Paula K.

  14. Gramme

    I would fly to where you are so I could meet you!  Maybe some of your creativity would rub off on me. I love this pattern. I must make one for each of my 4 Grandsons. 

  15. Kat Scott

    I would be headed for the nearest warm stretch of beach!  Definitely need to sit and listen to the water for awhile.  The airplane is fabulous!  My 9 yr old grandson would be impressed!

  16. Heather

    I’d go on an African safari.  Or to Australia to see a friend I haven’t seen since 2007.  Or to Scotland to see real Heather.  Or anywhere!  Love this pattern.  It would be fun to make it for a friend whose husband is retiring from his career as a pilot this summer.  

  17. la tulipe

    I’d drop to US to buy a lot of fabrics because they are so cheapper than in Europe 🙂 My three sons are ingenieur and works on planes…My husband made a paper-piecing pattern for me but your’s is very very nice! Have a nice day

  18. Rah

    Hubs is a pilot. This is a first contemporary airplane block I’ve seen. There are several of those old school ones from World War II. You did a great job on this!

  19. Maggie

    I would love to travel to Spain. I love the language, the food, and the shoes! My husband works for Boeing, and I’m always on the lookout for airplane things. Your pattern is absolutely stunning! Thank you for making it 🙂

  20. Jude Gagner

    I would fly to Israel and immerse myself in the culture, the history and the people themselves. The times are hard there, with the border issues creating such havoc. I would try to be a quasi-ambassador by showing my love for all people, regardless of political and religious differences. I can think of no better place to learn more about our joint histories and to share my gifts of friendship, understanding and to attempt to help others by setting a positive example. If I can help even one person, that would be a successful visit to this wonderful country.

Comments are closed.