De Plane, De Plane, De Quilt!

The funny thing is, we were flipping through the channels the other day and Fantasy Island was on! I hadn’t seen that in ages! Anyway, Fantasy Island has nothing to do with this quilt, but planes do!


This quilt is my first finish for 2015! But was supposed to be done a couple of years ago. This is a memory quilt for a very wonderful family friend. Our families have been close for years. But a couple of years ago we lost the Mr.

Mr. was the father of one of my best friends growing up. I guess it was middle school when we were always at each other’s houses. Mr. was like a second father to me for years. Mr. was an incredible man and had a wonderfully rich life with a large family and a lot of adventures! And you’ve probably guessed it… He was a pilot!


I went home not too long after he passed and was able to collect a lot of his shirts. I had a traditional idea when I first asked if I could do this for them. But it obviously didn’t ring right to me. It then took me a couple of years, walking past this bag of shirts everyday and thinking about the right thing to do.


Then it hit me! I had to do a plane! But I wanted it to be graphic, not a detailed paper pieced replica of a plane. A graphic representation.


I was also going to ONLY use the shirts. But to make the plane pop, I decided to actually use an Essex Linen as a more neutral background. I did add in little pops of a blue shirt for ‘clouds’. They are actually a little harder to see than I planned. I love the close stitching that follows the lines of the plane! It took way longer than I was planning, but oh, well!


For the plane, I made a little improv piece and then cut it apart in pieces to make the plane shapes.


The back has a little more traditional feel.


Using all his shirts, including a tshirt. That big Bama shirt was a must!


I couldn’t NOT use his plane shirt! And I think he flew almost all the planes, if not all of them!


For the binding, I continued to use the Mr.’s shirts. It’s a scrappy binding.


I’m crossing my fingers that the family loves and enjoys it for years to come. It’s not a very traditional design, so I’m crossing my fingers they like it! I hate that it took me so long to get it to them, but I think it was worth the wait to come up with a design that spoke to me about the one, special Mr. that it was made to remember!

This is my first (and unfortunately might be my only) completed project from my Quarter 1 Finish Along list….

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side


  1. Lauren aka Giddy99 says:

    I think this is a clever and sweet tribute! They should love it.🙂

  2. Very cool, and glad for you that it is done! I’m sure the Mr.’s family will be so touched!

  3. I’m not usually one for non-traditional patterns but this one is beautiful. I wouldn’t have done it any other way.

  4. Sarah Helene says:

    How ENDEARING . . . designing and sewing a QUILT (with airplanes) from shirts worn by a close, dear friend, Mr. (a pilot) who died. What a memory-laden quilt for family members to “cuddle” under providing warmth and remember a Dad and husband! You are AWESOME! Sarah in Minneapolis

  5. kislanykim says:

    What a lovely, wonderful, thoughtful gift. I can’t see how they would fail to be moved by your tribute to their father. I’m sure they will love it.

  6. What a beautiful and unique memory quilt.

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