TUTORIAL: Flight Path Baby Quilt

Airplanes zoom all over this baby quilt.  I love that it IS NOT paper pieced.  Blessings on those of you who love paper piecing, and it definitely has its place in the quilting world, but it is possible to get angles without it.  The technique is a little different, so feel free to ask questions, and I will do my best.

Finished size: 36-1/2″ 36-1/2″



You may note that the block you see assembled below is not anywhere in the quilt.  That is because I lost all my block construction pictures and had to make another block just for this tutorial.  Good thing it is a fun block to make…

For ONE block–multiply as needed

COLORED fabric–

1 2-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ rectangle

2 1-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ rectangles

1 4-1/2″ x 2-1/2″–ANGLED to 1-1/2″ (As shown below–it has already been cut on the left and is set up for cutting on the right.  You will take 1/2″ off of each side)



4 1-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ rectangles

2 1″ x 1″ squares

2 4-1/2″ x 4″ rectangles ANGLED to 3-1/2″ on one side.  (As shown below– 1/2″ off of ONE side.  NOTE–both pieces should be facing the same side up when you cut.)


BACKGROUND fabric for “tip” if that is the setting you plan to use.

2 3-1/2″ x 12″ rectangles, cut on the diagonal.  Put both pieces face up again.  If you want the block to top LEFT, the big part above your ruler should be on the left.  Likewise, if you want your block to top RIGHT, the big part above the ruler should be on the right.  See below.  Yep, this one will tip towards the left.


When you have them all cut, it should look something like this.



  1. I suggest laying out all of your pieces to make sure you have a good idea of how the block will go together and to make sure all your angles face the right direction. DSC01135
  2. To build the nose of the airplane: Attach the 1″ background squares to one of the 1-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ colored rectangles by stitching diagonally.  Trim and flip.  Press. DSC01138
  3. Attach a 1-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ background rectangle to each side of the little unit you just created. Press. DSC01139
  4. To build the tail section of the plane: Attach a 1-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ background rectangle to the other 1-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ colored rectangle. Press.
  5. To build the body of the plane:  Attach an angled 4-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ background rectangle to each side of the colored 4-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ angled rectangle.  Make sure the widest part of the background pieces attach to the thinnest part of the colored piece.  Offset them so the intersection of the seam is 1/4″ from the edge–right where you will sew.  It will all end up even in the end. Press.DSC01140
  6. Attach the three units together–nose to body, body to tail.  Press.DSC01141
  7. IF you are using the tipped section, add those sections top/bottom, left right.  I attach the first pair, press open and then trim before adding the second pair.  Don’t worry if they aren’t perfectly even.  You are going to square up and being a little wonky will add to the flying feeling.DSC01142DSC01143
  8. Square up the block to 10-1/2″ making sure there is at least 1/4″ allowance between the edge of the central block and the edge of the trimmed fabric. DSC01144

For this quilt I created 9 blocks, five of them tipped LEFT and four of them tipped RIGHT.  You do what works for you.

NOW, if you want to add borders, as I did, here is the instruction for that–


For the inner border, using background fabric–

2 30–1/2″ x 1-1/2″ strips for the sides

2 32–1/2″ x 1-1/2″ strips for the top and bottom

for the middle, colored border.  I used leftover tiny scraps from the airplanes just joined together in a way that made me happy.  You will need to create strips as follows–

2 32–1/2″ x 1-1/2″ strips for the sides

2 34–1/2″ x 1-1/2″ strips for the top and bottom

For the outer border, using background fabric–

2 34–1/2″ x 1-1/2″ strips for the sides
2 36–1/2″ x 1-1/2″ strips for the top and bottom

Attach all around in the order listed…



14. You have a finished quilt top.


15. Layer, quilt, label and bind as desired.  I used an overall swooping pattern to give the feeling of flight.  Ta-dah! Your quilt is complete.

Thanks for visiting WeddingDressBlue and trying out the tutorials.  I love to see what you create.


Liz built this one for the son of a coworker.


…your beautiful creation here.




6 thoughts on “TUTORIAL: Flight Path Baby Quilt

  1. I love today’s blue and white one. It looks so clean and crisp! That seemed pretty easy to me. I am not a paper-piecer and I don’t ever intend to be. This seems lots easier!

  2. I made a quilt with planes for my grandson and great nephew. In the top border I put the name of the child’s great grandfathers squadron. On the bottom was the ribbons of medals of 4 great grandparents, with their names and service numbers in crossstitch. Kerryn

  3. Deanna–I finished Flight Path and getting ready to gift it! I want to give you credit on the label, but can’t find your last name. You can email me at eahorgan@gmail.com and I’ll send you a picture of my quilt!
    Liz Horgan

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