Airfoils are the shape responsible for making airplanes fly! Air (or any fluid) move faster over the top of the airfoil, and slower underneath, which creates a pressure difference (thanks Bernouli!). This pressure difference is what gives airplane wings lift, and directly opposes gravity to fly! Drag comes into effect when you consider the movement of the fluid parallel to the motion. The jet engines suck-squeeze-bang-blow air (that’s a real thing, google it!) to produce the forward movement of the airplane, thrust. Here’s a short video of smoke moving over an airfoil so you can see how air moves to produce lift.
Now to the sewing! This block is another great no-sew block, because all of the attachment of the fabric to the background can be done during quilting. You can attach the applique before you quilt it, but that feels like a lot more work, might as well kill two birds with one line of sewing (see what I did there?).
- 16” x 16” (ish) piece of batting
- 16” x 16” (ish) backing fabric
- 16” x 16” (ish) piece of background fabric
- 4” x 12” (ish) piece of accent fabric
- (2) 2” x 18” pieces of BIAS CUT accent fabric
- 4-5 sheets of freezer paper (optional; you should be able to cut the airfoil piece of out of freezer paper from last month)
- Spray Starch
- Small paint brush
- Elmers Glue + a fine tip applicator (optional, you could also use pins or double-sided tape)
First, take your (2) pieces of 2” x 18” bias cut fabric and turn it into single fold bias tape. Fold both long edges towards the center, and press. Set aside.
Cut out the airfoil shape, which you can download airfoil shape. It should fit on a standard sheet of paper, and should be printed at 100% size. But if you print it bigger or smaller….. who cares, it’s your quilt! Copy this onto your freezer paper, and cut out a freezer paper airfoil template.
Iron the freezer paper template on the backside of your accent fabric piece. Cut out the fabric, leaving about 1/4” around all sides. Use the same technique from last month to make a faux applique piece. You might need to be creative around the trailing edge (pointy end) of the airfoil to get it to lay nicely. Pull out the freezer paper.
Put a fine line of glue around the seam allowance of the airfoil, and position it in the center of the background fabric.
Use a dry, hot iron to dry the glue.
Before you glue down the bias tape, we want to try to stretch it a tiny bit so that it will lay where we want it. Carefully position the bias tape on the top of the airfoil where you want it. Use my picture for placement, but we want it to look like the airfoil is cutting through the air. Start the bias tape near the centerline of the airfoil on the leading edge, and carefully curve it around the top of the airfoil. Use your iron to help nudge the fabric along, and set it in the shape that you want. Once you’re happy, use the glue to tack it down.
Repeat with the bottom piece.
Congratulations! The top is all “pieced” now! All that is left to do is baste the top, batting and backing together, and quilt it all together. Make sure you attach the applique and bias tape to the background during quilting, or you’re in for a sad surprise when you wash this quilt.