An Experiment Started - Butterflies are Free

This is my first post in quite a while.  I made my first trip ever out of the USA and visited England with my daughter for 8 super days.  Not a thought of stitching went through my mind while I was there as I enjoyed the history and the scenery more than I can say.  The Cotswolds will always be calling me from here on out.

Well, I've been home for 10 days now and am finally in the mood to start a new project.  I've put away my 2012 quilt and another smaller piece I've been working on for a few years.  Who knows if I'll actually get anything finished by 2012.  Life is short and I don't want to tie myself down to a date.  If it's done, great!  If not, the Earth won't stop turning. 

As the title says, this is an experiment.  I am going to try to piece a butterfly much in the same way I did my pansy wall hanging so long ago.  The butterfly won't stand alone, however, the way the pansy does.  I'm going to appliqué it, after embellishment, to a solid black background and use the techniques I used for my whole cloth crazy quilt on the black.  I've found that black is my all time favorite base for CQ embellishment.  I work it up faster as I so enjoy the way the colors pop when I look at the embroidery stitches.

This butterfly is 27" wide by 20 1/2" high and is being pieced in bright colors.  I decided to make it more in fantasy colors rather than try to make it look like a specific type which would probably end up wrong anyway.  The fabrics are silk shantung and dupioni.  I am using a lot of freezer paper and either ironing edges over and appliquéing or lining some pieces and turning in order to cut down on the silk fraying. Butterfly Wing

Here is the first part of one wing.  It took me several tries to figure  out how I wanted to do it.  This one isn't perfect and I cut down on segments to make it easier to piece.  I'll divide it up again as I go with my embellishments.  The whole thing may end up being redone again or, maybe I'll just cover the mistakes I see with stitching.

I am giving you the drawing I made as well if you'd like to try it yourself.  I still get requests for my pansy pattern, but I threw it away when the pansy was finished and only have my original drawing in a 2" square.  Too tiny to piece!!  I plan to stitch the butterfly one wing at a time and do mirror embellishment.  How I'm going to assemble the butterfly is still not decided.  I just do it by steps and redo if I need to as I go along.

Butterfly (sm)


  1. This looks good. Looking forward to seeing it progress.
    Do you know where I can find information about the 2012 challenge? I may like to join.

  2. This looks like it will be fun for you to do as well as fun for us to follow along with!
    Nice to have you back!

  3. Sounds like you had a great trip with your daughter. I too loved the Cotswalds. We visited England quite a few times and loved every part I ever saw. Lots of great memories.

    I will be watching your butterfly with interest. I am making the Piecemakers butterfly quilt except so far the only thing we have in common is I am going to use their layout. That is what I liked about it. Made the squares smaller and haven't decided if I will put a butterfly in the middle or something else that is dancing in my mind.



  4. Maureen, this is great to see! I will love watching you bring this butterfly to life...and you are just so generous to share the pattern with us, too.
    The Cotswolds with your daughter must have been heavenly....sigh...I am so happy for you both.