Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Butterflies Burst their Cocoons

I don't wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that. 
Your mind must know it has got to get down to work.
~Pearl S. Buck


Ok. So they weren't in cocoons but only because they aren't real butterflies. These are blocks I started years ago that somehow ended up in a baggie in the back of a drawer. Actually only about twenty were sewn. The rest of the baggie was green backgrounds and black-and-white bodies. 

I decided to use larger pieces from the scrap bag and a few other leftovers to make the rest of the wings. The blocks finish at four inches so one hundred should be needed to make a baby quilt... And there weren't enough backgrounds and bodies. After all this time there's no more of either of these fabrics. 

I have no recollection of my original layout for these blocks or even how large a quilt was planned. These days I use found blocks to make baby quilts, the easiest way to move them along. So... how to make it work? My solution was to create a two-inch inner border so the butterfly blocks fit inside and out even though they don't "line up" all the way across the quilt.

Here are four light fabrics as possible inner borders. The one on the left is a remnant from the Shadow Stars border and I discounted it. Looking at it here, it should have had more serious consideration. The floral at the top gets lost at times. The blue at the bottom doesn't have enough contrast.

The print on the right was the final choice. It makes a soft break. 

Can you even tell the butterfly bodies taper? I can't. 

I first saw butterfly quilts in a Japanese version with solid black backgrounds. It reminded me of a traditional block Called Arkansas Traveller. The bodies in those versions  didn’t taper. Not wanting to copy exactly, I chose this bright green background and altered the body. Not thrilled with either decision. But I do like the layout. It makes the wings appear to curve. A very cool effect.

At least there were enough parts to create a baby quilt and it works well for that use.

Interestingly, yesterday I ran across another butterfly quilt Hubblebird recently finished. She used a black background and found directions linked in her blog for her slightly larger blocks if you’d prefer that to the small ones I started.


To escape an unwanted marriage in 1714, Addie bargains with a "dark god" to live freely until she chooses to die. The consequence is that she is forgotten as soon as people's eyes leave her face. Three hundred years later a young man remembers her. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab makes an interesting read. 

It's hot here but this close to the coast, scattered showers build almost every afternoon. This week though we hear lots of thunder and see rain all around but it hasn't fallen on us until today. We had an hour of good soaking rain so I won't have to water tomorrow. 

Enjoy the day, Ann


patty a. said...

Those blocks made a cute top. That is a lot of blocks for a baby quilt!

Nann said...

I like the improv-ness of your butterflies. (So many 30's-style butterflies have bulky bodies that remind me of cigars.) The lime-ish green is a nice touch.

Robin said...

This is a lovely little quilt. The fabric for the butterfly bodies adds so much interest to the quilt and the curved wing effect add movement. It just turned out great. That book sounds interesting. . . where do people come up with ideas like this? We've been in a definite heat wave here. We got a little rain yesterday. I'm hoping for more today.

Hubblebird said...

Thank you for the link! I’m looking forward to finishing mine when I move into my new house. I’ve been away from the sewing machine for too long. Your quilt is gorgeous.

LA Paylor said...

gosh I wish you lived next door so you could help me create a good border for the little piece I'm working on now. Fussy stars or patterned tone on tone? spacer or just bind? Oy!

Ann said...

They are small blocks. I'm glad to have them out of the UFO pile and there was just enough to make a baby quilt.

Ann said...

I never liked the cigar size bodies either but these tapering versions were fiddly to sew. I won't make them again but I might try a narrow, straight body. Perhaps it will look like a cigarette. Ha.

Ann said...

Thanks, Robin. Using the fussy black and white print made nice bodies. I still can't figure out why the wings look curved but they even do that on the straight bodies that I've seen.
Authors can be so inventive. I wonder what it would be like to have coffee and conversation with one of them.

Ann said...

I wast just wandering around the web when your quilt came up. What fun to realize we've both been working on these for about the same number of years.
Good luck with your move and settling into your new house.

Ann said...

I enjoyed living in Denver and sometimes wish I was still there. You will find a great solution. They all sound good. And we'll be making more quilts so we can use our other ideas later. I liked using up all my butterflies this time. No leftovers at all. Haha.

Mystic Quilter said...

Those butterflies are pretty small blocks Ann but gosh they look beautiful made up into the quilt. I do like the inner border and the fabric you decided to go with, the colours of the butterflies seem to be more intense with this treatment.

bumblebee53 said...

I can tell the butterfly bodies taper and it's one of the things I really like about the quilt.

Ann said...

Thanks for letting me know. I like the look but it was lots of work getting them straight.

Preeti said...

Just commented on Hubblebird's blog!!! Love the lime green pinwheels secondary pattern. The taper is subtle but the inner border is a bold idea. Have a great weekend, Ann.