Quiltmaker’s Garden Butterfly Block

Peg Spradlin is responsible for making many of the quilts you see in QM’s pages. Peg has sewn for us and our sister publications for many years. She’s a master.


Homesewer Peg Quiltmakers Garden Butterfly Block

Peg Spradlin

We asked Peg to share tips she found helpful as she created Quiltmaker’s Garden, the 30th anniversary commemorative quilt seen on the March/April ’12 cover.


14033 pattern img Quiltmakers Garden Butterfly Block

Quiltmaker's Garden is a series quilt presented in 2012 issues of Quiltmaker. It commemorates QM's 30th anniversary.

Part 3 of Quiltmaker’s Garden appears in the brand-new July/August issue, on newsstands now.

QM10712 Quiltmakers Garden Butterfly Block

July/August '12 Quiltmaker

Peg shares the tip below from her experience making this quilt.

*     *     *     *     *

I’m not a fan of bias seams and will go to great lengths to avoid them. A good example of this is the way I joined the E, F, and C/C patches in the butterfly unit of Quiltmaker’s Garden Part 3.

Instead of actually trimming the fabric away as illustrated in the pattern (which would have resulted in a bias edge), I first marked the trimming lines on patch E.

Quiltmaker Garden E 295x300 Quiltmakers Garden Butterfly Block

Mark trimming lines


Next I laid a ruler on patch E diagonally from corner to corner to find and  mark the center of the trimming line. I did this on both trimming lines.

Quiltmaker G E 2 300x266 Quiltmakers Garden Butterfly Block

mark center of trimming line


Now find and mark the middle of the long edge of patch F (cream in this photo) and, aligning the center marks, lay the long edge of F along the marked trimming line on E.

Quiltmaker Garden E 3 300x275 Quiltmakers Garden Butterfly Block

Sew a seam 1/4″ in from the long edge of F. Because I didn’t trim the corners of patch E, I didn’t have to deal with sewing two bias seams together. Add the C/C unit to patch E in the same way and iron open the triangles.

Quiltmaker Garden E 4 300x280 Quiltmakers Garden Butterfly Block


Turn the E, F, C/C unit face down and trim the excess from patches F and C/C that might be showing. This results in an exact 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ unit for the butterfly block (another advantage to using this technique).

Quiltmaker Garden E 5 300x288 Quiltmakers Garden Butterfly Block

trim excess edges


Now you are ready to trim away the corners of patch E from behind the F, C/C patches to reduce bulk in the unit. Just don’t get in a hurry and trim away the F and C/C triangles as I did here.

Quiltmaker Garden E 6 300x159 Quiltmakers Garden Butterfly Block

Don't make my mistake!


This unit is now ready to be sewn into the butterfly block.

Quiltmaker Garden E 7 300x284 Quiltmakers Garden Butterfly Block

Finished butterfly unit

Just a note: the method given in the instructions does work, but if bias edges give you fits, give this a try instead.

This entry was posted in QM Issues, Quilting 101 and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Quiltmaker’s Garden Butterfly Block

  1. Peg’s method is great! I don’t always follow the pattern instructions, either, especially if I am making something from an older, vintage pattern. The butterfly block is so attractive. You could make these for a number of different projects, not just the gorgeous feature quilt. Have a super day!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>