QM Scrap Squad: Nadia Wilson’s “Butterfly Garden”

QM scrap squadB3 QM Scrap Squad: Nadia Wilsons Butterfly Garden

Quiltmaker’s Scrap Squad is a select group of readers who take one predetermined pattern from each issue and make scrappy versions to inspire other readers. We feature a new Scrap Squad quilt almost every week.

QM created the Scrap Squad because we know our readers want to use fabric they already own to make lively one-of-a-kind creations from our patterns.

QMMP 140400 cover 200 QM Scrap Squad: Nadia Wilsons Butterfly GardenThe Scrap Squad quilt from the March/April issue is Summer Love, designed by Kimberly Jolly. It was made by Nancy Parkinson in fabrics from Marcus Fabrics.

QMMP 140400 summer 450 QM Scrap Squad: Nadia Wilsons Butterfly Garden

Today’s featured quilt is by Nadia Wilson from Port Hardy, British Columbia. You’ll notice that Nadia spells a few words differently, and we decided to leave them alone, because we have so very many Canadian readers and we thought it would make them feel right at home!

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Nadia tells the story of her project in her own words below.

*     *     *     *     *

Sew much excitement…being accepted into the Scrap Squad, meeting new friends, feeling nervous yet excited, scared but confident!

We received our first assignment, Summer Love. Even though I own quilting software and other drafting programs, the best way to come up with a piecing plan is still by using my mind’s eye. Once I ‘see’ a picture in my head of what my quilt will look like…I go with my gut feeling and…I…just…do…it!

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Fabrics

The name Summer Love reminded me of soft winds blowing gently, peacefully and lazily on a warm summer day. If you stare long enough at the pattern—what was obvious to me were the butterflies!

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Stash of off-white fabrics

I could see butterflies in each of the blocks and I could see how they were fluttering in the breeze amongst the pretty flowers in a garden…a butterfly garden!! Thus my quilt began to take shape…butterflies set against soft, dainty and pretty flowers. Bright and glorious fluttering butterflies set against calm flowers in a garden!

I went to my 30’s stash and my old-fashioned calicoes and pulled out all the dainty flowered ones. I decided to set the flower fabrics and butterflies against off-white backgrounds. I fell in love with some of my teal and orange decorative threads and knew I wanted my butterflies to be in those colours.

 

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Blue block layout

I used a variety of orange and teal prints in the butterflies, which is hard to see in the pictures. I wanted my butterflies to really stand out. I could see my quilt beginning to unfold…

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Pink block layout

I like to add my personal spin to the things I make. Instead of making all the flying geese units the pattern called for, I opted to rotary cut the shapes for each block.

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Rotary cutting

I cut quarter square triangles, which means I worked with bias edges. Extra care must be taken because they are easily pulled out of shape.

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Quarter-square triangles

As much as possible, chain piece the units to save time and thread!

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Chain piecing

Look! I finished another spool of my favorite piecing thread!

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Empty!

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Thread scraps…do you save yours??

Have a look at my thread scrap pile!

Along with accurate ¼” seams, it is important to press your seams while sewing…. pressing, not ironing.

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Units

See how the units are coming together?

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Units

Once my blocks were done, I added the embellishments. I couched on decorative thread for the antennae and I machine appliqued the body with a blanket stitch.

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Couching over decorative thread

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Love the colours!

I was beginning to see how my quilt would look…I loved it!  I made about a dozen extra butterfly blocks which I will turn into a bed runner. How awesome will it be to wake up next to a bright and ‘springy’ quilt on the bed? I’m thinking Summer Love for sure!!

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Blanket stitching the applique

Once I finished making the blocks I started on my layout. Which way should I turn the butterflies? I’m working on the living room floor, testing out different layouts, when along comes my 7-year-old and says “Whatcha doing?” So I explain and he says, “Do this, Mom…” and he turns the blocks so the butterflies are all flying in different directions. Leave it to a 7-year-old! He was so proud of his work!

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Deciding on the layout

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Fun!!

Ever wonder what the backs of pieced tops look like? Here is a shot of mine.

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Backside

I finished the top and the next step was to longarm quilt it. I freehand quilted flowers and greenery in the setting triangles. I stitched meandering loop-de-loops in the blocks, and I outlined the butterflies because I did not want to stitch through them. I quilted piano keys in the checked border.

I used an off-white thread for the top and bobbin because I wanted the piecing and the butterflies to stand out more than the quilting. For the backing I used a natural-colour muslin. For the binding, I joined different colours of fabric strips, in keeping with the scrappy look.

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Freehand quilting

Here is my version of Summer Love. I’m calling it “Butterfly Garden.”

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Butterfly Garden

 

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Another view

It was pretty hard to capture the true coloring of the fabrics with my camera. It looks much brighter in real life.

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Displayed on a queen size bed

It was so much fun making this top, I can hardly wait to start my next assignment! I think this quilt turned out amazing. Do you think you’ll make one, too?

Happy Quilting,

Nadia

 

 

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20 Responses to QM Scrap Squad: Nadia Wilson’s “Butterfly Garden”

  1. Wow! That was awesome, Nadia! I love the way your “Summer Love/Butterfly Garden” quilt came out. So creative! And the quilting is just gorgeous. I think it’s great that your 7 y.o. had a little input, too. Sometimes when I’m stuck on a decision, I ask one of my boys, too. Have a super day!

    • Nadia says:

      Thanks for your comment! Yes, my little guy likes to be involved with my quilting, I love it! He has such a creative eye for things. I had lots of fun making this quilt.

  2. Dorothy says:

    Love your butterflies, our theme at the Hospice is “butterflies” so making this quilt for the hospice will be special. Great job Nadia and summer is just a few quilt projects away.

    • Nadia says:

      Hi Dorothy, I would love to see a picture of your butterfly quilt when it is done! Thanks for your nice comment!

  3. I’m new to the quilting world. I love seeing how everyone uses colors and design. Seeing how the top is quilted too. Thanks for your post. Every time I read something or view a picture I learn something new.

    • Nadia says:

      Isn’t quilting just the best??! Welcome to the world of quilting and piecing…your life is about to change in ways you haven’t imagined…you are going to love it!

  4. Anne Wiens says:

    It’s snowing and below zero today….I really needed a happy dose of summer, and your quilt provided it. Great start to your Scrap Squad year, Nadia!

    • Nadia says:

      Thank-you Anne, I am pleased my quilt was a bright part of your day, even if just a little. Is it still snowing where you are?

  5. Karlene says:

    What a fun interpretation and great colors. Nice job!

  6. The very first thing I noticed (well, okay, after the cool border) when you showed us this the other day was the fab way the butterflies were all going in different directions! As owner of a seven year old myself, I have to agree that they often do make the best decisions. So cool that he helped you out and did it so well!

    The whole quilt is stunning. Great job!

    • Nadia says:

      Thank-you Quilting Hottie! I love your name…and I am glad you have a 7 yr old helper too. Your quilt was pretty awesome too!!

  7. Cindy MacLean says:

    I love the quilt, Nadia. It had me smiling and thinking happy thoughts when I seen it!

    • Nadia says:

      Thank-you Cindy, you are an awesome quilter yourself, another get together is in order as soon as we can!

  8. Linda S says:

    Very pretty!

  9. Aunt Marti says:

    Nadia, great first Scrap Squad quilt! I love your embellishments, it really adds a special touch to this quilt.

    • Nadia says:

      Hi Aunt Marti, it was loads of fun making the butterflies and adding embellishments…I made a dozen extra blocks that I’m making into a bed runner. I love embellishing when I can in my projects, have you embellished your quilts before? if so, what have you done? or has this inspired you to try embellishing?

  10. Becky Ball says:

    way to go! It is beautiful. I really like your interpretation of the pattern.

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