The Evolution of a Butterfly Block

Many of my designs for 100 Blocks are inspired by nature. Knowing that 100 Blocks volume 9 would released in May, I decided to go for something springy. I searched for ideas in Google  images.

Butterflies? That says spring! Who couldn’t find inspiration in pictures like these?

Screen shot 2014 05 08 at 2.33.17 PM e1399581563147 The Evolution of a Butterfly BlockI roughed out a butterfly on paper, then I spent a few hours drawing the foundation block in EQ7. When I was happy with its shape and patches, I dropped in fabric colors. The more colors I added, the better I liked it–but I wasn’t 100% satisified with the design below.

butterfly31 300x300 The Evolution of a Butterfly BlockI called my husband over to take a peek and give me some feedback. He said it was the biggest butterfly he had ever seen. I was sorry I asked. I wasn’t about to put a 2″ butterfly in the middle of a 12″ block. Still, something more was needed. Then it hit me–the butterfly needs to look like it’s in motion. I used EQ7′s Serendipity tool to tilt it about 30 degrees. Much better!

butterfly8 300x300 The Evolution of a Butterfly BlockCould I find the right fabrics? (Yes, I’m an incurable batik-aholic.) The oranges, golds, pinks and purples in Minerals by Fresh Batiks for Clothworks fit the bill perfectly.

photo2 e1399584210699 The Evolution of a Butterfly BlockWhen the piecing was finished, I arranged a few heat set crystals on the wings.

photo1 e1399651512608 The Evolution of a Butterfly BlockWith some purple floss, I embroidered the antennae and added a couple of curls on the bottom of the wings for balance. A few more crystals here and there and I had one blinged-out butterfly.

QMMS 140044 FOWLER 300x300 The Evolution of a Butterfly Block

Butterfly-by Block #820 from volume 9

If you like butterflies, here’s an on-point layout filled with them.. I reversed a few so they aren’t all flying in the same direction.

butterfly 300x300 The Evolution of a Butterfly BlockFor a smaller quilt with a single butterfly, here’s simpler layout.

butterfly2 300x300 The Evolution of a Butterfly BlockAfter a long winter season, I’m basking in the longer days of warm sunshine and breathing in the fresh smells after the spring rains. I love watching trees bud and flowers bloom. Isn’t this a wonderful time of year? What are your favorite signs of spring?


About Eileen Fowler

I am an Associate Editor at Quiltmaker. My quilting hobby, that began over 20 years ago, turned into a career when I was hired by Quiltmaker in 2008. My quilting passion is slowly taking over every nook and cranny in my house. I have a supportive husband who makes it all possible.
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8 Responses to The Evolution of a Butterfly Block

  1. Penny M says:

    Beautiful block. Love the quilts. Embroidery, now that’s ambitious. :)

  2. ivy gabbard says:

    I love this butterfly block

  3. What a lovely and whimsical butterfly! Love the colors and embellishments :) Can’t wait until I am proficient enough to create these kinds of things in EQ!

  4. Alene Knox says:

    I have NEVER done paper piecing, but this butterfly is so gorgeous, just flittering by on a Spring morning, giving me HOPE that I MUST try it. Do you feel an old (70) person can do this butterfly, having NEVER paper piecing before? I NEED this!

    Thank you for your great story and instructions.

  5. Claudia says:

    I second Barb’s comment. I was tired of the cold too. Longing for t-shirts, shorts and bare feet. And this block is on my “to do” list. Love that flutter-by!

  6. Barb Johnson says:

    My favorite sign of spring is the warmth! After this past winter, I was sick and tired of being cold.

  7. Peg Spradlin says:

    I love all your blocks, Eileen. You are a master of foundation piecing and batiks.

    I enjoy all the birds-the robins, the bright red cardinals, and even the seagulls that follow the tractors looking for a snack in the fresh turned soil.

  8. What a delightful block! I am enjoying all the spring greens of the different tree leaves.

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