Sep 13, 2012

Of Blocks and Butterflies

I did not get much sewing done yesterday though I certainly was trying to.  I am afraid that in cutting out #106 Wild Rose and Square at left that anything I may have ever known about cutting or working with diamonds left the memory banks.  In fact, I am STILL not entirely sure where I went wrong.  Was the strip supposed to be folded to get the mirror shape for the bottom portion of the block---or not??    I sure had to re-cut it to get them to face the correct direction.  The red piece twice!!

It has literally been years since I even attempted to sew diamonds.  I have a Lemoyne Star cut out but it uses a Bethany Reynolds idea for piecing it and adds more half square triangles than you need.  See?  I chickened out that time too!  BUT it is on my quilting bucket list.  I think the badge is still on my sidebar to verify it.

I cut this out at least 10 days ago.  I probably groaned when I saw the diamonds but decided to pull on my "big girl panties" and try it.   Okay, it is y-seams and I needed some review. To be fair, the block in the book was drawn with unnecessary extra sewing lines,  I, me personally, am the one that drew it up so it was diamonds. NOT the author of The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt.  Can't blame her.  I gave myself this challenge.  Marti Michell's templates helped a bit till I apparently did not read correctly.  Also some how I cut those half square triangles the wrong size too.  BUT that might work to my advantage to sew them on and then trim the section down.

Back to the y seam thing.  I remembered that you " sew to the quarter inch spot, tack, take it out of the machine and sew the other side till you reach the quarter inch spot".  I think that is the process, right??  Off I went to you-tube though I could have gone to my Fons and Porter "go-to, quilt bible" Quilters Complete Guide too.  I am glad I didn't in the end as it turns out Kaye Wood has a Q-Typ on the subject.

    And this puppy works!  Although I was sewing itty bitty squares and she was using huge diamonds, this tip works.  I found that using a stiletto helped pivot that small square underneath to line it up with the diamond on top.  Try it out and see what you think!  Or did everyone but me know about this?  THX. Kaye for the help you gave me yesterday even if you didn't even know it.

I'll finish up the block in a bit and move on to another. It is still a tad bigger than it should be so hopefully I  can fudge it in----it goes on the left side of the quilt anyway and off the bed.  I'll have to see what other learning opportunity I will have today.  The little cherry basket handle on Tuesday was a reminder about basting and/or appliqueing down the inside curve first and the outside last.  Skills you do not do often led to questioning and double checking.  No one likes doing re-work.


Okay, that leads to butterflies.  I was thinking the other day that I need to have a butterfly or maybe even two on my sampler quilt.   What clinched that notion was seeing my blogging buddy Kitty's version in a recent post .  Read the post, of course, as she is doing something really fun with some scraps that will go in a wonderful heart quilt at some point.    About 5 pictures down she has some butterflies that she did way back in 79.  In an email back and forth initiated by a comment I left her, she told me her version was from Feb 78 Quilt World.  I was not asking for the pattern--just admiring her choice.  Too cute!

I have a collection of butterfly blocks and will do a sampler at some point.  EQ has a bunch of them too.  BUT the one on the right (or in the vicinity, LOL) is the first one my mind went to.  I had this shape sketched off on a cardboard template and it used to be on my bulletin board for years.  Classic 30's style butterfly with black embroidery on the top of it.  Once I found the one online just like it, I ditched the cardboard.  You can get the image at for a 9 inch butterfly to apply to a 10 inch base.   (That link is in case you cannot read my handwriting which after years in nursing admittedly is not always easy to read. ).  However, I wanted more like a 5 inch one to go on a 6 inch finished base.  Easy, peasy process.  Download the image, open it up in Irfanview (freeware/shareware image software I have used for years and years).  Click print and then tell it what size you want.  I tried 4 inch first and it was way too small.  5 was perfect when I laid it on my square ruler to be sure it would work for an on-point setting.

Then there are the pieced butterflies.   I've got quite a few patterns for that too.  Marsha McCloskey's butterfly from Quilts for Katie Rose is a good one too.  AZ Patch has a couple of fun ones---August 2011 BOM and May 2001 is a bit more stylized.     Oh, there are some really cool BOM blocks on AZ patch that I had forgotten about.  Printing and bookmarking about to ensue!  There are other butterflies that I have clipped from quilt mags. Or the one Cher used from the now gone Quilter's Online Resource pages is good too.  No lack of choices, in other words.

I don't know if this pattern is still available from Lazy Girl Designs or not as I could not find it on search.  Currently, there is an abandoned block of a butterfly and a Bed of Roses block hanging off my shelving unit.  Marilyn gave me them for a pastel-y donation quilt with leftovers that I have in mind.  I have made this quilt before though. I've got the ruler so I can make more.  It does make a cute, cute girlie quilt in pastels or brights making for a fun block that finishes 8 inches in the existing patterns.

One I had actually made was one Mom had kitted up.  I know she has done several over the years in the 700 she has made and donated.  BUT my mom is one smart cookie!   She figured out a way to NOT have to applique the butterfly bodies down later.  If you piece the body portions as the pattern calls for and then trim a bit of that away on both sides, then you can strip piece contrasting butterfly body sections in if you want them all the same color, like black and your back ground fabric remains consistent.  Otherwise, there would be measurements to cut the body sections.  This is a variation, I found, that makes life a whole lot easier and adds more interest to the block.  Embroider the antennae or use a pigma pen.  As I said the Lazy Angle ruler helps with piecing the angled bits.  I've drawn in EQ so I can make it be any old size I want and the ruler goes from 1 1/2 to 6 1/2 as well.

Looking at this sharp angle may have just triggered another application for my needs---that Criss Cross fun and done has about a 120 angle template that you start the block off with .  Maybe, just maybe this will help.  I'll check in a few minutes.

And sew it goes----my mind is always flitting around around just a butterfly.  Never know what tangent I will find to explore on any given day, do you?    Spreading joy and quilting knowledge, (mine or someone else's, LOL)  like raindrops---that's me.  Just kidding.  Let's just say, I know what books to pull and how to search online but I have also learned a few quilty things in the last 24-25 years.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!


  1. Thanks for the shout-out!! Your butterfly choices are wonderful - and I like your Mom's version with the pieced body - VERY clever!! I can't wait to see which ones make it into your sampler quilt - ;))

  2. Kitty gave me the heads up to your youtube link for the Y-seam video. Gosh I wish I would have seen this before I struggled with this weeks Grandmother's Choice block. Even though Kay Wood is working with giant pieces compared to the pieces for Kansas Sunflower, I think the video will help me the next time I need to face a Y-seam head on. Thanks for the link.


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