Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Butterfly Quilt for a Baby Girl

After months of procrastination, the butterfly quilt I’ve been working on is finally finished. It’s not a perfect quilt, but I like how it turned out.
finished quilt
I attempted free motion quilting on an actual quilt for the first time. I definitely need to work on my design shaping, but it was a super quick and effective way to quilt, especially since I didn’t want to quilt through the butterflies.

This quilt is made entirely from scraps and fabric that’s been in my stash for over a year. To create the butterflies, I Googled butterfly silhouettes until I found a shape I liked. I literally traced it off my laptop screen onto a piece of paper (using pencil) and then outlined the shape with dark marker. I used the tracings to make cardstock templates, and then used the templates to trace the butterflies onto fabric backed with light duty fusible web.
preparing fabrictracing butterflies
I live in a house of boys, so my pink fabric selection is limited. I dug through the scrap bin and came up with the fabrics shown above, and then arranged them all onto a large sheet of fusible before tracing the butterflies. Then I cut and cut and cut. Big job, especially all the little ones, but on the bright side, I have enough leftover to make another quilt for another little girl, set to arrive in October.

Once everything was cut out, I spread out my three sizes of butterflies on a large piece of fabric and played with the layout until it looked nice.
butterfly applique quilt layout
Ironed everything down and stitched around the outlines. Another big job, but I don’t trust the fusible on its own, especially on something likely to be washed over and over.
quilting
I truly have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to free motion stippling. I’ve practiced on felt sandwiches in the past, but this time I just took a big breath and did it. I’m sure the pattern could be neater or more predictable, but the stitches are fairly consistent and the layers are quilted together, so I’m calling it a success. Next time I will try an all-over stippling; getting around the butterflies was tricky and it shows.
The backing is made from soft, pink plaid flannel. I just folded it over from back to front to form a cheater binding. I always struggle with the binding pulling in the direction I’m sewing, so that I inevitably end up with a bubble somewhere. Any suggestions from you more experienced quilt binders?
folded
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19 comments:

  1. Simply beautiful Tanya! I've grown a new appreciation for quilting now that I know the level of skill and time it takes to make one.

    Lucky little girl.

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  2. My mom does a wicked binding...I always get her to do mine! She folds a length of fabric in half, and sews it (open edge) along the front edge of quilt. The folded edge becomes the part you hand sew to the back of the quilt, by folding the binding towards the back. The corners are a neat trick and look beautiful. YOUR quilt is gorgeous...so contemporary and feminine, and timeless all at the same time! Well done!

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  3. Oh Tanya, it turned out beautiful!!! Great job on this, I have never tried free motion quilting. I absolutely love the look of these sorts of quilts.
    You should be proud, stunning!

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  4. The butterflies are stunning. It is a really beautiful quilt. Great job!

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  5. I love this! So simple and elegant!

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  6. Great job, quilting is just so impressive!

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  7. Oh Tanya, you did a beautiful job. The little girl that gets that quilt is very lucky. I tried the free hand while looking at a machine in a store and fell in love with its free style. I think you did a beautiful job with it. And what a great idea to just pull the back forward for binding!! I never would of thought of that. Man you are good :-)

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  8. Very well done! Love the butterflies and the design. Looks awesome!

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  9. Tanya if I lived next door that might just disappear after I came to visit. Maybe someday I will try. I have tried that kind of quilting on a small piece and it was disastrous. Yours is fabulous and the butterfly design is outstanding!

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  10. I LOVE this quilt! I have a grand daughter that loves butterflies and your step by step instructions will make it easy for me to make her one for Christmas. Thanks so much for sharing. Great job!

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  11. So, adorable. I love your quilting! thanks for stopping my and your nice comments!

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  12. Lovely work, you are very talented. My girls will love this.

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  13. Beautiful quilt! Awesome job on the free motion quilting too (can't quite get the hang of free motion myself!)

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  14. I love this quilt. really really good work1

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  15. It's beautiful, Tanya! I love the various sizes for the butterflies. What a lovely gift. Great job with the free motion quilting!

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  16. It really did turn out nicely... I hope that you put some sort of tag on the back identifying who made it etc... Very pretty... bet that will be one loved quilt! Nothing like using stuff from the stash of fabric either!

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  17. Tanya, I came by to thank you for the review you posted of my book and saw this quilt! It's beautiful! I'm inspired - so glad I came by. And thanks for your comment! :)

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  18. Great job, this is great, I make quilts for people when they have a death in the family for free and this is prefect when they do not have enough clothes to work with. Beautiful and everyone loves butterflies. Flying free in the wind

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