This easy butterfly applique quilt is made using four strips of fabric sewn together with butterflies flying up the seam lines. It really didn’t make very long to make at all – in fact I have even got as far as quilting it, although it is still waiting for the binding. I’ve used two 9″ strips of black and of cream so that’s exactly half a yard of each and I used scraps for the applique butterflies. The quilt measures about 35″ by 42″.
9″ strips cut across the width of fabric: two each in black and cream
Eight squares of fabric for the butterflies
Rectangles approximately 38″ by width of fabric in backing fabric and wadding
If you would like to use my butterfly template you can find it here.
Making the butterfly applique quilt
Sew the strips of fabric together along the length, alternating the colours. For the applique butterflies I have used strips of fabric 6.1/2″ by 18.1/2″ and I can cut two butterflies from that. I have used Bondaweb for the interfacing, but you probably have a favourite double sided fusible interfacing. It’s not essential, but does give a better finish to your applique. Press the Bondaweb to the wrong side of the fabric rectangles and draw round the butterfly templates.
Cut eight butterflies from the scrap fabric. Decide where you want them to lie on the quilt top. I’ve chosen to have them flying up the seam lines, but it’s a fairly random placement. The only thing to think about really is having them roughly the same distance apart from each other.
Remove the paper backing on the Bondaweb and press the butterflies in place. This does not give a permanent fixing for the applique pieces, but it holds them in place until you sew them down. I have used a zigzag all round the outside edge of each butterfly.
Finishing the butterfly applique quilt
Lay the backing fabric with right side down after pressing it well. I have also sprayed the backing with starch. I find that this helps it to lay flat during the quilting. Lay the wadding on top and smooth gently. Lay the patchwork on top with right side up and smooth gently again. Pin the three layers together, using quilting safety pins about 4″ apart to secure the three layers together.
I used my darning foot for the first section of quilting. I quilted around the edge of each butterfly and then added two rounds of echo quilting about 1/2″ apart so that there were three lines of quilting stitches around each butterfly.
I changed back to my normal presser foot and used a black thread in the top, leaving the light coloured thread in the bobbin, to sew the outline of the body on each butterfly together with two feelers. I had given the applique butterflies one curved end for their bodies and one triangular end. The curved end is meant to be the top of the body so that’s where the feelers go. The zigzag stitch that I used was about 2 for both stitch length and width.
I had intended that to be all the quilting for this applique quilt, but there was too much space between the butterflies that wasn’t quilted. The risk then is that the wadding will move about inside the quilt. As a general rule, I don’t like leaving gaps of more than about 4″ without lines of quilting to hold the layers together. In order to remedy this, I used a bowl to mark a smallish circle in any odd spaces. Going back to the light thread and the darning foot, I then quilted these circles to complete the quilting.
So that’s the butterfly applique quilt complete apart from the quilt binding.
Here’s the video:
Time to link up with Lee at Freshly Pieced.
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