Google Butterfly Mini Quilt with Matchstick Quilting by Jen Eskridge Google+

Sewing Patterns, Free Sewing Tutorials, and Recycled Military Uniform Designs

Butterfly Mini Quilt

on Aug 6, 2014 in Blog, contests, quilt, quilting | 0 comments

I made a crazy little Dragonfly Quilt for my Michael Miller MQG Challenge 2014 entry. You may have already seen it on the blog, here.

MQG Challenge 2014 | ReannaLily Designs | Dragonfly Quilt


The concept was to take some of the basic “swirl + pointy” shapes of a tribal tattoo and make something with fabric. I needed a rough draft before I cut into the challenge fabric.

Enter: Butterfly Quilt

Butterfly Quilt | ReannaLily Designs

The method to make the design started with pencil and paper.

Original Sketch | ReannaLily Designs | Butterfly Tattoo Quilt

I sketch out a dozen or more butterflies. Each one had the wing quadrants filled with different shapes. The butterfly silhouettes varied quite a bit, too. Ultimately I decided to sketch a final butterfly, cut out the “swirl + pointy” wing shapes and trace them directly onto Heat’N’Bond fusible web.

Heat'n'Bond Shapes | ReannaLily Designs | Butterfly Tattoo Quilt

I traced each shape twice to I’d get a symmetrical butterfly. (For the Dragonfly, however, each wing quadrant is unique as I drew those shapes straight onto the fusible, with out a tracing stencil.)

After fusing the Heat’n’Bond to the wrong side of the fabric and cutting out the shapes, I needed to decide on the placement.

Quilt Arrangement | ReannaLily Designs | Butterfly Tattoo Quilt

Quilt Arrangement | ReannaLily Designs | Butterfly Tattoo Quilt

Quilt Arrangement | ReannaLily Designs | Butterfly Tattoo Quilt


I tried some things out. I moved some things around. I re-worked the quilt composition. I definitely definitely over-thought it. (Over thinking things is kinda my jam.)

Ultimately decided it was a rough draft and I should just make it look like a butterfly.

Quilt Arrangement | ReannaLily Designs | Butterfly Tattoo Quilt

Yep. That is what the quilt will look like. I was using a fat quarter stack by Carol Van Zandt for Andover Fabrics. I actually had some leftover planned shapes and was able to make the butterfly body out of “negative” or trash pieces cut from the wings. That was totally by accident.

Unfortunately, I didn’t take the time to measure twice and my border has a bit of a wave to it. The natural reaction to that problem “Oh, that will quilt out.” The real remedy, however, would be to remove and re-stitch that border. I think we all know which one I went with….

Sulky Blendable Thread | ReannaLily Designs

Find a great thread (Sulky Blendables) for the top thread and wind up a few bobbins with the regular ole white thread.

Enter: Matchstick Quilting

Do you know Matchstick Quilting? It is where you cover your quilt with reasonably straight lines, all 1/8″ apart, using your walking foot for even fabric feed. I’ve done 1/4″ apart straight-line quilting. And I’ve tried echo quilting.

Matchstick Quilting | ReannaLily Designs | Butterfly Tattoo Quilt

Start in the middle. No problemo. Couple of lines are looking good.

OH- I should mention, if you are doing this style of applique, Raw Edge Applique with a fusible web on the back of your fabric, generally you stitch around each shape to secure the edges. I figured, though, the quilting would be so dense and the wall-hanging sized mini would never be washed…… so I did skip that step.

Matchstick Quilting | ReannaLily Designs | Butterfly Tattoo QuiltMatchstick Quilting | ReannaLily Designs | Butterfly Tattoo Quilt

My lovely Angela Walters fabric for Art Gallery Fabrics did act as quilting camouflage for my stitching lines, but the texture is turning out amazing.

Matchstick Quilting | ReannaLily Designs | Butterfly Tattoo Quilt

After an hour (above), I’m a Bon Jovi song. What song you may ask? ? Whoa’oh, We’re half way there. (Living on a Prayer) Yes, I might sing that in my head when I’m half way to anything… consider yourself warned….

Matchstick Quilting | ReannaLily Designs | Butterfly Tattoo Quilt

I did notice when I got towards the edges that my piece needed more securing. I stitched every inch or so, out to the edge, then filled in the spaces with loads of lines. That seemed to help the shift a bit.

Quilt Back | ReannaLily Designs | Butterfly Tattoo Quilt

Oh Lawdy. I’m crossing Matchstick Quilting off my Quilt Bucket List, but oh man. I don’t know what to think. Wait, yes I do: It is really cool, but insanely time consuming. It may be better on a longarm, where you can just slide that machine across, right-to-left, but I think you would still have to go slow enough to plan that 1/8″ stitching distance. ??

For a baby quilt, my quilting style generally has me using 7 bobbins for a much larger 40 x 60 sized piece. For this little smaller-than-a-fat-quarter piece, the quilting used 4 bobbins. Matchstick Quilting may have been invented by a thread company. Just sayin…..

Quilt Binding | ReannaLily Designs | Butterfly Tattoo Quilt

Rocked some machine applied binding in about 20 minutes and the little guy was finished.

Butterfly Quilt | ReannaLily Designs


Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  Receive ReannaLily Designs Blog in your email so you won't miss any updates. Sign up here:
Enter your email address: Delivered by FeedBurner
468 ad