Butterfly Quilt

Between a big mustang grape harvest, a goat with a hernia, and a brief power outage, I haven’t been getting as much quilting done as I would like.  But one of the groups I volunteer with, Texas Master Naturalists, is running a little Pollinator Festival this weekend, and I signed up to man the butterfly table.  It’s my job to help visitors identify the butterflies they see in our demonstration gardens.  Our group has guidebooks the visitors can consult, but any other display or information is up to me.

Well, I tend to think in textiles, so I decided to make a quilt to hang as a backdrop in my area.  Back on Mother’s Day, I had photographed eight kinds of butterflies in our pasture (there were a couple more species I just couldn’t get close enough to).  I edited them in PhotoShop Elements. applied the poster edges filter. and printed them on cloth.

For most of my quilts, I have just a basic plan.  I sew the first block down in the center of the entire piece of batting and backing, and then add blocks around it, designing as I go. For this quilt, I had planned to arrange the butterflies into a 3 x 3 grid, but it wasn’t long before I changed my mind.

butterfly quilt

Butterflies of the Gulf Coast quilt

I think it turned out pretty well for my purposes.  There are some crooked lines, saggy areas (although it’s not as crooked as it looks in the picture – the wind was blowing), and very little quilting, but it is just a quilt to hang outside and draw people in to learn about butterflies.   I love the design part;  I’m not that concerned with heirloom-quality craftsmanship because I just want to get on to the next design I’m imagining.

Besides making my festival duties easier, I was trying to further my quilting skills.  I sampled three different kinds of printer cloth – the one that was the easiest to handle was June Tailor, Inc. Sew-In Colorfast cotton sheets.  However, I don’t think I would use any of the three for a quilt I was planning to put on a bed.  They just handle differently than regular fabric, and they’re either too thick and stiff, or too thin and saggy.  I think I would limit them to wall quilts.

I also wanted to finish in a reasonable amount of time, using only supplies I already had.  As a result, I gave a second look to some variety-pack fabrics that I thought I’d never use, and found them good homes in this quilt .

I am planning to add some embellishments to it, in the plainer areas.  When I do, I’ll let you know how it turned out.