Thursday, July 26, 2012

Butterfly Quilts by Debra Gabel

Fiber artist, teacher, author, prolific designer, and owner and founder of Zebra Patterns, Debra Gabel has created a stunning series of vibrant butterfly blocks. Graceful and elegant, these butterflies can be sewn as an individual block, or combined with 12 other butterflies into a dazzling Butterfly Quilt, size 64 x 80.

Blue Swallowtail, 20 x 20, by Debra Gabel at Zebra Patterns

Debra began sewing in early childhood, began quilting as a teenager, and earned her Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts as a Graphic Design major at the State University of New York. You can see the result of Debra's talent and her formal training in her hundreds of patterns, including the Blue Swallowtail butterfly above. We love the perfect proportions of this very eye-pleasing layout and the sprightly, cheerful flowers which are different on each block.

Flying Handkerchief, 20 x 20,by Debra Gabel at Zebra Patterns

Debra has designed blocks for the butterflies with their descriptive, exotic names, such as the "Green Congo", "White Angel", and "Flying Handkerchief" shown here. The use of black and white and the fine lines of the butterfly's wings give a sophisticated, almost Tiffany stained glass or Art Deco style effect to this block.  Like all butterflies, this block is created using the fusible web applique process. However, you can alter this pattern for hand-turned applique by adding an outside seam allowance to these pieces.

The butterflies shown here are available online in kit form, containing laser-cut pieces with attached fusible web, plus background and border fabric, from Quilter's Paradise.

Monarch Butterfly, 20 x20, by Debra Gabel at Zebra Patterns

Here's one of our favorite butterfly blocks, the dazzling Monarch. This beautiful insect is designed to look so life-like, that it seems to float right off the block. The paper patterns for the butterflies are very clear, sharp, computer-drawn in full size, and professionally printed. You will really appreciate Debra's easy to follow, well written instructions, with careful attention to detail.

In addition to Debra's website, Zebra Patterns, she also publishes her excellent Zebra Patterns Weblog, which is full of useful advice for aspiring fiber artists and pattern designers. We love all of Debra's work, and in a previous Quilt Inspiration article, we featured her wonderful travel-themed Stamp Quilt patterns.

Note: Deborah has very generously donated two of her butterfly patterns, the Purple Spotted and the Monarch, for our Giant September Giveaway, coming up here in 7 weeks. One lucky reader will win these fabulous designs, so stay tuned to Quilt Inspiration for more information !

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