Thursday, August 2, 2012

Best of Butterfly Quilts

For the past two weeks we've been chasing butterflies (quilts, that is).  Out of dozens of butterfly quilt patterns, here are the ones we've picked as our favorites.  As a bonus, we're including photos of two lovely butterfly quilts we've spotted at quilt shows.  Perhaps you'll be inspired to create a butterfly for your own collection !

Above: Row 1:  Butterflies for Amy pattern and variations by Barbara Bieraugel at Barbara Bieraugel Designs. Row 2: Butterfly patterns by Diane McGregor at Castilleja Cotton. Row 3: Butterfly patterns by Sheril Drummond at Serendipity. Row 4: Butterfly patterns by Debra Gabel at Zebra Patterns.

Above:  Butterfly quilts by Nanette Merrill at Freda's Hive, Lisa Cox at A Spoonful of Sugar Designs, Michele Lancaster at Nostalgic Cafe and Kumiko Fujita.  For details and links to the original posts, see Quilt Inspiration:  Butterfly Quilts (and free block patterns!)

Flying Flower, 46 x 37, by Nancy Swanson, photo by Quilt Inspiration

We spotted this quilt at the 2011 Arizona Quilter's Guild show. Nancy Swanson's own photo from a butterfly house inspired her original design. The butterfly is more than 12" wide, allowing for the detailed treatment of the wings with raw-edged applique and thread painting.  The subtly textured background seems just right; it provides the textures of bark and leaves without detracting from the butterfly.  An embroidered spider and painted web enhance the interest of the design.

Swallowtail at Red Flowers, 68 x 60.5, by Deborah Theresa Bailey, photo by Quilt Inspiration

This original quilt by Deborah Theresa Bailey was exhibited at the 2010 Pacific International Quilt Festival. The quilt was machine pieced, hand appliqued, and machine quilted. With this ethereal image, Deborah invites us to escape into the world of a butterfly indulging on the nectar of life.

Close-up, Swallowtail at Red Flowers by Deborah Theresa Bailey

The intricate detail of the large butterfly can be seen in this close-up photo. Hand dyed and commercial fabrics were embellished with fabric and glimmer paints over 30% of the quilt. On a domestic machine, free motion organic echo quilting was done to compliment the curved piecing.

Image credits:  Quilts by Debra Gabel, Diane McGregor, Sheril Drummond, Barbara Bieraugel, Nanette Merrill, Lisa Cox and Michele Lancaster are shown with the generous permission of the artists. The close-up of the Japanese butterfly quilt with applique is shown with the permission of Kathryn Krentz.  The other quilt show photos are by Quilt Inspiration.

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