Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Butterfly block

The original pattern is by Jay Bee Designs - you can get full instructions on the site under 'free patterns'.
For my variation on this block please keep reading!

I have slightly changed the pattern to make cutting easier and since this is an option for my Bee A Brit Stingy bee mates I'm giving a quick tutorial to show how I pieced mine. If you are in the Bee then please check our Flickr group for details about the block options you have this month.

If you use this block and share on social media or blog about it please include a link back to this tutorial - thank you!

All measurements are in inches and use a 1/4" seam for piecing.

Cutting -

3 1/2 x 4 1/2 - cut 1
1 1/2 x 3 1/2 - cut 1
2 1/2 x 2 1/2 - cut 3
2 1/2 x 3 1/2 - cut 2
1 1/2 x 1 1/2 - cut 4
2 1/2 x 4 1/2 - cut 1
2 1/2 x 8 1/2 - cut 2
2 1/2 x 12 1/2 - cut 2

large wings:
2 1/2 x 4 1/2 - cut 2

small wings:
1 1/2 x 1 1/2 - cut 2

black body:
1 1/2 x 1 1/2 - cut 3

Instructions - 

Draw a diagonal line on the back of a 2 1/2 square of background fabric. Sew the square onto a 2 1/2 x 4 1/2 large wing. Trim and press. Be sure to sew exactly as below to get the correct shape for the wings:

Lay out all your pieces as below:

And put them together. I pieced all the small squares together first and worked from there. Press your seams as you go - whatever way works for you.

Once the block is pieced add the border pieces and press the seams to one side. Then use the zig zag stitch on your machine (or embroider if you prefer) to add some antennae! The great tutorial for this is at the end of this post by Leila.

For colour inspiration I chose beautiful Hydrangeas and used the handy play-crafts palette builder:

photo source

photo source

I would love the bees to use these colours - mix the dreamy and pretty tones of the palettes. 

For the wing fabrics I would like 30s repro, small prints, Liberty or anything vintage looking (doesn't have to be floral!) - in pinks, purples and blues. Please use two fabrics for the wings - one print for the larger wings and one print for the smaller square part of the wings.

For the body please use black, preferably a text fabric if you have it.

For the background please use one solid colour in either off white, cream, pale grey or very pale yellow.

The butterfly block above is one option and the other is slightly more of a challenge - using Leila's tutorial for an Alice Brooks Butterfly. These blocks are gorgeous! I haven't had time to make one yet but I will.
I would request the same colours as above but obviously use more fabrics for the wings.

I am also planning on appliqueing some flower blocks and combining them to make a beautiful butterfly garden quilt for my daughter Joan. She's already chosen the applique designs and she chose the colour scheme. She needs a bigger quilt because I've only made her baby ones. I know she's going to be so excited when these butterflies start flying through our letter box!


  1. This is a beautiful block! Happy New Year :D

  2. This is a pretty block. I cannot wait to get started. Di x

  3. Loving both your blocks - it will be hard to choose which to make! How lovely to get the chance to help make a quilt for your daughter.

  4. Happy new year Lucy, thanks for a great year of blogging. May 2014 bring you all good things xx

  5. Ha, yes, you have given them a challenge :oD I hope you get some of the more challenging ones through, they're lovely :o)

  6. I. Just. Love. It.
    Now I'm going to have to make a butterfly quilt on top of everything else.

  7. Oh this is going to be a great one to make Lucy

  8. so pretty - it is going to be an amazing quilt :-)

  9. Love this log! The other one is beautiful too!!

  10. Two great blocks, I can't wait to get cracking!

  11. So lovely to be a part of Joan's new quilt :-)

  12. What a great start to our Bee Year.x

  13. Great tute! This is going to make one gorgeous quilt.

  14. You've picked gorgeous blocks - love those flutterbys x

  15. What a beautiful block and you made a fantastic tutorial.

  16. This is gorgeous! I'm totally going to make this one day!

  17. I must do this one, I remember your first post and I liked it and I happen to be sewing butterflys and moths with applique and fabric theme, I would like to add this to my quilt. See you inspire and over came what you thought was a mistake and its great