Last year I went to stay in North Carolina for a month to help our daughter with her newborn – our first grandchild. I confess, 5 weeks away from home was a long time for me. I tend to be an introvert who likes LOTS of quiet time alone to think, reflect, and create. Since I couldn’t very well haul all my sewing supplies with me. I took several packets of 4″ precut floral fabrics and cut lots of 12″ muslin panels that I could make up into individual quilt squares.
My original idea was to create a Butterfly applique pattern and make a simple garden-inspired quilt. I, of course, got bored with Butterflies very quickly, so I then created a Dragonfly pattern I could applique as well for variety. I created the wings (one each) from matching cotton florals and used upholstery material for the butterfly bodies (furry) and a metallic green shimmer fabric for the dragonfly bodies. They were machine appliqued with raw edges using a blanket stitch in a neutral color for the most part.
I originally thought of doing sashing with the green batik you see above, but it seems too heavy somehow. Since I was away from home and had lots of time on my hands (new babies and daughter’s sleep a lot!) I decided that I would add embroidered antennae to the butterflies for more variety and texture. So each butterfly got antennae in a coordinated color of thread. THEN, since I still had time on my hands to waste, I decided to embroider a lady bug onto one of the blocks for fun. That led to my adding all kinds of embroidered insects, both real and made up, to each of the blocks before laying them out to put the quilt together.
These gave me great joy and it was fun to play at creating colorful insects…. I found a more colorful mixed hue batik fabric that I loved at a local quilt shop that had a chrysanthemum pattern in it. It was perfect to tie in the myriad colors of the wings and insects as well as giving a garden-like approach to the feel of the quilt.
The quilter I was then using found this pattern to tie the quilt together for her long arm quilting. We chose a dark Mallard green thread to match the body of the dragonflies and give the garden life.
I did a hand-binding in the same fabric as the sashing. I have been very delighted in this quilt. Even my husband (who is a bit on the conservative and traditional side) loves it and it is displayed on our bed all the time now. ( even though my younger sister said she could “…never sleep under all those Bugs!”)
Create Beauty and fill the World with LOVE!