Thursday, February 23, 2012

Free Pattern! : Origami Butterflies

Well this is one of those ideas that took hold and wouldn't let go. I know it's not insanely complicated but since it was so simple for me to write a few directions, I am offering this as a free PDF download on below!

I've used the 3 dimensional flying geese to make faux cathedral windows & since I wondered about using folded fabric in a quilt design.  I thought it would be pretty to have very simple butterflies floating on the quilt .
Once I laid it out I changed my mind and decided to have the butterflies get smaller at the if they are fluttering further into the sky.  These fabrics are a mix of moda bella solids (basically all the blues/greens in the warm layer cake) and some kona solids I won during the monochrome quilt challenge.

Since I love pattern and texture I decided to do a free motion sampler on this quilt.  I stitched in the ditch to secure everything and then used the tutorials at the Free Motion Quilting Project as well as my current repertoire of FMQ designs.  I tried to make something different in each square.  At the end I did 1 or 2 repeats just to finish.  I also played with scale of the same designs for a few squares. 

Some were very bad (I still haven't ruled out the seam ripper on one of the darker green squares).  Some were good.  Some were AMAZING.  All together, it is just a feast of texture.  I LOVE that.
I definitely found some things that I was good at (pebbling) and some things that I am not (pointy designs).  I cannot recommend this exercise enough!  I have gained so much confidence in trying new designs.  It is so worth a few ugly blocks.
Now I have another quilt design on my brain and I know a few new tricks to bring the design to life.  I don't know that I will think of quilting in the same way again...and that's a good thing!
Here are some of my favorites:
This was heavily inspired by Channel Weave on the FMQ Project.  It was actually pretty easy to do.  I used the tip about using an acrylic template as a guide for the straight lines from Judy at Green Fairy Quilts.  I never would have thought to do that.
I still haven't trim all the strings...too busy snuggling!
This is Mesh Curtain from FMQ project.  I love the texture of this in real life.  I think it would make a great texture for hair (hint, hint!!!).

And here are some small pebbles.  I can't believe I did that! 

I backed this quilt in an aqua flannel I got for $1.75/yard.  It is so warm- I had pucker issues in 1 or two spots...I was expecting MUCH worse.  I am definitely not scared of FMQ on flannel now.  In fact, I love how the thicker nap hid some of my quilting stitches on back.

Flannel is still flannel, though.  In addition to using a 1/2" seam allowance on my backing pieces, I decided to machine bind this because of the flannel backing.  It's not my favorite look but I felt it needed it for security.  I bound this in some Flora from Moda.  That was left over from another project you will be hearing about soon, I hope.

So...If you would like to do your own Origami Butterflies quilt, then go to patternspot and download yourself a free PDF.  As always, if you make something from one of my patterns or tutorials, I'd love to see your take on it!

I'm linking this up to Leah Day's blog linky party since it inspired me so much.


  1. Cute idea with the butterflies, and love the idea of trying the different types of FMQ on each square. I have my first lesson with my machine on FMQ on the 10th March, can't wait!

  2. Very pretty! I recently did something similar with a quilt; doing different FMQ styles in each block. Eventually I got frustrated and just did loop de loops in all of them, but it was great practice!

  3. Very nice! Your quilting is really good and I love your pebbles. They are my favorite. What a great idea to do each square with something different.

  4. I really enjoyed seeing your FMQ and to do something different in each square...well..amazing!

  5. Your quilting is great! Love tha backing too.

  6. Love the FMQ Project!!! Nice quilting!

  7. What a great the butterflies!

  8. What a lovely quilt! I love it!
    Subtle colours an lovely butterflies or wings.
    Thanks for the pattern.

  9. I LOVE the butterflies! Thank you so much for sharing the pattern. And so fun to read about your quilting experiment, too. Makes me want to give it a try!


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