Sunday, January 15, 2017

Vintage Butterflies: It's Finished!


Vintage Butterflies
79 x 90
Hand quilted



My inspiration was the above quilt I found when researching "vintage butterfly quilts" a few years ago.   This block is actually called Beggars Block.  The individual blocks within each block is actually a 3 inch spool block. 


I started making the individual 3 inch butterfly (or spool) blocks from 1.5 inch scraps as a Rainbow Scrap Challenge project in late 2013 (I think).   When I accumulated 8 butterflies I made a block.  When I had enough blocks I made a quilt.  When you use scraps some quilts are not a quick make. 

I used Kona Candy Blue (blue candy?) as the background/sky. 

I normally don't lay out my blocks before I sew them together. I really don't like to spend time moving blocks around endlessly because no layout seems pleasing.    I don't have a big space to easily lay blocks out nor do I have a design wall (except for that old cutting mat with the piece of batting on it propped up on the wall next to the sewing machine).  So I usually sew blocks together randomly.  I'm rarely disappointed. 

I should never add sashing without cornerstones because sometimes things just get a little wonky. The good thing is that it all works out in the end somehow.  This quilt will give warmth same as a perfect one.  


I hand quilted in a variety of colors of regular quilting thread.  I didn't mark anything but the center butterflies. I just stitched. And stitched some more.  I have a callous on my "underneath finger" to prove it.   The stitching served as a kind of quilty yoga to soothe the soul, clear the mind and calm the nerves. 


After a good wash and some time in the dryer the quilt came out more crinkly than usual. I think that's because the backing fabric, a sheet from the thrift store,  was pre-washed and the fabrics on front were not.   Thank goodness I like crinkly. 


Now, about that backing. I found a sheet at the thrift store in a pale blue, in perfect condition and silky soft. Must be a far higher thread count than what is on my bed. I was a little leery about using a sheet on a quilt I was going to hand quilt because I wasn't sure how easy it would be to hand quilt. Not to worry...the needle went through it like a knife through butter.  And as a side benefit the back looks like a whole cloth quilt. It's difficult to get a good picture but all of the different colored threads on the pale blue are joyous. 


Lots of scraps in this one so linking up to:

And since it took a month of Sundays to hand quilt linking up with:



35 comments:

Chantal L. said...

Congratulations! This is an awesome finish. So scrappy beautiful and the blue background sparkles. Great job! ;^)

CathieJ said...

Your quilt looks almost neon in the dark light. It is so very pretty. I am glad that the sheet worked well.

Jayne said...

Using sheets as a backing is becoming more and more popular! Your quilt is beautiful! The blocks against the candy blue background stand out so well! Aww...hand quilting! Amazing amazing work!

Cherie in St Louis said...

It is absolutely beautiful! Yours was one o the projects I watched grow before I jumped on the rainbow scrap challenge. I like how you ran with your vision but made it your own with the beautiful blue Kona and HAND QUILTING it!!!

Kaja said...

If I found a sheet that nice I'd be tempted to stick it on the bed! It makes a great quilt back though. Love the butterflies and what a good call to hand quilt this one.

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

The background blue color is perfect with all of the colorful and scrappy butterflies! I had been wondering about using sheets as a backing. Thanks for telling us about your experience!

Frances Meredith said...

Epic! Love your quilted butterflies.

Jeanne said...

Outstanding!!!

Julierose said...

What a beautiful quilt--scrappy and yet all pulled together too. I think it is amazing that you hand quilted this "giant" quilt--congrats hugs, Julierose

Quilter Kathy said...

Oh my goodness it's gorgeous! I love that photo of the quilting on the back... such great texture!
So fun to learn that you don't use a design wall and agonize over the layout... very inspiring!
Congrats on a fabulous finish!
Thanks for linking up to Slow Sunday Stitching!

Monica said...

Congratulations, Cathy, it is really lovely! I especially like that blue background with all the brights. :D

Jan A. said...

Congratulations on a beautiful finish. I love the sheet for the backing.

TheItinerantChemist said...

It looks amazing! Love the hand-quilting and the look of the back. Great finish!

scraphappy said...

Fabulous finish. Love the way the hand quilting adds to the vintage feel of these blocks.

Kat Scribner said...

Great finish! Wow and hand quilted too.

The Joyful Quilter said...

Congrats! on a WONDERFUL finish. I'm in awe that you randomly sew your blocks together. Such a leap of faith!!

gayle said...

It's beautiful! And I love that it's a spool block turned into a butterfly. That's one of the things I find most fascinating about quilting - that a simple change of color or value or placement can completely transform a block.
And hurray for hand-quilting it! Such a perfect finish!

Cynthia Brunz Designs said...

This quilt is beautiful! It is full of scrappy goodness - both in fabrics and in threads. Thanks for sharing with Oh Scrap!

Ann said...

A beautiful finish. I love that you recreated an antique version. And can't believe you hand quilted it so quickly. Do you ever sleep? :-)
Congratulations!

Louise said...

The Candy Blue background is genius on this quilt! And I really like your idea of "just sewing them together"...I do minimal design wall work, too, because the only surface big enough in my home is the bed. All designing must happen before bedtime :)

Janice Holton said...

Yay for a fantastic finish! I am celebrating with you and just a tad jealous because I want to have one. Waaaah! :D

Quilting Babcia said...

A wonderful finish, your quilt looks so soft and squishy and warm, just the way a quilt should look! Perfect in my book.

Cathy said...

Absolutely beautiful, Cathy! The back is amazing! 😍😍

Julie in GA said...

I've enjoyed seeing these blocks as you were making them, and it's even better to see them all together as a finished quilt. I can't believe you hand quilted the whole thing so quickly! It's absolutely beautiful, and I love the solid blue background.

canuckquilter said...

Oh my! Your vintage butterflies are lovely. The hand quilting is the perfect touch for this quilt. I know what you mean about hand quilting being yoga for the soul. I need to get a hand quilting project going for just that reason!

Micki @ 2 Dogs Studio said...

cute idea for the layout of your Vintage butterfly quilt. Micki@2dogsstudio.us

Linda said...

What an amazing quilt! The candy blue Kona fabric smashing is just perfect. Like the idea of using a sheet. I have a couple of times on small quilts.

Deb from frugal little bungalow said...

Congrats on this beautiful finish!

works4me said...

Congratulations on a fabulous quilt finish.

Quiltdivajulie said...

The hand quilting absolutely makes this quilt -- love your comment about not over-stressing when you sew the blocks together. And soothing for the soul -oh, yes indeed!

Lori said...

How many butterflies? Or "flutter yes" as DD said when she was little! The blue is a perfect sky to go with the butterflies. Vongrstulations--its the kind of quilt you sleep well under.

Vicki in MN said...

Nicely done, and you are so right scrap quilts are time consuming, but oh so pretty!!

PaulaB quilts said...

A really charming quilt, not at all wonky. And all that hand quilting shows so well on the back. Great finish!

Linda @ kokaquilts said...

A beautiful quilt! I love all that blue too!

Jess @ Elven Garden Quilts said...

Wow, what an epic finish! Thanks for participating in the 2017 FAL on behalf of the global hosts!