So it's been a while.....
Shortly after the Fourth of July we decided to sell our house. You may know what a giant hassle that can be. After making this decision we had to stage our house to sell it. That meant packing up a lot of junk for storage because apparently people want to buy houses that look empty. The biggest source of clutter in our house was my sewing room. So all my fabric, machines, and notions got packed up and shoved into our basement. We sold our house four days after listing it, spent a frantic week looking, then finally found our new house. Six weeks later we moved. That was the beginning of September. We moved in on September 4 and about a week after that I had my sewing room set-up and operational. I spent 2 months without my sewing machine and any sort of crafting outlet. Two months. I'll let that sink in.
I didn't realize how much I missed sewing until I started again. I made this baby quilt in about 2 weeks. It was so much fun and was really nice to create something again.
I made this quilt for my sister-in-law and her husband and their soon-to-be daughter. She is due in December and is having a baby shower in November. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to get back then so I thought I'd have it ready to give to her when we say them this past weekend. I asked her if she had a theme or colors picked out for the baby. Sister-in-law told me "Care bears and pink." Neither were very inspiring for me so I didn't listen. Instead I decided to go with butterflies because I knew she really liked butterflies. I saw the butterflies Cath had made on Wombat Quilts and was in love. The pattern she used can be found here from Tartan Kiwi. I also used that pattern.
I was also inspired by the butterfly fabric for the Natural History line by Lizzy House for Andover. I like how they are lined up like they are on display in a butterfly box.
I started by making butterflies. I played with the size by increasing and decreasing the percentage when I printed. I think the largest was 200% of the original (5") and the smallest was 75%. I used scraps for all the butterflies and their backgrounds. I wanted a mix of neutrals for the backgrounds and tried to stick with most of the colors found in the butterflies in the Lizzy House print.
After I made the butterflies and was happy with the number, the sizes, and the selection of color I started putting them together. I wanted them lined up like they were framed for display, of which I think I did a pretty good job. After I had them lined up and pieced together I started putting together scraps and piecing together the rest of the quilt, improv-style. This quilt had the least amount of planning from me so far. I've never gone with the flow so much. It was a lot of fun.
After I got to a size I like I stood back and thought. It was this:
I hated the beige strip at the top and my Facebook friends agreed. It had to go. So I ripped and pieced some other things to end up with my final version. I think it looks much better with the beige; it was too distracting.
With the background improv-piecing I tried to go from dark in the bottom-right corner to light in the top left. I think I mostly succeeded in that goal. Or there is enough going on that it doesn't matter. I can't decide.
One thing I did differently when paper-piecing the butterflies was I kept the paper on the back until I was completely done piecing the quilt. This helps prevent stretching and allows each paper-pieced square to come together so smoothly. I have never paper-pieced with so little seam-ripping before. That is probably one reason I enjoyed this so much and why it went so quickly. I picked that tip up from Wombat Quilts. It was a life-changing tip. :-)
For the back I used a large cut of the Lizzy House butterflies plus other fabrics that matched. I bound the whole thing in coral. I straight-line quilted 2" diamonds.
One thing I will have to work on is a better place to take pictures. Clearly the wood floors is not the best. I apologize for the not-great pics.
Next thing on my to-do list is Halloween costumes. Hopefully Mini-Man will stop changing his mind soon so I can start on something.