Monday, February 6, 2012

Holly's Flutter-By


One of my former colleagues (Holly C.) called last week and asked for my opinion on some vintage blocks that her husband's mother had made. I met her at the school and discovered she wanted me to turn the pile of blocks into quilts for two of her children.

Half of the blocks (those shown above) were hand-stitched with muslin backgrounds, and the other half were machine stitched with a poly-blend background fabric. We discussed how large she wanted the quilts and played with potential block settings. The layout, shown above, was rejected because Holly wanted a rectangular quilt.


I brought all the blocks home to hand wash (I knew from working with these blocks my mother made and kept in her cedar chest, that vintage blocks get very dirty in storage and from handling) and to square them to the same size, which ended up being 10.5 inches.

The two piles of butterfly blocks were made (in my opinion) by two different people. The ones with muslin backgrounds were more carefully made with neat and smooth seams. The poly-blend blocks reflected an impatient quilter, as numerous seams overlapped and are puckered. The poly-blend blocks were also less consistent in size, making sizing them a challenge.

Each butterfly's wing contains three solid-black fabric pieces
 and three print-fabric pieces.
On Friday, Holly and I met to choose fabric for the quilt tops. We worked with a lot of bolts of fabric before Holly found the combination that she wanted for the muslin blocks. We were not so lucky with the poly-blend blocks. Background and border fabrics were auditioned and rejected, auditioned and rejected - nothing fell into place, and I finally told Holly if she didn't see anything she loved than it was best to just stop trying. I came home with the fabric for the muslin blocks quilt.

Holly's Flutter-By
59 x 79 inches
I am pleased that the top turned out so well, and I think Holly will love it, too.


Using scraps from the front, the thirteenth butterfly was added to the quilt's backing.

I definitely want to see Holly's Flutter-By after it is machine quilted.

Update: October 8, 2014

I found the butterfly block pattern online as well as a tutorial.

Alice Brooks Butterfly block

Alice Brooks Butterfly tutorial

15 comments:

  1. Wow - what a treasure you made. You're such a good friend!

    ReplyDelete
  2. That's really pretty! You are so very generous with your time and talents.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Can't even begin to imagine how much work all that was....and that block that showed the impatient quilter was probably me:)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm pretty sure I'll never be a "good" quilter, if I try quilting at all. I have been impatient all of my life. I can remember snapping at my father, "Well if patience is a virtue, I guess I'm not very virtuous!" and my husband still chides me for my lack of patience...

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a lovely thing! How nice for Holly and her kids that you wee willing to do this.

    I am that impatient quilter. g

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is a wonderful quilt! The 13th block would be a great label.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ooooh...I love what you did with these blocks. That 13th block on the back is totally awesome!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Good Job. The butterflies are alot different than Mom's but I like them. Hope the next one goes together as well as this one.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I like what you did with the butter flies. Re two different people making the blocks... it could have been a very stressful time in the woman's life or she could have been at the end of her time and thus the quilting was getting sloppier -- failing eye sight maybe? I bet we'll never know. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Very cool fluttery~~ i love black in quilts. Is that AMish or something to always have some black in a quilt??

    ReplyDelete
  11. You did a great job! I've never seen that pattern before. It's very interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  12. The layout you used is just right to showcase these blocks. Your generosity to get the job done is amazing. What a keepsake for Holly!
    Rebel Follower

    ReplyDelete
  13. Looks and sounds like you had quite the challenge...but.... the result is one fabulous quilt. Lucky Holly having you for a friend :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. I always like to see vintage blocks (or any blocks for that matter) rescued and used. Lovely of you to help someone out.

    ReplyDelete

I love comments!

If you are going to ask a question make sure you have your profile set to allow me to respond back by email or email me directly - my address is in upper right hand column.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...