Thursday, March 14, 2019

Butterfly Finish

Remember that squirrel I shared a few weeks ago? It's now a finish. I wish I could have gotten a picture of the squirrel with his little paws on my patio door looking in this afternoon. It would have been perfect. The temps are in the 50s here today, and the squirrels are feeling frisky. Anyway, on to my finish! If you want to know more about how this quilt came to be, please take a second to read the post here. Let's just step back and admire. The sun came out for a few minutes yesterday, so I got some pictures on the garage--the only place safe to do that outside at this time of year because of all the mud and winter grunge. 

This is the second quilt I've made from this pattern. When I made the first quilt, Mariposa (you can take a look at that one here if you'd like), I added little triangles in the corners of the blocks for some additional color, but the background of this quilt seemed to have enough pattern of its own. I don't often make multiple quilts from a pattern, but I love this one, and there's likely to be another in a string version sometime later this year if I follow through on my current scrap piecing. As with Mariposa, I chose to do wavy lines with my walking foot to emphasize the flight of the butterflies. I have to say, though that for some reason this little quilt fought me a lot this time around. I used a batting I haven't used for awhile--perhaps not since before my accident with my shoulder a couple of years ago--and the quilt felt very stiff to me. I had a hard time bunching it up and maneuvering it smoothly under my needle. I also had trouble keeping my rows spaced evenly. There may have been some bad words, or at least some grumbling. In the end, there are some areas that are pretty wobbly. I've decided to blame them on the butterflies. I think they may have had too much nectar. And of course, now that it's done, I am pleased with the overall look. Funny how that happens.

I think in my last post, I mentioned that I might redo the stripes in the upper left corner to add one darker strip. I totally forgot about that until after I basted the quilt. Oh well. I do like how the quilting shows up on the back. 

One other thing that did not turn out as I planned was the placement of the colors in the binding. I had laid everything out to make sure that the colors were evenly distributed and that a color in the binding was not right next to a butterfly of the same color. But when I sewed the binding together, I forgot to trim out a piece of one of the strips to ensure "proper" placement. I was so proud of having the binding ready to go before I even had the quilt basted. After quilting, I jumped right in sewing the binding, and then by the time I reached the last side hand stitching the binding to the back, I suddenly realized that those last sections of binding were right next to three butterflies of the same colors. I don't think I can blame the butterflies on that. Maybe I can blame the squirrel??

And then--there was one other problem. I have a pretty strict rule for myself--one that I follow pretty much without thinking--of never eating or drinking when I'm working on a quilt. I'm just too much of a klutz with food. But. Just before binding the third side of the quilt, I ate a square of dark chocolate. I was nowhere near the quilt. That evening, getting ready for bed, I discovered two weird smudges on my black pants, and then another on the top I had been wearing. It took a minute to figure out what they were, So then I flew downstairs to check the quilt. Yup, there was another smudge by a butterfly as well as a hefty piece of chocolate that must have been on my pants. (I told you I was a klutz with food.) The quilt had kept me warm while I was sewing, but also melted the piece of chocolate on me and the quilt. I still had the fourth side of the binding to stitch down. I calmed myself down, scraped off as much chocolate as I could with a knife, and went to bed. The next day, I covered the area with a paper towel clipped on with two bobby pins so the chocolate wouldn't spread anywhere else. I finished the binding, took my photos (because I like some before washing), 

and then treated the chocolate with my favorite dish detergent (you know, the one for cleaning ducks) and a cotton swab, threw it in the wash, and whew, no more chocolate.

 I'm still mourning that piece of chocolate that melted instead of making it into my stomach. 

Well, problematic quilting or not, I do like the finish, and if all goes according to plan, there will be more spills on it in its lifetime. After all, I expect it to be used. Also, after washing, the quilt is as soft, smooshy and drapey as I like quilts to be. It's a good thing because the batting I used was cut from a king-sized piece of batting so I will be quilting more quilts with it.

Okay a few more photos and then I'll share the stats. 
Do you see the smudge in this one? 

Scrunchy from washing and not pulled straight, I see.
It doesn't look straight here, either, but in real life it is. I was in a hurry to take photos before rain.

Do you see my initials and the date by the blue butterfly?
Same corner after washing
Pattern: Butterfly Dance Mini by ellis and higgs. I made 12.5 times the number of blocks in the quilt pattern and used the generously sized blocks full size (8 inches finished) rather than trimming them for a 7.5 inch finish.
Fabrics: Stella Tossed Flower by Red Rooster for background, assorted fabric scraps for butterflies--many are Kona, but not all, including some that are actually the reverse side of a print. 

Batting: Warm and Natural 
Thread: Superior-- Masterpiece in Granite for piecing; King Tut in Temple for quilting; Treasure in Old Lace for hand stitching binding.
Binding: 2 1/2 inches cut, double layer, machine sewn to front and hand stitched on back
Size: 56 1/2 inches square, pieced; 56 1/4 inches by 55 7/8 after quilting; 53 1/2 by 53 after machine washing and drying.  
Machines: Singer Featherweight for piecing; Singer Treadle 115 for walking foot quilting.

So what did I learn with this quilt? 
--Squirrels are irresistible.
--That's okay. There's usually a good reason--a timely donation opportunity for this one.
--Wobbles are okay. You can find something to blame--butterflies or squirrels, or whatever, if it makes you feel better.
--Best laid plans don't always work out, but that's okay, too. No one will notice your boo-boos, unless you tell them all about them!
--It's still best for me to not eat while (or even before) quilting.
--Stains do come out if you keep your cool.

This quilt will eventually go to one of the organizations highlighted in the Hands2Help challenge. Check it out at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  I think there are 5 organizations this year, and a variety of sizes of quilts needed. At least one is bound to appeal to you. I have some other quilts to make, and then I'll decide which goes where. My next quilt will be made from a bundle of strips--that's a first for me, but I'm looking forward to a fast make. 

I'm linking up this week with My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday, Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop, Busy Hands Quilts for Finished [or Not] Friday, and Wendy's Quilts and More for Peacock Party.

Keep Quilting--and watch out for chocolate!

(I'm not affiliated with any company, so when I mention products, services, or stores I'm just documenting what I used or liked.) 



I learned that I am not the only one who has a chocolate 'problem'--
I did the same thing once--and I too 'mourned' the piece that melted--
outside my mouth!!!!!
Love your quilt--great job--
luv, di

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

This just turned out beautifully! I love the way you quilted it, and I'm going to try and remember how you did that, so I can try it, too. I think we notice the wobbles in the quilting because we're looking at it closely while working on it, but once you've washed it and look at it as a whole quilt, you never notice them again. So glad the chocolate came out! We've all experienced something like that! :)

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

so glad you got that chocolate stain out!! Do you use Dawn?I have heard so many say they do - I dont' use it for dishes as my hands are sensitive and I use Ivory - but I might need to get a bottle of Dawn to keep on hand for other things.

Cathy said...

Oh my goodness, that is such a happy and beautiful quilt! (and on to my bucket list it goes...) Congrats on a great finish.

Vicki in MN said...

Absolutely gorgeous!! Perfect background for the butterflies and your backing is so fun and interesting!

Preeti said...

It is a delicious 64 degrees here this morning. I shed my sweater and my jacket for a pretty blouse. And looking at these butterflies makes it official - Spring is here. If there is a better way to welcome Spring than enjoying these pretty colorful butterflies, I do not know. Congratulations on a lovely finish, Janine. Love the modern vibes echoed in the pieced backing.

PaulaB quilts said...

What a beautiful finish ! The background fabric is just perfect for those beautiful butterflies. I appreciate the warning of about a chocolate stains. I have a constant supply of dark chocolate Lindor truffles on hand at all times. I’m always justifying it by thinking that the dark chocolate is good for me. Congratulations, Janine.

Bernie Kringel said...

Such a happy spring time quilt. "The butterflies had too much nectar"! I thought that was the best line into post until I came to:

" I'm still mourning that piece of chocolate that melted instead of making it into my stomach."


PS - I love the backing. It is so pretty!! This quilt is a two-for-one. Both sides are lovely.

Run 'n Stitch said...

Aren't we our own worst critics? Your quilt is simply adorable! I love both of the butterfly quilts with those tiny little pieces. The quilting really finishes it nicely.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful quilt! The butterflies do look as though they are dancing on the breeze!

Linda said...

Oh I love this so much! I love that you turned the mini pattern into a nice sized quilt. Your quilting looks beautiful, I love the wavies, and I am in love with the colors.
I'm impressed you only ate one square of chocolate. I would eat several squares. ;)
I've gotten a couple of drops of blood on my quilts, and fortunately I caught them quickly enough for the stains to come out. I tend to prick my fingers with pins. If there is a needle or pin anywhere near my fingers, I will stick myself - ugh.

Kaja said...

Well, I'm really glad the chocolate mark came out. I drink tea while quilting but seldom eat, or all my quilts would have nasty marks. I didn't notice the binding matching up with the butterflies, so clearly it doesn't matter at all! Congratulations on a really pretty finish.

Wendy @ Wendysquiltsandmore said...

They say every quilt has a story - this one certainly has a few stories to tell. But all was fine in the end. I love your quilting pattern with the gentle curves. Thank you for linking up to the Peacock Party.

Mari said...

This is so pretty! I'm really happy that you got the chocolate out of the quilt. I'm not sure I would have been so calm. The colors are wonderful and I love the quilting, too. What a lovely finish for spring!

The Colorful Fabriholic said...

So pretty! This will surely make someone happy. I'm glad you were able to get the chocolate stain out.

Pammie Lee said...

All of your quilts are beautiful. I love seeing the different quilting designs you choose for each quilt.
Thank you for posting and sharing.

Marie said...

I love your quilt! It is so joyful!

Lynette said...

What a pretty butterfly quilt - I love the way you've quilted it, and the butterfly pieced into the back is perfect. Hoorah for Dawn's chocolate-removing magic powers!!

grammajudyb said...

Absolutely love your quilt! And your post made me giggle! I am so glad that the dish soap that works on ducks also works on butterflies!

Sandra Walker said...

Too much nectar!! Bahaha I giggled aloud at that. Your posts are always just like sitting having coffee or tea with you, love that. Oh! the back!! And the chocolate! Mad about it NOT getting into your stomach, ha! I, too, am guilty...and I know I should follow your rule, but I don't, and well, ya...'nuff said... I looked and looked and darned if I can find the boo-boo where the binding is by the same coloured butterflies. I just love this quilt! It will be such a wonderful comfort quilt. And you given me a perfect idea for my nephew's quilt... yep squirrel, well kinda/sorta. Love how you quilted it too, just perfect for the flitting and floating paths of them!