Friday, 30 May 2014

Paper pieced butterfly and Quiltfest

Malvern Quilt show this was a great shopping opportunity; basting pins, fat quarters, two kits, threads… I found it difficult to stop. One of the many things I bought was an Olfa rotating cutting mat. It's been on my wish list for ages but the price put me off. There was a bit of a deal and a freebie blade thrown in too at the show so I took the plunge. It had a first outing yesterday with a bit of paper piecing.

I have been following The Tartankiwi for some time. I just love her paper pieced New Zealand birds and animals but it was her butterflies that caught my eye last year. I downloaded the 5" Butterfly block from Juliet's Craftsy store last year and this seemed a good project to use up my scraps of purple and try the mat.

I was a bit daunted with the tiny pieces and had to check that I had printed the pattern to the right size as they looked so small. I used paper piecing for Lexie's quilt but this was a whole lot smaller, (5"eek!)
I refreshed my memory on the technique first with the many excellent tutorials in the blogosphere.  I was soon up and running. I pressed each tiny seam and the pattern came together fairly well. The only difficulty I had was when joining the 4 pieced squares to the body as the printer paper was rather thick. This may be easier with Vilene Stitch n Tear stabiliser. I used pins to position the matching points in order to line up seams as accurately as I could.After a couple of hours I had my first butterfly. Next time I will try to pattern match the wings but I've fallen in love with paper piecing!

I just need to embroider the antennae, add a wide border and will quilt this weekend.

***Update***** Quilted into a small gift for a special friend. I'll reveal all next week!

Mike and I travelled to Bristol yesterday to visit the Bristol Quilters triennial exhibition Quiltfest 2014
There was a stunning array of over 100 quilts and wall hangings all beautifully displayed in the hall, classroom and refectory. There is nothing better than eating home-made cake surrounded by quilts!
One of the displays that caught my eye was "Chinese Whispers." Groups of three people were shown a postcard for two minutes only then were given time to design and make a miniature quilt with what they could recall of the picture. The postcard and group of quilts were displayed together and it was interesting to see the different interpretations of the same picture.

There were too many quilts to show them all here but I was impressed by the sheer range of techniques and the skill displayed. My favourite was "Chinese Journey in Three Parts" by Stephanie Crawford. This exquisite quilt won first prize in the Festival of Quilts UK 2013 and it was easy to see why. Amazing stitching.

 Also loved "Garden Path" by Christine Franklin. Made in vintage Liberty florals.

fantastic appliqué detail in Garden Path quilt

Jan Hassard had several  of her own quilts on display including "Stripping the Garden" There were a number of "Infinity Square" quilts from a class taught by Jan. Well done for finishing- I will have to get on with my "Cascading Logs." It is still on the design board after all this time.

Stripping the garden appliqué detail

So much talent and inspiration on show so well worth a visit.

I'm linking up on June 1st to Lily's Quilts for the Small Blog Meet. This is for blogs of less than 50 followers who would like to get to know a few more people. I have 40 followers now and would just love to pass the magical 50. Please take a look at what I have been up to, leave a comment or even become a regular reader. I write the blog to record my own progress and have 'met' some fantastic people through it.

Lily's Quilts
Also joining in the fun for the first time at the Sew Darn Crafty link party at Sew Many Ways run by Karen.

Have a lovely weekend, I'm going to chill and quilt.



  1. well done on conquering paper piecing, it's not so hard is it? I think I benefit when paper piecing from being a cheapskate - i always buy 80mg printer paper which is quite thin and so works well! I'd worry about using Vilene as it stretches. I had a rotating cutting mat on my list, then I found that they sell them in Maplins for a fiver... I'm off to get one this weekend!

  2. Your butterfly is really exquisite. Beautifully pieced. And the festival quilts are amazing.

  3. Lovely butterfly - it's a great block isn't it? I pattern test for Juliet and tested both of the butterflies for over the last couple of years, along with lots of other fpp patterns that she's done, I love how she puts them together it's a real skill, not all paper patterns are designed by people who really understand how to do them well unfortunately :D

  4. such a pretty butterfly. Great work with the paper piecing.

  5. Love the fabrics you chose for the butterfly!

  6. Beautiful butterfly, congratulations. I'm always daunted by the many tiny pieces often required in paper piecing. Thank you for showing photos from the show. Is stripping the garden made in the convergence quilts technique?

  7. Paper piecing is the best and I love your butterfly!
    Was the rotating cutting mat worth it? I would love one, especially when you've got loads of HST's to trim!

  8. The butterfly is really beautiful. Purple suits a butterfly so well. Thanks for the link to the pattern

  9. Hi I have linked up too, love the butterfly,, paper piecing is something I want to try too

  10. I love your butterfly. I am a newbie at paperpiecing, I've only made a star. I like going to quilt shows to see what is out there and to get inspired.

  11. Yikes, that is supposed to say Barb@Witsend. LOL

  12. Hello there, thanks so much for stopping by my blog because now I've discovered your lovely space! Looking forward to following along with your crafty adventures too.
    Happy Sunday,

  13. Great job on the butterfly! I love the fabrics that you chose and you did some really neat work. I think the important thing about paper piecing is to just give it a try, its not nearly as difficult as people often think.

  14. I replied to your comment too soon---this butterfly is beautiful! I LOVE your colors, and it looks like you got the piecing perfect! Tartankiwi designed one of the very first paper piecing projects I tried, too. I love her patterns! I'm looking forward to seeing your finished project with this block!


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