Butterfly UFO Blocks Come Alive!
Butterfly UFO Blocks Come Alive!
Scrap fabrics used to create a beautiful happy quilt! Watch this quilt come alive while using up scrap fabrics and making my own star pattern to join my already sewn UFO butterfly blocks.
This project checks a lot of boxes - I'm finishing an UFO, using up scrap fabrics, and learning a new technique - Woohoo, my kind of project!
I have eight (8) butterfly blocks finished (I used all scrap fabric when I made them) but I wanted to create an alternative pattern to go along with the butterfly blocks. Something to create a secondary pattern, jazz the quilt up a bit while enlarging it.
The butterfly block pattern is by Cynthia England out of her book "Picture Piecing".
I have been saving all these scraps of gorgeous fabric which are remnants from a Metro Rings quilt that I made. I couldn't bring myself to throw away this beautiful fabric. This fabric is perfect to go with the butterfly blocks.
A star pattern is a great alternate pattern as the points would create the secondary pattern that I was looking for while framing these cute little butterflies. The star pattern was born based on the size of these scraps.
When creating your pattern, I highly recommend using a very, very fine tipped writing tool, the finer the better! I used a fine tipped permanent marker; it was not fine enough. The width of that line would fit 3 lines of stitching which is way too much wiggle room for precision piecing.
To create the star pattern, I traced the block outline of the butterfly block and created 4 squares or blocks within. I do not have a picture of this part, so sorry. I do show you in the YouTube video. Then I measure up 3/4" from center on each side of the square.
To make the star points, measure in from the opposite corner either an 1/8 or 1/4 inch (I didn't do this and had to be very careful when sewing to make sure my points end within my finished block area), otherwise my beautiful stars would not have sharp points, they would be cut off.
It is so easy to cut off the points. Watch for the X – the intersection of the 2 sew lines as its at that point of intersection where the point ends. That spot needs to be outside your seam allowance and inside the finished block to not be cut off.
I had some foundation sheets on hand by June Taylor so I used those. I ran them through my laser printer to copy the pattern onto the foundation. The foundation got stuck in my printer a couple times. The foundation stretched a bit once I was able to get it out of my printer which distorted my pattern. Second, the printed lines left residue on my fabric. Since my fabric was white it was noticeable. I'm hoping that it will wash out - fingers crossed.
I rough cut out my patterns and had them all facing the same direction. This made it so when sewing, all the blocks were sewn in the same sequence. This will help the seams nest when sewing the blocks together to create the star block. Also, I reduced my stitch length so that it would be easier to tear away the foundation sheets. Then I started sewing. It was actually pretty easy. The trick is making sure that the fabric pieces cover the entire area. That includes the area once it is turned – minus the seam allowance.
The other thing I highly recommend is back-stitching at the beginning and end of each sew line. I got lazy doing this. In the end, it made more work and took more time.
Make sure to press and trim all seam allowances to 1/4” +/-. I say +/- because there is wiggle room in the seam allowance width. You may need to decrease the seam allowance some to ensure coverage. I suggest not having a seam allowance less than 1/8”.
Time to square up the blocks once all the individual blocks are sewn, pressed and trimmed. Woohoo, progress! I started my squaring up process on the point corner. I wanted to make sure that I had good sharp points.
Once everything is square it’s time to sew 4 blocks together to create the star block. At this point, you can decide whether or not to tear away the foundation sheets. I waited until after the entire quilt top was sewn together. Not sure I would wait this long again as it was a pain trying to get the foundation out of the area where all 4 seams came together. The downside to tearing away the foundation at this point is that care will be needed to not stretch and distort your block as you’re sewing and pressing the blocks and rows. The foundation definitely helped in that department.
I pressed and trimmed while sewing my point blocks together to create the star blocks. When sewing the rows together, alternate the direction the seams are pressed so they nest when sewing the rows together. Give the top a good press once it is complete, and make sure to de-thread the seams and back of the top prior to quilting.
You are ready to quilt! The corresponding YouTube video (directly below) shows the layout, creating, and sewing of the blocks.
The next blog and YouTube video will discuss the quilting of this little quilt.
Thanks for joining me.
Have a wonderful day, and happy quilting!