Wednesday, February 22, 2006

February Journal Quilt

" Feast of the Butterflies"

In our yard we have a couple of wonderful plants we call the "butterfly vines." Every spring we see dozens of butterflies feeding on the flower nectar and the yard is full of them. Some time later we see dozens of caterpillars living on the vine and eating the leaves. Then come the cocoons and the next spring we have butterflies again. I think it is a marvellous thing, so I made my quilt in celebration of this cycle.

I fused leaves to a white backgroud. With batting underneath I did some thread work and then cut out the shape I wanted to use.


I decided to use these fabrics with my applique piece. The multicolor fabric looks like it could have been painted, but it is from a thrift store sundress. It was a fabulous find, and I have gotten a lot of good use from it. In addition to the fanciful leaves and flowers I can cut from it, the complicated abstract pattern lends itself to cutting imaginative shapes. It was easy, for example, to find an area to cut the purple caterpillars from. The green background fabric has a textural look and a slightly Asian feel to the subtle design.

I added more leaves and cut flower shapes until I was satisfied with my composition. Once everything was fused in place, I added another layer of batting and a backing and finished off the quilt "pillowcase style". Then I used machine applique and more quilting to hold it all together. I has a slightly dimensional feel because of all the layers. The beads in the flower centers made a finishing touch, and if I had come to this point sooner, I might have added more beads. It's still a possibility.



18 comments:

Deb R said...

It looks great, Jen! And I have to say I like the idea of more beads. :-)

Kim said...

I like the way you built this piece. But most of all I like how you found use for the thrift store find. Good work!

Barbara C said...

Lovely work, and good use of the thrift store dress.

jenclair said...

Love the title, Jen, and the idea behind it. Thanks for the information on how you made the applique. The layering adds nice depth, and I love the purple caterpillars!

Gerrie said...

This looks great - and from the beading fanatic - more beads, please!

The Calico Cat said...

Cool! Thanks for the "how to!"

Kay said...

This is lovely. And I particularly like the description of the way you did it: fusing, quilting, cutting, and fusing again. A great idea.

PaigeTurner said...

Very cool! I'm going to have to try making separate pieces and applying them to my "surface" next time!
Lovely!

quiltnbee said...

I love this , Jen! I have a crysalis right outside my dining area...I watched the fuzzy caterpillar create it...so I am keeping a watch on it now! Makes me want to read The Very Hungry Caterpillar to some preschoolers (or my 20-something) right now! I love that yours are purple =-) Wow, I think I have to go look for some zingy thrift store fabric, maybe for March! Are you enjoying our lovely sunny day, today? It's so softly comfortable at 72 degrees...

Denim Doll said...

What a great piece! I love butterflys and I think your Feb Journal is a wonderful tribute>

Micki said...

A great fun piece. I love the way you did so many differnt things to it. Looks like butterflies was the theme for a lot of us this month.

Granny Fran said...

Feast of the Butterflys is wonderful; love the subject, colors, shapes, technique and the purple caterpillars. Along with you, I really enjoyed my early morning margaritas in a tube this morning. Almost as good as the tequila my DD brought back from Cabo San Lucas. That thrift store fabric was a fantastic find. Serendipity!

mary m. said...

Very nice piece, Jen. And I love the background fabric, too.

Sande said...

A very energetic and enjoyable piece! I love the bright colors and the way they break the border a bit. Adding the applique to the surface sounds interesting...have to try that!

Marianne said...

Lovely piece, I like the abundance of it and the 'free' style. Reading your proces explains a lot of it and is inspirational. Thanks for sharing your ideas, you did a wonderful job!

Rian said...

Incredibly beautiful, Jen. The colors just sing! You do such marvelous work.

Suze said...

Lovely piece...the colors are beautiful and its a very graceful design. Very clever with that thrift store find (I love thrift stores!)

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