Monday, February 1, 2016

Butterfly Scales ~ It's a Microscopic Reveal

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This year's theme is COLOR.
This quarter's sub category is MICROSCOPIC (which I chose).

I went straight to the internet and found electron scanning microscope 
photos of butterfly wings. Here are my photos I found 
and printed on white fabric after I cut them out. 
Butterflies actually have SCALES on their wings. 

I was originally interested in designing a modern twist on a Dresden Plate, 
but then I got out my wedge ruler and I said good bye to the Dresden Plate. 
The low volume fabric was a Christmas gift from my friend Lisa Johnson. 
I was happy to find a home for it. Since the photos are a little more
technical in nature I thought the technical drawings on the fabric was a good match. 

I included two butterfly eggs in the quilt. 
One of them is above. 
I will let the other butterfly egg be a Where's Waldo mystery. 

The quilting was going well until my walking foot broke!

I had actually forgotten that my walking foot was on the verge of collapse 
from my last quilting project and needed to be replaced. I learned my lesson.
It is not easy quilting with a lame foot!

I actually sewed the wedges together randomly. 
I realized I didn't have enough wedges, so I cut off some overhang 
from the lower left and sewed it onto the upper right corner. 
If you look closely you can see how the upper right corner
doesn't jive with the rest of the quilt. 

I decided to bind the mini quilt in raw silk. 
I thought the silk had some reflective qualities that 
were close to that of real butterfly wings. 

Summary: Even if you have 3 months to make a mini quilt 
don't wait until the last week because....

1. You might get sick and need to make your quilt in one day.

2. Your daughter might get engaged and then you get to plan a wedding.

3. You might even make a wedding dress for your daughter. 

4. You might also have a Spelling Bee deadline the same week.

5. You  might end up helping a friend who just moved clean her house.

6. You might teach/help 4 girls sew matching pencil skirts.

7. You might end up going to a funeral.

8. You might end up with more wedding plans than you expected. 


  1. This theme was a great idea. I had no notion of how fascinating the microscopic world is. Your butterfly wings quilt is gorgeous. And your last week sounds familiar...

  2. I love the layers of interpretation in the quilt. Printing the pictures, then piecing them into the quilt, which in turn looks like butterfly wings. Brilliant.
    Your week sounds...overwhelming! Best of luck with everything and congratulations on a daughter getting married.

  3. You are so inventive! I love all your thinking behind this quilt, right down to the silk binding. It's beautiful too!

  4. This thing is stunning and so very inventive! I love everything about it and enjoy your "share" on how your week played out.

  5. Oh my goodness what a fun and cool quilt. I just love it, and I love your idea.

  6. A great way to interpret microscopic butterfly wings. It's wonderful. And #9 your walking foot might break!

  7. A great way to interpret microscopic butterfly wings. It's wonderful. And #9 your walking foot might break!

  8. I'm so impressed with the effort you went to creating this beautiful mini! And with those time constraints and so many personal commitments cutting into your time, you are a wizard at these challenges!

  9. Lovely interpretation of a butterfly wing

  10. Life is so unpredictable. The end result of the challenge is just beautiful....even the quilting.

  11. I echo everyone's comment about the week you've had, and yet, you still keep smiling and create a quilt, to boot. And what a quilt! I love the fractured shapes of the wedges, the interspersed bits of butterfly color and shape, the quilting, and that amazing binding. The parts all combine to make such a lovely whole art quilt--you've really outdone yourself this time! Thanks for being such a good motivator of us all with this interesting quarterly challenge. Well done!

  12. Nothing like a few urgent activities to synthesise the creative juices! Certainly doesn't look like it hampered the beautiful result- tho' I appreciate it must have felt impossible at moments. Well done!
    And is the other egg the faceted one that looks like a shell on the sand?