Posts Tagged ‘Butterflies’

Once More with Feeling: Moths in Moonlight, Butterflies in Sun

Monday, January 28th, 2013

765 Luna (1) What is it about the flutter of moth wings? I cannot resist them. The best part of summer is to open the door at night, look up through the tree to see moths flying moonward.

I am mostly a moon child. I sunstroked as a child on the lake and have never been able to take strong sun. So much of my outdoor life has been in early morning or late evening. Or, at night when the dogs take their last run. So moon creatures are my special companions, and I always look for them.

675 Snails Pace  detailNot that I can leave butterflies alone either. One way or another, I really want to flutter over the garden.

Of course what many people miss is that you cannot have moths or butterflies without caterpillars.815 butterfly garden detail

 

 

So I treasure them all. The moths, the butterflies, the flutterbys and the caterpillar  all part of their passion play. And the occasional cocoon that shows up hanging from the odd bit of bee balm.

Some moths in flight.

 

Some butterflies

 

 

Anatomy of a Quilt: Background Search

Friday, May 4th, 2012

One of the most telling decisions for every quilt is a background. It’s the light within the piece.

I’m working on a commission  which gives me the opportunity to play with a lot of possibilities. This is a great little quilt with butterflies and bleeding hearts. I’ve got number of backgrounds to try, to very different results.

Here are some of our possibilities.

 

 

 

I did some paint stick rubbings for this. But this is going into a baby’s room and the mom has a sensitive nose. So the answers to those is  no, no matter how lovely.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Which leads us to several hand dyed options. This has a darker black, blue purple background that is more mysterious.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This brighter background gives us a well of color behind the red exterior.

Which did my owner like? The green felt I embroidered the vine on. So I’m off to look at my stash of green hand dye.The background of a quilt is usually your first decision. Except when it isn’t. It changes how everything in your quilt is perceived.

 

 

Sometimes it’s very valuable to take your elements and give them an interview on differing backgrounds. You know.

“Do you work and play well with others?”
“Do you share the limelight?”
“How do you fit in here?”

Often the answers aren’t what you expect. Aren’t you glad you asked the question?

Anatomy of a Quilt: Building Elements

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Butterfly Components

I’m currently working on a commissioned quilt for a new family that’s just had a baby. The dad has asked me to do a butterfly quilt, partially for the mom but for his baby daughter as well. Commissions are a privilege. It’s an act of trust, that I am always a bit nervous about.

So I make several approaches possible and go from here. The premise was pink and purple butterflies. So I’ve started the quilt with those. I’m using an applique process where I cut my shapes out on sheer fabric backed with Steam A Seam 2, fuse them into a form, embroider them and then cut them out to use as appliques on the quilt. You’ll find full information on this in my new book Thread Magic Garden.

 

 

Fabric for butterflies

These are my butterfly fabrics. They’re great sheers and an oriental brocade. I buy these wherever I see them, because you never know if you’ll see them again.

 

 

 

butterfly bits on a pressing cloth

Here they are cut out as butterflies. Each butterfly has two teardrop wings, a body and eyes. They’re on a non-stick pressing cloth so I can arrange them.

 

 

 

 

fusing onto the sandwich.

 

Once their formed, I fuse them on to a stabilizer sandwich. This sandwich is made from hand dyed fabric, poly felt, and Decor Bond. This makes a firm embroidery surface that controls some of the distortion that happens with intense embroidery.

 

 

 

I embroider the  butterflies from inside out. First the bodies, then the veins of the wings, then the shadings and finally the outlines. They’re embroidered with a freemotion zigzag stitch and metallic Supertwist threads from Madiera. Finally I added in my bleeding heart blooms as well.

 

in place with the stem

The image at the top is what they look like cut out.
Here’s the rough placement with the stem I have planned.

Next time we’ll talk about backgrounds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thread Magic Garden

You’ll find information about freemotion applique in my book Thread Magic Garden, available on my site, on Amazon, and at your local quilt store.

The Butterfly Effect

Friday, December 17th, 2010

I Never Saw Another Butterfly
The last, the very last,


So richly, brightly, dazzlingly yellow
Perhaps if the sun’s tears would sing 
against a white stone…. 


Such, such a yellow
Is carried lightly ’way up high.
It went away I’m sure 
because it wished 
to kiss the world good-bye.

 For seven weeks I’ve lived in here
Penned up inside this ghetto.
But I have found what I love here.
The dandelions call to me
And the white chestnut branches in the court.

Only I never saw another butterfly. 
That butterfly was the last one.
Butterflies don’t live in here, in the ghetto. 

Written  by Pavel Friedman, June 4, 1942 




I don’t remember the first time. I heard about the butterfly effect. Was it Jurrasic Park? The movie of that name was not a favorite. But the concept made complete sense to me. The smallest things effect everything. The flick of a butterfly’s wing in my garden effects the weather in China. 


Is it true? I’m not a scientist. I don’t know. But I do know that much of my life is made up of tiny interludes with people as I travel. Moments, really. I don’t get years with people except for a few rare and dear friends. Those are also celebrated in moments. So, true or not, I believe in butterflies.

Trudi Sissons from  Two Dresses Studio  has joined with the Holocaust Museum in Huston to help bring to flight an amazing exhibit. There were 1.5 million children killed in the Holocaust.


Think about it. I really quite can’t. I have no idea what 1.5 million looks like as a number. So they are collecting 1.5 million butterflies from artists, one for each child, to exhibit there.
What did we lose with those children?1.5 million symphonies, lullabies, amazing stories, astonishing art………… 


We can never know. We are in a 
way, as much a victim to the hate that killed them as they. Our world cannot afford hate. Each child is a treasure house, and hate is a vicious thief.
If each child were a butterfly and the wings of their life change the world, what have we lost?


So I’ve made my butterfly to be sent off. To remember what was lost and to hope we can learn the evil math behind hate. And my job today is to take someone I truly fear and hate and find why I’m wrong. Hard as it is, I think it better than Christmas shopping.  And after all, it’s what I really want for Christmas,  both to give and receive.



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