Jan 26

Butterfly quilt complete! (50)

I kind of had an idea of what I wanted to do for the back of my butterfly quilt.  BUTTERFLIES OF COURSE!  But, I’m not too into applique and since the front was done in a improvisational fashion, I thought it would be cool to do similar butterflies in the back.

Quilting is always the hardest part for me.  Not the actual quilting, but deciding which quilt pattern to use.  I love how the overall patterns unify the quilt and seem to make the quilt look more like a picture rather than separate pieces put together.  I was very close to doing concentric squares in this quilt, but I wanted to make this quilt seem lighter, and concentric squares seems very rigid.  So, I chose curly loops.

I also had a hard time choosing a binding.  I could have chosen white, maize, plum, or green.  I chose the plum, even though there isn’t really any plum colors in the quilt.  I thought it was a perfect frame and wasn’t too “matchy matchy.”

I love how the front and back look together!

This quilt measured 45.5 in x 45.5 inches before washing, but ended up being 43.5 x 43,5 inches after washing.

Want to know how I made the butterflies for the back?

For each butterfly, you need two squares of background fabric (I’m using two white 5×5 inch squares) and four pieces of scrap fabric (best if larger than 2×2)

Place two scraps of similar color over opposite corners.  Tilt them at an angle so that the resulting white triangle has one side (the bottom edges of the square on point) longer than the other.  This will be your bottom wings.  Sew along the scrap fabric leaving a 1/4 inch seam.

Turn your square over and make sure your colored fabric covers the entire white triangle.

(That one was close!)

Press seams.  I pressed mine open, but you can also press it away from the white.

Remove the white triangle, leaving a 1/4 inch seam.

Turn the squares right side up and place the scraps for the top wings over the corners, right sides together.  This time, the fabric will be sewn with the top edges of the square on point.

Sew.  Press open.

Cut off excess fabric, leaving 1/4 inch.

Square up your fabric.

Turn your square over and prepare for the fun part.

Place the other white square directly over your butterfly block, right sides together.  Sew together on two sides, opposite sides.

Cut in half from corner to corner, making sure not to cut through the colored fabric.

Open and press seams open

Rearrange triangles so that the four corners come together.

Sew and press seams.

And there it is…your butterfly!

And if you have more time and scraps….

You can make more and more and more!  These resulting squares are 6.5 x 6.5 inches.  You can change the size of your background fabric to meet your needs.  From here, you can fussy cut and make these butterflies go any direction!



  1. Teje says:

    Hello! Vow – your butterfly quilt is amazing! I love it, the colours and the simple pattern! Thank you for showing how you made the butterflies – really great idea!
    Have a sunny Sunday! Teje

  2. *gasp*

    I ADORE this. Really lovely, and I just love the way you made the butterflies for the back. This one is going in my bookmarks, FOR SURE.

  3. Susan McKey says:

    Ok, wow. I officially LOVE you. You have been bookmarked and I may even be stalking you 🙂 I adore this quilt, have been wanting to make one like it for a while now, and you have pushed me over the edge.
    Rock on.

  4. molly matheson says:

    Love your quilt…what pattern did you use? I’d love to make a baby quilt for my niece…

  5. What a neat idea, thanks for posting your how to on those nifty butterflies on the back!

  6. Joyce says:

    Can you tell me how you did the main part of the quilt, its beautiful

  7. kathy simpson says:

    So did you piece your back or applique the back butterflies ? I love this

    • Tanya says:

      Hello Kathy,

      I pieced the back. It was fun. At the bottom of this blog post, I show how I made the butterflies in the back. I made a bunch of them in different sizes, then cut the blocks to make them “move” in different directions. I sewed the blocks together, then cut a diagonal strip on the back of the quilt, and sewed my butterfly panel in the diagonal cut.