18 x 18
Machine appliqued and pieced, machine quilting, hand embroidery
Butterflies must be one of the most common motifs in fabric, second only to flowers. So a traditional approach seemed appropriate. I liked the article I linked to earlier about why butterflies were so popular in depression era quilts. The current time could also use some optimism, so I thought an homage to those 1930's quilters was in order. The line from Robert Frost's poem Blue Butterfly Day is appropriately sentimental (out of context, at least) for an embroidered motto. So that's the history of this design. Nothing, and I mean nothing, could be farther away from my usual taste or style.
The motto is hand embroidery, but the applique is fused and edged with machine buttonhole stitch. In an incredible example of synchronicity, when I was thinking about making this, I came across a 2001 issue of QNM which someone had brought to guild as a give away. It contained an article by Beverly Dunivent explaining how to make machine buttonhole stitch look more like handwork and duplicate those 1930's butterflies. She suggested using two strands of cotton machine embroidery thread. I used Sulky 30 weight, and I do like the look; my Janome resented being asked to do this, however.
I chose fabrics from my stash as close to the 1930's look as possible, but branched out a bit in the edging. The whole look is darker than a traditional quilt of that type, maybe not so optimistic after all. Finally, this is my first, and definitely last, attempt at a prairie point edging!