Block of the Issue:
October 2008

Barbara Blankenship © 2008

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In 2007 a group of fabric artists joined together in an effort to bring awareness to the issues of breast cancer. All of our members are affiliated in some way with Victoria Adams Brown’s Way to Women’s Wellness Foundation and the ArtBra projects. We are currently into our third year with plans underway for the 2009 Wall Hanging.

Each year we decide on a theme in addition to a combination of colors. This block was my creation for the 2008 wall hanging. We used periwinkle, soft yellow, olive green and peach and our theme was butterflies. I would invite you to log onto our Flickr site and see all the blocks created in the past three years. We post photos of the blocks in progress and it’s fascinating to watch their progress from beginning, to embellished block, and completed wall hanging.

I didn’t use the tradition method of piecing a crazy quilt with this block. Instead each section fans out from the center similar to piecing a fan. Knowing that the butterfly would cover the center, I wasn’t concerned with its finished appearance.

Although each seam is embellished the main focal point is the butterfly. The fabric is a beautiful piece given to me by a friend and fellow crazy quilter. The fabric was purchased in Pune, India by one of her friends who knew she loved fabrics.

The butterfly has a layer of batting underneath and is then appliquéd to the block. I have fussy-cut some motifs that reminded me of the fabric pattern and attached those to the wings. I’ve used #11 periwinkle seed beads for contrast and used a featherstitch in #11 peach seed beads. I have done a beaded picot edging around the outside of the butterfly using #11 and #15 seed beads.

Roses are a must on all my blocks so I’ve done these with the Hanah Silk Rippins. I must confess to over-dyeing this gorgeous ribbon. I needed a dark peach color and that was my only option. The Rippins are generally used for knitting or crocheting but I ironed the silk, burnished the edges and then created the individual roses.

I searched the internet for a butterfly design that would fit onto my 8” block. The body is from a class I took at the Houston International Quilt Market taught by Diane Ricks with Hanah Silks. It is stuffed with batting and tied with a Kreinik thread to form the sections.

I’ve included a pattern of the butterfly in the event you would like to experiment. I thoroughly enjoyed creating this block and hope you will as well.

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