bee Butterfly

When it was last my turn to lead a bee quilt for do. Good Stitches, I asked my bee mates for butterflies.  I had just finished some paper pieced butterfly wall art and wasn't ready to be done with that pretty little pattern from Tartankiwi.   I asked for white or pale yellow butterflies on a solid green background - any green and any size background. 

I planned to puzzle together all the greens in a vibrant ode to spring!  Green is spring and butterflies are such a spring joy.  The idea felt perfect in April. 

But, you know, it's summer now.  Now that I've finally cleared the design wall for this project, all that simple green feels a bit... flat.

And then Inspiration!  I opened my drawer of orphan blocks and pulled out every last one.  Energized by the scrappy colors, I began arranging and rearranging those odd shapes with the random butterfly blocks.  The result is a hodgepodge of decidedly summery fun. 


Maybe it's a little crazy, but it feels right, it feels good, so here I go.  This weekend I began assembling the quilt top by sewing together orphan block clusters to make larger orphan blocks.  I also grabbed a handful of solid green scraps to fill in gaps as needed.

Next I joined orphan blocks to neighboring butterflies and continued adding onto them, making larger quilt top segments.  It's an improv process that involves lots of evaluation throughout, as gaps emerge and blocks are rearranged to suit the emerging layout.

One of my favorite little challenges was joining these drunkard's path blocks so that they make a three-quarters circle at the corner of this butterfly block.  Notice that first I sewed the drunkard's path blocks to match the curved seam.  Next I'll press the seam and trim the blocks to have even, straight raw edges. 

I am having so much fun juggling my orphan blocks into this butterfly quilt top!  Scrappy, use-what-I-have improv is my favorite kind by far.  This baby quilt is going to be a quick one to finish.  Fingers crossed for later this week!