Friday, September 12, 2014

My Michael Miller Modern Quilt Guild Challenge Quilt

Wow.  Say that 3 times fast.  My Michael Miller Modern................
Just kidding.

Ok, now for the big reveal.  My very favorite quilt that I've ever made of all time.  My butterfly quilt.  I call it "Butterfly Release" because my intention was for it to look as though the butterflies had just been released from a box and they were flying up.
 In the MQG challenges, the fabric company sponsoring the challenge sends out a fat eighth of about 6 or so fabrics to each guild member who signed up for the challenge.  In this challenge, the fabric line was called Petal Pinwheels and it was very springy and happy.  There was one solid - in my case the dark orange.  This fabric is sweet and happy and reminded me of spring.  What do you see in spring?  Butterflies.  

I love butterflies.  They are beautiful, carefree and whimsical creatures.  They are also the symbol for Fibromyalgia and for Auto-Immune disorders both of which I have.

A butterfly closeup:
The rules of the challenge are that the project has to be quilted, you can use any solid fabrics but if you use prints, they must be Michael Miller.
Since I knew I wanted to do a butterfly, I started looking through all my paper piecing books for a pattern.  I wanted it to be very detailed.  I found this pattern in my favorite paper piecing book.  It's by Linda Causee and is called 365 Foundation Quilt Blocks.  There are 97 pieces of fabric in EACH butterfly.  Each butterfly has 5 sections - 4 wings and the center section.  I loved doing these butterflies.
The background fabric is white in Kona cotton and you can also see an off white looking fabric that I used which is the white on white Mirror Ball Dots fabric from Michael Miller.  I love the Mirror Ball Dot collection.  I still have some of each color and I use it sparingly.  I'm going to look for more at Quilt Festival this fall.
I quilted this quilt on my home machine.  I did an echo stitch around each butterfly in white Aurifil thread 50wt.  Some have two echo shapes.  Then I did a random loopy stitch on the remaining of the quilt with a yellow variegated Aurifil thread # 3910 in 50wt.
I started quilting on my Brother which is the machine that I usually use for FMQ.  It started giving me fits and I couldn't figure out what was wrong.  It straight stitches just fine.  I googled the problem and found many solutions, all of which I tried.  None helped.  Finally, I switched over to my little Janome and it quilted beautifully - or at least as beautifully as it can be when I free motion quilt.
Some of the stitching that I did when I was still trying to use the Brother, needs to be redone.  I want to enter this quilt in our local quilt show next spring, so I'll have to fix that.
This big brown butterfly is my least favorite.  I was trying to match the brown/tan color in one of the prints but this solid just came out too flat. 
The quilt back.  You can see the butterfly outlines on the back if you squint. :)  I used all the fabric that I had left from what I was sent plus I added some solids that coordinated with them.  The bird print by Violet Craft in tangerine was just added because I like it.

And of course my label.  I got my husband to write this one because his handwriting is better than mine. 

More pictures!
Hey, that FMQ looks pretty good!
Last pretty picture.  I'm not a very good picture stager.  I need to take a Craftsy class on that.  
My Butterfly quilt measures approximately 45 x 53.
Nice huh?
Side note:  I did not win the Michael Miller MQG challenge :(  They are already having another one using his solid couture line but it is finishing up around Christmas and I just didn't think I'd make it in time.


  1. So pretty! Those butterflies are insanely detailed. I don't think I have that kind of patience!

  2. ...not one of these pics shows this quilts full beauty. Believe me folks, I was fortunate to see it in person & it should have won the MM MQG challenge! The paper piecing is amazing. So tiny and perfect!

  3. I love your butterfly quilt! I can only imagine the hours and hours that went in to making each butterfly.

  4. No...not nice.....'tis quite simply gorgeous!! Oh my this is truly a sublime quilt. I can't believe there are 97 itty bitty pieces to your butterfly. Amazing!

  5. SO beautiful!! Did you also enter into the individual contest on the MQG website? I see a winner! I have seen several butterfly quilts around blog land lately and yours is at the top of the best list! Congrats on a beautiful finish :)

  6. I love it! What a great idea and such a lot of work, well done!

  7. oh wow, what a beautiful quilt. The quilting really makes those butterflies pop

  8. Absolutely wonderful! Well done

  9. This is ever so pretty.....AND clever.
    Are you likely to publish the patterns?? Are they foundation pieced or paper??
    The brown butterfly is perfect as he/she is! Out in the world there are a lot of brown or dull butterflies, but the world needs them equally as much as it needs the exceptionally pretty ones. So glad you included the brown.
    Keep up the good work............err......pleasures!! :)


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