Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Butterfly Project

Pinterest can be a blessing, and a curse, but today we will focus on the blessing side. I can type some words in the search box and poof! Millions of ideas coming at me. I try to make my niece's gifts since I can, and it gives it a more personal feel, I think. So for her birthday I recalled a conversation with her mother about how she couldn't reach her favorite book/toy in the vehicle. I did find back-of-the-seat caddy examples, but I wasn't impressed with their style or lack of.  The possibilities were endless, so I posed the question to my niece: crown, heart, owl, or butterfly? She picked the latter so off I went. First thought, perhaps I could use up some more of the pink corduroy in my sewing room? But what to go with the pink? It was hard to stop myself in the batik section of the fabric store (perhaps you are familiar with my obsession?). These fabrics mimicked the spots on monarchs and although this is a smaller project, I needed, okay wanted, to get  all six of them in. Templates are easy to find on the Internet. While the boys did school work one evening, I drew a simplified template of a monarch on newsprint using the template as a guide.

I borrowed their crayons (I still love coloring!) and blocked in the colors by how many fabrics I had chosen.  I then traced out the pieces in tracing paper.
Since I made this up out of my head, I needed to sit down and scratch out pattern directions to save me the time of stopping after each step to decide what to do next.
I decided to section out four quilted pockets on the butterfly with the batik patterns on them, and use the pink corduroy as backing.
In this project I fell in love with Heat n Bond Lite, as it made the pieces so nice and neat and easy to applique, which was especially helpful with the small pieces.
I couldn't help but lay it all out every two seconds and look at it.  So exciting!

I appliqued with variegated thread.
I quilted between the sections of orange.

I backed the pockets with batik and used some sparkly tulle to make a pocket on the body of the butterfly. To attach the butterfly on the chair, I sewed webbing with an adjustable buckle to the top corners of the wings. I also brought in some pink from the back by adding some spots around the perimeter of the butterfly.
All finished and stuffed with goodies! I must admit it turned out better than I expected, and now I want one. I still think it would be fun to make an owl one, too! Maybe one for my youngest niece in a few years?
This would make a great Christmas gift as well, and does not take too much time to make depending on your shape choice.