Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Butterfly Flutterby

I love the heading Kim gives to my posts,.So usually don't change them.

This is about my very first quilt started in the mid 50's before my DD was born. We lived in an apartment and I needed something more to do and also wanted a quilt.
But what pattern to make?

My husband said to make a butterfly quilt. I hadn't seen a pattern like that. He said his grandmother had made one. She lived with them in his teen years, before she died.

My Mother-in-law said she thought there was a box on the attic with some of Grandma's quilting stuff so up we went. Aren't attic's wonderful? This was sure was. Always cleaned once a year and everything in it's place.

Sure enough we found the box and the butterfly pattern, Even the original newspaper clipping where she got it. I think my DD has the box now.

So I proceeded to make a block. Now I started sewing when I was about 13 and my Mother had made quilts off and on all her life but I never paid any attention to what she did.

I knew how to follow a pattern. I think I had gotten a couple books out of the library but you know the quilting books of 1950's was nothing like today's.

No body told me this was a difficult pattern to make but when putting it together it is not easy. You have to make the two sides and then sew the body in while sewing the whole block together.
My Mother visited while I was pieciing these blocks and made one block. Said it was to difficult for her. That block is in the quilt but she got the odd shaped background pieces on the top of the butterfly backwards. I just left it.

It was all hand pieced and hand quilted. Not fancy by any means. As you can see the wing tips and center are the same in all the blocks, Half with gold outside and half with brown chambray. The body was scraps left over from a circular skirt I made for myself. Had yellow roses.
The three pieces in the wings are all scraps from things I made or some I brought back with me from my Mother's She had a huge box of scraps.

I figured that there are 82 complete blocks and then one the one row there is a half block to fill in and at the ends there are just pieces. This is the way the pattern had it.

This is taken from the side so you can see the half blocks.

Another closeup to see the fabrics and my terrific quilting. LOL

The whole quilt. This was completed in 1960. In the apartment we had a long narrow living room and at the end was a big unfinished storage area and I found an old quilting frame there. Ask the owner if I could use it. So set it up and was able to quilt this much easier with a little one under foot. My daughter was born in 1959.

She used this on her bed until she left for college and so the top is very worn. Should have done like my Mother used to do, Put a protective piece of muslin over the top to keep from wearing the binding. Course this was before we learned to double the binding to wear better.

Thought maybe some of you would be interested in some of my old quilts. Next one I made was a double wedding ring using the templates in cardboard that my Mother had made and used.

It is very scrappy. More later. Thanks for stopping by


atet said...

Wow -- and this was your first quilt? Um, it's spectacular! I know you said the quilting isn't wonderful -- but, it's better than I can do! Amazing!

Kathie said...

Oh thank you for sharing this quilt and the story behind it.
How nice.
It is a great block!
I love looking at all those fabrics too.

pudge's girl said...

As a "mariposa" girl myself, this is pretty amazing. And there is nothing plain or simple about a hand quilted covelet that your daughter slept under all those years. I bet when you look at it you still see her sleeping there.

Tazzie said...

Gosh Eileen, it's just lovely, and so challenging for a first quilt! And then to make a DWR next? OMG! You're one amazing lady!

Marcie said...

That is a design you don't see around much these days. After making that quilt everything else must have seemed easy for you. It is a beauty!

Kairle said...

Thank you for showing so many pictures, Eileen. This is quite the quilt to start out with!!! You do such beautiful work. Good job!

Joyce said...

I love this butterfly quilt! Charming!