Alice Brooks Butterfly Quilt Block Tutorial


 Months ago when we were paper piecing, someone sent me a link to this block and asked if it was possible to paper piece it.  No such luck.  In fact when I saw it I thought "there is no way I would EVER make that block" so of course I had to make it as one of the challenge blocks in the sampler.  :)

I had started to hand draft the block, but Marlene was a total hero and drafted it up for us in EQ7.  Thank you!!!

The Alice Brooks Butterfly Block incorporates the skills of using templates and sewing curves and inset seams.  It will certainly put all of the skills we have learned to the test.

Step One:

  Download the templates.

  Save to your computer and print from the saved file.  Make sure the 1 inch line is really one inch.  Cut out the templates and gather your fabric.

 Step Two:  

Cut out the templates.  Cut two of each template except for the wing wedges (template V) - cut six of them.

The two pieces of fabric need to be mirror images of each other (one for each side of the butterfly).  The easiest way to do this is to simply fold the fabric in half (right or wrong sides together), pin and cut out the piece.

 When you take them apart there will be two pieces that are mirror images of each other.  Sweet!

 If your scraps aren't big enough to fold, simply cut out one piece with the front of the template up...

Then flip the template over onto the backside and cut out the second piece.

Either method works equally well.

 Of course, you can always trace the template and cut around the line.  I like to pin my folded piece of fabric together before cutting to be sure that the fabric doesn't shift.

 Lay out all of the pieces.  Pay special attention to the background piece in the upper right and bottom left corner (template H).  It is almost, but not quite symmetrical and you don't want to get them mixed up.

 Step 3: Sewing

Sew together the three wing wedges (template V).

 Mark the middle of the quarter circle (template U) and wedges by ironing or marking with a pen.

 Pin the middle mark together.  Pin the ends together.  Ease the fabric in between the pins and pin again.  Carefully sew along the curve making sure to avoid puckers.  Slow and steady wins the race.


 Sew the wing tip (template P) to the background piece (template H).

 Pin as shown.

 Sew on template D.

 Then add on template Q, the lower wing point.

 Join the two pieces together.  Line up the wedge seams with the seams between the wing points and background piece.  Pin at the seams.  Ease in the fabric and pin between the seams.  Sew.

 Press and give yourself a pat on the back!

 Make a mark a quarter inch from both ends of template N, the butterfly torso.  Sew from mark to mark.

 Sew template E between the torso and bottom wing with inset seams.  Check out this post for a refresher on inset or y-seams.


 Next, attach template I to the top of the butterfly.  Again make a mark a quarter inch in from the corner and use inset seams.

 Press.  Beautiful!

 The hard part is over!  Simply sew template J to the top of the butterfly unit.

 Repeat the process for the other half of the block.  Can you tell which half I made first? Eek!!  :)

Sew the halves together and trim to 12.5 inches square if necessary. 

Using a washable fabric marking pen draw on the butterfly antennae.  I followed the seam line for awhile and then curved down.  Use an embroidery or machine stitch to outline the antennae.

I machine stitched mine with the zigzag width at 2 and stitch length at .5.  I back stitched at the beginning and end of the antennae.

And that is it!  The last block in the We Can Do It! Skill Builder Sampler.  I can't believe it!  Not that it is over - we still have to get these blocks turned into a quilt.  We will work at a reasonable pace at that over the next few weeks to put the top put together.  Tune in next Friday for a giveaway and the first step for getting your blocks turned into a quilt.