Easy Strip Butterfly

Learn to make an Easy Strip Butterfly Quilt with Jenny!

Here, Jenny shows you how to create these sweet little butterflies using a pack of 2.5″ strips and a little bit of yardage. These butterflies are so cheery and make me excited for Spring time!

Video Transcript (Downloadable PDF):

Hi everybody, it’s Jenny from the MSQC. And I’ve got such a fun project for you today. This is a butterfly quilt. And butterfly quilts are so popular and you know who doesn’t want a butterfly quilt. So let’s take a look at this quilt behind me. This is made very simply. We use a strip set and we get to put it together and these butterflies just happen. So we’ve got three big butterflies across here by four down. Makes a great quilt. It’s going to make a quilt that’s 67 by 78. So to make this quilt what you’re going to need is one packet of strips and we have used Tiger Fish by McKenna Ryan for Robert Kaufman. And it is just a beautiful line of fabrics. Of course it’s batik and we love that. You’re also going to need some background. You’re going to need two yards of background. And that includes all your sashing and this first border and your cornerstones. For the border there’s 6 ½ inch strips so you’re going to need about a yard and a half for that. So it just makes a fun little quilt, that quilt again is going to be 67 by 78 so it’s a really nice size.

 

Alright let me show you how to do this. So what you’re going to do is you’re going to take your strips and you’re going to sew them together just like I have in sets of threes. Now a couple of tips on this. When you sew strips together if you sew all of your strips going one direction, it’s going to bow. I don’t know why that happens but it happens sometimes. So I like to sew down one strip and up the next strip. And then it keeps them nice and straight. Once you get your strips sewn together you’re going to measure how tall they are. Ours come out to 6 ½. And so we know that if our strips are 6 ½ high we want to cut them 6 ½ wide because we want to, we want to have squares. So I’m going to fold mine in half like this. Just like this. And then I’m going to bring my ruler over here and I’m going to cut off my selvedges. Now on batik fabrics you don’t get very much selvedge. It’s really just barely there but I still like to cut those off and kind of straighten them up. Make sure your strip is laying straight. So you have nice straight edges. And again you’re going to cut them however wide, however tall they are that’s how wide you’re going to cut them. So ours are 6 ½, we’re going over to the 6 ½. We’re going to make a cut. Make sure. I’m going to check. All of a sudden I have this panicky feeling. I better count, one, two, three, four, five, six and a half, ok. Whew! If you ever have that feeling, just count it out before you cut it. It’s easier to cut or to you know, it’s easier to look before you cut is what I’m trying to say. Alright so for each butterfly you’re going to need four of these. And you’re going to end up with a little piece left. That little piece we’re eventually going to cut up and use for this first border here. See how it goes all the way around. And our little cornerstones in here. So we want to hang onto that.

 

So then once we have our four blocks you need to cut your background pieces. And for ours what we’ve done is we took our background. You’re going to need 2 ½ inch strips so you could use a roll for this as well. But you’re going to need 2 ½ inch strips and that’s going to take care of all your sashings and cornerstones. You’re also going to need some 1 ½ inch strips for the center piece down the middle of your butterfly right here. That’s what pulls it apart and makes it a butterfly.

 

So once you get your blocks all cut and you’re ready to go you’re going to need four for each butterfly. We’re going to sew the corners on. You’re going to take a 2 ½ inch strip. You’re going to need 17 of these and then you’re going to subcut them down into 2 ½ inch squares. And so you’re going to need eight 2 ½ inch squares for each block. And that will all come out of your background fabric. So when you’re ready to sew your 2 ½ inch squares on your block you’re going to want to iron the line or draw the line so that you can sew them to the block like this. And I’m just going to finger press these here really quick. And we’re going to attach them to opposite corners. You’ve got to pay attention to this part because we have, they’re going to go on opposite corners so it comes together and looks like a butterfly. So right here if I put all of my purples going to same direction, they’re all on this side over here. They’re all on the left you can see that these two are at the top and the bottom of the purple and these are at the bottom and the top of this, of this last orange strip over here. And so this one over here we have to match up. So you need two going, two on this side and two on this side. I hope that makes sense to you.

 

So let’s go ahead and sew these down. We’re going to sew right on the line. Remember if you iron or press the line it is way easier to sew in the ditch of the line than it is to sew on top of the mountain. So lay it so that your, your fold is in kind of a V, and then, and then it will be way easier to sew. Alright so I’m coming around here to the other side and I’ve got these squared up right on the corner. And I’m going to sew right down, right down that line. And we’re going to trim them off. And I’m just going to use my little ruler and trim a quarter of an inch from that seam line about, about a quarter of an inch. And then we’re going to press these open like this. And then you want to lay them back. I always like to make sure they’re going, you know, I have them sewn on the right way and we’re ready to put our block together.

 

So what we’re going to do is we’re going to bring all of our purples together in the center and so this is going to come together like this. And then these are going to come together like this. Alright and that’s going to make your butterfly. So now what we have to do is we have to sew these two wing sections together like this. So I’m going to fold this one over like this and this one over like this. And we are going to sew on this side on both blocks. So again we’re just at a quarter of an inch.We going to sew right down the side. I’m going to try to line up my two pieces, my two white pieces where they come together. I’m going to try and match those up as close as I can. And start with this one here. There we go. Oop my little fabric came up over my foot. Alright, now let’s press these open. We’re going to clip them apart. And we’re going to press these open. And this should make a nice little butterfly. Alrighty.

 

So now what we’re going to do, here’s our butterfly. From our background fabric we’re going to cut inch and a half strips. And you should, be able to subcut them. Let’s measure this to make sure how big this is. I think it’s like 13 ½ . Nope it’s 12 so you’re going to subcut your 1 ½ inch pieces into 12 inches. And that will go on the side. And you’re going to sew it to both sides to make the center of that block. So I”m going to take this over and sew right down the side. I”m just going to check this again to make sure, yep 12 inches. So I’m going to take this over and sew it right down the side. And then I’m going to attach the other wing as well. Let me get my threads out of the way here. There we go. Make sure it stays lined up. Now I’m going to attach the other wing like this. Make sure they’re going the right direction and sew that on here. There we go. Alright now let’s press this open and see what we’ve got. How fun is this. Alright pressing from the top, I’m going to flip it over and I’m going to make these seams come in to center. And you know anyway you want to is fine. We’re just making it nice and flat. Alrighty. And there’s our butterfly like that. Isn’t that cute?

 

Alright now we’re going to put it together. And what we do when we put it together is we are going to cut sashing strips to place in between our butterflies. The sashing strips will be the length of your block like this. So this is a 12 inch block your sashing strip is going to be 12 inches. And we can cut some of those right here just to show you. Let me put this this way. And you’re going to sew the sashing strips just like we sewed that middle strip. So it will be pretty simple. So there it goes right there. Right in between like that. And that’s how you’re going to attach your rows together. The next row that comes in, right here, see. This, this strip is the same as this one. Measure across the bottom of your block. This strip is the same. And we put a cornerstone between each one.

 

Now let’s talk about those cornerstones and that border because really what we’re left with is a pretty good chunk of fabric. You will have a few single strips left over if you want to cut your little 2 ½ inch squares from those. Now for the border we went ahead and took our strip set. And let’s see I don’t remember exactly how wide I cut these, oh 2 ½. I thought they were three for a second there. So then again you’re just going to cut from all your extra pieces so every time you make a butterfly you’re going to have a little extra like this. You can just stack them up and you’re going to cut. I’m going to clean off this edge right here because I’ve got some things going on here. Some craziness, like that. And you’re going to come over here and cut 2 ½ inches. And you’re going to cut your whole other pieces and then you will just sew those together end to end to end like this. Mix them up and make one long strip. And that’s going to be way longer really than you need to go around there. We had some extra pieces left. So this is going to go, you’re going to have your sashing strips out here. This is going to be your first little border. We put another little white border and then our wide border on the outside.

Now on the back we have beautiful fabric also. Look at that gorgeous batik and we even quilted it with a little butterfly, a little butterfly quilting pattern. Here’s our little butterfly that swirls around. And so it just makes it cute and ties it all together so nice. So this is really a fun project. Easy to do, just straight strip sewing. So we hope you enjoyed this tutorial on the Strip Butterfly from the MSQC.

posted: All
Have you used this tutorial to make something cool!?
Send it in to us and share it with the world!
  • lois willingham

    love this pattern. I have a friend that fell and broke her hip just a day before this was posted. I had a pack of 24 left over from another project and put this together in one day and delivered it the next. I have request for 3 more!