The Free Motion Quilting Project: I HATE Butterflies!

Monday, January 5, 2015

I HATE Butterflies!

butterfly quilt | butterfly quilt block
No, I actually don't hate butterflies at all, but since creating the Dancing Butterfly Quilt Pattern, I've come to find that many, many people hate this shape. Thanks to the wonders of social media, I'm never left in any doubt as to how people really feel!

So in this post I'm going to share inspiration and ideas for design alternatives. Many quilters have already gotten started on their blocks (remember, you can work at your own pace with this quilt along!) and many are changing up the butterfly design with different creative shapes to suit their tastes.

Fabric wise, if you want to stick with the fabric required in the material list, you can substitute the butterfly shape for any other applique shape that can be cut from a 10 inch square.

The simplest variation I could think of would be to cut 9 inch circles instead. Your quilt would end up looking something like this:

circle quilt | circle applique
You could also draft a pattern yourself! It's very easy to create your own designs. To make sure your design fits into the 10 inch fabric square, cut a normal piece of paper down to 8.5 inches square, then draw a design in the center.

Because this fits into an 8.5 inch square, all the pieces should fit in a 10 inch square with a bit of extra space around each shape to cut them out.

If you'd like a symmetrical shape, like a heart, fold the paper in half first, then draw only half the shape, then cut out the shape holding both halves of the paper together.

So I hope you can see from all these examples that there's a million possibilities when it comes to the Dancing Butterfly Quilt. You don't HAVE to make butterflies!

Be creative and think about what shapes or animals speak to you. Don't be afraid to draw you own design and play with any idea you can think of. There's never a truly wrong choice in quilting so long as you are growing, stretching your wings, and trying new things.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

butterfly quilt pattern
Helpful links:

Check out more posts for the Dancing Butterfly Quilt Along right here.

If you haven't picked up your pattern yet, find a download version here, and a printed version here.


  1. I had to chuckle when I saw the title of your post. To be honest I didn't look at the prior posts because I don't care for butterfly motifs either. I LOVE butterflies just not in my quilting or on fabric......I really try to avoid them if possible. But then again I don't like deer on my fabric either and look how popular that motif has gotten recently! LOL I really like the raven block by Candle Sewer.

  2. Just remember that there are as many people who love butterflies as hate them. I never much saw the point of getting worked up because I did or didn't like something and someone else did. If I didn't like a quilt, I wouldn't choose to stitch it - no reason to take to social media and whine about it. I think it was sweet of you to offer suggestions for alternatives.

  3. I have a batch of applique cats that I'm going to use as 3rd or 4th practice blocks...I've had them for about 10 years from a quilt guild lottery. I've never done anything with them and now I'm going to get them done. I just thing that this project can be used for any large applique block. I love the variety of colors and choice of design to fit everyone's preference. I'm very excited to practice new fmq designs and I will use this year to finish some old ufo's.

  4. I found the answer under another topic, please disregard and thank you!

  5. Thanks for being so open to altering your vision! I am really tempted to sign up!

  6. I'm thinking about taking this pattern & replacing the butterflies with HST sampler blocks


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