19 April 2018

Butterflies Aren't Free

Butterfly fabric definitely is not cheap, but that's okay. The prettiest fabrics are worth paying for, right?

I have a collection of blue snowflake fabric, blue floral fabric, and now... blue butterfly fabric. Perfect for dressing up, right?

Back in December, I decided to make a gored skirt because I had seven blue butterfly fabrics, and my favorite pattern required eight. I searched on quiltshops.com and quickly found another blue butterfly fabric at Ann's Fabrics. I'd ordered fabrics from there before, so I quickly placed my order.

A day or so later, I got a call from Ann. Wow! She asked if I'd seen the notice on her front page that the shop was closed until February. I told her I'd found the fabric on a search engine, and I didn't see her home page. She asked if I'd like to cancel the order or wait until February. I didn't have any upcoming weddings or special occasions at the time, so I told her February would be fine.

In February, she called back to make sure I still wanted the fabric. By this time, my niece in California had become engaged, and if added a bodice to the skirt pattern, my new dress would be perfect April wedding attire. Ann said she'd have the fabric in the mail to me the next day, so that night I modified the pattern, added pockets, cut the seven gores with fabric I had, and selected another butterfly fabric in my stash to cut a fully lined bodice. I figured I'd have the dress done in a couple of hours once I had the eighth blue butterfly fabric.

Days turned into weeks. The weeks turned into a month. I called Ann in March to let her know I'd received her shipping notice, but I'd never received the fabric. She had paid for two-day delivery with tracking, so she looked up the shipping info and sent me a copy so I could track the package, too. The package was in Denver and scheduled for delivery in the next day or two.

Neither Ann nor I could understand why the package would take so long, but it finally did arrive the next day. The package itself adequately displayed its age and mileage. Thankfully, the fabric inside was in perfect condition. I cut out the eighth gore that night but did not sit down to the sewing machine until the Monday before the wedding.

I do not have a good track record for finishing dresses (or shorts or swimsuits) I cut out for weddings (or other vacations)! Work gets busier than anticipated as I prepare to leave, and it just seems the vacation is upon me before I know it, and the clothing is still waiting to be stitched!!! Perhaps I need to start a dress WIP list! These are a few of the projects I have not finished on time and am still hoping to finish soon.

I was absolutely determined to finish the blue butterfly dress in time for Ashlie's wedding. I took off work the day before our flight specifically to sew, and in addition to packing, I finished the dress!!! YAY!!!

In California, The Lizard took pictures of me in my dress before I took pictures of my nieces in their dresses.

You'd think I'd had enough butterflies after all that. Not on your life.

I wanted to make a dress when I found the Studio E Fabrics Aflutter pictured above on sale, but only one and an eighth of a yard remained. The next best thing was a block in my simple butterfly fabric sampler.

I began collecting butterfly fabric two years ago after a cinnamon bear snuck up on me while I was completely oblivious taking butterfly photos. I want to make a Bear and Butterfly quilt, inspired not only by the experience, but also by the Heart classic.

This isn't the quilt top I envision, but it shows off 13 of my favorite butterfly fabrics.

Two, including the sashing, were already in my stash before The Day of the Bear. One is left over from the bodice of my dress.

I vowed not to add new projects to my WIP list until I finish more WIPs. If I finish this gorgeous quilt before the end of the quarter and it doesn't become a WIP, it doesn't count, right?!?

What about TWO more tops I'll have to finish quilting before the end of the quarter???

I was piecing a butterfly backing for the sampler above when I decided to go ahead and make a quilt top from the butterfly panels below, which have been cocooning in my stash for who knows how long, to make sure I had enough butterfly leftovers to finish it before I use all the leftovers up in a backing.

And this is what I wound up with... a piece worthy of the Denver National Quilt Festival, in my opinion, if it still existed!

Initially, I planned to put five more butterflies on the left side of the quilt top, but after I finished attaching the right side, I decided I really like the off-centeredness, as well as the size, so I'm leaving it as is and packaging up the five leftover butterflies along with a few other butterfly leftovers for my bus driver, who went nuts over my butterfly dress. She said one of her friends recently gifted her an old sewing machine, she has not sewn in years, and she'd love to get back into it so she can make a dress just like mine. She said she loves butterflies and has them on her dishes, her table cloth, her curtains, her couch and her bedspread.

She seems to be as obsessed with butterflies as I am with snowflakes! So I don't mind indulging her at all. My little butterflies might give her something to practice on until she rebuilds her confidence and skill, and that makes me a very happy butterfly dress wearer!

Linking up with Busy Hands Quilts, Crazy Mom Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.


  1. Sure got butterflies at your sea. Turned out grand indeed. Weird how it took so long to get there. Maybe got lost in some depo.

    1. Thanks, Pat! At work, when something takes that long, we always say it took the slow boat to China. :)

  2. Where did all the snowflakes go?! LOVE all of your butterflies!!

    1. Ha ha, Joy!!! I melted them into butterflies!!! Ha ha ha!

  3. I love the shot with the wildflowers - has a cute "Sound of Music" vibe! :)

    I've noticed that packages mailed to you tend to get stuck in Denver - very frustrating. So glad you got that fabric in time.

    1. What an awesome comment, Sue! Lizard loves that connection! I guess you're right about package delays here. I hadn't really connected all the delays until you pointed it out. They are very slow here!!!


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