Video Tutorial: How to Quilt a Butterfly

How to quilt a butterfly border - Betty the Butterfly

I am so excited to share the latest APQS video tutorial with you. This time we’ve mixed it up a bit and we’re going a little more pictorial. Who wants to learn how to quilt a butterfly?

In this video tutorial, I break down the steps for how to quilt a simple butterfly border with a cute little flower design too!

Start with Practice!

My number one piece of advice for quilting Betty the Butterfly is to practice, practice, practice. Before I even thought about quilting this, I practiced on paper first. I’m always telling my students, “If I can’t draw it, I can’t quilt it.” I don’t need to be able to draw it well, but I do want to understand the path and the elements of the design.

How to Quilt the Butterfly

The continuous path for Betty the butterfly begins with her body. Starting at the bottom of your border, you’ll quilt a long oval. When you’re back at your starting point, travel along your oval back to the top. Now give Betty her head with a circle. Again, you’ll travel halfway around your circle to the top so you can quilt two small curls for her antenna.

Continue around Betty’s head back to her body. Now it’s time to add her wings! With most of my quilting designs, I need to think of where else I’ve seen or drawn this element before. To me, the wings look a little like 3’s. As I’m quilting I think to myself, “OK, now it’s time to quilt 3’s.”

Let’s Add Some Flowers

I felt like my butterflies needed something to break them up a little. It’s a nice break for the eye if your butterflies aren’t all the same and it helps to ease the density level a little too. Butterflies love flowers, so why not a simple flower? These flowers are just lowercase i’s with petals echoed around them.

Thread Choice

As you can see from the video, there’s a lot of backtracking in this design. For these videos I use an Omni thread because it’s a little fatter and easier for you to see. The downside of this is you really see where I traveled back along my path – and especially when I wasn’t perfect. When you try quilting this, you might consider a skinner thread like Glide 60 or Bottom Line. Both of these threads are 60 weight and will be much more forgiving for the backtracking!

Now it’s Your Turn!

Now that you know how to quilt a butterfly border, it’s your turn to give her a try! I would love to see your version of this design. You can share pictures of your quilts with me at the Quilted Joy Facebook Page, tag me on Instagram, or join the community in the Quilted Joy Clubhouse!

If you would like to explore more tips and tricks for longarm quilting don’t miss the Quilted Joy Learning Center!

Learning Center - Longarm Machine Quilting Tutorials, Videos, Articles, & More - QuiltedJoy.com - Angela Huffman with a APQS Millie Longarm Machine
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