Taking Flight with Painted Wings

Painted Wings Collection by Whistler Studios is a collection I was playing with in 2020. I am partial to bright colors with a lot of good contrast. I also like that there is a sprinkling of gray in this group.

Painted Wings by Windham Fabrics

I immediately thought of my "go to" butterfly appliqué pattern, Taking Flight. It is a vintage block that goes back to the 1930s. I have featured it in various projects on this blog in the past few years.

I first made a freezer paper template. This way I can iron it onto the fabric and cut it out without pinning. I first applied fusible webbing to the wrong side of this blue print. I used fusible appliqué to make this very quick quilt.

Freezer paper template ironed to right side of fabric 

Cut out. Peel off freezer paper. Reuse freezer paper for more butterflies!

Cut out butterfly body. Freezer paper will be reused for 3 more appliques.

I selected four prints for the butterfly body, four prints for the centers, and four prints for the 10-12" background squares. I paired them up, cut them out, fused them together to get ready for quick sewing machine appliqué (using my zigzag stitching). You can add antennae if you wish. I got lazy and didn't do it. Here are the four blocks:

Butterfly Block #1
 Butterfly Block #2
Butterfly Block #2 (I love this green!)
 Butterfly Block #3
Butterfly Block #3
 Butterfly Block #4
Butterfly Block #4

I decided I wanted to put a 2" mitered border around each block. I cut two 2-1/2" x 14-1/2" strips each of two contrasting fabrics. Now watch my Magical Mitering Technique!

Center the strips as shown and sew with 1/4" seam. Do NOT stop at the 1/4" seam as in traditional mitering. You need to see your stitching, so come out another 1/2" or so (you can see my threads). Now, press the strips TOWARD the block. This is important as you need to see the bottom edge of those strips

Butterfly block with first borders
 Center the two contrasting strips and sew from where the stitching shows on the first set of borders. You can see my threads here. It's ok to back stitch. Press these last two borders TOWARD the border strips.

Stitch next set of borders on, beginning and ending at the seams of the previous two borders
 Repeat for each corner. Turn block over and work from the front on your ironing board. Fold the last two borders as shown at a 45 degree angle. Pin.
Fold and pin in place
I used monofilament thread in my upper thread and a small, short zigzag to stitch the miters down FROM THE FRONT. You have control. I just as easily could have used a navy thread. Believe me, you honestly can't see this (but who cares anyway? This is EASY.)

Stitch miter down using a machine zigzag stitch
 Trim away excess from the back.
Excess trimmed
Now, isn't that SO MUCH EASIER than what I call "wrestling an alligator" in the traditional method of mitering corners? And it is quick, you have so much more control, and you are not sewing a y-seam.
First Butterfly Block with mitered borders. 14-1/2" x 14-1/2" unfinished

What does the quilt look like? I'm glad you asked! Because I was working with 1/4 yard cuts, I had to get creative with the borders. I selected the two butterfly prints in navy and got two borders from each print. Pretty neat, huh?

Isn't this just the funnest quilt? So happy. So flowery. So butterfly-y!

Taking Flight Butterfly Quilt: 40" x 40". 14" blocks

You can find my Taking Flight Butterflies quilt pattern in my Etsy shop. And see several other quilts I've made with the same pattern.


  1. The applique would be wonderful on a tote for the beach or shopping. Thanks for another beauty, Debby!

  2. Debby, will you please quit giving us such great ideas. LOL I will never finish the list of your patterns. So glad I actually got to take a class in Fort Worth TX and meet you in person

  3. That is a great quilt! In that size, it would make a great wallhanging OR a baby quilt, and the pattern can be used in so many projects. Thank you!

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  5. I love the fabric collection and the quilt you made. I love butterfly so I am so thankful for the inspiration this morning!

  6. Thank, I receive my pattern, My Address is

    Teeanolia Brown Curry, 18628 Snowden, Detroit, Michigan 48235


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Thanks for stopping by Debby Kratovil Quilts! If you had a question and don't get an answer from me, please feel free to email me at: kratovil@his.com