Monday, November 25, 2019

Terry Frey's jeweled butterly, a finished quilt

drumroll, please!

~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~

After 145 hours
 of cutting, sewing, pressing, and quilting,
a 4 day battle with bleeding dye,
lots of sweat,
and even some tears,
we have a finished
one of a kind

This quilt contains
117 different fabrics,
(many of them fussy cut)
2 battings
(Quilters Dream 100% wool on top of Pellon 80/20)
6 different threads,
and is
- quite possibly -
the most epic quilt
I will ever make.

Terry contacted me Oct 23rd, 2018
and asked if she could commission me to make a butterfly quilt.

We messaged back and forth,
and it turned out
that what she really wanted
was a jewel-tone version 

So that is what I set out to make.

I spent a little over a month searching for
and collecting fabrics,
and made my first block
on Nov 28th

Terry wanted me to 
'put my mark' on her quilt,
which I very much appreciated,
as you all know,
I'm not so great with patterns in general.
And honestly,
I'm not the biggest fan of that particular pattern

I bought the pattern,
but I took an awful lot of liberties with it ๐Ÿ˜‰

(And then,
thanks to cutting mistakes,
bad maths,
and who knows what all,
I took several more liberties...๐Ÿ™„)

I swapped out blocks I wasn't crazy about
and replaced them with  a bunch of self-drafted ones
(and self-drafted versions of others)

that were either meaningful,
or would help me create the look I was aiming for,
for the butterfly.

At a glance,
the quilt looks like most of the other 
but when you look more closely,
you can see I changed things up a good bit.

I worked in pairs,
making mirror images of each block,
and made the heart borders 
when we couldn't find a fabric that would work.

I finished the (3 sections) top
in mid-February.

I basted each side separately
because there was no way 
I was going to attempt to quilt
a queen-sized
double-batted quilt
on my domestic machine.

(little side note:
I thread basted one side
and that took for-e-ver,
so I spray basted the other.
The thread basted side has several small tucks and folds
quilted into the back.
So - unless you're hand-quilting,
I'd recommend spray basting with 505)

I started quilting the wing portions on February 26th
(doing my best to quilt mirror images on each side)
and finished them March 7th

For a few weeks,
I quilted the background fabric on my Janome
while also practicing quilting on the longarm.

Every time I finished a section of background,
I'd add hand quilting with silk button twist
 to outline the butterfly.

(Terry could take or leave the hand-quilting,
but I figured it wouldn't really have my mark on it
if I didn't add a least a little ๐Ÿ˜)

Terry was in no rush for the quilt
and I had some other quilts that needed to be made
to celebrate a niece's graduation
and the arrival of a new nephew,
so I put hers on hold
while I worked on those.

Somewhere around that time,
my left shoulder started hurting really badly
and I had seriously reduced range of motion,
which made pushing that quilt
through a domestic machine near impossible.

It suddenly became really important
 to improve my longarm quilting,
because the longer my shoulder hurt,
the more I wanted to be able to finish the butterfly quilt
on the longarm.
So I focused on getting my longarms skills
on par with my domestic machine quilting skills.

Longarming was a little painful,
but not nearly as much as regular machine quilting,
and it had the benefit of being soooo much faster.

When my longarming was finally up to snuff,
I loaded up the unfinished side
and completed it amazingly fast,
and even achieved reasonably decent symmetry.

and finished the rest of the quilting
in just a few days.

(this color is soo wrong ๐Ÿ˜‘ )

Because I quilted the remaining background so fast
I had lots of hand quilting to catch up on...

Then I made and attached the binding over the course of a few days,
and sewed it down with big stitches.

I finished the quilt on Tuesday, Nov 19th,
took a quick celebratory photo,
 and tossed it in the wash.

To my absolute horror,
it came out with pink splotches 
where there shouldn't have been any pink.

After many soaks and washings
it was restored to its proper glory on Friday.


And now 
almost exactly one year after I started it,
Terry's Jeweled Butterfly
is finally ready
to go home.

and start saving for the next one ๐Ÿ˜.

(You can find progress pictures
with  associated stories, whines, celebrations
and thought processes

Terry ~ this quilt is filled with love and hope and prayers
and fond memories.
Thanks for hiring me to make it for you 
and helping me save lives.

I love you!!


  1. Wow! What a wonderful job! I love that you were able to put your mark on it! I had one bleed that shouldn't have so now I throw not 1 but 2 shout color catcher sheets in for every new quilt. Sooo glad it came out!

  2. Whew!!! What an adventure you had with this beauty! Congratulations on a wonderful finish, and I'm so in awe of your generous heart. Three machines - yay!

  3. Wow, I hope someday to have a little of your quilting ability, it makes a wonderful quilt so much better, I bet there were times there was also a little hate toward that quilt also LOL

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