Modern Butterfly — My first pattern

When I decided to join the Simply Solids bee, I had an immediate vision of what my block would be.  Since I rediscovered quilting recently after my daughter was born, I had wanted to create a quilt of butterflies, and it seemed appropriate to me to create it in the community of a quilting bee.   Wikipedia says that a bee “is an expression used together with another word to describe a gathering of peers to accomplish a task or to hold a competition”.

The butterfly is special to many people as a symbol of new life and metamorphosis.

Unfortunately, when I started looking for a block to use, I couldn’t find any that matched my vision and the clean lines of a modern style quilt.  So I decided to design my own–which was a lot more difficult than I had imagined!

I started by doodling on paper, but I wanted a printed “professional” look, so I tried a couple of free drawing downloads, which were quite difficult to use.  Then I lucked into a reference to Quilt Assistant, which is a free software designed especially for quilt blocks.  It was just what I needed to turn my vision into a final block.Image

The pattern makes a 10″ finished (10.5″ unfinished) quilt block, in three sections.  The butterfly body is the same either way up.

The pattern, with 1/4″ seam allowances, is here. Please make sure your printer is set at 100% or actual size when you print it out. You can check the size of the “body” piece–it will be 1″ wide not including seam allowances or 1.5″ including seam allowances, and 10″ long not including seam allowances or 10.5″ with seam allowances..

The templates, used for cutting out your fabric sections, with 3/8″ seam allowances, are here. The 3/8″ on the templates gives you a little more wiggle room when you place the fabric pieces on the pattern to sew.

If you’re having problems printing it to the correct size, save the file to your computer first, then open with Adobe Reader and print.

I am pleased to make this pattern available for free for personal, charity, or quilting bee use, and share my vision.  Please credit me if you use it, and I would love to see a picture.

Adding a link to Building Blocks Tuesday at Quilter in the Closet.


  1. I am going to remember this standard: “when I started looking for a block to use, I couldn’t find any that matched my vision”. How wise of you to pursue it till you figured out how to make what you needed to complete your vision. Thanks for sharing!

  2. […] bee block was chosen by Lisa in Port Hope, she designed an original paper pieced block called “Modern Butterfly”. Lisa’s original block was created in pastels but since we’re scrap busting, I decided […]

  3. That is a lovely pattern. I’m in the Simply Solids Bee, too – but the Puce group. I love to see what all the other groups are making.

  4. Love the pattern – it looks great!

    1. So glad you dropped by! I’m looking forward to how the rest of my bee-mates interpret it.

  5. This is a lovely block! I just had to follow 🙂 Avis x

    1. Thank you. It was fun to learn how to design a block.

  6. […] Bee, and Lisa designed this beautiful modern butterfly for her block. You can find the pattern here. Paper-piecing wasn’t nearly as scary as I thought it might be. Using solids simplified […]

  7. […] make a Butterfly block that was actually designed by this month’s host. The pattern can be found here. I decided to do a dark purple background and use the turquoise inspiration fabric provided to […]

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