I’ve been trying to do butterflies for an art quilt. Her are some I made during a class I took with Christine Fries. They’re gorgeous! But somehow I didn’t have quite so much luck at home. These are made using Sulky water-soluble stabilizer (top and bottom) over two layers of fabric. Put the “sandwich” in a hoop and thread paint, mainly using metallic threads. Wash off the goopy stabilizer (I really don’t like this product), and you’re done.
For some reason, I wasn’t having good luck trying this process at home. You begin by tracing the butterflies onto the Sulky stabilizer. using a Sharpie. Then you outline the butterflies with a ziz-zag stitch. I just wasn’t happy with my outlines. I do have a relatively new machine, and I probably needed to play with it some more … but I finally abandoned the project.
So I’ve recently discovered the Sulky stabilizer that is heat sensitive. It is a great product. Easy to use and just melts away when you’re done. I thought it would be my answer to the butterfly problems. However … it is very bumpy and difficult to trace onto. Also, it is much lighter than the Sulky soluble and not as stable to sew with. Sigh. I couldn’t get my fabric to fit very tightly in my hoop. Once again, I abandoned my butterflies.
Time to try something totally different. I wanted to use fusible web, but I didn’t have any in the house. I did have some fusible interfacing, but unfortunately not the nice kind (like Wonder Under). This is fusible interfacing. I copied my butterfly designs (these are all courtesy of Christine Fries, by the way) onto the non-fusible side of the interfacing. I fused the interfacing onto muslin. I fused more interfacing onto the back of the muslin — and hoped this would be stable enough for me to sew on. I then used my Fabrico markers and colored in my butterflies.
So here’s the final product. I thread painted the butterfly using three colors of polyester thread. I was most of the way through the butterfly when I realized I needed more stabilizer, so I just added a sheet of Sulky tear-away to the back. As a final step, I ziz-zaged black around the outside, as well as the body in the center. The butterflies will be on a black background, so the zig-zag stitch on the outside should not be visible. I carefully cut it out.
I’m going to do some beading and embellishing on the butterfly. I think I’ll do some more ornate thread painting on the other butterflies, but I wanted to try a simple one to make sure the whole process would work. I’m glad it finally did!