How I did it: The project was a challenge from Sacramento Modern Quilt Guild, of which I am a member. We were given a pack of 5.5" charms in 42 gorgeous colors by Robert Kaufman. The challenge was to make a quilt in any size, any design, using the charms and up to two other fabrics.
I'd been wanting to make a butterfly-themed quilt for a while, so it seemed like a good time to make it. I found an applique butterfly pattern on Electric Quilt, bought a pale blue print for the background and a shimmery, sparkly sheer to give one special butterfly a gossamer look.
I wanted to make black bodies and antennae for the butterflies, but there were no black fabrics in the pack. I'd already reached my limit of two extra fabrics and I didn't want to give up either of them. What to do? I decided to create black fabric from some of the charms. After auditioning a black permanent marker and some fabric paint I went with the paint. I also purchased black dye, but didn't try it since the paint worked just fine. End result: I made black fabric without breaking the two-fabric rule.
I chose 2 charms for each of the 9 butterflies, and ironed fusible web to each of them. I wanted the butterflies to be similar but not identical so I cut the parts of the butterflies free-hand which gave each one a different personality. If pieces were too big for the area underneath, I trimmed them a little until they fit.
I fused the wings pieces together, arranged them on the background (previously backed with fusible fleece), then ironed the wings in place. I quilted the wings, attached the bodies and antennae with fabric glue, then quilted those.
I did a pillowcase finish with the backing, turned the quilt right side out, then machine quilted the background.
I like how the quilt turned out. It's really fun and just in time to display for spring/summer. I'll take the quilt with me to Saturday's quilt guild meeting.
Lessons & tips: When you run into a stumbling block, think creatively to get around it.
Resources: Electric Quilt quilting program
Tulip fabric paint
It took me 2 weeks.
It made me Happy