I have always admired this old Alice Brooks/Laura Wheeler pieced butterfly pattern — I think it’s from the 1930′s. I have seen several different versions of this pattern, but I like the one with solid colors and coordinating prints — I also like the two wings to be mirror images of each other.
A couple of years ago, I purchased a box of vintage fabric samples. They are all the same sized rectangle with pinked edges. There are approximately 2,000 pieces and each one is different, although there are several of the same print in different colorways. Fortunately, they were clean and didn’t have any paper residue on the back, so I was able to just starch, press and cut my butterfly templates. I drafted the pattern to fit the pieces because each little 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ rectangle would have to accommodate two mirror image templates — that took a bit of working out. The finished block is 9″ — the background is a muslin-colored percale, the solids are vintage scraps, and the polka-dot fabric new.
This is a fun pattern to piece — a little more challenging than the 9-patch and snowball. I just felt like I wanted to take a little break from the embroidery, so I’m planning to do a little hand piecing between the embroidery. The original pattern is available here and my adapted version is listed under Download Links in the sidebar.