OK, I know! I said I'd be back a couple of days ago with an embellished butterfly. I lied . . .
I fully intended to do as I said, but unfortunately, life reared its' ugly head and I had to go to a parent/teacher conference, and help my son study for his final exams. Only one more exam tomorrow and it's all done, yippee!!!
Of course, that means he'll be on break for two weeks so I may get behind again. But it's better to get behind having fun, then get behind having flashbacks about cramming for exams!
Now, back to the butterflies . . .
Above is the first butterfly I embellished. If you remember the last time I posted I talked about second thoughts about over-embellishing the butterflies.
Restraint is difficult for me, (my philosophy is that more is always better!), but in this case I think I made the right choice.
I'd already blanket stitched around the wings. Next I added the butterfly's "body." I really hate trying to applique another piece of fabric, especially a small piece, over the part where the wings meet. It's thick and uneven because of the stitches. I could have embroidered over it but I'd have the same problem of an uneven surface. So, I made BBB's, "Butterfly Body Buttons."
By stitching the body down first I knew where I needed to start beading. I'd already tried several ways of doing this on my sample, so now it came down to deciding where to start.
I like to stop things halfway or go off in an unpredicatable direction because it makes the piece more interesting. Sometimes I take it to extremes, but I have a real problem doing what's "predictable." Whenever I do do the obvious thing I live to regret it.
So, I beaded halfway up, changing the color of the beads throughout but making sure they were the same on each side. I rarely use all of the same beads in something unless I want it to stand out. If you use a mix of bead colors and types you get the overall texture and shimmer, without it smacking you in the face that it's beaded.
You can also control what someone sees by how you lay out the beads. In this case I wanted to differentiate the bottom from the upper part of the wing. By adding the line of solid seed beads towards the top, it gives the wing the look of being two different pieces, even though it isn't.
The same goes with the buttons and stitching I did in the center. I used the fabric pattern to decide where to place everything. By putting the larger buttons on the bottom it focuses the eye on the butterfly's body, then the bright green buttons draw the eye up and out. This makes the butterfly visually appealing. It also helps that the buttons are bright orange and will integrate beautifully with the interior of the quilt.
I really enjoyed doing this butterfly and am looking forward to working on the rest. I'll post them as I finish them.