Sampler Saturday – Notes and Options for Butterfly Blocks

Posted by on April 2, 2016 in block lotto community | 2 comments

cameleon with Butterfly I haven’t yet made any of the butterfly blocks for my samplers … so instead of my design wall, I’m sharing this crazy photo of a chameleon with a monarch butterfly that I think I snagged from a Facebook post.

The butterfly’s colorful friend is also a reminder that while you have to follow the guidelines for blocks you make enter for the Block Lotto drawing … when it comes to YOUR sampler, you can make other choices. Here is some additional info for those making samplers and some options for those who aren’t fans of paper-piecing.

Someone emailed me this morning–I confess I was still wrapped up in bed with my morning coffee, reading my email–to ask for a clue about what color I meant by “mountain,” for the Old MacDonald’s Mystery Sampler (OMMS).


OMMS-Month4If you look at the layout for the blocks revealed so far, you might envision the beginnings of a landscape, with violets and some sort of ground cover (snail’s trails) in the foreground and the blue sky in the distance.

One of the butterflies is closer to the ground than the rest.

Now imagine that there are some mountains or hills in the distance.

The color of those mountains depends on your vision for your “landscape. ” I originally colored them with grays and dark purples, but for my quilt, I will likely use dark reds and brown’s as a nod to the Sangre de Cristo mountains in New Mexico that appear red as the sun sets and reflects upon them.

Since that fifth butterfly is closer to the ground, it has mountains behind it and so using a color that blends with the mountains as background will make it blend with adjacent blocks.

FYI, we’ll be adding those mountains or hills later this summer, so t’s OK if you want to wait until then to make your last butterfly.

There must be something in the air, because as I was enjoying my coffee, reading email and cruising blogs, I kept seeing butterflies. I even noticed that Massdrop is offering a “drop” of a fat quarter bundle of Lizzie House Butterflies. Spring may not yet really be here … but butterflies are everywhere.

If you are making an OMMS and don’t want to make the paper pieced blocks … you might make check out one of these pieced blocks:

Angela-RSC16-Butterfly As part of her column-along for the Rainbow Scraps Challenge, Angela shared this pattern for a 6-inch block last month – find it here: Large Butterfly
Susan-butterfly4-1-16  Our own Susan shared this photo of a pieced butterfly block that she designed on her blog–clicking her name will take you there. She has plans to share a tutorial for making it. If you like this, you might want to follow her blog and watch for it.


I also will be putting together a tutorial on how to convert a foundation pattern so you can traditionally piece it, using this month’s Block pattern as the example.

If you are making 4 blocks each month for the Graduated sampler and don’t want to make the paper-pieced block, you could make four of Angela’s or Susan’s block … or consider a larger butterfly.

Marcia Hohn has a 12 inch block called Easy Pieced Butterfly on the Quilter’s Cache site, that is made from squares, rectangles and half-square triangle units.  (I couldn’t include a photo of the block because of the protections on her images, so you will have to click over to check it out).


Cathy-2MothBlocksThis morning, I saw these butterflies on our Cathy’s blog. The blocks are 12 inches wide and 5 inches tall.  You could make two of these, add a 1 1/2 inch strip of Sky/background at the top of each and sew them together for a 12 inch block.

The pattern is free. It’s called Ghost Moth, by Elizabeth Hartman and is available on the Robert Kaufman site here.

I love the crazy-pieced made fabric in Cathy’s butterflies … and I know one of the sneak seekers has done the same thing with this month’s block pattern for her Old MacDonald’s Mystery Sampler–wait until you see it.


  1. I love that Ghost Moth pattern – it would be so pretty with a small or medium floral fabric as fabric A. Great for a Rainbow Scrap quilt, or any scrappy quilt, too. Thanks!

  2. Thank you for this interesting post XXX

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