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Thread: Butterflies for magnets or applique

  1. #1
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    Here is a tutorial for making my butterfly magnets. I have them on my online site and I was asked if I would show how I make them. You can use them for magnets or you can use them to applique to a background square for a quilt block.

    I draw my own designs and I want to show you how to draw a butterfly wing. It is really easy.

    Just draw a half circle. Then draw a squiggly line from one corner to the other. Don't make the squiggly line too full of hills or it will be too hard to sew later on. A nice gentle line with a couple or three hills will work well.

    Then cut out the wing and lay it on cardboard. Trace around it and then cut out the cardboard wing for a template.
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  2. #2
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    Now you need to have some swatches of fabric. I chose some lights to use for a butterfly.

    Now we are going to sew them in a confusion pattern(crazy or crumb).

    Yiou can do this any size you want to. If you want to do some small ones make sure you keep your swatches close together so they will all fit under your template.
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  3. #3
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    When you have your fabric all sewn place your template on the fabric and move it around until you have a look you like. Then trace around the template.

    Repeat this again for the second wing. What I forgot to do was to turn the template over so the second wing would be a mirror image of the first. If you give your wing a tail on one end you won't be able to put them together if you cut them out the same side. I realized what I had done and I sewed across the long tail I was going to use on one end so both ends on the one wing were reasonably the same.
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  4. #4
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    Now if you are going to use these as applique you are done.

    To continue on with the magnets

    lay your wings face down on a backing and cut out around them. You can trim them now or wait til after they are sewn.
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  5. #5
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    To sew this wing on you need to fold back the backing fabric and baste along the edge to set the seams so they won't come undone when you are turning the wing right side out.

    Then let the backing fabric go back into place and start at the end of the basting that you just did. Make sure you backstitch.
    then continue sewing around the wing following the edge. If you like you can clip the fabric in the hollows but I didn't. It can make it easier to turn the hills inside out. Make sure you remember to backstitch when you end. Leave an opening to turn the wing right side out.
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  6. #6
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    Now everyone thinks it is hard to turn a small item inside out. but it isn't if you know the technique.

    Here I stick my finger into one side of the wing. Then I put the tip of my scissors against the end of my finger. If you don't want to use scissors you can use any turning tool. I have seen people use a straw if you don't have a tool. Then I slowly pull the edge of the wing down over the tip of the scissors. Til you have it all the way turned.
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  7. #7
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    Now you are going to have to turn both sides of the opening. But once you have the one side turned you can just stick a finger into the other side and push it up inside.

    Then take your scissors tip or a turning tool and smooth the edges out as much as possible so it goes back into the wing shape. This is where the clipping in the hollows will help. If you get some pulling inbetween the hills you can ease that by turning it wrong side out again and clipping if you didn't already do that. I didn't clip this time and it was ok. So it is up to you.
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  8. #8
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    Ok you should have two wings now.

    Lay them face to face. I should have put the backing fabric on the inside but I did it backwards. Which is ok if that is how you want it to look. You will see one later on that I did the confusion on both sides so it didn't really matter which side I put on the inside.
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  9. #9
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    Sorry a few of my pictures are not as clear as I would have liked but you get the idea.

    So to create the body and to sew the two wings together I use a black thread and whip stitch the openings together. W
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  10. #10
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    Ok I want the body of the butterfly to look like a bug body so I keep whipstitching til the opening area gets completely covered. You don't want any fabric showing through the black stitches.

    Now to add antennae -cut a length of wire that is as long or as short as you want. I like to curl mine so if you want them to curl cut the length at twice of the lenght you want them to end up as.

    I cut mine 12" and folded the wire in half.Then I twisted the end a few times to create a circle of wire at the end.
    Hold the folded wire up to the black thread as shown in the picture and take a stitch or two through the circle so it will not pull out when it is sewn in.

    Then continue to whipstitch over the wire onto the body part until you can't see the wire anymore.

    You can find gold craft wire at any craft shop. It is more easily manipulated than a regular wire but you can use any wire you want. The thicker the wire tho the less you will be able to curl it.
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  11. #11
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    After you have the body done then I curl the antennae. I use a pencil or pen and wrap the wire around the pen.

    I like to put some feet on them so I just tack some thread on where I want the feet and then I trim them.
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  12. #12
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    So here we have a newly hatched Butterfly!!

    If I had put the yellow fabric to the inside then the confusion would be showing more when the butterfly was open. It is entirely up to you.

    One note - I have tried various types of bodies such as a cone shaped piece of fabric rolled into a long cone and it is harder to do. So this whipstitch is the easiest way I have found to do the body.

    Attach a piece of magnet to the back side of the butterfly for a magnet.
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  13. #13
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    Here are a couple of butterflies I did awhile ago.
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  14. #14
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    I forgot to post a list of materials at the beginning so here it is.

    4 or 5 swatches

    length of craft wire -length is up to you depending on the size of your butterfly.

    Magnet -- You can buy magnet in a roll but I don't like the way it won't lay flat very well. I buy the craft magnets or you can buy a pkg of magnets for the back of business cards. That works well too. I am sure you could find these at any craft shop or online.

    I don't use any batting but I suppose if you wanted to you surely could. It would give them a differant 3 d effect. I never thought of it before so it might be something to try.

    I like to use spray starch to stiffen things so if you wanted to you could spray the wings with spray sizing or starch and give the wings some stiffness.

    Hope you enjoy this tutorial!!

    As always if you have any questions just pm or email me at [email protected]

    I also have a thread in the PDA section. (Personal Diaries and Announcements)

  15. #15
    Senior Member wichypoo's Avatar
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    Ronda,Ronda,Ronda, I sure wish we could have real butterflies, but the snow is keeping them away. I Bookmarked this , you are sooooo clever. I love them.
    thanks a bunch.
    Karen
    :-D

  16. #16
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    I thought this was a good time to do the tutorial to brighten some spirits!!! I think we all need it right now with all the snow! So this is my way of bringing a little spring into our lives right now!!

    Thanks Karen I am glad you like them! I think they are fun to make.

  17. #17
    Super Member Sheila Elaine's Avatar
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    Thanks Rhonda. I see your method of cut down theory working here. You make it look so simple; however, after I try making some I'll let you know how simple they are for me. My hands don't want to work in the cold weather. TTUL

  18. #18
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    Wow! Thanks, love them!

  19. #19
    MarthaVA's Avatar
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    I LOVE butterflies - thank you for sharing your technique! :) I'm VERY happy now knowing that I can make easy but beautiful butterflies!

  20. #20
    Lisa T's Avatar
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    These are so cute and you did such a great job with the tutorial. Thanks!

  21. #21
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheila Elaine
    Thanks Rhonda. I see your method of cut down theory working here. You make it look so simple; however, after I try making some I'll let you know how simple they are for me. My hands don't want to work in the cold weather. TTUL
    Sheila you can make them larger than I did. It would make it easier on your hands. I will look forward to seeing what you think. Be honest now and not just protect my feelings! I can't improve them if I don't get honest feedback.

  22. #22
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone and you're welcome to the tutorial. It is something I have had in the back of my mind for months and just didn't get around to doing.

    Hope you all enjoy! But I would really love to see pics if you try making them!!

  23. #23
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    Love it...bookmarked it...Thanks Rhonda.

  24. #24
    Super Member Sheila Elaine's Avatar
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    I promise I'll be truthful Rhonda. I'll try to get to it tomorrow. I have this ugly red velvet fabric (customer) to make a pillow with an antique embroidery of a Southern Belle on linen, to put a green grosgrain ribbon around that, then affix it to the red pillow. To much Christmas colors for me right after the holidays. It's for her bedroom.

    How would you/me/anyone get a copyright on their original patterns? McCall's or Simplicity & other big pattern makers sell patterns in LQSs that include more than one pattern? Have you tried selling on eBay? I sold a few Univ of Alabama & Auburn Scrub Hats there , but had the surgery, so that got canned for now. Getting to the Post Office was too much for me back then.

  25. #25
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    Hi Ronda I dont know how to book mark or I would, those are really neat, I offten look at your books but cant afford them. thank you for doing this.

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