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  • Writer's pictureSusan

Brilliant Butterfly

February 2024 begins with a new blog hop: Log Cabin. The log cabin quilts that have been shown since the beginning of the blog hop, have been so creative and beautiful - each showcasing fabulous new Island Batik fabrics. My special bundle was the "Monarch" line by Kathy Engle. Monarch is truly beautiful and brilliant, just as the butterfly is.

This blog hop led me to thinking about two things: which log cabin block would I use and the brilliant Monarch butterfly. The Monarch butterfly is on the verge of extinction. Pesticides help us grow food for humans, but are disastrous to owls, eagles, butterflies and other wildlife. Monarch butterflies feed only on the milkweed plant, which has been destroyed by mankind. The Monarch butterfly is magnificent, because of the long journey south they take every year. They travel between 1,200 and 2,800 miles from Canada and the United States to Central Mexico, to live in the mountain forests from November to mid-March. The average life span for a Monarch Butterfly is between four to five months and they weigh less than half a gram. One last fact, the Greek name for Monarch is Danaus plexippus, which means "sleepy transformation" because of their ability to hibernate and metamorphize. You can read more about the Monarch butterfly here.

Now for which log cabin block to make. Who knew there were so many? In Electric Quilt, I chose the block Log Cabin 2, which is also referred to as "Courthouse Steps." Suzy Quilts has a wonderful blog story about the Courthouse Steps quilt block. The Courthouse Steps block is much older than all of us and resembles the steps of civil war era courthouses. I also wanted to use the Island Batik Wavy Dots Cherry as my center square. According to Suzy Quilts, the red square represents the "hearth" of the cabin.

Is this Island Batik red (wavy dots cherry) fabric not absolutely gorgeous? This was definitely going to be the center of my block. As usual, I did design a quilt in Electric Quilt 8.

Here is my block layout:

Center (A): 3-1/2" square

B: 3-1/2" x 2"

C: 6-1/2" x 2"

D: 6-1/2" x 2"

E: 9-1/2" x 2"

F: 9-1/2" x 2"

G: 12-1/2" x 2"

This will make 12" blocks (finished). I turned my blocks upright and sideways for added dimension and interest. I sorted the twenty Monarch fabrics by color. I used the yellow/gold fabrics in section B; the fabrics with brown in section D and the rose/peach/pink fabrics in section F. I used Island Batik Foundations white for the other sections.

I used Aurifil 50 weight thread and Schmetz 70/10 needles. I also used my new, wonderful Oliso iron.

First, you would sew section B to the center; press. Then sew section C to the sides of the unit and so forth. You keep sewing outward to make your block.

I did chain piece my blocks:

Section E being added to the unit.

For the sashing (2" x 12-1/2"), I used Leafy Branch Yellow Amber.

For the keystone blocks (2" x 2"), I used Bubble Custard.

The quilt is 65-1/2" x 65-1/2".

The recent snow hampered my usual outdoor photo shoot. I wanted to show the fabrics in the sunlight, because they are truly beautiful.

I will be giving away twenty - 5" strips of the Monarch line on my Facebook page Lady Blue Quilt Studio. Island Batik will also be giving away weekly fabric bundles here. Wouldn't it be wonderful if you won the Monarch fabric bundle this week?

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Feb 23

Gorgeous batiks!


Feb 20

I find these colors so warm and cozy. Beautiful job and interpretation of the task. Being an Illini native I definitely see the I in this!


Feb 17

Beautiful fabrics! I am especially loving this collection. I like the way your Courthouse Steps came out. The blocks kind of look like spools to me. Have a great day!


Feb 16

Pretty and unusual colors!!


Feb 16

Wow - lovely quilt and beautiful fabrics! My sister would Love this line - she loves monarchs and all butterflies. What great colors! Thank you and have a great weekend!

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