This beautiful butterfly quilt wall hanging is made with free paper piecing patterns. For this butterfly quilt pattern, I used a charm pack of batiks and batik fat quarter.
Learn to make this beautiful butterfly wall art with this tutorial.
Do you like to paper piece? Or would you like to learn how? This is a perfect project for a beginner at paper piecing.
The butterfly patterns are free paper piecing patterns by Lillyella and you can find a link to the pattern at the end of this tutorial. Each butterfly block is 5.5" square so it would be perfect to mix with charm squares to make a quilt or table topper.
I decided to make these cute charm square-sized butterfly quilt blocks into a wall hanging.
In the video linked below, I give a short tutorial on paper piecing. If you are new to paper piecing and need a more in-depth tutorial, please visit our page Learn How Easy it is to Paper Piece. This tutorial also includes a YouTube video to show you all of the steps.
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watch the whole video tutorial, click the link Butterfly Quilt Wall Hanging to watch in Youtube.
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WHAT YOU NEED to make this butterfly Quilt wall art
- Batik Fabrics - I used a Charm pack of Tiger Lily Batiks by Moda and a fat quarter of coordinating fabric for the borders.
- Free Butterfly Paper Piecing Patterns by Lillyella (find the link at the end of this tutorial)
- Papers for Foundation Piecing Paper
- Add a Quarter Ruler
- Sewing Machine
- Rotary Cutter & Mat
INSTRUCTIONS for Paper piecing the butterfly quilt blocks
STEP 1: Print Free paper piecing Patterns and pick fabrics
This butterfly wall hanging is made up of four paper-pieced butterfly quilt blocks. The blocks are a free pattern available from Lillyella.com and a link to the pattern is available at the end of this tutorial.
Print the paper piecing pattern pages on Paper for Foundation Piecing paper. This is my favorite paper for foundation paper piecing and a link is at the end of this tutorial. The paper piecing patterns can be printed on regular paper, but it will be harder to remove the paper from the back of the finished butterfly quilt squares. Be sure to at least use lightweight paper like a newsprint weight if you do not use the foundation paper piecing paper.
For my butterfly quilt blocks, I chose to use fabrics from a charm square pack "Tiger Lily Batiks" by Moda. This pack was sold several years ago so is probably no longer available, but there are many pretty batiks out there to use for these butterflies.
Below are two of the finished butterfly quilt blocks. The quilt block finished size is 5.5" so when sewn into a quilt, table runner, or wall hanging they will be a 5" finished square.
STEP 2: Paper piecing the butterfly quilt blocks
Below is a sample of a printed pattern page and the fabrics used to piece the butterfly. The brown is for the body of the butterfly and the oranges and purples were used for the wings.
Each printed sheet of the free paper piecing pattern will make one butterfly block. There are three different butterflies to make, so one butterfly will be made twice in order to have four paper pieced blocks. Use different fabrics so each butterfly has a different look.
Cut apart the separate pieces of the butterfly pattern from one sheet. Each section is pieced separately.
: Before cutting the pattern pieces apart, I recommend you mark on the pattern pieces the color of the fabrics to be used in each non-white section. I used codes like DKO (dark orange), LTO (Light Orange), P (Purple), B (Brown). I found when I pieced the first butterfly, I got confused on which colors to place in each colored section. I explain more about this quick tip on this page: Paper Piecing Quick Tip: Marking Pattern
Each section of the butterfly is paper pieced starting with the section labeled #1 and progressing through each number. The F(2) in the photo below indicates the section name. The instructions at the top of the pattern page will explain which order to put the pieces together once you have them all pieced.
Foundation Paper Piecing Part 1: First Fabric
Cut a piece of fabric big enough to cover the #1 area including all of the seam allowance marked by the dotted line. Pin this piece of fabric to the back of the paper as shown below.
Place the pin away from the line between sections #1 and #2.
Foundation Paper Piecing Part 2: Fold Paper on Line
To piece the second section, place your add a quarter ruler along the line between sections #1 and #2. Find a link to purchase this ruler at the end of this tutorial.
Crease the paper on the line and then fold all the way down.
Foundation Paper Piecing Part 3: Trim the Quarter Inch Seam Allowance
The add a quarter ruler has a lip to make it easy to trim the seam to a 1/4" seam allowance. Place the ruler on top of the folded paper aligning the lip along the folded edge.
Use your rotary cutter and trim the seam along the ruler as shown below.
Foundation Paper Piecing Part 4: Add Fabric for Section #2
Section #2 on this piece is the background color. I used a white/cream fabric for the background. Cut a piece of fabric large enough to cover the whole area of #2 including the selvages. Be sure you have enough to cover after the seam is sewn.
Angled pieces can be a bit tricky, so don't skimp on the fabric. Sometimes just moving the fabric a bit side to side will allow it to cover the area.
Foundation Paper Piecing Part 5: Sew on the Line
Set your sewing machine on a straight stitch and a little shorter than the normal stitch length. This is to make sure a few stitches are able to be stitched on the line.
Start stitching a stitch or two before the line starts as you see in the photo above. If the line extends to the seam, stitch all the way through to the dotted line.
The above photo shows the stitched seam. Note how it starts a bit before the line and ends after the dotted line. The pin can be removed now.
Foundation Paper Piecing Part 6: Press the Seam Open
Iron or finger press the seam open. I have a small iron I keep by my sewing machine when paper piecing. It helps to not have to stand up and sit down constantly, but it is good exercise!
It's important to press the seam open after each piece to ensure everything gets sewn together properly.
Foundation Paper Piecing Part 7: Continue with Remaining Pieces
Fold up the line between pieces #2 and #3.
Fold the piece completely down flat as shown below. If there are stitches, just pull the paper away from the stitches a bit. Trim the seam using the add a quarter ruler and then sew on the next piece of fabric. The next fabric for this piece is another background fabric.
Press the seam open.
Once you have pieced all of the pieces in the section, then trim the section on the dotted line using your ruler & rotary cutter. See the photo below for a sample.
Foundation Paper Piecing Part 8: Finish the Butterfly
Once you have all of the sections pieced, then sew them together. The instructions for each butterfly is different so look on the sheet and follow the steps to piece the butterfly together.
When sewing the pieces together, align the dark line and use a pin to be sure it's lined up on the edges. Sew the pieces together on the dark line around the edge of each piece.
Press the pieces open after you sew them together. The paper in the seam allowance can be removed after they are sewn together. Leave most of the paper on the butterflies for now. The paper gives them support until you piece them into the wall hanging (or quilt).
Using the free paper piecing patterns by Lillyella, make four butterfly quilt blocks.
INSTRUCTIONS to Finish the Butterfly quilt wall ART
Step 1: Add Borders to the butterfly blocks
To finish the butterfly wall hanging, add purple batik borders around the butterfly blocks. Cut strips 1.5" wide from the border fabric. Once sewn these will make a 1" border around the butterfly blocks.
Take one strip and place it with right sides together along the right side of the top-left butterfly quilt block. Sew a 1/4" seam.
Press the border fabric open and trim the top and bottom of the border fabric to match the block as shown below.
Sew the top-right butterfly quilt block to the other side of the border and press open as shown below.
Repeat with the bottom two butterfly quilt blocks.
Once the top and bottom butterfly quilt blocks are sewn together with the border in between, add the border between the rows.
Take another piece of border fabric and place it right sides together along the bottom edge of the top two butterfly quilt blocks. Sew the border to the blocks. Trim the center border fabric so it matches the edges of the block.
Add the bottom two butterfly quilt blocks to the other side of the border fabric. Your butterfly quilt wall hanging should be taking shape now and look like the photo below.
Add the border fabric to the top and bottom of the butterfly quilt blocks first sewing with the 1/4" seams. Then add the borders to the left and the right. Trim the border fabric so your butterfly quilt top is squared.
Step 2: Remove the paper
Now is time to remove the paper from the back of the butterfly quilt blocks. The paper gives stability to the blocks and once the blocks are sewn into your quilt, table runner, or wall hanging, the paper can be removed.
Step 2: Quilted Wall Hanging Backing
For my butterfly quilt wall hanging, a scrappy binding would look nice. I pieced a scrappy backing from extra charm square blocks. Click the link for instructions to make this scrappy backing.
Step 3: Layer the butterfly quilt wall hanging
Cut a piece of batting the same size as the butterfly quilt top. Because of its small size, this project is good for using up scraps of batting.
Lay your backing with the right side facing down (towards the table). On top of the backing, lay the batting and then the butterfly quilt top right side up.
The backing created with the charm squares was a perfect size to use a fold-over quilt binding. Center the batting and butterfly quilt top on the backing, leaving 1" around the outside. This extra fabric will become the binding.
Step 3: Quilt the butterfly quilted wall hanging
Pin the layers together in several places so everything holds in place. Choose the quilting design you would like to make and quilt the layers together.
I used a meandering stitch around the butterflies in the background fabric only.
Some other ideas for quilting the butterflies:
- Stitch-in-the-ditch around each butterfly block.
- Stitch a straight line through the center of each of the borders
- Stitch 1/4" from the seams of each of the borders.
- Add decorative stitching to the butterflies.
Step 3: Finish the binding
Since there is an inch of the backing extending past the edge of the quilt top all the way around, use a self-binding for this butterfly quilt top. This is a method of fold-over quilt binding. Click the link to learn how to self-bind the quilt top.
FINISHED Butterfly wall art!
The butterfly quilt wall hanging is finished. Add a quilt sleeve to the back for hanging or simply add a couple of plastic circles to each corner to hang the wall hanging.
I hope you enjoyed learning how to make this butterfly wall art and will make one for yourself. It's a fun beginner paper piecing pattern and makes a beautiful quilted wall hanging.
This free paper piecing pattern would also make a wonderful table runner or even a quilt.
If you have any questions about this project, contact us through the YouTube Video
comments or our Contact Us page. We respond to questions in e-mails and YouTube comments regularly.
If you are interested in paper piecing, below are some other free paper piecing patterns you may be interested in.
Foundation Paper Pieced Carrots Mini Quilt by Leila Gardunia