daily forward tumble

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the practice of being creative everyday

butterflies

August 24th, 2010 at 18:36

I’ve been busy decorating a mosquito net with handmade butterflies. It will be a birthday present for my niece. She’ll be 11. I’m not sure if this is a suitable present for an eleven year old girl. And as this will be delivered by post, it is highly unlikely I will ever find out what she thinks of it. I don’t expect “feedback” from someone who’s eleven. I won’t get to see her face when she opens the parcel and so I just simply wont know. But for what it’s worth, I like it so much it makes my heart ache to give it away. And they are the best presents in my opinion. This truly is a labour of love.

So today I would like to share the how-to of this latest creative project.

I had some netting fabric left over from when I made the screen window for the poly tunnel last year. To make various coloured butterflies I found my stash of coloured threads finally coming in handy. I used a block of coloured note pad paper to semi-match the thread.

I cut the netting into about 3″x3″ squares and placed the fabric in between two sheets of paper. I then dug out my ancient sewing machine and zigzag stitched this ’sandwich’ together. This tight zigzag stitch makes out the body of the butterfly later on.
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I used markers to colour the fabric in between the paper. Obviously I could have used colour fabric, but this is a do-with-what-I-have-project… and I like the fact that this way the butterflies could be any colour combination I wanted/had pens for. I didn’t but obviously I could have done multi-coloured wings, too.*
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The paper comes off easily enough because of the perforation created by the needle when stitching and yet holds on long enough to let me ‘handle’ the butterfly in the process. The paper is a must so that the sewing machine can grab the fabric. I tried it without the paper first and because the netting is so thin it just knotted the thread and was a big mess. The paper that is left in the body of the butterfly also adds a bit of rigidity to the butterfly when it’s all done and you try to attach it to the net.
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For two days I left a hell of a mess on our dinning room table to make 40 butterflies and to stitch them on to the netting.
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What do you think, will she have sweet dreams when this hangs over her bed?
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*If you want this job be washable either attach the butterflies in a way that they can come off before washing or make them colour-fast by using other materials/pens.

5 Responses to “butterflies”

  1. Amy Says:

    how creative and wonderfully girly! I would have LOVED this when I was 11…. I love it now!

  2. Skytimes Says:

    What a beautiful example of a creative reuse. Well done… it’s an awesome present! I would have LOVED this net when I was 11. Actually, I still like it at the age of 36. Another reason to get my hands on a sewing machine.

  3. Hybrid J Says:

    Just simply gorgeous and I’m sure your niece will be jumping up and with with joy! Fantastic!

  4. Karen Says:

    I bet she loves this! I know my girls would of loved it at that age… how fun!

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