Wool-blend felt: orange, chartreuse, bright blue, black
Ecru even-weave fabric, 7”x14”
DMC 6-Strand Embroidery Floss: 310 Black, 704 Chartreuse-BRT, 742 Tangerine-LT, 995 Electric Blue-DK, 996 Electric Blue-MD, B5200 Snow White
Sharp embroidery needle
Tracing paper or tissue paper
This idea was originally published in our 2016 Garden issue. Subscribe today and save off newsstand prices! You’ll get ALL the projects delivered to you in six jam-packed issues per year.
1. Print full-size patterns and placement diagrams. Cut the following shapes from felt: two orange butterfly top and two orange butterfly bottom wings from orange; two green butterfly top and two green butterfly bottom wings from chartreuse; two blue butterfly top and two blue butterfly bottom wings from bright blue; one of each butterfly body and two green butterfly insets from black.
2. Place even-weave fabric vertically onto work surface. Pin orange butterfly body centered horizontally 3¼” from top fabric edge. Pin green butterfly body centered 2” below orange butterfly body. Pin blue butterfly body centered 2” below green butterfly body. Whipstitch body pieces in place with black floss.
3. Refer to placement diagrams and pin orange butterfly wings in place with top wings slightly overlapping bottom wings. Pin green butterfly wings with top wings slightly overlapping bottom wings. Pin blue butterfly wings in place with bottom wings slightly overlapping top wings.
4. Use whipstitch and matching embroidery floss to sew wings in place. Use 742 Tangerine-LT for orange butterfly, 704 Chartreuse-BRT for green butterfly and 995 Electric Blue-DK for blue butterfly. Pin black inset pieces to green butterfly wings as shown and whipstitch in place with black floss.
5. Prepare embroidery-stitching templates for each butterfly. Trace stitching details onto tissue paper with pencil to create two wing templates for each butterfly.
6. For orange butterfly, use black floss and split stitch to outline top and bottom wings, stitching close to wings on even-weave fabric as shown. Use black floss and satin stitch to fill outer edge of wings and bottom edge of top wings. Pin traced stitching diagram over right side of orange butterfly and backstitch veins on wings with black floss. Stitch through both paper and fabric. Straight stitch dots over black satin stitching using Snow White as shown. When stitching is complete, remove tissue paper. Repeat for left wing. Backstitch two antennae above butterfly head using black floss.
7. For green butterfly, use black floss and split stitch to outline top and bottom wings as shown. Outline insets on top wings with black split stitch. Pin traced stitching diagram over right side of green butterfly. Use black floss and straight stitch to add details as shown. Stitch through both paper and fabric. Backstitch lines and satin stitch spots on bottom wings. Remove tissue paper. Repeat for left wing. Backstitch two antennae above butterfly head using black floss.
8. For blue butterfly, use black floss and split stitch to outline top and bottom wings. Pin traced stitching diagram over right side of blue butterfly. Use black floss and split stitch to sew inner outline on wings as shown. Straight stitch black lines between inner and outer outlines as shown. Stitch veins on wings using split stitch and alternating shades of 995 Electric Blue-DK and 996 Electric Blue-MD. Remove tissue paper. Repeat for left wing. Backstitch two antennae above butterfly head using black floss.
9. Press finished piece gently face down on padded surface. Frame and mat as desired.