Before there were Hexiform Butterflies, there were the dreary days of winter. During the early winter of 2022, Kim came across a vintage quilt that immediately had her thinking of spring! She was up in Centre County, Pennsylvania (home of State College and Penn State University) visiting family. After saying “not it” to her husband, she grabbed grandmother and pointed her Prius towards one of her favorite antique malls where she came across a lavender vintage quilt filled with adorable appliquéd butterflies scattered across it. Her husband got to entertain the kids for the next few hours.
1: an instrument containing loose bits of colored material (such as glass or plastic) between two flat plates and two plane mirrors so placed that changes of position of the bits of material are reflected in an endless variety of patterns
Did you know a group of butterflies is referred to a kaleidoscope of butterflies?
Let’s DO This!
Totally smitten with the (at first apparent) simplicity of the vintage butterflies, we decided to try making some ourselves! We tried a couple of different methods including needle turn applique and freezer paper with starch. See below.
Ultimately we decided to go with the DUH solution (at least for us!) That solution was to just use Hexiform leave-in EPP to make Hexiform Butterflies.
If you take a close look at the butterflies, there are no fewer than 6 tight concave curves. Those are the “inside curves” near the butterfly’s body and between wing sections (where the paintbrush is pointing in the picture above.) To get fabric to fold over concave curves properly, you have to put small snips into the seam allowance. But you risk the snips being seen from the front. For the needle turn and freezer paper / starch ideas, we just couldn’t get it to work effectively.
Pretty soon you’ll want to make allllll the Hexiform butterflies! What you do with them is up to you! Will you scatter them in groups of 5, like the original maker? We will be arranging them differently. Make sure you are following us on Instagram ( @brimfieldawakening ) so you can see what we do!
When you eventually applique them to your background square, you will need some Roxanne Glue Baste It. This applique glue is amazing and will ensure your butterflies won’t shift over the long haul while you machine or hand applique them to the background squares. It is safe for your fabric and will wash out. The best part is that it has a hummingbird applicator – a nice long needle so as to allow you to place the tiniest drops of glue to your project. Below is a shopping list of supplies you can click on if you decide to give this a go!
If you use this template, please share your creation with us on Instagram or within our FaceBook private group: The Brimfield Bee. We would love to see what you make. Please use the hashtag #brimfieldawakening and let your friends know they can get this template for free by signing up for our newsletter. Thank you!
Fabric for Blocks: 20 Jelly Roll Strips or assorted scraps
Backing: 2 yards
Binding: 1/2 yard
Notions: Glue Pen (we use Sewline), Applique Glue (we use Roxanne’s Glue Baste It), Needle (Milliner’s Size 10) Thread (we use Wonderfil Specialty Threads DecoBob 80 weight for the EPP and Invisifil 100 weight for the applique)
The Brimfield Beginnings Quilt Kit contains the following: Brimfield Beginnings Starter Pack for each block (Mayflower, Meera, and Soleil) plus a bumper paper pack of papers needed to make the quilt. Each starter pack contains papers for 4 blocks, durable window acrylic template(s) which you can use to trace additional papers, and an instructional card for block assembly. This quilt uses the following amounts of each Beginnings block: (9) Mayflower Blocks, (7) Soleil Blocks and (5) Meera Blocks.
Please note that if you already own the 3 Brimfield Beginnings Starter packs, then you actually have everything you need to make this quilt. The only caveat is that you will have to trace additional papers using your window acrylic templates. If you do not wish to trace your own papers, we carry a set of “bumper” papers. These bumper papers will bridge the gap between the 12 blocks included between the 3 starter kits and what is needed to complete the quilt. Alternatively, if you own the Brimfield Beginnings Bulk Paper Packs (Mayflower Bulk, Meera Bulk + Soleil Bulk), you have more than enough blocks to complete this quilt.
Preparing the Background
From your background fabric cut:
(21) 8″ squares
(15) 7.5″ squares
(4) border strips (2 strips 2.5″ x 42″ and 2 strips 2.5″ x 48″)
Applique Your Epp
The Brimfield Beginnings Kits come with instructional cards which covers how to prep your background squares for the applique and how to use the Roxanne’s Glue to glue baste the EPP to the background squares. Follow those instructions and do that to the (21) 8″ background squares and EPP blocks that you stitched (9 Mayflower, 7 Soleil + 5 Meera.) Applique by machine or by hand and then trim your blocks down to 7.5″ squares. You will have 21 squares with EPP and 15 blank squares.
Sew 2 border strips (2.5” x 42”) on opposite sides of the quilt top. Then, sew the other border strips on and your top is complete!
Baste and quilt as desired. We designed this quilt to have the blocks “ghost quilted” on the blank squares. You can do this too using your acrylics and papers as a guide. Congratulations on making your Brimfield Beginnings Quilt – you are no longer a beginner!!
Please share your progress with us! We would love to have you follow along with us on Instagram (we are @brimfieldawakening ) and we hope you’ll join our private Facebook group called The Brimfield Bee. This is where you can share any of your Brimfield Awakening makes within a safe community of other online stitchers also making our patterns from around the world! Please use the hashtags #BrimfieldBeginnings + #BrimfieldAwakening so we can see what you make 🙂
Wonderfil Specialty Thread DecoBob 80 weight and Invisifil 100 weight
Milliners Needles size 10
Scissors, iron, Ironing Board, Spray Starch
Clover (Green Leaf )
Kelly Green (Green Leaf)
Corn Yellow (Center)
If you purchased our Winter Blooms Kit with the Kona fabric, “Rich Red” was substituted for “Ruby” in the tulip pieces.
Please read through this online tutorial before starting anything.
Use the Brimfield Meadows Pattern Instructional Booklet as your guide to doing the English Paper Piecing (EPP) for these blocks. This online tutorial will not cover the EPP (that is what the pattern is for 🙂
The Winter Blooms blocks are simply our Brimfield Meadows blocks minus most of the arc pieces. Below is a picture of our Brimfield Meadows block. Can you see how the Winter Blooms Block was created from it?
Using the Brimfield Meadows Pattern instructional booklet as your guide, stitch together 8 Brimfield Meadows blocks MINUS the following pieces from the “arc” sections of the block: C, D2 and D3. We like to use Wonderfil Specialty Threads DecoBob 80 weight for our hand stitching EPP. Do NOT prepare any of the background squares from the pattern; Winter Blooms uses different background squares. Per the Brimfield Meadows instructions, pop the papers out of your newly completed Winter Blooms blocks, press and starch them well. Tuck any tails and press towards the inside of your EPP blocks and set aside.
Preparing the Background
Cut (4) 25″ squares from your background fabric and, using a quarter inch seam allowance, stitch them together to make a 49.5″ square.
Winter Blooms EPP Placement on Background Fabric
Take one Winter Blooms Block and on the back apply small dots of Roxanne’s Glue to the outer edge seam allowance. The long applicator syringe of the Roxanne’s Glue makes this easy.
Align your Winter Blooms block on the top vertical seam (in the 12 o’clock position) of your background fabric so that the tulip/petal piece points match and line up with the seam. The inward facing tulip/petal tip should be 9.5″ away from the center of the background fabric.
The glue is temporary and if you have to adjust you can. Refer to the diagram below.
Very carefully take the entire background fabric with the one Winter Blooms block on it to the iron and heat set it. Be careful not to let it move in the process.
Continue doing this to the rest of the blocks along the vertical and horizontal seams of the background fabric (3, 6 + 9 o’clock positions.) You might find it easier to glue them all first and let them air dry before heat setting them.
The blocks that fill in the spaces between the “3,6, 9 + 12 o’clock” blocks that line up along the seams are placed down at a 45 ° angle compared to the two surrounding blocks. Just like the blocks lined up along the background seams, these blocks’ inward pointing petal/tulip piece tip should be 9.5″ away from the center of the quilt.
Applique Your Winter Blooms
The Roxanne’s Glue does a nice job holding the blocks into place after they have been heat set. You can machine or hand applique the blocks down. We like to use Wonderfil Specialty Invisifil thread for the job. It is a 100 weight cottonized polyester thread. It is super fine but rather strong. Best of all, the thread disappears into your fabric. If you are machine appliquéing, we recommend doing a very small zigzag stitch or a blind hem stitch.
Now it is time to quilt as desired and bind! The negative space that develops inside this quilt is awesome! Do you see a giant snowflake? Kim personally sees Christmas cookies 🙂 There is always a food connection! The Winter Blooms themselves reminded us of poinsettias. We almost called this quilt “Poinsettia Wreath” or “Poinsettia Crown.” Whatever you think of it, we hope you love it and it brings you lots of joy this holiday season. Please share your creations with us on Instagram (we’re @brimfieldawakening) or consider joining our private Facebook Group, The Brimfield Bee, where you can post all of your Brimfield Awakening projects. These hashtags help us find your work: #WinterBlooms #BrimfieldAwakening
We carry two Celestial Blooms Kits. One is just the EPP papers needed to make this quilt. The other is bigger and contains all the EPP papers, Acrylic Templates and two EPP patterns that goes over the EPP blocks used in making this quilt. You can purchase the EPP Papers Kit here and the Complete Kit here.
If you are a quilt shop owner, and would like to kit the Celestial Blooms quilt, please reach out to us and we’ll set you up.
This tutorial will cover how to assemble the quilt top for the Celestial Blooms Quilt. The Celestial Blooms kit includes 2 EPP patterns – Brimfield Blooming Star and Brimfield Block. Those pattern instructional booklets will take you through the process of doing the EPP for the blocks included for this quilt top. Please refer to those instructions for completing the individual EPP blocks up to the part of popping the papers out from the completed blocks. You do not have to prepare the background squares from those instructions. Below are detailed pictures of each quilt block to help you plan your fussy cutting if you plan on making your quilt exactly as we did. The fabric requirements above are what we used for our fussy cutting purposes. If you “do your own thing” (and we hope you do!) you will find that you may have way more fabric left over, or in some cases, not enough fabric for what you want to do. We strongly encourage you to use acrylic templates to audition different motifs within the fabric and plan ahead what you will need before tracing and cutting.
Create 8 Blooming Star and 1 Brimfield Blocks
The papers should be removed and the blocks should be starched and pressed so that the “dog ears” are pressed towards the insides of the EPP. Remember to use the Brimfield Blooming Star and Brimfield Block pattern instructional booklets to walk you through the EPP. Also remember that in this particular quilt, we did not use any orange peels in the Brimfield Block. Set aside.
Piece the Background
Piece (4) 26″ squares together from the background fabric (Seed Stitch in the Noon color way) using a quarter inch seam allowance. Use the diagram below as a cutting guide.
Applique the EPP to the Background
Using the “+” from the seams of the background fabric as a guide and working clockwise around the fabric, apply small dots of Roxanne Glue to the back of one of your Brimfield Blooming Star blocks. The long tip of the Roxanne glue applicator makes this easy to make small precise dots around the outside perimeter of the seam allowance as well as the seam allowance of the inside “petal” cutouts of the block. Place this first block centered in the 12 o’clock position along the top vertical seam of the background fabric. Place it so that the inside pointing tip of the star – the one pointing towards the center of the background fabric – measures 9.25″ from the center. Carefully take this over to your hot iron and heat set the block. Affix 3 more Blooming Stars the same way, aligning so that the inside pointing tips end up 9.25″ away from the center of the quilt and along one of the main background seams. Place the remaining 4 blocks onto the background of the quilt in between the other blocks. We found it useful to press diagonal creases into each of the 4 quadrants to make a guide. Measure 12″(you might have to eyeball this – if any of your other blocks are “off” you might have to hedge this distance closer to 11.75″. Do what looks good!) from the center of the quilt top to an inside pointing tip of the Blooming Star. Glue and heat set the remaining blocks.
Machine or hand applique the blocks into place. We get asked all the time what to do about the dog ears. We recommend keeping them and folding them under as best you can. Snipping them is what you’ll want to do, but it is best to trim them down only a little and fold them under. This will prevent fraying at the edges of your applique.
Center the Brimfield Block
Once all your Blooming Stars are appliquéd into place, it is time to center your Brimfield Block. Using the “tall house” tips as your guide, align them along the seams from your background fabric. Use the graphic below as a guide.
Just like with the Blooming Star blocks, apply dots of applique glue to the outside edges of your house tips and heat set the Brimfield Block to the background. Applique into place. Once all the blocks have been appliquéd, very carefully cut away the background fabric from underneath the EPP sections. Be careful not to poke your scissors into the front of the EPP.
You may wish to add borders. Our sample does not have borders. Now it is time to quilt and bind! If you wish to create larger background squares, this does not affect the distance from the center with which you measure your applique. It remains the same. You can make the distance away from the center greater if you want, just be sure to add proportionately to the Blooming Stars along the diagonal creases as well.
We used the 108″ Measure Twice fabric for the backing and it couldn’t have been easier.
We hope you love making this quilt. Please tag us on Instagram with your makes! We are @brimfieldawakening Also use the hashtags #celestialblooms + #brimfieldawakening
This quilt combines 3 quilting skill sets: English Paper Piecing (EPP), applique, and traditional piecing. This tutorial will cover how to assemble this quilt top. It will *not* teach you how to do the EPP nor the applique. The Brimfield Beginnings Starter Kits used in making this quilt contain detailed instructional cards that cover how to do the EPP required for this quilt.
Stag + Thistle Fabric Requirements from Northcott Fabrics
Deer Ridge in Light Purple Multi 1 FQ (as long as there is a clean cut of one stag with it’s antlers)
All a Flutter in Lilac Multi 1 yard
Sew Bountiful in Purple Multi 1/2 yard
Timberland in Navy 1.25 yards
Thistle Thicket in Light Turquoise 4″ x 18″
Thistle Thicket in Purple 9″ x wof
Wildwood in Pink 4″ x wof
Background fabric Colorworks Sprout 2.5 yards
Backing fabric Colorworks Purple 3 yards
Binding fabric Colorworks Navy 1/2 yard
EPP Requirements for Brimfield Crossroads
Brimfield Crossroads Kit (contains Biggie Brim Block single papers pack, Meera Starter Kit (4 blocks + reusable acrylic template), Soleil Starter Kit (4 blocks + 2 reusable acrylic templates), instruction cards for each block, Brimfield Block Pattern Booklet, and papers for 12 additional Meera blocks.
If you decide not to purchase the Brimfield Crossroads Kit, then we recommend reading on and purchasing items al la carte, depending on whether you want to trace your own papers, or buy a bulk pack and end up with more than what you need.
This quilt uses a brand new upsized Brimfield Block called “Biggie Brim” and 2 different Brimfield Beginnings EPP blocks: Meera and Soleil. For this quilt, we left out the orange peels in the Biggie Brim block to maximize the space within the center of the block to accommodate the stag and antlers on the banner fabric. We recommend purchasing one single pack of the Biggie Brim and using those papers to trace your fabric (remembering to add your own seam allowance.) If you think you’ll make more Biggie Brims in the future, we do have the window acrylics available which allow you to trace both fabric + seam allowance and the paper shapes. We also recommend purchasing the Brimfield Block Pattern Instructional Booklet if you intend to include the orange peels within your Biggie Brim block.
The starter kits for both Meera and Soleil contain the papers to make (4) 7″ blocks, window acrylic template(s), and an instructional card that explains how to hand stitch each EPP block. In order to make this particular quilt, you will need 12 more Meera papers than what the starter kit provides (16 in total.) There are 2 solutions. Since the Starter Kits contain a “window” acrylic template, you have the ability not only to fussycut and audition fabric with those templates, but you also have the ability to trace additional Meera Block papers. If you do not wish to trace additional papers, you can purchase Meera Bulk Pack Papers separately (they yield 48 Meera blocks.)
Following the instructions included in your Meera and Soleil starter kits, make 16 Meera Blocks and 4 Soleil Blocks. The Meera blocks are cut from the Timberland fabric in the navy color way. Put the 16 Meera Blocks into 4 groups of 4 and stitch together, as shown below. We will call these groups of 4 Meera Blocks sewn together “quads”. Continue to follow the instructions about removing the papers and pressing your blocks and set aside.
For the Biggie Brim block, please follow the instructions included in the Brimfield Block pattern Instructional booklet. Do not prepare the background squares as you will not be using them in this layout. Also, in our example for this quilt, we left out the orange peels. Even though the scale of the original Brimfield Block is smaller, the concept for putting the block together is the same. If you are not using the orange peels, stitch together the Biggie Brim in 4 sections: one fat house flanked by a small house on each side. Join those sections together with a tall house in between. The Biggie Brim is constructed from the Thistle Thicket fabric in the purple color way. Once complete, press the block well, pop out the papers and then press again (tucking in any tails towards the inside of the EPP.) Center your Biggie Brim over a stag head from the Deer Ridge fabric and use Roxanne’s glue to temporarily hold the block in place. You are only using the Roxanne’s glue on the inside perimeter of the circle of the Biggie Brim (do not glue the house-shaped points of the outside perimeter.) Heat set with an iron. Then, hand or machine appliquéing the block along the inside circle only. Set the Biggie Brim aside with the other EPP blocks.
Following the instructional card included included with your Soleil starter kit, construct 4 Soleil blocks, paying attention to the fussy cutting in the picture below. We used the Sew Bountiful fabric in purple alternating with the Wildwood fabric in pink to make the four Soleil blocks. Like the other EPP blocks so far, press your block with the papers inside, remove the papers and then press again tucking in any tails towards the inside / underneath your block.
Piecing the Octagon
We’d like to give special thanks to Courtney Reed @sewthishappened who did all the quilt math and pieced the octagon for us! Below is her part of the tutorial in her own voice and graphics.
Once you have all your fabric cut, you want to attach your background fabric strips to the setting triangles right sides together on the LONGEST SIDE. Do this to all your setting triangles using a standard 1/4 seam allowance. At this stage you can trim off the excess background fabric or trim once top is complete.
Now sew together on of your setting triangle pieces to the 19”x16” longest side. Right sides together as shown below. then sew another setting triangle to the botom of that new unit.
Thank you Courtney!
Applique your EPP to the Octagon
So, remember those Meera and Soleil blocks you set aside earlier? It’s applique time!
You should have 4 Meera Block “quads” that measure 14″ square, one Biggie Brim with the stag head already appliquéd to the center, and 4 individual Soleil Blocks that measure 7″ across their diameter. Set the Soleil Blocks and Biggie Brim aside.
Going with one Meera block quad at a time, put some Roxanne Glue on the back side of the block in dots all around the outer perimeter as well as along the inside ovals (the negative spaces that develops inside the Meera Block quads). Very carefully center your Meera Block quad onto the space between 2 of the setting triangles of your octagon. See picture below (but imagine it without the Soleil Blocks on top.) The glue is temporary and you can move it if it seems “off”. We actually just eyeballed it. Then take your newly glue basted Meera Block quad over to your hot iron and heat set the applique. We decided to do a combination of machine and hand applique for attaching our Meera Block quad to the octagon. We recommend appliquéing quad after each glue basting, one at a time (instead of glue basting all 4 and then appliquéing all 4.)
After all 4 Meera Block quads have been appliquéd down onto the octagon, *carefully* cut away the background fabric from behind the applique. Go slowly and be careful not to poke your snips through to the front of your applique.
Next, just like you did with your Biggie Brim block, put dabs of Roxanne glue onto the back inside perimeter of your Soleil Block and center over the light turquoise “Thistle Thicket” fabric. Heat set and then applique the center of the Soleil block to the Thistle Thicket. You are only stitching the inside circle part, not the tips of the house pieces. Do this for the remaining three Soleil blocks.
Take your newly appliquéd Soleil blocks and, going one block at a time, center one over the Meera Block Quad (as shown in the picture above.) Just like in previous steps, apply dabs of Roxanne glue to the outside perimeter of the Soleil block and then heat set with a hot iron and either machine or hand applique the Soleil Block down. Do this 3 more times. Cut away the background fabric from underneath the Soleil blocks (yes, you will actually be cutting away portions of your Meera block EPP.)
Once all Soleil blocks and Meera blocks are appliquéd down, it is time to center and applique your Biggie Brim to the center of your octagon. Afterwards, cut away the fabric from underneath the Biggie Brim. Now it is time to make the quilt sandwich and quilt as desired!
We would like to thank Brett for letting us play with his Stag and Thistle fabric collection. We feel like we had a chance to visit his magical childhood home in British Columbia, Canada. We would also like to thank Carey Fitch of Carey On Quilting for contributing to some of the quilting on this quilt.
We are Kim + Nisha. There's a certain smell that comes with time, walking the acreage of Brimfield. There's nothing better than finding a tent with that smell - When it hits our noses, we know we're about to hit quilty gold. Start your EPP journey with us! We can't wait to stitch with you.