Monday, 29 February 2016

"17 years in the making"

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I sat down to tat a snowflake. Little did I know that hidden in a cocoon in the central flower, there was a butterfly waiting to spring out ! The snowflake was Georgia Seitz’ SuperBowl Sunday Snowflake 1999. 
When I shared my first pic in the Tatting Design Class, it was received enthusiastically & the pattern was cleverly dissected (no harm came to the butterfly :-) !). At the time I had named it after the snowflake (one of my ways of giving credit to the original) - quite a mouthful, though.

However, after talking to Georgia, it became Super 17 Butterfly for two reasons – it had taken 17 years for the snowflake to become a butterfly, & my date of birth is 17.
Recently I remembered two more important reasons ! This is the 17th year of her Online Tatting Class, And she celebrates her 17th birthday today – yes, forever young our GS !!!

This little butterfly is dedicated to Georgia Seitz 
& her immense contribution to the tatting art & community.
Happy Birthday, shuttle sister :-)
I am sharing 3 main versions of the butterfly – a simple 2D basic pattern & two 3D versions, with a few little options thrown in. All the butterflies can be tatted in one continuous pass.

Yellow Butterflies : Anchor size 20 Art 4054 (0293 lemony yellow  & 0302 dark yellow)
Black Butterflies : 2 strands of Anchor variegated embroidery thread (1325), & Anchor Mercer size 40 black.
3D Peach Butterfly : 3 strands of Anchor variegated embroidery thread (1315) & Red Heart 0328)
In size 20, they measure 1¼”x1” & in size 40 1”x ¾”.

Super 17 Butterfly  
Basic Pattern
There are times when one is looking for a simple or beginner pattern. This 2-page pdf contains only the basic pattern in the form of written notations & diagram. It can be worked with single shuttle & ball & thread size of choice.

showing folded chain & inward picots
Options for antennae/feelers
in size 40 threads

Super 17 Butterflies 

                                      2D & 3D patterns 
This 5 page pdf contains both the basic pattern with diagram, as well as two 3D versions with some process pictures.

If, while tatting, one decides to convert the basic 2D butterfly into a 3D version, simply follow along without cutting & tying! The 2nd wing is winged after completion of body with one minor change. And one can still work with single shuttle & ball.
In this version, the basic 2D pattern is followed till the end where instead of 1ds, a Mock Ring (or SCMR or chain joined back on itself) of 2ds is made. Continue without reversing work. The 2nd wing is worked from behind/back side of the previous wing and is a mirror image of the 1st wing. The wing is joined back at the base of the head to complete a 3D butterfly.

I got the feeling while photographing, that the head got hidden in the 1st version. My very first visualization had been to make the body 3D by coiling a chain around, as I had once done back in 2014 for a freeform pond reed (see pic). But that will have to wait for another butterfly.

Instead I added texture & bulk to the body by using a combination of variable padded ds & Josephine chain. To make the head more prominent I applied my perpendicular arrangement of concentric/onion JosephineRings.

So here’s version 2 of the 3D butterfly for those who like a bit of a challenge.
This version requires 2 shuttles. 

The antennae/feelers were kept simple with a long picot snipped in half later.
The peach thread is perle cotton which was a mistake! It appears bulky but loose & the stitches are never as neat as one wants them. Nevertheless, in order to show the head & torso, I had chosen a lighter shade .

I hope nothing has been left out. In case of any questions, mistakes, etc. feel free to talk to me. You know where to reach me :-))) 
happy tatting :-)

Related Posts/Tutorials : twisted picots (floating)

Motif #24 of III for 25 Motif Challenge


  1. A lovely tribute! I like the 3-D version best.

    1. Jane, many in class today felt the same way about the 3D one. I enjoyed tatting these - flying off my shuttles :-)

  2. So sweet! I love butterflies!

    1. These are just newborns compared to your evolved ones, Ninetta ;-)

  3. Creativity is seeing something no one else sees. I love these. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Such a lovely thin to say, StringyDogs :-) Hope you enjoy making them

  4. Thanks Muskaan, nice story.

  5. Replies
    1. Thanks, Sue ! Waiting eagerly to see your 6-shuttle lace :-)

  6. How beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thanks & welcome, Pam :-) Hope you get around to tatting them ...

  7. Wow! Gorgeous tatted pieces :). Love the 3D butterfly :). Thanks for sharing the patterns muskaan :).

    1. Thank you so very much, Jenn :-)

  8. I really like the 3D version, and also the black and variegated thread together. It's a very pretty variegate, is embroidery thread difficult to tat with?

    1. Ah, you noticed, Robin ! No, it the embroidery thread was extremely easy to work with. One needs to be careful only when trying to open a stitch for fear of separating the strands. I recently bought a box of 25 skeins (5 colourways) so you will be seeing them in future too :-)
      These are of course already variegated & the number of strands can simply be pulled out together. But in 2014, I had tried to create my own 'colourway' by combining single strands - one from a blue & one from a purple skein. Simply knotted it at the beginning, loaded the bobbin & the tatting went very smoothly too.

  9. Cudowne motyle.Kolory piekne.Pozdrawiam serdecznie.