Vintage Hankie Butterfly  Block Quilt Pattern Tutorial



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Vintage Hankie Butterfly Block Quilt Pattern Tutorial

Finished Block Size: 12" x 12"

Examples of quilts that use vintage hankies/handkerchief can be seen here.

*For a tip about printing this page, click here.


~For each Block~

One Handkerchief
13" x 13" Tone on Tone White Background Fabric
Matching Embroidery Floss

Any instructions with [brackets], refers you to the Technique Page in the Library of this site for printable free how-tos.


1. Using gentle soap, handwash the handkerchief you are using.

Please Note: If you feel your hankie is too delicate to wash, perhaps you should reconsider using it for this quilt.

Handwash Vintage Hankies

Hang to dry.

Vintage Hankies on Clothesline

These are a set of hankies from my childhood. I used them as my Barbie sheets, which was extra special to me, because I only ever had plain white sheets on my bed growing up. :)

2. Cut [Rotary Cutting·#F] the background fabric into a 13" square.

3. Steam press the handkerchief, and clip any loose threads.

Steam Press Hankie

4. Fold the handkerchief in half, into a triangle.

Fold Hankie in Half

Tip: If there is any staining you wish to hide, be careful which way you make your first fold.

5. With pins, mark the points on the hankie triangle where you will further fold.

Mark where you will fold

For this example, the points at the top are about ¼" from the center, and at the bottom point are 2" from the point with a 1" tuck.

Tip: The width of the point can be adjusted, depending on the design of the hankie you are using.

6. Press these into folds - the outer lines over, and the inner lines under.

Folded Butterfly Hankie

Adjust how the tucks look, then give the hankie butterfly a good press.

7. Fold the background fabric in half diagonally.
Align it along the center line of the background square, using the picture as a guide.
Pin and then baste the butterfly
in place [Stitches-#3c] to the background fabric.

Basted Hankie Butterfly

8. Using matching embroidery floss Blanket Stitch [Decorative Stitches·#1] the edges and along the folded lines of the handkerchief butterfly to the background fabric.

Stitching Hankie Butterfly

Using the stitch guide for the butterfly antennae, embroider them with the Stem Stitch (Directions included).
Tip: ~ You can use these stitches as your quilting.

Request the Butterfly Antennae Stitch Guide here

End with a knot on the back of the background fabric, behind the butterfly.
When you have sewn all the edges,remove the basting.
Press [Pressing·#2].

9. Using the grid ruler and the rotary cutter, centre the design and trim the background fabric down, [Rotary Cutting·#G], to the unfinished size of 12½" x 12½" square.

Hankerchief Butterfly Block


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