Because of an incident some years ago at the “Butterflies Alive” exhibit at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, in the course of which my digital camera got dropped and was never quite the same again, I have no particular fondness for butterflies. Their erratic flight patterns irritate me by reminding me of that day. So, it was with precious little enthusiasm that I embraced the Shuttlebirds Tatting Guild’s current workshop theme: Butterflies Take Flight. For the longest time, I used up leftover bits of thread while I fiddled around with 4-ring butterflies; destined to be added to nametags and such for the workshop. Then, as a member of the guild, I volunteered to help with other workshop prep and was asked to tat butterflies for the T-shirt design. Each butterfly was to be either original or from a pattern in the public domain. In a moment of madcap optimism, I tackled the task of designing one:

First draft of butterfly for the T-shirt

First draft of butterfly for the T-shirt

That wasn’t so awful. Encouraged, I pressed on to fine tune the pattern:

Meet Victoria

Meet Victoria

Off she flew to Spokane, along with two other designs from Sherry Pence’s book, which I was using with her permission, and I thought no more about butterflies. Then I learned from the guild newsletter that another large butterfly was needed for the T-shirt… The deadline for getting the design to the print shop is looming, so it did not seem wise to attempt to design another butterfly from scratch. After consultation with Patti Duff, the Workshop coordinator, I set out to adapt the butterfly from the ornate collar in Priscilla Tatting No 2, which is in the public domain. On the first run, I got a little carried away with stacking picots without enough space between them (these will not render well on a T-shirt graphic):

Adaptation of Priscilla No 2 butterfly

The lower wing treatment that was so much fun to execute also looked rather disconnected from the whole. So, I put this aside and started over. Five and three quarter hours later, I had this:

Lavinia

Lavinia

It was my intent to put the work aside and add a lower wing the next day. But then I looked at it again and deemed the creature to be complete, as is. The lower portion of the upper wing droops just enough to allude to the existence of a lower set of wings. She is a moth. Since this scan was taken, she has been blocked and is now en route to Spokane.

The first version, Miss Priss, deserves to be finished, and there will be  a picture for the next post.

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