Wrap a notebook for class or work with a cover that has a butterfly block front pocket. Fabrics are from the Bloom and Grow collection by Simple Simon and Company for Riley Blake Designs.
Butterfly Notebook Cover
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Inspired by: Born to Fly from designer Roseann Meehan Kermes

Quilt tester: Martha Gamm

Finished size: 9×11-1/2"

Finished block: 6" square


Yardages and cutting instructions are based on 42" of usable fabric width.

  • 1/2 yard each maroon print and pink print (exterior cover, interior sleeve, lining)
  • Scrap of yellow print (exterior cover)
  • 9×21" piece (fat eighth) cream print (exterior cover)
  • 3/4 yard blue print (exterior cover, interior sleeves)
  • 14×20" batting
  • Air-soluble fabric pen
  • Embroidery floss: black
  • 4"-diameter embroidery hoop
  • 7×10-1/2" spiral notebook

Cut Fabrics

Cut pieces in the following order.

From maroon print, cut:

  • 2—12 ×16" rectangles
  • 2—3" squares

From yellow print, cut:

  • 2—1-3/4" squares

From cream print, cut:

  • 1—6-1/2" square
  • 4—3-1/2" squares

From pink print, cut:

  • 1—14×20" rectangle
  • 1—6-1/2 ×12" rectangle

From blue print, cut:

  • 2—12 ×16" rectangles
  • 1—12 ×12-1/2" rectangle

Assemble Butterfly Block

Measurements include 1/4" seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

Press seams in directions indicated by arrows on diagrams. If no direction is specified, press seam toward darker fabric.

1) Use a pencil to mark a diagonal line on wrong side of maroon print 3" squares and yellow print 1-3/4" squares. (To prevent fabric from stretching as you draw lines, place 220-grit sandpaper under each square.)

2) Align a marked maroon print square with top left-hand corner of a cream print 3-1/2" square (Diagram 1; note direction of drawn line). Sew on drawn line; trim excess fabric, leaving 1/4" seam allowance. Press open attached triangle to make a maroon corner unit. The unit should be 3-1/2" square including seam allowances. Repeat to make a second maroon corner unit.

3) Repeat Step 2 using marked yellow print squares to make two yellow corner units (Diagram 2).

4) Referring to Diagram 3 for orientation of corner units, lay out maroon and yellow corner units in pairs; sew together units in pairs. Join pairs to make a butterfly block. The block should be 6-1/2" square including seam allowances.

5) Tape Full-Size Antennae Embroidery Pattern (found in "Download this Project" above), to a light box or sunny window. Referring to Diagram 4 for placement, use air-soluble fabric pen to trace antennae embroidery pattern onto butterfly block.

6) Secure traced butterfly block in embroidery hoop. Using three strands of  black embroidery floss, backstitch on marked lines. End each line of stitching with a French knot.

To backstitch, start from back of fabric and pull needle up at A (Backstitch Diagram). Insert it back into fabric at B, bring it up at C, and push it down again at D with no gaps between stitches. Continue in the same manner to stitch antennae.

Butterfly Notebook Cover

To make each French knot, start from back of fabric and bring needle up at A (French Knot Diagram), the point where knot is desired. Wrap floss around needle three times without twisting it. Insert tip of needle into fabric at B, 1/16" away from A. Gently push wraps down needle to meet fabric. Pull needle and trailing floss through fabric slowly and smoothly.

Butterfly Notebook Cover

Make Notebook Cover

1) Referring to Diagram 4, sew together cream print 6-1/2" square and butterfly block to make a 6-1/2×12-1/2" pieced rectangle. Fold pieced rectangle in half to make a 6-1/2×6-1/4" pocket. Place pocket atop bottom half of pink print 6-1/2×12" rectangle; align raw edges (Diagram 5). Using a 1/8" seam allowance, sew raw edges, leaving folded edge unsewn, to make exterior cover pocket unit.

Butterfly Notebook Cover

2) Sew together exterior cover pocket unit and blue print 12×12-1/2" rectangle to make exterior cover (Diagram 5). Press seam toward blue print. The exterior cover should be 12×18-1/2" including seam allowances.

3) Place pink print 14×20" rectangle on a flat surface with wrong side up. Top with 14×20" batting rectangle. Center exterior cover right side up on batting. Referring to Diagram 6, machine-stitch one vertical line down the center of exterior cover and one between exterior cover pieced sections. Stitch a horizontal line just above the exterior pocket. Trim lining and batting even with edges of exterior cover.

4) Fold a blue print 12×16" rectangle in half with wrong side inside to make a 6×16" rectangle. Referring to Diagram 7, place it atop bottom half of maroon print 12×16" rectangle; align raw edges. Using an 1/8" seam allowance, sew raw edges, leaving folded edge unsewn, to make an interior pocket unit.

Butterfly Notebook Cover

5) Repeat Step 4 to make a second interior pocket unit.

6) Fold an interior pocket unit in half with wrong side inside to make an 8×12" interior sleeve. Referring to Diagram 8 for placement, layer interior sleeve atop left-hand end of exterior cover, matching raw edges; pin. Sew together raw edges, leaving folded edge unsewn.

Butterfly Notebook Cover

7) Repeat Step 6 with remaining interior pocket unit and right-hand end of exterior cover.

8) Using a short zigzag stitch, sew together outer edges (Diagram 9). Trim corners, turn right side out, and press.

Butterfly Notebook Cover

9) Tack down seam allowances at the top and the bottom of the center fold to complete notebook cover. Insert notebook.