Iridescent Butterfly

I was hunting around in my craft drawers a few weeks ago, and came across a stack of butterflies I’d made years ago from fusible film – it’s the sheet version of ‘Angelina’ fibre. I’d inked up a butterfly rubber stamp, laid the sheet over the top, covered with baking paper and ironed it. The sheets are iridescent and change colour where heat is applied, and also become ‘3D’ and mould to the shape/texture they are on when the heat is applied. This is one of the other butterflies I found:

It’s hard to capture all the different colours as they are really shiny, but you can see the texture clearer in this close up:

Most people have probably heard of the ‘butterfly bush’, Buddleja, and how invasive it is. I don’t know if it has the same association with railway lines in other parts of the world as it does here, but it always reminds me of days out to the Sefton Coast, seeing miles of Buddleja alongside the tracks. I had an (odd) idea about recreating the view from the dusty train window of a bright coloured butterfly fluttering around the Buddleja flowers. I wanted to use a piece of synthetic chiffon fabric over the top, which would ‘recreate’ the obscured view I’d get because of the combination of bright sun and dirty windows, and also it’d secure the butterfly. There wasn’t a piece big enough at the well being centre, so I made do with a piece of cotton gauze. It didn’t turn out quite as I’d hoped, but it wasn’t a disaster either!:

I even joked with one of the class members that I could pretend I’d meant the gauze to represent a butterfly net! The butterfly kept its shape right until the final rinse, I must have been a bit heavy handed and the slight extra shrinkage crumpled it 😦

Here’s a close up of the irridescence:

I still have quite a few butterflies, so I’ll hopefully think of another way of incorporating them into felt. Have you used Angelina fibres or fusible film in felting?

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15 Responses to Iridescent Butterfly

  1. Leonor says:

    You know what this reminds me of? Butterflies right before they emerge from their cocoons! Which is appropriate since I was (for some random reason) watching videos of caterpillars turning into moths and butterflies yesterday evening 🙂

    I’ve never used Angelina fusible film but I sure use it a lot in my spinning – art batts, anyone?

    • zedster66 says:

      Ha, strange coincidence! Glad you could see something I didn’t in it, thanks Leonor 🙂

  2. I was using a fusable angelina while creating a mixed fiber. So I played a little with it but nothing serious.

  3. It’s a shame it crumpled. I like the idea. Maybe wight silk hankies stretch would give the hazy window effect. Now, I am off to look up butterfly bush and see if it is invasive here.

  4. annielynrosie says:

    Love the gauze overlay! The butterfly looks great trapped onto the felt and the overall effect is exactly as you described with the train window.

    • zedster66 says:

      Thanks, Lyn 🙂
      I thought the gauze might actually show more detail of the flower, I spent ages positioning little ‘balls’ of wool and a few different embellishment fibres trying to recreate the clusters of flowers, but none of that is really visible!

  5. ruthlane says:

    I agree with Lyn that it gives the overall effect your were describing. If you leave the wispy edges of the Angelina loose, sometimes you can get Angelina to felt in. You have to put quite a bit of wool over top of those wispy bits though. I have never really liked Angelina fiber that much though. Too shiny and glitzy for me.

    • zedster66 says:

      Thanks, Ruth 🙂
      yeah, Angelina can be difficult, even when it felts in ‘well’, it could easily be tugged out. And it looks nice when the light catches it and there’s colour-play, but some (like the one I have) just look grey otherwise. This film is a lot more colourful though, it’d be nice to be able to use it.

  6. I like the bling butterfly. Nice idea to use the gauze over it. I’ve used Angelina and have some fusible but never used it.

    • zedster66 says:

      Thanks, Marilyn 🙂
      I think I still have quite a lot of sheets left of mine, it’s nice to play with, but I don’t really do the kind of crafts it’s usefull in!

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