Butterfly Effect - Fabric Pull

Butterfly Effect {WISP}

Several years ago, Jan from The Colorful Fabriholic introduced me to the term “WISP”: Work In Slow Progress. And just this past week, I have committed to my first ever intentionally started WISP, the Butterfly Effect EPP pattern by Nicole from Lillyella.

Have I done a lot of English Paper Piecing (EPP) before? Not a lot, but I’ve done a little. Am I fully prepared to deal with all the small pieces in this pattern? Nope. But the only way to get better is to try, right?

The truth is that I am spending up to 5 hours a weekend on zoom and Facetime calls with family, and I have found that having some handwork to occupy my hands while we all chat has been really calming and helpful for me. So I’m diving into a project that I fully expect will take me years and years to complete.

Butterfly Effect - 2.5 hours of basting and stitching

Butterfly Effect – 2.5 hours of basting and stitching

I got started last Sunday, and you can see the progress I made in the first 2.5 hours of time with the pattern. I started by basting some of the larger pieces, and then worked on my first butterfly.

Butterfly Effect - Progress on First Butterfly

Butterfly Effect – Progress on First Butterfly

Oh my goodness those diamonds that make the body in the center of the butterfly are tiny. For the stitching, I am using a single strand of Aurifil 80wt thread and I’m using a flat stitch.

Butterfly Effect - Fabric Pull


I have plenty of fabric set aside. Now to take it one stitch at a time….

Do you have any long term “WISP” style hand projects that you only pull out for special occasions? I also have a long term mini quilt that I only work on quilting or embellishing when I am traveling.

14 thoughts on “Butterfly Effect {WISP}

  1. Those body pieces are tiny! I’m not sure I’d have the patience, but I think it will be a lovely finish! Great idea, having handwork to sew while you chat with family.

  2. Vicki in MN says:

    Looks like the perfect project for zooming with. I use to always have a hand project to work on while on the phone.

  3. That is going to be spectacular, your bright colors will really shine. I don’t do EPP, and admire those who can.

  4. What a fantastic project! I am a fan of WISP projects, too, although the term is new to me. If you find the Aurifil 80 weight to be frustrating to work with, I suggest switching to the 50 weight. For me, 80 weight broke often, even with a thread conditioner. With flat back stitching I didn’t need to use the thin thread. Now I only use 80 weight for appliqué.
    I hope you learn to love your handwork project!

  5. JanineMarie says:

    What a fun WISP. I did not know there was a hand sewn version of the butterflies, but I did enjoy her foundation pieced ones. The best part is choosing the fabrics for each one. Have fun sewing while you zoom and FaceTime.

  6. Debbie says:

    Wow. This is indeed a long-term project, but gorgous. Hope you enjoy the slow progress.

  7. A lovely WISP project. I have one to get back to some day. They really a perfect for a lot of zoom time!

  8. I hope your WISP brings you hours of enjoyable stitching!

  9. I love the WISP concept! My rainbow hexie EPP is definitely a WISP, having been started in 2016. It’ll eventually be finished! Your butterflies are going to be amazing and those pieces really are tiny!

  10. Janet Sabol says:

    Thank you for sharing this new-to-me term: WISP. I have lots of WISPs! Probably need to finish some before moving onto any others. Those butterflies are going to be gorgeous and love the fabrics!

  11. Patty says:

    I never heard the term WISP before but will start using this now. I love a good handwork project just for this reason – no hurry to get it done! Looks like a challenging project – looking forward to seeing how it progresses!

  12. I have a kit for the dark background version of Butterfly Effect that I hope to work on next year. I will be following your slow progress with great interest.

  13. Melanie says:

    What a fun new abbreviation – and an awesome project. I love the design and hope you will like the process and the finish – whenever that may be 🙂 xo

  14. What a beautiful project!! I like that term WISP !!!! Hope all is well – that is a long time to be on calls… good thing to keep your hands busy

I really appreciate the time and thought you take to comment, and I look forward to conversing with you. :)