Interviews Becky  

Guest Designer – Diane D. Knott of Butterfly Threads Quilting

Share the love!

Super excited to be kicking off 2019 with Diane. Her spin a star quilt is a perfect way to grab your scraps and just start sewing.  It will turn out just perfect, no matter the color and placement. I hope you take a quick minute to visit her shop and check out her other patterns and tutorials. They are all about scraps and strips of fabric.

Here’s a bit more about Butterfly Threads Quilting:

I was born and raised in south Louisiana, graduated from college in NC and later became a flight attendant for American Airlines for 10 years. After living in NYC and San Juan, Puerto Rico, I got married in 1993 and moved to Georgia. In 1997 I had a baby girl and in 1998 I had identical twin boys and was a homeschooling mom to them for years. I lost that job when the kids went to public school 2011, so I decided to put my extra energy into quilting.

I made my first quilt in 1997 while expecting my first child. In 2012, and many quilts later, I created the online pattern company and website called Butterfly Threads Quilting to distinguish myself from the other Diane Knott (who is a talented fabric designer in the quilting industry.) I have published over a dozen patterns, created three templates, been featured in Quilt Magazine, Primitive Quilts and Patchwork, Fons and Porter Easy Quilts, and the American Patchwork and Quilting Calendar.

In addition to traveling and teaching from her two books published by C&T, Scrap Quilt Secrets and Strip Quilt Secrets, Diane enjoys making custom quilts for hire and longarm quilting for others. Now that her nest is empty of children, it is filled with fabric!

About the project for the quilt group: 

To Spin A Star is quilt I recently pieced using leftover strips from another project. I like the way the star is created by making one unit four times, and spinning it. I also love to add pieced sashing and borders to create additional design elements. Besides, using small pieces allows me to dig into my stash/strip/scrap bins and rediscover fabrics that I’ve used in the past.

To Spin a Star

Finished size: 65″ X 75″


Block size: 8”
Materials needed:
Stars 15 fat 1/8 ths or (2 strips 2 ½” x 18 ½” per block)
Background 15 fat 1/8 ths or (2 strips 2 ½” x 18 ½” per block)
Yellow Print ¾ yard
Green 2 yards (includes sashing, borders and binding)
Binding 5/8 yard (only if different from border fabric)
Batting 73″ X 83″
Backing 4 1/4 yards (pieced horizontally)
Tools: A right angle (aka half square) ruler such as the “Easy Angle,” Fons & Porter Half Square, or Creative Grids Half Square.

Download the Pattern:  members only (signup / login here)

The Night Sky Mystery Quilt Block

I signed up to do the “Block of the Month” program for my local guild this past year. (I made the mistake of asking for everyone’s opinion! LOL) And this medallion style quilt along is the result.

Read all about the story and the quilt in this blog post, and download the instructions BELOW for the center star to kick off your Mystery Night Sky Quilt Along! The link below includes instructions for Diane’s no-waste way of sewing HST’s! We encourage you to give it a try, or you can assemble them traditionally with Becky’s notes below. Share your block and let us know what you think in the Night Sky Forum!

Becky’s notes on making the quilt block with traditional HST assembly:

  1. Corner half square triangles: I cut 2– 4″ x 4″ background and 2– 4″ x 4″ the red check (corner fabric).  Drew a line down the diagonal – on the wrong side – and then sew on both sides of the sewn line, cut on the drawn line for a total of 4 half square triangles. You’ll need to square these up to 3 1/2″ square.
  2. Center Pinwheels: I cut 1– 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ background and 1– 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ red check fabric.  Cut these on the diagonal so your one square will result in 4 triangles. Sew them together to make the one side of the half square triangle.
  3. Cut 2– 4″ x 4″ the same fabric you chose for your flying geese.  Cut in half diagonally once, so each square will result in 2 triangles.
  4. Sew your triangle from step 2 to the other triangle in step 3 together- they will then be sewn together to make the center pinwheel.
  5. Follow the layout of the block and her instructions for finishing.

Grab the pattern here: members only (signup / login here)

(Just another quick note here for our IAQ members: This Center Star block Diane designed has the option for sashing that increases the size of it to 15 inches. For our Night Sky Quilt along, you will want to skip that step. Your unfinished block measurements for this first block of the Night Sky Quilt should be 12.5 inches when you are done!)

~ Enjoy her interview ~

How did you get your start in sewing?

I made my first quilt 22 years ago when I was expecting my first baby. I wanted her to grow up sleeping under quilts like I had. Quilting became and obsession instantly for me. My three kids are all in college now and I’m still making quilts for them!

What inspires you?

I find inspiration everywhere! I love to find patterns in tile work, buildings and nature. Repetitive patterns that have elements that interact to create secondary designs are my favorite. As far as fabrics go, you can never put too many in a quilt!

Do you have a favorite notion?

I love these curved tip snips. I use them while piecing at the machine. They are perfect for snipping threads, tucking corners that have flipped, or as a stiletto for feeding patchwork. I couldn’t sew without them.

What’s coming up for you that we can check out~

My 2nd book with C&T has just been released in December 2018. Strip Quilt Secrets is the result of the questions I kept hear while teaching the past couple of years. How do I sort my stash/scraps? How do I cut my strips? How do make the best use of leftover scraps and strips from previous projects? The book shares all these answers plus 15 fun quilts for using your stash and scraps to make fun quilts! The best part? Every quilt pattern is offered in four sizes and the index in the back of the book shows which quilts are made from each size strip.

If you love your stash/scraps and want to make the most of them, this book is the answer!

Quirky or fun fact about yourself?

I’m not the only Diane Knott that quilts. There is another Diane Knott who is a talented water color artist and quilter. Many years ago she wrote a book and designed some fabric lines. That’s why I always use my middle initial for social media and publication. Diane D. Knott is me! I still get occasional emails and questions from folks who think I’m her. I even had one person get really mad at me because I couldn’t send her some of the fabric she insisted I made (but had never actually seen!) I think it’s kind of funny that in the small world of quilting there are two of us.

Where can you find her?



Join the International Association of Quilters an online quilt group that fits your schedule & location.  Exclusive patterns. Community of quilters. Designers you’ll love.   Join here!

Leave A Comment