BUTTERFLY IN CIRCLES was invented by a schoolgirl in May, 1954. The design was sent to her grandmother in a thank-you note for sewing materials, and later passed down by a family member. The pattern employs four circles, two tangent, and two overlapping, inscribed within an outer circle. All of the circles are of the same diameter, and therefore intuitively easy for any child to come up with, given a compass or circular object in hand. (See the original crayon drawing, with each of the wings a different color).
Interesting that beside the fact butterflies circle above flowers, the world of a butterfly unfolds in a circle, that is, it has a life cycle and metamorphosis which includes five phases as illustrated left, from springboardmagazine.com.
The design does not appear to be illustrated in the major patchwork compendiums. In any case, it has been offered here free for use in any medium.
Maggie Malone has a delightful selection on pictorial quilt designs, representing a whole jungle of wonderful creatures, with fish, mammals, insects and reptiles (including a magnificent crocodile) — see her 5,500 QUILT BLOCK DESIGNS, pp. 370-382.
Compare with other circular designs at this site:
SUNSHINE AND STAINED GLASS
SNAKE IN THE HOLLOW
(A) WINDING TRAIL
See also Nancy Cabot's story at: