Blue Butterfly Dreams Pillow — Item 168

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Off-White & Dark Blue Embroidered “Butterfly Dream” Pillow

This is for one, beautiful, one-of-a-kind custom “accent” or “throw” pillow.

The design has two butterflies and Chinese text.

This pillow has two stories behind it. One is for the butterflies, and another is for the Chinese Text.

This is a high stitch count design.

John researched and digititized the design. Notice the embroidered butterflies are not cartoon drawings of fake butterflies — like most embroidered butterflies. They look very much like real butterflies.

The original artwork was created by the famous entomologist, Pieter Cramer (1721–1776) and his partner Casper Stoll (~1730–1791).

The top butterfly is a female, from the species: Junonia Orithya.

Below, is an edited version of the original artwork: Cramer&Stoll-uitlandsche Kapellen vol. 1- plate 019.

Pieter Cramer, Pasper Stoll, Butterfly, Junonia Orithya

The bottom butterfly is from the species: Troides Minos. Our version of this butterfly's colors were modified for this design. In real life, this type of butterfly is black, with very light shades of pink and yellow — not blue and clear.

Below, is an edited version of the original artwork: CramerAndStoll-uitlandsche kapellen vol. 3- pl 195.

Pieter Cramer, Casper Stoll, Butterfly, volume 3 plate 195

(John can digitize just about any butterfly from Cramer and Stoll's works — if you are interested. All of their beautiful artwork is now in the public domain.)

Next, there is a very interesting story behind the Chinese text.

Chinese script for "Butterfly Dreams"

The characters are: 蝴蝶夢 (Translation at

The first character is: 蝴 hú (pronounced, who). It means butterfly. The second character is: 蝶 dié (pronounced, dee-ah). It also means butterfly. The third character is: 夢 mèng (pronounced, mong). This means: dream, visionary, wishful.

The type of calligraphy used — its “font” — is a simplified font that has nice curves, is elegant, and digitizes well. This is not a machine font that is built into an embroidery machine. Each character was hand-digitized by John. Each character's strokes actually stitch out in the correct order, as if a professional Chinese calligrapher was painting them.

Together, the three characters in the phrase means, “Butterfly Dream.”

Of course, there is a story behind this. It comes from a famous Chinese philosopher called, Chuang Tzu. (Also known as: Zhuang Zhou, or Zhuangzi.)

(See: 莊子

He lived around the 4th century BCE. In one of his books he wrote:

“Once Zhuangzi dreamt he was a butterfly, a butterfly flitting and fluttering around, happy with himself and doing as he pleased. He didn't know he was Zhuangzi. Suddenly he woke up and there he was, solid and unmistakable Zhuangzi. But he didn't know if he was Zhuangzi who had dreamt he was a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming he was Zhuangzi. Between Zhuangzi and a butterfly there must be some distinction! This is called the Transformation of Things.” (Wikiquote) (Translated, Burton Watson 1968:49)

Because of his philosophy, the phrase “Butterfly Dream” is well known by people that study philosophy or speak Chinese.

Personally, this a classic line of reasoning and philosophy that John enjoys. You may wish to do an online search and read more about “Butterfly Dream.”

Anyhow, this pillow combines, elegance, beauty, butterflies, and an interesting bit of ancient Chinese philosophy.

(In the future, John is planning on digitizing other beautiful butterflies. So, you can look forward to other versions of this design.)

The stitches in this design are very dense and have a very tactile feel. Notice how the various colors on the top butterfly are interwoven — this design does not take the shortcut of stacking patches of color. The special embroidery techniques used give realism and a nice depth to the design.

Beth created the pillow design. She uses great computerized embroidery and sewing machines for the bulk of the work, then hand-sews the final side shut.

The fabrics have a nice soft feel.

This accent pillow would be a great gift for a person:

  • that loves butterflies,
  • that loves chinese artwork,
  • that has a philosophical aspect to their personality,
  • an interior decorator or real estate agent staging a fine home,
  • or could use dark blue accents for their interior design.

Availability: Sold

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This pillow's size is approximately 12" x 16" x 4".


The front center panel uses light cream/tan cotton fabric with a light, canvas-like texture with the embroidered design, and a dark blue fabric on each side of the center panel and on the back. This blue fabric has a soft, corduroy-like texture. Note the decorative blue trim on each side of the center panel.


This pillow includes a new, soft insert — which is hand-sewn inside.

Suggested Products:

This design is great for: totes, bags, purses, pillows and sweatshirts.

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Embroiderglyphs, Embroidery, Beth Nordberg, John Nordberg, Eden Pairie, Minnesota, Pillow, Accent Pillow, Butterfly Dreams, Butterflies, Chinese Text, 蝴蝶夢, naturlist, Pieter Cramer, Casper Stoll, CramerAndStoll, entomologist, Junonia Orithya, Troides Minos, Philosopher Chuang Tzu, Chinese philosopher, Zhuang Zhou, Zhuangzi, dark blue, Navy, tan, cream.

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