Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Engrossed in Elephants!

My challenge quilt is consuming me!  It is pretty much the only thing I've been working on lately.  I seem to eat, sleep and dream elephants.  Almost every technique I'm using on this quilt is new to me.  I'm making things up as I go. 

my design
I took my drawing in to be enlarged (that was a debacle).  It was supposed to be ready in 2 days, but, 4 days later, they hadn't even started on it.  It took them a couple of hours to finally do what I asked, and enlarge the elephant to the size I wanted.
enlarged elephant taped together
 It just fits in the size requirements.  We had to take the tail off, so that it wouldn't be too long.  I have an idea for something for the tail. 

I traced the elephant onto fusible fleece, then added another layer of fusible fleece underneath, since I needed more stiffness for the trunk and legs, when hanging,  I then stitched along the inside of the lines, thru both layers of fleece, so that I'd have the pattern on the back, to follow when cutting everything out after the fabrics were fused on the front.
I used red thread, so that I could see it easily.

red thread shows the outline of the elephant from the back
While I was waiting for the elephant to be enlarged, I cut my fabrics into strips, and started making 4 patch units with the greens.
80  4 patch units
I then pulled out my Texture Magic, to see if it would work the way I wanted it to, on the elephant.
background strips cut, strings to be kept (keep tuned) and Texture Magic pinned to back of grey material

stitching the outline of the elephant

stitching curved lines across the elephant

stitched both directions

front of stitched elephant

after ironing elephant
The Texture Magic worked just like I wanted it to.  It shrinks the elephant 30%, so, I made the elephant 30% larger to start with.  Now the elephant looks like it has bumpy skin, like a real elephant. 

I did the same thing with the baby elephant yesterday.
baby elephant
Both elephants are ready to be appliqued onto the quilt.

I stitched my green 4 patch units together, to cover all of the elephant and it's feet and trunk.
bottom of elephant
I then stitched the gold strips in to 9 patch units, and covered the top portion of the elephant.  I over lapped the 2 pieces, so that I could cut a wavy line in the gold, and applique it to the green.

wavy edge of gold fabric
 I then fused everything onto the fusible fleece, and basted it all around.
fused onto fusible fleece
This afternoon I quilted wavy lines across each row of the elephant, using variegated thread.  I had this thread in my stash.
green to tan thread
Then I did this to my quilt.
I cut it up!
Don't worry.  I didn't ruin it.  I just cut the elephant out, from the back, following the red thread outline.  This is what it looks like now.

quilted elephant
The end is in sight!!!  I need to applique the elephants on (by hand) then trace the tree, and add it, using fusible.  I'll machine applique the tree.  I even have leaf buttons I may add to the tree.  I do still need to make the tail before I can add the backing.  I'm going to try to 'turn' this, envelope style, for the backing.  With all these curves, I hope it works.  I really don't want to make bias binding and bind the regular way (especially since it will be a problem with attaching the tail).  I may also use some of my green 'scraps' for the end of the tail.  That is why I saved them.

I have been working on some other things, too.  I'm not 100% engrossed with this elephant.  When I cleaned my sewing room, I found some hexies that I'd bought at a quilters garage sale booth, at a quilt show, a while back.  I started basting them.
Not bad for a $5 bag of hexies.  These hexies are huge!  Each side is 1 3/4" long, and there are tons of these.  I have no clue what I'll do with them when they are basted. 

I also made another table runner, earlier in the month, but, couldn't show it until it arrived at it's new home. 
chicken table runner

table runner, showing the egg backing fabric
Kevin the Quilter, has better pictures of the table runner on this blog post.  It looks great on his new dining room table.  I made it for him after I saw him the end of January, while traveling back home from Texas.  Kevin gave me some yummy eggs from his chickens.  Hey, I even used the extra binding I made for the rooster placemats, last December, in this table runner.  See, I'm finally using some of my scraps.

I still have some mug rugs that I made that I can't show yet, since at least one of the possible recipients follows my blog.  I don't want to spoil the surprise. 

I also made a baby quilt, using the I Love Precut Quilts pattern I used for the blog hop.  I made the baby quilt smaller, using only 12 blocks.
baby quilt

pink Minkee on the back
I couldn't show this, either, until the new owners received it.  The baby shower was this past weekend.
big sis and mom holding the new baby quilt
These were NOT my usual colors, but, the mother requested greys, and pastels.  I had the grey in my stash (bought for something else, but, never made, since I don't like grey) but, I don't have pastels in my stash, so, I grabbed brights instead. 

What are you working on????


  1. Your elephant is looking great! You have gotten a lot done!

  2. I just love your process and techniques for acheiving your elephant quilt. Looks fabulous right now! Sweet baby quilt - love dimpled minky.

  3. Great bird-year runner! (Elephants don't have a place in the oriental zodiac).

  4. Good month of variety. Your elephant is coming together so well. You have played and experimented a lot and I love the adventure.

  5. I'm really intrigued by your elephant quilt progress; can't wait to see more! Great work on all fronts!

  6. Love watching your progress on the elephant; can't wait to see the finished one! Great baby quilt - I love Minkee for the back on baby quilts.~Jeanne

  7. I'm catching my breath after reading what you did all month! Love that you are showing the steps for the elephant. It is lovely, and so interesting.
    You also forgot that you sent out a couple of butterfly patterns to me. Thank you so much!

  8. I can't wait to see the elephant finished. You have been very busy!

  9. Hello from Idaho and found your blog though Sue. Your a lot farther in quilting. I'm attending my first class.
    If you fine the time stop in for a cup of coffee.

  10. I want to say that your elephant project is a labor of love but it is so much more than that. I cannot look at the baby quilt or the hexies because I am so absorbed in the whole elephant quilt and the painstaking process. Cheryl, I wish you all the best in this beast of a project. Thank you for commenting on My Twitter Feed quilt beause that is how I found your blog.


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