Sunday, 2 April 2017


This is my Elephant Abstractions quilt, pattern by Violet Craft.

Elephants have long been special in my family, I think because my Dad likes them.  He always used to tell us to watch for elephants when we'd be getting bored on long drives (of which there were many, living on the Canadian Prairies).   One day, in Grande Prairie, he actually did see an elephant out for a walk (the circus was in town).  He came rushing home to get us, so he could tell us to look for elephants, but by the time we were back downtown, the elephant was done his walk and we didn't get to see it on the streets.  

This quilt was fun from start to finish.

First, the fabric selection--I pulled all these fabrics at Along Came Quilting,

  enlisting the help of staff at the store, and of my friend Colleen via texted photos and phone.

Then, the piecing was begun at retreat in October.  I found the wonder clips to be a very useful tool for paper piecing--I could line up the seam lines on both sides of the clip, and thus know I was sewing on the 1/4" on both pieces.
I didn't get it finished at retreat,  but had a good start.

It was here that I could see one problem with my fabric choices--the fabric behind the tusks could have been a little darker--no problem I could fix that with thread!

And then the really fun part began, the quilting!!  I looked at photos of elephants on the interwebs, and then had fun thinking about the quilting texture I wanted to add.  Here's the 'map' I made of the areas I knew how I wanted to quilt.

 I basted it all, so I could roll back and forth freely, and started in on the areas where I knew what I wanted. 

 the threads, most of the tools and inspiration sources

 Once I got the elephant done,  I decided to have lots of fun with the background.... and you can see in this photo below that the quilting helped to differentiate between the tusks and the legs.
 Naming was tough.  Youngest claimed naming rights, but when the time came, she decided it was too much pressure.   I was thinking that this quilt was just Marvelous, and that put me in mind of a beloved Uncle, whom I used to call Uncle M (he having taught me the M stood for Marvelous).  My Dad, though, on one of our long Prairie drives, and probably tired of looking for elephants, thought it a good joke to teach me the word Mediocre, so that quickly put paid the Uncle M nickname. 
 Also, Uncle seems to be a respectful honorific in many cultures, and Elephants, to me, seem to require a respectful honorific....and so, this is Uncle.

and here's a photo of an elephant my Aunt (she of the Uncle M) took, and sent me after I sent her a photo of the completed quilt.

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