I am still here…

My husband was on vacation and I decided that I would like to be on vacation

with him so I took 2 weeks off. Before I left for vacation, I had posted about

an elephant wallhanging that Mary had completed. Here are the before and

after photos.

Elephant before stitching\

This is what the elephant looks like when I get him. He looks like a blank canvas to me.

I really didn’t know what I was going to stitch onto this beautiful creature. So, I scanned the

Web and looked at what others had done. But I like to do my own thing and kept looking

for ideas.

Background

The background fabric is great and Mary just wanted me to stitch over all the ovals.

That was pretty easy and why fight the print on the fabric? So, this area was covered

but what about the rest of the elephant?

The trunk

I love libraries and off I went one evening, with no thought about elephants at all. When

I got there, I decided to pick up some books on elephants.  Maybe I could get some ideas

from pictures in the books. It was worth a try.

The tusk

After looking at several books, I decided that I would try to imitate all the wrinkles

on a real elephant but the lines would have to be simplified or I would be quilting

for the next several months.

Another tusk

I started with the ears and quilted in wiggly lines to replicate all the lines in the outer

perimeter of  the ears. Then I moved onto his tail, that was the easy part. Just make

it look like hair. Next I quilted his body beside the trunk; again simple lines to outline

the curves of his body.

The trunk was kept for last because I really didn’t know how I would tackle making  it

looked curved while being on a flat  2D surface. I had even gone the extra step of adding in

an additional layer of wool batting so that it would “puff” up like trapunto. I quilted in

all the lines with only the quilt top on the frame. Then I off loaded it and cut off all

the extra batting on the backing.

Right side of the elephant

Then I reloaded  the whole thing again, only this time with the batting and

the backing. Everything was working out fine until I got to the trunk. All the stitching  without a

stabilizer had caused the fabric to pucker up. I was not happy at all. Panic was beginning to set in

but I kept going.

Half of the reveal

I decided to stitch around the grey sections in the trunk and liked that but the unstitched

area was really “puffing” up and I knew I couldn’t stop there. So I tried stitching all the

way across the trunk, in a slightly curved line and then stopped to access the situation.

To my surprise, I actually liked the look of it and knew it would make the “puffy” areas

more flat. Ahhh! Now I could relax and finish the trunk.  The stresses of a  longarmer-ha!

The inside of the ears needed some stitching but I didn’t want to attract any more

attention to them so I merely outlined the piecing in monofilament thread.

The completed elephant

Lastly, I tried to imitate the lines on the legs and made them somewhat curvy. I

thought that more curvy lines on the tusks would clash with the lines on the

trunk so I stitched in long straight lines. It helps to emphasize how strong the

tusks are, in my mind anyways.

And that is the story of how I completed and lived through completing this

beautiful elephant for Mary. What is quite funny too is that I also picked up

a book by Anthony Lawrence called “The Elephant Whisperer.” It is a true

story of how he adopted an herd of elephants and managed to help

them forgive humans who hurt them. It is an easy read, check it out.

I also learned about his Conservation efforts in South Africa, his homeland

and of his conservation area called “Thula Thula.”  Visiting this place may

have to go on my bucket list now. Funny how quilting can lead to something

totally different. I had great fun learning about elephants and Thula Thula

through this quilt. Thanks Mary.

The backing

Mary loves Tula Pink and here is some of her fabric for the backing.

A close up of the backing fabric. It does a great job of hiding all the stops

and starts.

Mary also made this quilt. “La Pascallia” is the name of it. All of the piecing is

done by hand. It is definitely a work of love and art.

Here are some close ups of the fabrics Mary used and fussy cut to make each

circle unique.

The quilt was actually quite heavy when Mary brought it to me so Mary

had decided not to use batting in the middle. That was a really good choice

because it helped to lighten the weight of the finished quilted piece.

Flannel was used as the batting and it also helped to keep the

quilted piece from becoming too wavy. I think that the traditional

batting would have made the piece puffy in areas and that would

have detracted from the beauty of all that hand piecing.

Mary also wanted minimal quilting on the top  and I ended up

using a monofilament thread all of the quilt. It blends well with all

the colors of the top and you don’t have to keep changing threads

to match the colors on the top.

I stitched a small wiggly line all around each of the seams. This holds the

top together and doesn’t interfere with all the fussy cutting piecing either.

Great idea Mary!

More Tula Pink fabric

Mary also had some more Tula Pink fabric; again it helps to hide all the

stops and starts used in the quilting.

A close up of the background fabric.

Dara’s Quilt

Dara made this beauty for a special girl getting married. There is alot of time

put into this quilt in the way of machine embroidery.

Each block has either a moose or bear in the center that was machine embroidered.

You might think that this takes no time at all but it does. You have to center each block,

hoop it, add stabilizer and then keep an eye on the machine as it stitches it out.

The bear is pretty cool too. There certainly is ALOT of piecing on this quilt as well.

Good job Dara! Maple Leaves were the design of choice and a dark brown polyester

thread was used for the top and the backing.

The backing works great with the front too.

Jeanettte brought in this quilt. Again, alot of piecing. Because I don’t get

to piece much anymore, I am always amazed at how  patient quilters are

when putting together a quilt top.

Oak leaves were the design chosen and a light brown polyester thread

was  used for the top and the backing.

The border

This shows the piecing in the border area, I love it! Pieced borders add

so much more interest to the quilt top, in my opinion.

The backing was a light color and shows off the stitching perfectly.

Keep in mind what type and color of backing you want to use when

making a quilt. Do you want to hide all the stitching or do you want

it to be seen for the world to see? Mention that you your longarmer

and I am sure that they will help you with this.

Anne made this table runner for Canada’s 150th Birthday. She bought it

as a kit and it is gorgeous! The batiks are really striking.

I know that a Canadian designer  created this piece but can’t think of her

name. If you do know, just let me know and I will add it later. I stitched

around the central leaf with monofilament thread and then added

some clouds in the sky. It didn’t need much stitching as the

Canadian Geese and central design are beautiful.

 

Hope you enjoyed the show and don’t smile too much.

The kids might think that you are happy that they are back in

school-yipee!

Linking up to Needle and Thread Network, check it out.

 

 

5 thoughts on “I am still here…

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