Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Ellies Are Home!

You know, when you sit in your guild meeting during show and tell, and you like the quilts being shown, you are happy.  But then, someone opens up a quilt that makes the audience intake their breath and sigh because it is so stunning.  I wanted that.  Big time.  And I think I got it.

I have been waiting and waiting and waiting for just the right quilt to come along. An as the Old Sicilian Saying goes, all good things come to those who wait.  And, believe you me, good things came to me!

I can't sing the praises of Charlene high enough.  She did a prizewinning job on my quilt.  Too bad my quilt isn't perfectly pieced or it would win the Houston Quilt show!  The quilting is exquisite!

The Elephants of Sri Lanka started out with a story in the Quilters World Magazine from 2007.  Don't fret, you can't get them anymore because the tsunami wiped out Sri Lanka so there are no more elephants.  The women were taught to embroider and create these blocks to sell in the US.  Cost was $10 per block and it was shipped free.  

The Elephants jetted in from
Sri Lanka and were gorgeous.  I was so afraid to cut into them I let them sit for 2 years while I collected fabrics to work the paperpieced blocks with.

Here are all 12 elephants lined up on my design wall.  While I was at a retreat with a group of friends, i began to paperpiece the sashing blocks.  I loved the colors, and of course I love paperpiecing!

Here are two blocks joined.  I have oftne thought they woulld make a wonderful quilt just by themselves.  And after letting them sit for a year or more, I thought about doing just that.  I was still afraid to cut the elephants up!

But when I paired them up with the elephants, they were gorgeous.  I knew I had to complete this quilt-----at least to a top stage.

So here are the ellies and the sashing blocks all put together.  They sat for another year because now I was afraid to ruin the quilt with quilting!  I just can't win, can I?

The elephants were bugging me to get done, so I talked to my friend Charlene Harp, and she agreed to quilt them.  And it was a labor of love for sure.  The elephants are not "delicate" so to speak, but when put on the frame one leg did fray a bit.  And two places in my paperpiecing were not deep enough to hold.  So there are some repairs to do.

Here are Charlene and I displaying the quilt for the first time to the Remember Me Guild.   We got that intake of breath!  YES!
Here are some close up details of the quilting.  Some of the fabrics are so patterned you really can't see the quilting on it.  Which is a terrible shame, she did so much fine work on this quilt.  She should have charged me $1000!

Each of the elephants have the vine in its background.  The border has a leaf, and the circle border had lotus leaves.  The paperpieced sashing is echo quilted.  And the elephants are stitched in the ditch.  There are 5 different colors of thread.  And I can't imagine how many hours she put into this quilt.  

I am so grateful to Charlene for doing this quilt for me.  I love it.



  1. The quilt is fabulous! Congratulations for finally getting it done!

  2. BEAUtIFUL!!!!!! oh my! those are majestic aren't they? LOVE IT!!!

  3. It looks pretty perfect to me! It's spectacular, both in color and design.

  4. Oh My! Your quilt is breath taking.

  5. I absolutely love this quilt especially the paper pieced sashing - something I haven't tried yet.

  6. That's just gorgeous! Definitely gasp-worthy.


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