I have been playing around with the idea of making an Elephant quilt for a while now, especially after going to Thailand this year. When I saw the post about the Holiday Memories Mini Quilt Contest, I decided it was time to get to work and make the quilt.
This quilt brings back memories of one of the best experiences I have had in my life. While on vacation this year in Thailand, we visited the Elephant Nature Park. We were able to spend the day with elephants that were wandering around in the valley doing whatever it is an elephant does all day (which is mostly eating). The elephants have all been rescued from various places through Thailand although most came from the illegal logging industry and street begging. Many of these elephants have injuries from their lives before the Nature Park, but are still there sweetest most gentle creatures.
During the day we were able to walk around the park and meet a few of the elephants. A few were getting their baskets of fruit so were able to feed them as well. Below is one of the older elephants in the park and is a one of the few Grandmas! She was very gentle, but you could feel the strength in her trunk as she took the food from you. She is the lovely elephant that inspired my quilt. I will always remember her gentle touch and intelligent looking eyes.
After visiting the Elephants and having lunch, we were able to take some of the Elephants down to the river to give them a bath and then feed them again (they are constantly eating!). This is one of the days out of all my holidays that I will never forget. It was fantastic to be able to see some of these lovely creatures being able to wander around freely and not in chains as they are whenever else we saw them.
For the quilt I did a machine applique of an elephant head that I drew out on freezer paper and cut out. After that I hand appliqued on the ear and eye (with the ear being able to flap like a real elephant ear!).
For the quilting of the elephant I quilted wrinkles onto my elephant around the eye, ear, neck and trunk like you would find on the real animal.
The backing is a pretty fabric with bright tropical colours and pretty birds that reminds me of many of our tropical vacations over the year.
This quilt was made out of Kona Solids, with a mix of machine applique (elephant), raw edge applique (watermelon) and hand applique (ear and eye). The mini measures 19″ by 22″.
I am adding this to the Holiday Memories mini quilt competition. Voting opens soon, so please head over and vote for my quilt as well as checking out all the great minis and pillows that others have made!