Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Elephant Quilt Part I

My inspiration came from a few things...who 'needs' an elephant quilt?

1.  A personal challenge to start using some of my oldest reproduction fabric stash.
2.  The book:
      A History of Dutch Quilts
      by An Moonen
      To order in the USA (and other) click HERE
       (No patterns - fabulous photos and historic information)

The quilt got bigger than I intended, in order to showcase the fabrics I used some larger pieces.  Very simple squares and strips with early reproduction fabrics.

It needs more quilting but I'm unsure what to do.   Maybe a larger grid cross hatch?  The last frame has no quilting at all...yet.  I like the 'missing' middle corners.

The center is an applique with motifs fussy cut from 2 fabrics.

I may add some additional hand quilting to the center.
A little echo maybe?

I've used the Ro Gregg Heirloom Reproduction light fabric in several quilts and have it in two colorways - love it!

The motifs are from a stripe fabric I fussy cut and used as individual motifs appliqued around the elephant.

The center pieces of the quilt are smaller - working out to larger scaled borders.

The mediums are fabrics I have a hard time using.  This was a good personal challenge for me.

There are some Dargates, Chinoiserie and woodblock reproductions.

I used some of the Hausmann reproductions, including an animal print.
The Haussmann Collection was reproduced by Sharon Yenter for In The Beginning Fabrics in 2008.
"Jean-Michael Haussmann, the first cloth printer in the Alsace region to master the dyes required to produce these beautifully colored fabrics.  
The fabrics were first printed by the renowned mill of Christophe Phillipe Oberkampf in Jouy en Josas, near Versailles, France and Jean Michael Haussmann was the first cloth printer in Alsace who possessed the chemical knowledge to create the dyes needed for these beautifully colored prints. This look became extremely popular throughout Alsace and the whole of Europe. These prints are reproduced under license from the Musee de L’Impression sur Etoffes (The French Textile Museum in Mulhouse, France)These French Provincial style Bonnes Herbes or "fine grasses" designs were inspired by the local flora of herbs, fruits, and vines and first appeared in the Oberkampf textile mill at Jouy-en-Josas, near Versailles, in the late 18th century.  These carefully drawn designs, though stylized, appealed to urban women with their new found taste for the beauties of nature.  This made them very popular throughout Alsace and the whole of Europe, especially big cities like Marseille and Paris."  Click HERE

A little searching and you may still find some of the reproduction yardage.

Alexander Henry 'Khyber' Woodblock reproduction fabric from 1994, and a very old (c. 1984?) Jinny Beyer stripe.

I hand quilted the half circles but I think machine quilting would have been just as effective, since the stitches don't really show.

My machine quilting is done with silk thread.  I love using silk for free motion and straight line quilting.

...and now I have an elephant quilt!

Do you have any older stash fabric that challenges you to be used?

Stay tuned for Elephants Part II with a guest photo!  ...and some reproduction Dutch Quilts

Have a great week!


  1. Great quilt Dawn! I have a lot of pieces of older reproductions and I am using them in my Farmers Wife Quilt. I wish they would repeat some of the odler lines.

  2. these fabrics may have been produced a while back but i agree with Pat; they could repeat them now and all would be well~!!~

    love the way that you used the paisley broderie perse style in the center with the elephant~!!~


  3. of course now I need an elephant quilt
    LOVE this and the fabrics you used amazing

  4. Great quilt Dawn! More quilting would be an added bonus. I have some vintage (1940's?) Spanish linen with the most extraordinary elephant and handler motif that I've been saving to use in a medallion quilt...maybe next on the drawing board? Recently purchased the Dutch book too. Lots of fabulous inspiration.

  5. Who knew how great an elephant quilt could look!?!
    I vote for the echo quilting in the center--I think that will look good. Your constant creativity with reproduction fabrics inspires me. I have a bunch of them--I just need to use them!!

  6. What a wonderful way to use those fabrics. Your quilt looks great! Thanks for sharing.

    Donna K. from N. TX @ http://www.quiltingbeargal.blogspot.com

  7. You are amazing. This is just beautiful!!!!

  8. I adore the fabric you used- wow! its a great quilt!!

  9. I understand your struggle with medium fabrics, but this quilt is striking. I, too, like how the corner blocks fade. Echo quilting in the center sounds like a good idea. Look forward to your next post.

  10. This little quilt is a treasure! It is fun to look at and love the use of your colors and fabric. Good Job!

  11. Gorgeous work Dawn, just gorgeous!!!! I love the scrappy blend of repros, creates such a beautiful finish!!!!

  12. Good use of the elephant fabric. I don't remember ever seeing that print.


Thanks for your comments!