Friday, June 7, 2013

Elephant quilt!

My sister had her baby!  Hooray!

Now I can finally show off the elephant quilt I made for darling baby Leah.  =)

Close up of the embroidered name.

Good thing they didn't do a last minute name change! =)

Here is a close up of the binding and the backing of the quilt.

Close up of the appliqued elephant.  I just used a zig-zag stitch on my sewing machine.  I hand embroidered the eye (with woven wheel stitch) and the tail (simple back stitch). It's hard to tell from the picture, but I also hand quilted around the elephants, so I didn't have to place a tie in the center of the block.

Here is the little elephant friend I made with the scraps.  I ended up doing a patchwork because I had so few scraps left!  Dang my mathematical brain and buying only the exact about of fabric I needed! =)  Check out this post for a tutorial to make your own elephant!

I'm so sad I can't be there to snuggle with sweet baby Leah!  At least she has my quilt to snuggle with! 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Elephant stuffed animal tutorial (with pattern)!

So, as I have said in previous posts, I just made (and mailed!) a little present for my new neice due any day (actually due yesterday =P)!  I am waiting until she is born to reveal the quilt in it's entirety (check out the matching quilt here!), but here is the stuffed elephant I made to match!  Soft minky on one side,  a patchwork of bright colors on the other.  Floppy ears perfect for the little hands to grab!  I'm loving it!

Do you want to make one too???

Materials: A bunch of small scraps pieced together at random or 1/3 yard of printed cotton fabric (for body)
                  6" of a coordinating printed cotton fabric (for ears)
                 1/3 yard minky (for ears and body)
                 Embroidery floss (for braided tail, and eye)

Time:        One evening, two long naps

I made a patchwork with my leftover scraps for one side of the elephant.  It was soooo easy.  Just sew a few pieces together, cut a line with your straight edge, and sew a few pieces onto your new straight line.  Don't have any scraps? Or don't want to worry about sewing a patchwork? Never fear!  Just use fun patterned fabric instead.  It turns out just as cute.

Print out pattern with page margins set to zero.

Cut out your fabric pieces.  Make sure you flip over your pattern after you cut out the printed cotton body, so that the minky is cut out the other way, like is shown below.  Same for the ears.  Cut out one minky and one cotton ear, then flip over the pattern, and cut out another minky and anther cotton ear. 

All of my pieces cut out. I'm ready to start sewing!
Sew the ears together with 1/4" seam allowance.  Put one printed ear and one minky ear right sides together and sew around the curved part.  Leave the end of the ear open so you can flip it right side out.

Flip ears right side out.  Transfer markings from pattern to ear for the pleats, on the outer side of the ear, only.

Fold the outer dots in to line up with the center dot (with both layers of fabric) -- pin in place. 

Sew pleats with 1/4" seam allowance. Whew.  Ears are done, and ready to be sewn onto the body!

If you want to embroider eyes, now is the time to do it!  For the eyes, I used the woven wheel embroidery stitch.  It's actually a lot easier and quicker than it looks. I think it makes perfect little eyes.  If embroidery scares you, try a button, or nothing at all!  It will be super cute either way!

Pin one ear on each side of the elephant, line up ears as shown on pattern. 

Sew ears onto each side of the elephant with a 1/4" seam allowance.

I braided embroidery floss to make a cute little tail.  Sew tail onto one side of the elephant, with a 1/4" seam allowance.

I really thought I took more pictures of the last steps, but I guess I didn't. =P Sorry!

Pin both sides of the elephant right sides together.  I pin A LOT when I use minky, since minky is stretchy and slippery.  Sew together with 3/8" seam allowance (to make sure you hide your previous 1/4" seams).  Leave a 2"-3" gap along the back leg.  Clip corners and severe curves so that it will lay flat when you flip it right side out (not sure what that means? Check out my Jellyfish tutorial).

Fill with stuffing until fairly firm, and hand-stitch the opening closed.   Ta da!  You are done!