November 12, 2011

A Quilt for Little Peanut

We love to quilt. And not just Twilight. In early 2010 we discovered that our cute little Mel was expecting, so we started planning a quilt for her new little one. While she was pregnant she called him, Little Peanut, so we decided on an elephant/peanut theme for the quilt. Nicole headed up this project, setting the layout, choosing fabrics for the border and sashing and assembling the blocks. She did a really fabulous job! Mel's sweet little baby boy was born on October 1, 2010. This post is long overdue, but we still wanted to share this fun group project.

Mel had this to say about the quilt, Last year, for my 29th birthday, I received a totally wonderful and unexpected present. A quilt, handmade by my very special Twilight Quilters friends! It made my day to open up the package and find that beautiful quilt, made just for my little baby. I got very emotional, to the point where I called my husband at work and sobbed. Owen has loved his one-of-kind present from the start. (And let me share a little secret . . . I used it a few times myself! And it's really snuggly!!!) This is something I will treasure for the rest of my life, and I feel truly blessed to have such wonderful friends, even if they all live hundreds and hundreds of miles away from me.

I thought a quilt with elephants needed a few jungle trees. I used a rubber stamp as my 'pattern' for the trees. I stamped the image onto paper, scanned it, enlarged it and then also reversed it so that I had trees going in both directions. I did raw-edge appliqué using Heat 'n Bond and did a machine blanket stitch around the trees. Then I did a bit of messy free-motion stitching to add a few details to them. The background fabric was a FQ that Wanda sent to me for my birthday, and I thought it was perfect for the trees. These were a lot of fun to make.

This is tiny version of a wall hanging I made my own grandson. It's ironed on and machine stitched. The E is for elephant as you can see! I absolutely loved the peanut and elephant theme of this quilt. It was so fun to be a participant.

To make this design, I looked at quite a few pictures of real and cartoon elephants. Elephants have fairly simple shapes when broken down, so it wasn't very hard. I loved the background fabric because it was so bright and fun and looked 'jungle-y' to me. The elephant pieces were cut out and fused, then appliquéd. I added the eyes, and the block was complete. I think he's cute and fun (and will probably get into some mischief)!

I did my block with a free pattern I found online. It was originally for a political elephant, but I used green and blue instead of grey and red! I just thought he was a cutie. It was one of my first advanced paper piecing squares.

Since he was her 'little peanut,' I wanted to make a pile of peanuts. I drew a variety of peanut patterns in different sizes and shapes, then sorted through all my yellows and browns (and took a little shopping trip, too) looking for 'peanut-worthy' fabric. For the background fabric, I used a dotted swiss from my stash. I chose a 'grassy' print for the peanuts to rest on, then arranged and rearranged the peanuts until I was happy with the design. I appliquéd them layer by layer until it was complete.


My little guy was inspired by some baby blankies I've seen lately and a stuffed animal picture I saw online. Very contemporary, minimalist elephant. And he had to have a little birdy buddy cuz I'm into birdies lately and I wanted to add some diversity to the quilt. I used a white on cream background I've had for at least 10 years, purchased at a JoAnn's, and the other fabrics came from my LQS within the past year. Very contemporary boyish colors, which I don't get to use much having two daughters! Both elephant and birdie are raw edge appliquéd using my favorite double sided fusible web, "Lite Steam-A-Seam 2," and blanket stitched with the machine. I really enjoyed making these cuties!

Jerri Lynn (Grey Elephant)


I made the 'silly peanut'. I had such a hard time finding a pattern I wanted to use and I don't have ANY pattern designing skills! Plus, Mel is the silly one in our group so I just knew I didn't want to do something ordinary. I found a pattern that was intended for making a Father's Day card out of paper and and fudged it as appliqué. I used a new technique that I learned in a workshop a few months back to mimic needle turn, then I cut small 'spots' and raw edge stitched them to the body to create some depth. I was going to stop there but the card pattern had arms and legs that stuck out and flopped around so I used some ultra suede and made some that sort of resembled limbs. You would think that I would think to myself, "is this going to make it hard to quilt?" But I didn't. It was my problem to quilt it anyway so at least I only made it harder on myself :wink:.

For this block I used a modified version of a Margaret Rolfe pattern. Margaret Rolfe is an Australian quilt pattern designer and a lot of her patterns lend themselves to being done using American Paperpiecing* or foundation piecing techniques.

The main part of the elephant is done using one of my favourite batiks. The pattern effect of this fabric gave me the feeling of wrinkled elephant skin. For the background I wanted something bright and vibrant with an almost circus feel. I also wanted something to feel like it came from the Twilight quilters group in a subtle way. I could remember on the chicken themed quilt made for my Eoin (pronounced Owen) earlier by the group, that one of the ladies had a chicken driving a silver car. That was my Edward chicken in his silver volvo! So for my the ribbon motive on the red background made me think of the Eclipse Ribbon without being overty Twilight themed. That was my little subtle Twilight imput to the quilt.

*I live in Australia and in Australia a lot of books call the British Paperpiecing methods as Paper Piecing, although the two methods are quite different.

Jerri Lynn (Grey Elephant)

This polka dot elephant is an iron on version of a block I saw in a book of vintage quilts. I thought it was so whimsical and cute and loved that I found the polka dot fabric for it. I stitched around it with my machine and voilà it was done!

To quilt it, I did a swirling pano pattern that covered the whole top. I knew I wanted to use something soft that a baby would like to touch on the back. The fabric stores where I live leave something to be desired so I couldn't find a minkie color that I liked and I loved the idea of a silky backing so I opted for a lightweight satin on the back. I know that the color is not exactly 'baby-like' but I thought it complimented the front. I hope he gets lots of fun out of it!

And here is the Little Peanut, with his new quilt.


Elizabeth said...

Mel, what a sweet boy!

Nice work on the blocks, everyone!

Nicole, you did a great job putting this together.

Angie, fabulous quilting, as always!

xo -E

coley said...

Angie- I can't believe the top quilting!! It's perfect!!

Thanks guys for trusting me to get it right!!!