Lorna @Sew Fresh Quilts is hosting the Elephant Parade Quilt-A-Long, and I decided that the design was too cute to miss out on! The QAL started on February 1st, so this is the second week of instructions. The first week, Lorna shared the instructions for the large elephant. This week follows up with the small elephant. I also chose to purchase the Elephant Parade Pattern from Lorna.
Including cutting time, it took me 2 hours to make the (5) large elephant blocks and another 4 hours to make the (14) small elephant blocks. I really think they are fun and cute, and I look forward to following along with the rest of the Elephant Parade QAL.
One of the reasons I am so excited about this quilt pattern is that it reminds me of the fantastic vacation to Tanzania, Africa, my husband and I were lucky enough to take in 2012. We saved money for years to be able to visit Tarangire National Park and the Serengeti, and it truly was the trip of a lifetime. Below are a few of the best photographs I took of elephants during the visit. A few things I want to point out in the photos… in the first photograph, the female on the right approached the male on the left to greet him, she placed the grass she had been carrying / eating on her shoulders. After acknowledging one another, she grabbed the grass off her back and ate her tasty meal. Elephant twins are extremely rare, and it was a treat and delight to watch the two shown in the last photo romp around under the close eye of their mother and herd. There were a few juvenile elephants in the pack that started playing a bit too rough and close to the twins, and the mother let them know to leave her twins out of their shenanigans!
But I digress… I wanted to share a tip that really helped me piece the elephant blocks together quicker. It might seem obvious, but chain piecing can really be a time saver! I would only work on one step at a time because I wanted to be careful about the left versus right facing piecing. I would chain piece as many of the components as possible at once. For the large elephant blocks, I worked in sets of 5 and sometimes with multiple sections in a step I could chain sew 10 seams at a time. For the small elephant blocks, I worked on the full set of 14 and sometimes sewed as many seams as 28 at a time! The photograph below is for the first step in creating the small elephant ear block. 🙂