Now that I've finished the elephant wall hanging, I am going to embark on the elephant baby quilt. They are going to entirely different people, but they both have the elephant theme, an Indian look, and will happen to use the same fabrics. (I already had the fabrics put together in a box when I decided to make the wall hanging, and it gave me a chance to play with them before I embarked on a bigger quilt.) The baby quilt will be 36" x 52" and will have a lovely Valori Wells flannel elephant print (Karavan range in Artisan, for those who want to snaffle it) for the backing. Here is the backing with a selection of fabrics around it, and here is the backing next to the wall hanging I just finished.
Now we come to the designing. I know the size, and I know that I want to combine Indian textiles with Welsh quilting. They overlap when it comes to fun with geometry, squares and diamonds and triangles and a sort of brickwork pattern in the border, and quilting/embroidery motifs that use flowers, leaves, circles and so forth. I'll be quilting it in a dark cream perle #8, which will show up nicely on the front, but will disappear into the background on the back, as we don't want to interfere with those delightful elephants.
I spent a while trying to do a Welsh patchwork design, medallion-style, that fit the dimensions, and gave up as it was just too long a rectangle. Here is an example of a Welsh quilt, by the way. I knew that I wanted a star in the middle, they turn up in both traditions, but it was how to continue the design after that. So I dug out a photo of the fabulous quilt that hangs on the wall at one of my local Indian restaurants. I do not want to think about how long it took to do all that mirrorwork, which I'm told was done by people who are blind.
Thus inspired, I did more sketching, and this is what I came up with. One square represents 1".
How's it looking? Is it nicely balanced? I plan to make strategic use of red, say in the centre diamond, the little diamonds where the big diamonds overlap (those will be appliquéd), and the four little triangles that turn up at the end of those verticla strips above and below the centre panel. Dark colours for the points of the star, perhaps shades of ochre and similar medium-lights for the big diamonds, the indigo saltwash batik (the one I used for the centre panel on the elephant quilt) for the 1" strips that start the border and also for the binding, although I only have enough for a 1/4" binding in that case. Also I have rather a snazzy multicoloured Kaffe Fassett stripe which I should smuggle in somewhere, though I'm not sure where. And I have a very nice paisley print in various colourways of blue and green that would be nice for some of the larger pieces.
I can scan in some of the other sketches, if it helps anyone. They have various things about them I don't like, but do give you some idea of traditional Welsh patchwork.