Something inside my breast shifted, like a door opening, and inside me was the Serengeti, and oceans of grass swaying without hurry, while massive gentle beasts swayed unhurriedly with it, walking... and eating... walking and eating, nudging and brushing up against each other.
I loved elephants.
MEMORIES OF AFRICA POSTS SO FAR
Memories of Africa Quilt
Superb Starling FPP
Lion & Lioness FPP
'Round the Twist
Should My Lioness be a Cheetah?
For the next FPPs, I buy all three of JoeJuneandMae's elephant patterns, in a bundle. I think I'll put the Standing Elephant and the Baby Elephant, each in his own block, on the front of the quilt. The Standing Elephant looks a little menacing, so I'll give him darker colors, and the Baby softer colors. Then I think it will be a fun challenge to see if I can merge momma and baby into one pattern, and sew them together to represent my mom and I on our journey! This post is about the Standing and the Baby Elephant patterns.
My favorite part of the Standing Elephant is how I texture his trunk, using pintucks on the piece before I cut it:
When the foundation paper piecing is done, I add a border of green batik to bring it up to size. I embroider a chain stitch to define his trunk. On the back-side, I pad his forehead with a layer of batting and secure loose embroidery thread and confusing seams with a strip of interfacing. Finished!
Growing up, my mom wanted to be a teacher. Instead, she got married, and life took a wending path away from the front of a classroom. However, she did homeschool three children, and she mentored and taught various little kids in our neighborhood. Now she facilitates a Bible Study, and mentors workers at her job. "Vocations which we wanted to pursue, but didn't, bleed, like colors, on the whole of our existence", as Honoré de Balzac put it.
Mom's passion is not for teaching itself -- no lesson plans or grading rubrics -- but for the excitement a person has learning a new skill, and their personal development and confidence. When she started homeschooling, her stated goal was to teach us to teach ourselves, to make us lifelong learners. A motivated learner is all she needs to invest her time and patience, with dividends paid to the student in the end!
In the 1990's, there was a little boy in our neighborhood who became curious about her cross stitching. Mom answered his questions and let him try some stitches, and he was thoroughly absorbed. So she went to the craft store and found a cross stitch kit for him (I think it was the logo for his favorite sports team), and the next time he came over to play with my sister, she waylaid him with the project. He'd sit at our kitchen table, head bent, focused on his cross stitches. He'd get a knot, and she'd untangle it. He'd finish a row and hold it up for her inspection. She'd thread his needle, show him how, and praise him when he got it himself. When he finished the cross stitch, he was as proud as if he'd graduated college. He said he'd never made anything before! My mom put it in a little frame and sent him home with it, much to the bemusement of his parents, who thought he'd been climbing trees or playing Cops & Robbers, not learning to embroider.
Quilting, dressmaking, and history plied with the needle...
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