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A process post – Elephant Parade!

Posted on: January 13th, 2015 by Lorna McMahon

As I promised myself for the new year, I have been taking some time to just sit and do some doodling.  No pressure drawing.  Get out the graph paper and just let the ideas take shape.  Just have some fun with it!

Drawing inspiration from this backing fabric, Elephants in Grey by Ed Emberley from the Happy Drawing collection for Cloud 9 Fabrics, I sought to design a front to blend with the backing.

Elephants in Grey by Ed Emberley from the Happy Drawing collection for Cloud 9 Fabrics

I do so admire the works of Ed Emberley.  (And of course, Charlie Harper, too!)  Their art is of animals.  In their simplest forms.  This is not the first time I have been inspired by Ed Emberley’s work.  Remember the Fox & Friends and Fox & Friends 2?

Picture Pie was my muse.

Picture Pie by Ed Emberley for Cloud 9 Fabrics

I shared my doodle page on instagram.  It’s so nice to get feedback in real time.  Urging me on and letting me know I am on the right track.  Then more sheets of graph paper.  And some rework before moving on to my computer and using the Paint program to bring some structure and colour into the mix.

The layout was planned next.  A baby quilt size with a width of 48″ was the goal.  I wanted to keep the shapes simple.  And repetitive.  I originally planned to add alternating rows with some colourful animals.

But then I decided that those pops of colour would best be dispersed among the grey elephants.  So I filled in all the rows with those elephants, alternating with left and right facing rows.

Then I added those little pops of colour.  A green frog and a turtle.  Little red birds and blue flowers.  But I was not content that the one little elephant was forced to add a spacer panel to bring the row to the same width.

So I added another flower.   I also began the process on graph paper of sketching out just how each block could be constructed.  This caused me to make a few adjustments.  The frogs rear legs.  The size of the birds.

Now each block has been drawn out on the graph paper.  Showing what size of pieces, how many of each colour, are needed for each block.  Then those figures are used to calculate how much yardage is needed.

It was such a pleasure to sit and doodle the day away.  Maybe soon there will be an Elephant Parade pattern for sale?  Perhaps a tutorial?  How about a Quilt Along?!!!

Edited to Add….
The Elephant Parade pattern is for sale in my pattern store here.
And the free Elephant Parade quilt along can be found here.

Before I sign off, just wanted to let you know….
It’s day 2 of the Island Batik – Sock Hop Blog Hop and I am heading over to visit with Susan @ Susan Vassallo Quilting Arts.  She’s showing off her Topsy Turvey Log Cabin finish today.

Let’s head over and give Susan a warm Sew Fresh Quilts welcome!

Keep On Quilting On!

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45 Responses

  1. Unknown says:

    I can't wait to see this quilt!

  2. Vicki says:

    You are so fast with these new designs! This is such a sweet quilt. The gray and the pops of color are so much fun.

  3. Jasmine says:

    What a fascinating post to read. I loved how you explained the process. I look forward to seeing this quilt come to life. 🙂

  4. Lara B. says:

    It is sooo cool to see your muse in progress Lorna! This is a terrific plan for a quilt! Should you make the Elephant Parade pattern for sale? Yes, Please! Don't you just love the simplicity of the Paint program? I do a lot of my pattern designing there too. Just yesterday, after spending HOURS fiddling around with patterns, I was working on something real life in the kitchen and goofed and I automatically wanted to click a button to undo it. LOL

  5. Hildy says:

    It's such a cute quilt perfect for a baby or toddler! Personally I would add a cat because they're my favorite animals although the little turtle is adorable, too:-)

  6. Nilya says:

    sooo sweet… if you Need a tester I would go for it 🙂

  7. greeneggs says:

    Wow what an absolutely brilliant pattern. I love it!

  8. I was watching you put some of this together on IG. Love seeing the design take shape! It's so cute.

  9. Lisa Marie says:

    Love this! I would be interested in testing this pattern if you need testers or in joining a QAL.

  10. Vickie says:

    That is super cute Lorna, love the pops of color !

  11. Thanks for sharing your process. I can't wait to see your finished quilt.

  12. I love your design-those pops of color are perfect-have an awesome new week

  13. Laikabear says:

    Oh, that's so cute!!! I love seeing how your though process worked. I, too am a fan of those Ed Emberley fabrics. 🙂 I hope you do write out a pattern.

  14. Those elephants are so cute, I have a big soft spot for elephants anyway but I think yours are going to be extra special.

  15. Claire says:

    Love the elephant design and seeing it emerge.

  16. ~Diana says:

    Awesome design…great to see the design process! Looking for ward to seeing you finished design!

  17. It was fun to see your design come to lift through Instagram and your blog, Lorna. This is a super cute pattern!

  18. mlisshouston says:

    Very exciting…will be waiting impatiently for the pattern as I just purchased some of that elephant fabric to make a quilt for my first grandchild!!

  19. Vicki in MN says:

    You just have the knack for these animals-it's simply adorable. Now you have to put a giraffe on your radar!

  20. Rachel says:

    What a very pretty design! The color pops are just the ticket and it's perfect to match the backing.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Adorable! Thanks for sharing your process!

  22. Susan says:

    It's looking great! Can't wait to see it in fabric

  23. Wendy says:

    that is just the cutest design! Thanks for showing us how you work and you HAVE to make this quilt!

  24. Ioleen says:

    Looks great on paper and will look greater in fabric. The wait is on!!!

  25. Sheila says:

    Looks like such a fun quilt , can't wait to see it in fabric !

  26. Vera says:

    Looks great and sounds like you have some thinking to do 🙂

  27. Cheryl says:

    So cute! Thank you for sharing your process, it is so interesting to see how the design evolved over through the versions.

  28. I would join in on a Quilt along with this in a hot second!!!

  29. Cute doodling, Lorna, looks like it was a productive session for you.

  30. Ruth says:

    Love this Lorna, definitely needs to a quilt!

  31. Kacey says:

    Your little critters are pretty darn cute!

  32. Jayne says:

    This is going to be amazing Lorna! I am sooooo excited to see it!

  33. Lisa says:

    Eeek! So sweet and cute! I love it!

  34. Allison C says:

    Tutorial please!

  35. Cassandra says:

    This design is so cute! This will be a perfect baby quilt, especially with the addition of flowers and other animals. The added color really makes the design pop. I can't wait to see the finished quilt!

  36. I love that you share your process. I find it fascinating to follow along your thought path. When I detail my thinking in my blog I feel somewhat guilty that I may be subjecting readers to boredom but I tell myself that I am doing it for me and they can just click away if they want to. I just wanted to give you the feedback that it is not just for you and I for one thoroughly reading how a design and decisions come to life and spring forth from someone's brain. The fact that the images are just too awesomely cute and that you considered that little elephant's impact does not hurt either!

  37. Anonymous says:

    You're genius Lorna! It's so fascinating to see your thought and design process laid out like this. I too am fascinated with graphic animals and Charley Harper, so this is right up my alley =)

  38. Kate says:

    Brilliant, Lorna, absolutely brilliant!!! 🙂

  39. Taryn V. says:

    This design is so adorable! I really love how you decided to add color by adding the extra creatures and flowers. It makes for such fun quilt to look at! Thanks for sharing your process. I can't wait to see it finished!

  40. Unknown says:

    Love the elephants! Thank you for the quilt along.

  41. Sheri says:

    Very creative and fun! Looking forward to the quilt along!

  42. I love it!! Thanks for sharing your process – you have an engineering type mind don't you? I love it!! And um…. I have some of that fox fabric…. I just wonder where I put it now lol

  43. Unknown says:

    I absolutely love the design and want to make this quilt!

  44. qwilltr says:

    I love this! I would love to see a pattern and a tutorial!

  45. Nita says:

    Thanks for explaining the design process…it's interesting! Looking forward to today's installment…flowers! Loving this, and I don't even have a baby in my life, lol!