My goddaughter N turns 1 this month (she and Z’s grandpa are birthday twins, in fact, 94 years apart) and I decided to make her a stuffed animal for her birthday. I bought the Effie & Ollie pattern for a stuffed elephant, by Heather Bailey. At the store they recommended blowing it up to 150%, so I used my printer/copier to do that.
I still have a lot of scraps leftover from N’s baby quilt because the Lone Star Quilts book I have has instructions to cut out rectangles and squares and sew them on the diagonal, rather than cutting out triangles. You end up with a lot of excess fabric and I save all of my scraps from everything. (I have piles and piles of scraps. I really need to start forcing myself to stop after I finish a project and make something with the leftover pieces, but as soon as I finish a project I’m always barreling into something else and I always say to myself “next time.”) Anyway, I pulled out those scraps because I thought it would be really cute if the elephant matched her quilt. As you can see, they’re square-ish and already pieced. (Look familiar? That’s because I already made a doll quilt with similar scraps leftover from N’s baby quilt. You can read about it here and here.)
The pattern was pretty easy to follow. I reread it a couple of times when it came to the piecing. Also, some of the instructions said to sew certain things clockwise or counterclockwise and I didn’t, just because of the way I’d pinned it. (I didn’t want to re-pin it.) I didn’t use interfacing – the girl at the store said she hadn’t and as long as I wasn’t using flimsy fabric she thought I’d be fine. Since I was using good cotton quilting fabrics and some batiks I figured I didn’t need it.
I embroidered a little eye on each side of the head using purple embroidery thread. (I measured carefully and I think the eyes are even.) I didn’t want to use buttons or anything a baby could pull off. I also didn’t add the little heart, star, and flower the pattern included. I could have simply embroidered them on but I didn’t feel like it. The elephant is busy enough already.
Here are finished pictures from different angles, so you can see it all:
I think it’s super cute. I showed it to a coworker with small children and she got really excited and said it’s just like Elmer the Patchwork Elephant, who is apparently the subject of a children’s book series. (The only babies in my family live in Hungary so I’m a little out of the loop when it comes to children’s books.) I don’t know if N and her sister have the Elmer the Patchwork Elephant book; I should check with their mom (also N). I mailed the elephant early because I was so excited (I love sending presents! The only thing better is giving them in person) and N (their mom) called me to say how much she loves it.