Still inspired by Minki Kim’s Sew Illustrated, I made this mini quilt. It is sort of a hybrid between the tea mat and the dessert mat in her book, and it is a good size for a mug rug or something to stick a vase on.
I thought to try using an illustration other than one of Minki’s, but I did not go wild and use my drawing skills. I found the drawing of the elephant online.
Once again, I raided my Liberty stash. Finding the peacock print was a hallelujah moment. The rest flowed from that.
I used a navy Aurifil 12 weight for the appliqué with a normal 50 weight thread in the bobbin. When burying the ends, the thick, dark threads showed through to the back, but this was not a surprise. To work around that, I added a false backing. In other words, I quilted it normally with a plain backing, then I added a second, decorative backing just before sewing the binding on. With something this small, the technique works just fine.
There was a moment when I face-palmed my forehead. I was thinking tea mat … tea … peacocks … India. I was even listening to an Indian music special on the radio as I sewed. Halfway through sewing the elephant, however, I realised that my Internet drawing was an African elephant, not an Asian elephant. I know the difference; it was simply a moment of inattention. Whoops!
I have since decided that the elephant mix-up was not a disaster. First, I prefer the shape of African elephants’ ears. Second, although India and Sri Lanka are big tea growers, much of the tea we drink is grown in Africa, especially Kenya. Third, the Liberty fabric represents the UK, a nation of tea drinkers. I now have a happy mix of countries represented on my tea mat.
It was not a stuff-up; it was a design decision!
Thanks for all the comments on my giveaway post. There were far more comments than I expected, and I doubt I will be able to reply to them all, but I will draw a winner on Tuesday.