Three little shisha elephants

I posted a while back about starting a small project that turned into a much bigger one & would need its own post; well, here it is!  It all began because I wanted to learn how to do shisha mirrors and indian-style embroidery.  Then I found a beautiful book called Indian Inspirations by Gisella Thwaites, which truly is inspiring!  Full of lovely embroidery and patchwork techniques (including shisha) and some funky patterns and projects too.  One of which is these little embellished elephants.  What better way to practice my shishas than to make an elephant?!  So!  Elephant No 1:This was my first go at crazy patchwork and I stupidly forgot to add seam allowances around the outside edges, so he’s a bit tatty around the seams!  Also my first every shisha mirrors: my foundations & stitches are too loose – you can see the top mirror is hanging out and the second one fell out and had to be replaced with a large sequin stitched into place instead.  Time for another go!  Elephant No 2:I remembered to add seam allowances this time, but the trunk still came out a bit wonky!  I’m pleased with my newly-learned stem stitch and feather stitch and my shishas are much more stable, but I’m not happy with how uneven they look.  A bit of online research led me to the wonderful resources on Sarah Homfray’s site, which includes an excellent video tutorial on shisha embroidery.  Elephhant No 3 (pre-stuffing):and with 1 &2 for comparison:Elephant evloution!  I’m very pleased with this one!  I had such fun playing with different stitches and adding beads, sequins, etc.  I seemed to get more ambitious with each one I did!  But three was enough; the original project in the book was to make a single hanging elephant with beads and bells, but MORE IS MORE, right?!Aaah, sooo cute!  They’re hanging in my bedroom window now.

So now my shisha-confidence has increased I’ve been busy playing with them in all sorts of ways, like this little felt brooch:But that’s not actually my reason for wanting to learn how to do them.  Nor, as long-term readers will know, is this my first Outing with Elephants!  Remember this?The Psychedelephant Quilt!  It never did get quilted, and I realised that what I really longed to do was add some lovely embroidery and embellishment to it.  So this is going to be a long-term project, something to sit and do whenever I have the time to enjoy a bit of fancy sewing.  Like the little elephants, each square is small enough that I can really play around with it and try out different ideas, and that will keep me entertained for ages!Me & the elephants, wishing you a bright and shiny weekend 🙂

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