Nellie the Textile Elephant


Nellie's story began when I was on holiday visiting family in England. I was staying with my eldest granddaughter in Shrewbury and took a local bus into town. The bus stopped opposite a shop called EAST which had a lovely patchwork Elephant in the window. it was about 18 inches tall maybe bit taller and I was just smitten. Really don't know why but I loved it. I rang my husband later that day and pleadingly asked if I could have it as a birthday pressie. His first response was "how will you get it into your suitcase to bring home", quickly followed by
"anyway you can make one of those".
So I went home to Rhodes thinking about this Elephant, and so began an obsession to make a big Elephant.
I made a small patchwork one out of felt but that only fuelled the obsession. but living in a lorry on an Olive grove didn't give me a lot of room for making large items.
Then my world was turned upside down when my husband unexpectedly passed away in 2016. Devastated. I moved back to England, to friends and family
2017 I needed to get back to work. I was going to make a metre tall Elephant for the NEC quilt show in August. original ideas was going to be bright floral quilted panels stitched together based on designs of painted Elephants in the festivals held in Jaiper.
Then i started to question myself, I felt that by doing that I was supporting the art of painting Elephants - a practice which I don't find acceptable. Animal skin should never be painted it is beautiful as nature intended it to be.
So I needed a rethink, I decided that she would have to be grey but then I felt that I needed a reason to make her too. I started looking at websites which were fundraising against Ivory poaching,
there are many of them but most were African Elephant funding, by now I had got India into my head.
Then I found WILDLIFESOS-INDIA a charity which rescues Elephants from the horrendous cruelties and living conditions they endure in captivity in the circus,and for tourism.
Nellie was born and was very popular at NEC, and was also a star again at our local winter festival in Ellesmere.
Nellie has so far raised £335.
From the moment I found that charity I have supported themand will continue to do so in Geoff's memory.