Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Chicken Quilt

 When I made the bow tie block as part of the We Can Do It!  Skill Builder Sampler in July I knew I had to make a whole quilt with them.  A few months later my good friend Becca had a bouncing baby boy and I knew just what kind of quilt to make for him.

Let me tell you a little about Becca.   We met when we lived in Texas and she taught me that you can stack your paperbacks two deep in the bookshelf, threw great Halloween parties and was just totally cool.  Then we both moved - thanks to blogs and facebook we kept in touch.

My pig got out -again!- dug up my flower bed and decided to take a nap!
 She blogged about keeping pigs.  Pigs?!?!  I couldn't believe anyone would keep pigs - then the idea grew on me and we bought two piglets - very crazy days.  She kept introducing us to cool books and shows.

Becca's Chickens
Then we both moved again.  She now has a whole flock of chickens and a few ducks and rabbits.  I have downsized to 6 chickens.

Becca's chickens won prizes this year in their small town county fair.  I love this picture Bec posted after their win and days before their baby boy was to be born.  It is totally her.  :)

The kids got all dressed up in their cowboy duds for the fair and their youngest girl was the star of the stick horse barrel race.  (Notice the cowboys on the blue fabric?)

My chickens even cooperated and got in the shot.
So I thought this would be the perfect quilt for her.  A classic quilt with a retro vibe and chickens - who wouldn't love it?  I pulled all of my red fabrics - it turns out I had quite a few - who would have guessed? - and started cutting.  There is a lot of American Jane in there along with a few Cosmo Cricket, DS Quilts and misc 1930's reproduction fabrics.

The chickens were raw edge appliqued on the quilt front before it was quilted.  The templates are from American Jane's book Quilts for all Seasons.  I got stalled for awhile after I ironed on the chickens because I was nervous about messing up the stitching around them, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  The eyes were suppose to be little pieces of fabric, but I just did a wide zig zag in place until I thought it looked like an eye.

The back is an American Jane panel - can you tell I love her stuff?  - bordered with cowboy fabric.  And yes, I did have a I-can't-do-math moment when I was cutting the borders and didn't have any more of the blue fabric.  So the off centered-ness was not on purpose, but I think it looks kinda...purposely off center, you know, a real designer look...right?  ;)

 I free motion quilted it with a meandering stitch and loops and bound it with my No-Fail-Cheater-Binding.  After decorating my living room for a few weeks, I finally got it boxed up and sent off.  Becca loves it as much as I do.  Welcome Baby!  You've got a great mom and family!  Enjoy!


  1. What a thoughtful, amazing quilt! I think it's absolutely fun and funny! I love the way the back became a "design opportunity." You are a wonderful friend and Becca is lucky to have you in her life!

  2. Great job!

    I thought the same thing when I did the bow tie block: needs to be a whole quilt. Baby quilt would be great. You've gotten farther than me, though. I only got as far as getting the fabric. I guess I just need the right friend to have a baby to motivate me to make the quilt!

  3. Oh my! The chickens just totally made this quilt! LOVE LOVE LOVE it! Great job, and congrats to Becca and family!

  4. Love how you put your own spin on this quilt. Looks fab.

  5. I got on your blog to leave a long long comment to thank you for the AMAZING quilt that arrived today. Oh my. It brings tears to my eyes. That is the most thoughtful thing anyone has ever done for me having a baby, and I am including my mom taking my three oldest kids to her house for four days.

    THANK YOU! I can't promise that it will get used by Calvin. I was thinking more along the lines of hanging it in my dining room or living room. The best part is that I saw the retro/children's book side first, and was overcome with gratitude . . . THEN I TURNED IT OVER AND WAS BLOWN AWAY! I love the chickens so much!

    I love the chickens and your cute little red "barn-esque" shed in the background of the picture of the quilt--and I TOTALLY thought you designed it off-centered on purpose--the chicken in the bottom right corner is the perfect balancing element.

    Your Town, Iowa sounds like a great place to live. We sure do miss you guys!

    THANKS AGAIN! I am lucky to have a friend like you.

  6. Oh, and thanks for sharing the amazing chicken queen picture of me! :)

  7. Oh Leila, you do such beautiful work! I love seeing what you're creating and often wait until you have several posts on Google Reader so I can read them all at once.

    This chicken quilt is my all-time favorite. And you've inspired me to think about quilting again. Wish you were here to do it with me...

    Thank you.

  8. What a fun and funky quilt! I love reading the stories behind the quilts. This is an touching (and funny) tribute to your friend.

  9. That's really adorable! I love the chickens! I think the back panel looks neat off-centered. :-)

  10. This is a spectacular quilt... Bravo Leila!! :)

  11. This post is so funny and I really do love the chicken quilt :)

  12. Beautiful! I love it! The chickens seriously make it (and good use of SBS skills- tee hee)

  13. Great quilt and so great to read that Becca loves it :)

  14. I LOVE your back. The whole quilt is very cool and I am sure will be very loved.

  15. I love this quilt. I love the red and white, but the chickens absolutely make the quilt! If we come this summer, you and I HAVE to make a quilt together.