Monday, September 29, 2014

Chronology of a Chicken Quilt


I have a friend who loves chickens. She once complained to me that "no one ever gives me 'chicken' anything!" So I decided I'd make her a chicken quilt.

It just so happens that Family Threads in San Juan Bautista, where I go for a quilt retreat, features chicken fabric.  I stopped in on my way to my retreat and purchased a panel of groovy looking chickens, and a couple pieces of coordinating chicken fabric. This should be easy, and fast, I thought. It all came home with me and was promptly put on the bottom of my to-do list.

Several months later, I saw a picture of a quilt which featured alternating blocks and I thought the setting might work for the chickens. I took the picture plus all the chicken fabric to my retreat the following year, and made the blocks. When I got home it all went back in the bin, and the bottom of my list.

Anyway, the next year (this is now year three) I brought the blocks back to my retreat and sewed them together. I went back to the quilt shop for border fabric. The egg fabric was perfect, esp. considering my friend I was making the quilt for has an egg business. Unfortunately, we miscalculated the amount, so I had to improvise corners from scraps.

You can probably tell I lost my enthusiasm for this quilt pretty much right away. Its just not the kind of thing that makes my heart beat fast, ya know? And relegating it to the back burner probably didn't help. Sometimes those deadlines can be doing you a favor, and I almost wished I'd had one for this. It all went back into the bin when I got home, where it languished for another several months. There was a point when I actually wanted to throw it away and be done with it. Those improvised corners really killed it for me.

I eventually pushed on tho, and finally layered, basted and machine quilted it this last March. I still wasn't finished, tho. I thought it needed at least a little bit of hand quilting around the chickens.


The quilting went pretty quickly, tho it seemed like it took forever. I really wanted to get this done! Finally last weekend I put the binding on.  I finished it yesterday morning, washed it, and gave it to my friend last night.

I can't believe this simple little quilt took me four years. However, I am happy it has at last moved on to its new life, and is out of mine.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Hourglass Top

Sometimes I question the wisdom of having multiple projects going at the same time, especially when you have deadlines on some of them. For instance, there are several items I would like to complete before the Quilt Show in February. Meanwhile, everything else gets put on the back burner. Add to that the fact that I spend practically no time in my sewing room in the summer. Lots of stuff has piled up, and new projects are constantly running through my brain. Complete something "old" ? No fun. Start something new? Fun. You can see where this leads. Anyway, this hourglass top has been on the back burner for several months.

I happened to have a few hours to commit to sewing yesterday/last night while my husband was watching the Giants/Dodgers game, simultaneously with the Angels/? game so I didn't really want to be in that same room. Good time to escape!

I went ahead and pulled out this top, which I have been mulling over for quite some time, thinking it needed something more. Especially after seeing a really beautiful one on someone else's blog, which was finished with a directional fabric inner border, and a pieced outer border. I'm not ashamed to say, I stole her idea. I'll have to fish around and see if I can find it, so I can give credit. Luckily I had just enough of the two striped fabrics for a couple of borders, and plenty of scraps for more triangle squares across the top and bottom.

To solve the problem of an uneven number of triangle squares, I thought I'd insert a mini spiky star in the center. Probably somewhat unconventional, but I kinda like how it works. You can look at my last post to see how I made the little stars. btw I fixed that top border, which needed a little seam adjustment and a bit of a trim.

Now onto some "new" projects, which I'll be sharing soon!