Wednesday, 19 August 2009


Whilst I enjoy the creative process that produces work with depth and meaning (see last post!) there are other days when I just want to make something... anything! Yesterday was one of those days so I decided to try a patchwork chicken from instructions sent to me by Angela.

I fell at the first step. Requirements: Two log cabin squares (instructions not included)
Now if I'm honest (and I could upset a lot of people reading this) I've never felt I liked patchwork quilts much so I've never bothered to learn the techniques. And the thought of all that measuring and cutting just makes me want to lie down. But then if I really think about it, I do like them quite a lot but I just don't like them on walls. I love the colour and I love the pattern but I like them on beds, thrown over sofas, wrapped around people... anywhere in fact except hanging on walls! And I do own this one and only patchwork book... which I love! Such glorious colour combinations.

So I carefully read the instructions for paper foundation piecing... and wow... it worked! I was very excited let me tell you. I couldn't believe how simple and yet how clever this method is. (I know all you quilting types probably wonder what all the fuss is about.)

I was very thrilled indeed with my first ever log cabin square. Okay it might have been sensible to iron the fabrics first.... and to be a bit more careful to stitch straight lines... but details, details!

I obviously got too carried away with my success and my second square didn't quite work... I'd stitched the pieces in the wrong order in my over excitement. But hey... it was only for a chicken...

Which I have to say... I was rather pleased with!

And although I know nothing about patchwork I do know about prairie points. For some obscure reason not known by me, prairie points are are on the machine embroidery City & Guilds syllabus! So my chicken has a prairie point tail!

Totally carried away, I made a second version... this time using "courthouse steps". Have I told you how excited this has made me... I'm completely hooked!

Now I want to make quilts but I obviously don't have enough fabrics in my stash so it's a good job I'm going to the Festival of Quilts on Friday. Any else going one fancy meeting me for a cuppa... and to stop me spending too much?

For those of you who asked about the bag and mitts pattern from a couple of post ago: The patterns were by Amanda Crawford and they featured in issue 3 of "Knitter Magazine"


  1. Me me me! I'm going on Friday too! But I won't get there till the afternoon. I've got your number so I'll text you shall I? (Don't worry, if you get a few 'meeters' I'll see you another time, like October at Art & Stitch)

    The chickens are fab! I was grinning away at you suddenly talking 'patchwork'. Look out! It's addictive!

    PS don't be confused by the imac - it's me mixedmedia-jem on DH's computer.

    Julie xx

  2. Your chickens are lovely - and they lay eggs!! I have that book and love the colours Kaffe Fassett uses - he make them work so well for him. I was disappointed at all the maths involved in patchwork and found it off-putting. Have a great time at the Quilt Festival and show us all the fabrics and other goodies you bring home with you.

  3. Now THOSE are some stylish chickens. Your colours are wonderful. Goodness though - aren't those eggs big? Ouch!

  4. And the thought of all that measuring and cutting just makes me want to lie down

    That made me laugh out loud! :) So true confessions time, although I've been quilting for about two years now, it's only been the last couple of months that I've had my ephiphany about how important all that silly "accuracy" stuff is. (I've always been a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants girl).

    And I've never *gasp* paper-pieced, and I've never *le bigger gasp* done a log cabin quilt -this despite the fact that several quilters have told me that you're not a quilter until you've done a log cabin. *humph* Well, some day I'm going to do a log cabin, but in the meantime I like my non quilt-quilts. ;)

    And I love yours too! :)

  5. I'm glad your enjoying the patchwork, they do look stunning. You can do foundation piecing straight onto interfacing and then you don't have the aggrivation of having to take all the paper of. I was warned that patchwork is addictive. Now you are ready to try a crazy log cabin chicken. They still need names though!

  6. My log cabin chicken has a cavity to store eggs. Guess where you insert them?

  7. Those chickens look great fun! I dabble with patchwork now and again - bought a book called 'Scrappy Duos' oce in the far north of Canada where the men go shooting and the women do patchwork - yeeeha! I've been stashing Cliff's old cotton work shirts in subtle variations of blue and white - there's a project in there one day!


    PS love the Kaffe Fassett patchwork colours - yummy!

  8. Oh I still love patchwork, something SO satisfying about cutting fabric up into little pieces and sewing it back together again. I did a lot of patchwork before I got caught up with Small CHAT then it was frowned upon,so I have a number of UFO's waiting for a rainy day. My very first quilt is the one I wrap round me when I don't feel well and need a 'lie down'. Love the chickens and look forward to seeing where you go next!

  9. Bugger! I am going on Saturday:-(

    Loving your patchwork chook.

  10. have been entranced by the siren call of the Patchwork Mermaid. I am afraid that there is nothing I can do to rescue you now.

  11. I know what you mean about the log cabin block, I had to do it for C&G and was dreading it , but just like you when I saw how cleverly it worked i was hooked too.
    Love the chickens, they're wonderful.

    Many thanks for dropping in on my blog it's sooo...... good to be back.

  12. I love the chickens, the first one especially!

    Keep wanting to find the time to try quilting but if it's as addictive as it seems it may not be such a good idea. Do I really have enough time for another obsession?!


  13. I love the hens. Patchwork was my first love! Over the summer I've done a couple of patchwork related summer schools and realise how much I really do love it! There's nothing like sitting in front of the television on a winters night hand quilting, saves on the heating bill too!

  14. Your hens are fab! I've always wanted to make one but never got round to it (probably because I was scared that it would be too complicated!)

    And I sooooooo wish I could see you on Friday :o( Have a fabulous time!

    Lucy xxx

  15. ahhh, lovely chickies. I hope the girls aren't too jealous. xx

  16. Hi Gina, Lovely squares! I'm going to the Quilt show on Friday with my (felt choc) sister and her patchwork group, so might see you there. Will email you my mobile number, just in case you fancy coffee. xx

  17. Hahaha -- oh, you poor dear. This is how it starts. You should sit down with a stiff drink -- you're about to be sucked in. Like you, I'm not a big fan of hanging quilts on walls. I have one in my sunroom and will have a second, but that's it for me. I love them on beds and stacked to make pretty. LOVE those cute little chickens!

  18. You know, I believe that everyone in the whole world should make quilts!

  19. What gorgeous chickens!!! I have long wanted to have a go at patchwork, having seen so many gorgeous patchworks on people's blogs. I even have a wonderful book waiting for me, just need to find the time, you have spurred me on, thank you!

  20. am going on Saturday with Trashy - soo wish you could have gone then!
    hope you have a lovely time - your log cabin is brill - i'm with you on the pfaffing measuring and cutting but its soo worth it!

    from self taught quilter and pfaffer!

  21. Oh these are totally fab!! I'm with you on the quilts thing - I've never made one (well, I've started one and never finished it!) because I can't do with all that exactness. However the chickens are just brilliant and may just tempt me ...

  22. I liked this post very much. The cake looks divine......and I enjoyed seeing your initiation into the world of paper piecing. Pat

  23. Oh lovely, those little hens are great. I've done a bit of everything quiltwise, but I must say my most exciting bits were when I just sewed together all sorts of random pieces just to justify the fact that I'd not thrown them away in the first place. Then I cut them up and stitched them together again and I loved it! You don't always have to be precise...


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