Monday, October 4, 2010

What came first, the chickens or the collection?

Chicken fever, chicken it what you like, but I might have quilt guilt by association.  Country Threads published "On Behalf of Chickens" in 1991, and I fell in love with the log cabin chickens, among other cool projects in the books.  Apparently that was when I sealed my fate as being obsessed with anything "chicken."  Even though I had been quilting for years at that point, this was my first "rotary cut" project, finished in early 1992.
I lived in Galveston, Texas back then, and had a kitchen with a lot of wall space.  So after making the first chicken quilt, I decided to make a second one from the same book, and a decorating theme was started.  This one shows why I love hand applique...I really suck at machine applique...
When I went to garage sales, I started seeing little baskets and such in the shape of chickens on the $0.25 table...this added to the nonsense in my kitchen.  These two quilts appealed to my love of scrappy and worked with my homespun and calico fabrics collected in the 80's, along with 2-3 garage sale men's shirts. 
After moving back to Michigan in 1995, I moved into a house with no wall space in the kitchen.  That is when the "chicken bathroom" was born (we'll get to those pictures in a moment...). 

In 2004, I joined a year long "around the block" challenge with 10 other quilters in my group of talented quilting friends.  We each chose a theme, color range, made a couple of blocks to establish the theme, basted them to a piece of gridded Pellon interfacing, and put everything in a new pizza box to be passed around the group, swapping boxes on a monthly basis.  We were all asked to make blocks in units of 4 inches...4 x 4,
8 x 8, 4 x 8, 8 x 12, 12 x 12, 4 x 12...well, you get the picture.  Even though we basted our offerings to each person's piece of interfacing every month, once we got our own box back, we could take the blocks off and come up with an arrangement, add blocks, etc.

Well...I chose chickens.  I had a lot of chicken fabric I REALLY wanted to get rid of.  My friends in Texas, mistaking me for a "chicken lover," would bring me fat quarters or larger pieces of chicken fabric, and this continued in Michigan after I showed my two chicken quilts at "show and tell" one time.  I mean, they are cute.  I figured choosing chickens as my theme would allow me to use up my chicken stash as I worked out the setting, borders, and backing.  HA!  Now I have TWICE as much...they are multiplying!  Here is the twin sized "Foul Play," completed in 2005.
My buddy Jo Watson made the following three,,,

Deb Cadwallender made this one...
 Judy Endres thought that all those chickens needed a rooster to keep them in line...
Kathy French made the next two... 

 Margit McPhee pieced this feathery friend...
Jean Wood made one chick and eleven eggs.
 Roma Fogelsong made the mother chicken with her 4 chicks...
 Sherry Peterson made this one...
 The following are goofy things I made to fill in spaces.  Judy Tomer and Rose Barbre also made blocks.

I made the word banners as well, one day when in a silly mood.  When I hand quilted this, I quilted chicken phrases and words in the blue stop border...stuff like "KENTUCKY FRIED" and "CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN" and "POT PIE," etc.

I'm working on something strippy and scrappy now with the remaining chicken's called "Poultry in Motion."  After that top, a pieced back and binding, that is IT!!  No more chickens...I'll show that project another day...and perhaps announce a give-away of the remaining chicken fabrics...I'm sure there will be some left...

Now, here is the chicken bathroom, recently painted and chicken stuff put back on the walls and ledges.  A stupidly designed room, it is taller than it is big.  Lots of room for chickens...

Sorry for the long post...that's a lot of chicken to "eat" in one sitting...

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)


  1. Loved the long chicken post..all those pics are great.... it has been quite a chicken journey you have had. I was going to ask about Galveston, Texas - I lived on the island for 10 years and had my kids there.... they are BOI...

  2. I adore all your chickens! I have a few patterns collected but I really love all of yours.

    I also love your "Home Sweet Home" quilt. I bought the book and fabric for that and can't wait ti have time to start it. I hope it comes out as great as yours did.

  3. Foul Play is just to cute! What great/fun friends you have. I like the slide show on your blog of your CWBQ and Home Sweet Home. I will just have to come to your blog to visit the slides - very nicely done. I love Galveston-in the fall and winter - will be there again next month. Galveston to Michigan what an adjustment.

  4. Oh. My. Word. !!!!! LOL
    Too cute and hilarious for words! I actually have 17 hens and a couple of roosters, so if you need REAL eggs... :-D I love the pics (you have the coolest set up for decorating EVER! :-) Some seriously good hand quilting and the Kentucky Fried -- coolest yet, since I live about 12 miles from the ORIGINAL, yes the one the Colonel started, KY Fried Chicken (Corbin, KY). (And it's what we had for supper tonight! LOL)
    Mary Lou

  5. Very funny post! I was chuckling the entire way thru!! I too made those Country Threads log-cabin chickens waaay back in the 90's - they were great fun, but, alas, did not inspire such chicken-love in me. I look forward to seeing "poultry in motion". Cheers, Kate

  6. I love your chicken projects, especially the last one. You have such a creative mind, your blocks and quilting just cracked me up LOL.


  7. Teresa. lordy love chickens, hens, roosters..any there? lol.. This is just amazing...I am now loving...feeling the love of hens lol...
    great baskets..can't say I have ever seen any of these in the past>>.Now I can say yes I HAVE....I have seen many of the The quilt is fabulous..blessings msamm

  8. Finger Lickin' good, I'd say.
    What a fabulously fun post.
    there were so many things I loved, the chicken in a pot, crossing the road - what a fun collection.
    Thanks for posting so many phun photos. :)

  9. I just visited the Stash Manicure site. I am in AWE of your stash. That is the best organization I have seen. I don't have a stash because I don't have the space. Now I know how I can organize one if I ever make room. Just awesome!!!

  10. I enjoyed reading your post. I have been a chicken collector and love chicken quilts. I have the Country Threads book that you mention. The blocks made by your friends are very interesting. Some are especially creative.

  11. This is great! Some of these blocks made me laugh out loud...I love the one in the pot!

    Thanks for sharing!

  12. ...I'm cracking up....I LOVE your chickens...especially the ones with their little bottoms and feet up in the air!! too funny!
    And hey...w-a-y to recycle into another room...wonderful chicken bathroom!!!

  13. I LOVE your chicken quilt...all the fabulous blocks, the great sense of humour and lovely hand quilting...what a treasure!

  14. Thanks for sharing all your chickens. I love your sense of fun in your quilts that you make. You make quilts fun to look at. You have a great imagination.
    Cool bathroom!


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