My Clucking Quilt

Adam graduated from the Citadel in May. (Aren't these two guys so handsome?!? I swoon.)

Because of my new found interest in quilting, I asked this young man if I could make him one. He's such a sweetie, that he said an enthusiastic YES! I was so excited, I got on Pinterest and every quilt blog I knew of and saved quilts I thought a college graduate would like. I've done simple square block quilts and t-shirt quilts, but never one that required some thought. I really liked this one from Fons and Porter.And this one by Jenny's Doodling Needle caught my eye. It doesn't look difficult, but I'm sure lining up those triangles need some skill.
And yet this one from A Quilter's Table reminded me of Adam with the bright spots of color in it. Besides it definitely would be a quick one to sew up.

I asked Adam if he had any color preferences. He said he'd like to look with me online. He just graduated from the Citadel. He's a manly kind of man. I just knew he'd go for blues, greens and grays.

Well, he did, just not in the direction I thought he would go. Chickens?!?
He fell in love with this chicken fabric! To quote him "Mom, this is DOPE!" ( To translate for you, that means he really likes it.😊) Honestly, I never would have picked this out for him in a million years. I have a feeling he had his sweet girlfriend, Elizabeth, on his mind. She loves pigs, goats, donkeys and basically all things farm. So, if the boy wants chickens, he gets chickens. Then I showed him some of the patterns I was looking at. And he really liked the the top one from Fons and Porter, called "A New York State of Mind."After ordering this fabric online, I decided to drive 45 minutes up the road to hit up the mega-super-fabulous fabric store Mary Jo's. It is quite easy to be overwhelmed with the amount of fabric available at one time. Luckily I had a project in mind and was focused. I met a wonderful sales lady, Pat. She was so excited to see my chicken fabric and seemed to be right with my line of thinking. We had so much fun picking out fabric and auditioning each one with the main chickens. Pat and I agreed that the quilt HAD to have eggs, coops and chicken wire. Too Fun!We picked a few more to add interest and help settle the eye.I got to cutting lots of 5 inch squares. And then laying out the pattern on a idea wall, which is basically a large piece of felt hung on the wall, where small pieces of fabric will stick. Here you audition the placement of the colors and shapes. The difficulty I had with this quilt is that three of my fabrics needed to be facing up. So I couldn't just start sewing willy-nilly, or else my chickens would be on their heads and the coops on their side. No, no, no…this would not do. Wait. Did I tell you that I have no idea what I am doing and just flying by the seat of my pants? Yeah, that's how I roll.

So I fiddled and moved fabric squares around. Oh, do you see the blue stripe fabric? Yeah, well, I didn't have enough to do all of the half square triangles in the quilt. Typical of my projects. Ugh! I didn't want to drive 45 min again, so I went to my hometown Joann's and found a solid blue to work with the stripes.

Now I had to figure out how to not have any of the same fabrics or colors touch each other. No eggs or chicken wire could touch. Nor the solid blue or blue stripes. And all chickens and coops must be sitting upright. It was quite the puzzle to figure out. I finally poured myself some quilting juice, sat there sipping and figuring.After hours of trying to get it right, my head felt like it was going to explode. I went to bed. The next morning, I came downstairs to look at it again. It all becam crystal clear. I got it arranged to my liking, sewed this puppy up one row at a time and then "tried it out" on Adam. His only request was that it cover his toes. When we laid it on top of him, his toesies were just covered. So I decided to add a border with all of the little triangles I had cut off in the pattern.Now it was time to make my sandwich of top quilt, batting and backing. I laid it all out carefully on the floor….and then this happened. Slobber and dog hairIf she wasn't so sweet, I probably would've cried. But knowing that as soon it was finished and up on Adam's bed, Sam would be snuggled up too, so I wasn't upset at all.All pinned up and ready to be actually quilted. I watched lots of videos, so I felt confident I could do this with my home machine. OMG! I sweated, and grunted and wrestled this big ole clucking quilt through my home machine.Again I had no idea what I was doing. The other quilts I have made, I've tied little knots throughout the quilt to hold it together. Now I was trying freehand machine quilting. In the elongated areas I did a sort of fan shape and in the blue squares I pebbled. My lines were not straight. The stitches went ziggety when I repositioned my hands. I was starting to feel like I had totally messed this whole thing up. Then I remembered what one of my favorite quilters, Angela Walters, of Quilting Is My Therapy, said "Not so perfect is good enough." So when I sewed my glove onto the quilt, I only had to laugh. If you look closely, my stitches are not of even length and you can see where it went higgly piggly. Oh well. In the end no one, and I mean no one will be looking that closely to the stitches. Hopefully they will be snuggled up in this puppy and feel the love of a hand made quilt.

Thanks for dropping by!

6 thoughts on “My Clucking Quilt

  1. My Grandma is a quilter using a standard small machine and basting is her best friend. She’d sew long stitches through the top, batting, and back to hold the whole thing together while she quilted it. And of course she’d use pins for the delicate edges. For as long as I can remember, we grandkids are tasked with pulling the basting strings out whenever we’re around. ☺

    • Aww…what a wonderful memory! There are so many things I learned doing this quilt and so many things I will do differently on my next one. The biggest lesson is to let go of perfection.

  2. (I’d wanted to jot that tip before I finished reading so I wouldn’t forget.)

    Your quilt looks fabulous! Not gonna lie, I think you got your squares lined up better than grandma does ☺. And no, we don’t care about any of the mistakes she points out, though now I know where I get that from!

    My grandma abides from the quilting “rule” of “stitching in the ditch” (sewing only where the pieces of fabric are already sewed together). She may be brave enough to make an X through a large square, but otherwise avoids freehand work. She does do a lot of appliqué, which gives her lots of ditches to follow on those projects. I personally like all styles of quilt making because they are such a reflection of the maker’s personality ☺. I like that you are willing to take risks and just have fun with this quilt!

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