Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Which came first?


Or this?

In my case, the chicken came first when my Mom made it for me a few years ago. Since then, I've made some for my sewing friends in hopes that this cheerful clucker keeps them company at the sewing machine just like mine does for me. I've seen a few tutorials to make it (plain fabric on the sides), but the one I make is made of a paper pieced 4" log cabin block on each side.
If you've never paper pieced anything (also called foundation piecing), I think you'd love it. You can sew intricate patterns easily and accurately without ever tracing any templates. Think color-by-number for the quilting world. If there's any interest out there, I'm thinking of doing a video tutorial on paper piecing basics. Any takers?
Anyway, find a good pattern here for the pincushion. Also, I don't fill mine with fiberfill because it makes the chicken too round and a bit roly-poly and tipsy (although a tipsy chicken could be fun), so I use these to fill the inside. I've heard of people stuffing pincushions with everything from crushed walnut shells (found at your local nursery, or someone found it at a gun store - yikes), to human hair, to dry lentils, to sand. Pick your preference and stuff away!

As for the eggs (who says they're only for Easter?), I found the instructions here. I have a little trick for you when making little stuffed items such as these. Get yourself some of these:

Yep, your standard hospital-grade hemostats. The ends have ridges, so they grab on and hold without slipping. And, you can leave a smaller opening to turn your project right side out because you don't have to squeeze your fingers in the hole. This means less hand stitching later to close up the hole - yay! Just reach in with the hemostats and grab onto the fabric,

and pull it out the hole.

Easy! I got these hemostats as part of an applique class years ago, and the instuctor had a bunch to give away. But you don't have to hit up your doc or swipe some from the supply closet at the hospital, because you can buy them here.

There you have it. Whichever you think came first, this way you can enjoy both together and it won't even matter!


  1. Love the chicken!!! I need that chicken!! Too cute. Doesn't everyone have hemostats? It thought they came with every house... hmm..

  2. I love the hemostats idea...I could have used those this week. I'm going to go get some.