Sunday, September 4, 2016

C is for Chicken

Gayle at Mangofeet got me thinking about chickens with her recent piglet (you have to see it to understand).  And I remembered a chicken phase I went through in my VERY early quilting career.

At the time -- 2000 or so -- there was a lot of chicken fabric on the market and I started collecting it.

Little chicks

Chicken wire and eggs
I don't know why. I didn't grow up on a farm. I never even had a baby Easter chick (other than the chocolate kind, the head's the best part -- no I'm thinking of the rabbit ears ... but I digress).

I joined Cumberland Valley Quilters soon after we moved across town and in 2003 the guild decided to enter the AQS Ultimate Guild Challenge when the show was in Nashville. We had to have 10 quilts (voted by the guild) in order to enter.  Our theme that year was "The Illustrated Alphabet." The only "rule" we had, other than the size limitation determined by AQS, was that the letter we were illustrating had to appear in our quilt.

I decided to put all that chicken fabric to good use by making "C is for Chicken."

In addition to the chicken fabric, I tried to include several block names that referenced chickens, hens, chicks, etc.

Hen and Chickens
Hens and Chickens
I even included some applique.
Funky Chickens

Dominique, perhaps?
I searched for a fabric that would pull all these disparate pieces together and thought this plaid would fit the bill.

No Chickens Here
Look at the name of the fabric !!! I just had to include a clip of the selvage.

Also, having been employed by The Coca-Cola Company for a number of years in Atlanta, I knew exactly what my C should look like.

"C is for Chicken" by Libby Smith 2003
Amazingly, our guild entry was accepted; that meant I would have a quilt hanging in a national show!!

I was as excited as if I had won Best in Show. I was in the first surge of quilters to enter the exhibit hall when the show opened and I headed immediately to the Ultimate Guild Challenge section to have my picture taken with my quilt (see my profile pic). 

So what if the guild didn't win; it was still an honor that I doubt I will ever have again.


  1. Thank you for introducing your fabulous chickens! ("No Chickens Here"... Ha!) I love all that feathery goodness!
    I raised chickens for years, and I miss having the little cluckers around. Maybe someday!

  2. What fun!!! It's always fun to make a quilt like that - creative and different and all your own - with the added thrill of maybe getting to show it. Love all the little touches, from applique to selvedges to the choice of the Coca-Cola "C" as something very personal to you. Certainly an accomplishment that most quilters never experience :*)

  3. You had an excellent chicken quilt and loved the story behind it. You really put a lot of thought into that cute little entry and I agree that that would have been as thrilling as winning best in show. Congrats.

  4. Love the story behind this quilt. I especially love your "C" and the reason your picked that design. Beautiful!

  5. Very inspired - love the story & the challenge quilt. I particularly like how you wrapped the C around the edges of the quilt.

  6. I love the quilt! What is it about chicken fabric and quilt patterns that make them so appealing to collect? I've got a bunch of my own here somewhere.

  7. What a fun quilt! I love the story that goes with it. You definitely made the most of the opportunity.

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