Chickens chickens everywhere!

chickens dish towels 1

A typical scenario for me – find fabric I love, order fabric, get fabric in the mail, have no idea whatsoever what to make with fabric . . . this time I decided to make a Christmas present for a friend and fellow chicken owner – I think this fabric is so bright and cheery, it would be perfect for the kitchen. The fabric is Metro Market by Robert Kaufman (licorice chickens and yellow chickens) and Lecien Dots (medium black), all 100% cotton. I ordered both online from Purl Soho in New York City.

chickens place mats 1

I started with double-sided placemats – for each placemat, I cut two pieces of the red chickens and two pieces of the yellow chickens (13” x 13 1/4” and 13” x 3 3/4”). Then for each placemat I cut two pieces of the black dots fabric (13” x 3”). I pieced together each side as shown, then sewed the two sides right side to right side, leaving a little opening to turn the finished piece right side out. I clipped the corners, turned the piece right side out, and carefully ironed it (pressing is very important here!) Then I top-stitched at 1/8” with a contrasting color thread around all four sides. Done! I decided not to put any interfacing or batting inside these placemats – I was afraid they’d end up feeling too flimsy, but I actually light the lightweight feel and they don’t seem too unsubstantial for placemats at all.

chickens dish cloths 2

Next up – dishcloths. These were even easier – I just cut one piece of each color of chicken fabric (22” x 22”) and rolled in a 1” hem on each side (1/2” then 1/2” again), pressed in the hem and sewed. The fabric worked well for this – there was no need to make it double-sided and the dishcloths still feel sturdy enough for their intended purpose.

chickens pot holders

For the potholders I cut 8” squares (two squares of each color) and a little larger square for each of batting – put each of your squares wrong sides together, with the batting in the middle, and quilt together (I just freehand quilted a random design). Trim around the edges. Then I cut 1 1/2” strips of the black dots fabric and sewed those strips onto the edges just like binding a quilt (with a loop tucked into one corner).

chickens drawstring bag

Finally, using a free tutorial on Purl Bee, I sewed a simple drawstring bag out of the red chickens fabric to hold all of the gifts inside. I saw these plates – I love the shape and the deep red color – at Crate & Barrel, so I paired them with the sewed projects for a complete gift package.

chickens place mat and plate

Even though these sewing projects were really easy, they kind of pushed the envelope (sewing-wise) for me because I’m not very skilled at making up my own sewing patterns – I usually need an established pattern that I can follow exactly. I struggle to look at a sewed item (or conceptualize one) and figure out what sizes the unseamed component pieces should be cut, and how to sew it all together (and in what order) so that no seams are showing, etc. I think you almost have to be able to “see” three-dimensionally in your mind in order to do this – of course, it helps to have a lot of experience with sewing, too, because you can remember back to a similar project you’ve done in the past.

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