Monday, April 4, 2011

All My Chickens, Week 10, Quilted Table Topper

This is one of those weeks where I try to finish up a project I already started.

I've made one of these already, in patriotic fabrics, then started another, featuring a cute chicken print:

and cut out yet another in these pretty fabrics:

Do this one in whatever fabrics you like, of course, but the one I'll be finishing this week has a decided chicken theme to it.

You'll need 3 fat quarters, 1/2 yard of another fabric for the backing, and a piece of batting about 18" x 45".
You'll also need 92" of 1 1/2" bias binding, which you may be able to piece from the leftovers, or you can use prepackaged bias, or cut from another fabric.

I have a few corrections to the pattern, discovered while making my first one:

Even though the directions say you'll be cutting 21" long strips, there is no need to cut your fat quarter to exactly this length before cutting the strips. Just make sure it's at least that long in one direction. Usually they will be just a bit longer. If it's a little shy of 21", you'll be okay - you only need about 19" of it.

You only need to cut three 2" x 21" strips from each fat quarter (directions say four, but you don't use the last one, so don't bother. you do still cut the 9 1/2" x 21" strip, of course).
In fact, you only need two 2" x 21" strips of the color you've chosen for the center square (referred to as "white" in the directions). If you're stacking the fabrics to cut all at once with the rotary cutter, stack this one on top, and peel it off before cutting the third strip for the other two. If you like getting the most out of your fabrics, the way I do, you don't want a bunch of unnecessary cuts laying about.

The "inventory" should include everything listed except the two 12" x 2" strips of "white" (center color), as you just used those to complete the two-part strips with the other two colors.

The directions from there are fine (though there are a few typos).

When I cut off the triangles from the edges (last step before quilting) I found that not all my strips lined up exactly. If it was within the 1/4" seam allowance, I let it be a little short, and just watched carefully that I caught all the edges when I stitched on the binding. If yours are a little uneven, just do the best you can.

If you will be using a directional print like mine shown above, make sure the length of the strip goes in the direction you want, even if that means rotating your fat quarter and cutting an extra strip or two to get the pieces you need. I felt my chickens needed to be marching the length of each strip rather than the width.
Be careful when you sew on the strips that they are all facing the same direction. I chose to put their heads towards the center square, which means the ones on the other end are upside-down, making it symmetrical.

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