Friday, January 13, 2017

Chicken Tutorial

This is the tutorial for a left-facing chicken block that finishes to 7 by 9 inches. This chicken is based on a one inch grid, that is you will be using 1.5 inch, 2.5 and 3.5 inch strips. I plan to also provide a tutorial for a right-facing chicken as well. And you may be surprised how quickly this comes together.

For the fabric, I used a dark fabric for the wing and a lighter fabric for the body. The wattle and comb in this tutorial is red, and the beak is yellow. And I used a light beige for the background.

Fabric Requirements:


one 2.5 by 4.5 inch rectangle
two 2.5 inch squares
four 1.5 by 2.5 incd rectangles
one 1.5 by 4.5 inch rectangle
three 1.5 inch squares

Yellow beak

one 1.5 inch square

Red Wattle and Comb

four 1.5 inch squares

Light Brown (Body)

one 3.5 inch square
one 2.5 by 4.5 inch rectangle
two 2.5 inch square
three 1.5 inch squares

Dark Brown Wing/Tail

one 4.5 by 5.5 inch rectangle
one 1.5 inch square                  (see frugal tip below)

This is what all the cut pieces look when laid out in their corresponding part of the chicken. This block uses a lot of flip triangles...squares placed in the corner, sewn along the diagonal, ironed back to make a triangle, then bottom two layers are trimmed away.

This is also what all the cut pieces look like when laid out, but this time all of the squares for making flip triangles are laid on top of their base.  The first step in sewing this chicken is to sew all of the flip triangles.

This is what the chicken looks like after you've sewn all of the flip triangles.

But wait. I know there are some of you that hate the waste of flip triangles. And worse, for the dark fabric, there is a 4.5 by 5.5 section and then a lousy 1.5 inch square. Well, if you sew the large flip triangles first using the 2.5 inch squares, then when you trim away the lower layers, you can use those triangles for small flip triangles. I usually go ahead and trim the waste triangle down to look like a square as shown in the photo so I can line it up better. But remember that the corners don't line up. You want the corner of the small triangle facing away so you can iron it back into place once its sewn on.

Now that we've finished all the flip triangles, we're just going to sew the small chicken hunks into larger hunks. Using chain piecing, you can sew two wattle pieces together, add a brown 1.5 inch square to the bottom of a wattle piece, sew a  1.5 inch background square to the bottom of the beak and sew the long tail piece onto the chicken's back.

At this point you may want to stop because some people like their chickens in parts...for example chicken wings or the breast. However, if you prefer a whole chicken, you should sew the front of the wattle to the 2.5 inch square of background, sew the other wattle component to the back of the chicken, and sew the beak onto the chicken's face.

We are so close to having a final chicken that you may hear clucking. Don't expect eggs yet though. First, sew the wattle to the head. Next sew the breast piece to the bottom of the head. Then, sew the back of the chicken to the wing section. Then the final seam is when you sew the front section to the back section.

Buddy says "Yum!"


gayle said...

Thanks for the triangle tip, speaking as one of those who whinge about wasted corners. Very helpful!
I'll be taking a few notes on construction and trying this tomorrow. (There's no wifi in my studio and our printer is down. I'll have to use paper and pencil, like a barbarian...)

Jacqueline said...

Your work and instructions are amazing. Thanks for sharing.

Lynn Dykstra said...

This is marvelous

Cathy said...

THANKS! And THANKS again! Cute. And far superior to the paper pieced breed of chicken.