This week is the Step 3 check in on MMM Quilts for the Postcards from Sweden Quilt Along. We should have our triangles all sewn together and started piecing them into the top. Check and check. There is a possibility that more progress has happened, but that's neither here nor there. Although if a body just HAPPENED to be further along, a body need not feel guilty about that. As my friend Rose says, "Guilt and Quilt may rhyme but they don't go together!"
Oo, look! A stained glass shot! I like seeing how all the seams are pressed in opposite direction in this photo. Because I can't see the inside of the seams anymore, possibly because of further progress on this quilt that shall remain unmentioned.
Now here's a completely finished quilt that I don't feel guilty about at all. I pieced the top for this back in June of last year, so it was officially a UFO for quite a long time. When our visit to Key West was extended another few days, I figured I could quilt up one last top and ship it off the boat. I asked my husband which UFO I should work on, and he said, "The chicken one, of course!"
What makes a chicken quilt the obvious choice in Key West? Why, the Key West Chickens, of course! Feral fowl are everywhere in this town, and we heard roosters crowing every day. One saucy rooster tag teamed with a sparrow to steal food right out of my hand, too. That one thought he was some kind of feathered star, or something.
We both decided that getting photos with the quilt and the chickens would be fun, but the chickens weren't very cooperative. We couldn't find any until we were literally walking up to the post office front door to mail the quilt to Happy Chemo, a Hands2Help charity.
Feral chickens aren't afraid of much, but a big piece of cloth flapping in the wind, held by a man with suspicious intentions, is one of those things. Sean would sidle up to a few chickens and slowly unfurl the quilt, then they'd scatter. This group cackled and scolded and ran away into the shadows, leaving us with just a few bad photos. But the other tourists were amused, at least.
Key West Chickens was quilted with free motion orange peels in the focal blocks, and a four lobed design in the hour glass blocks. The yellow part of the hour glass is baby chicks, and the red is fried drumsticks. The full life cycle of a chicken.
I used a 40 weight yellow thread which gave me fits by shredding and breaking. I changed everything: new needle, different tension, new bobbin, but no avail. After two rows, I gave up and tossed the spool in the trash and switched to a slightly different shade of yellow, which quilted the rest of the piece with zero trouble. Have you had that happen, where a particular color just won't work in your machine? It's happened to me three times. I'm wondering if the different dyes affect thread strength.
One of the "bad" colors in my thread stash is my only spool of black. I wanted to use black in the border of this piece, so I gritted my teeth and tried it again, hoping it would cooperate this time. Nope. Shred, shred, break, break. What to do?? The next closest color was navy blue, so I decided to try that. And you know what? It looks fine. If you reeeeeeealllllly look closely, you can see that it's blue, not black. But mostly it's just completely invisible. For the record, I did wishbones in the border (ha! like on a roast chicken!) and you can only see them here on the back. You can also see the binding, which is fried eggs on red. It's a very silly themed quilt, and I hope it will make someone smile.
Here's a parting shot of Key West Chickens with a bit of boaty flavor. We've left Key West now and will be crossing the Straights of Florida to the Bahamas tomorrow, hooray! Next time I post will be from the Islands.