A Tilly’s Nest Quilt-A-Long: Sew A Chicken Quilt: Part One

January 10, 2014


material for a chicken quilt

During the winter, I always chose a heftier project to carry me into spring. Sometimes it is knitting, crocheting or sewing; something that cannot be completed overnight. This year I chose quilting. I decided to ask my Facebook fans if they were interested in a making a quilt with me at the same time. They responded with an overwhelming YES! So, I decided to make a chicken quilt.

Of course this quilt is going to have a chicken theme. I wouldn’t dream of it any other way! So, I headed over to my local Joann Fabric store for inspiration and picked up a yard each (plenty for making the face of the quilt) of these six pretty “spring” fabrics. They just make me smile and I knew they would be perfect.

Here is the rough overview of the chicken quilt. I sketched this out as soon as I got home from the store. The quilt we are making can be adjusted to any size you like, but I will be making a lap quilt about the size of an afghan. The sewing will be pretty simple. Most folks can follow along that have basic sewing skills and can operate a sewing machine. The quilt will be comprised of twenty squares, featuring a chicken silhouette in the center of each square.

photo (59) (1)wp chicken quilt layout
I will slowly roll out a supply list as we go. This way, it keeps folks from getting overwhelmed and helps to spread the cost out over time. If at anytime you have any questions, please let me know. I’m here to help and learn from you. And definitely know if I am not clear in my directions. So let’s get started!

Part One Chicken Quilt Supply List:

  • Sharp sewing scissors
  • Assorted fabrics to make 20 squares (each 11″x 11″ ) and 20 hens (each approx. 8″x 8″). Have the ladies at the cutting counter help you with your calculations based on the number of different fabrics you have chosen (at least 4, I’m working with 6).
  • Measuring tape/yard stick or quilter’s ruler
  • 2 1/2 to 3 yards approx- Pellon Wonder Under #805 Transfer Web (directions for use come with it)
  • Chicken silhouette pattern
  • Quilter’s pencil or regular pencil
  • Washcloth
  • Spray bottle with water


First, pre-wash your fabric first to account for shrinkage. Then, cut out twenty assorted fabric squares measuring 11″ x 11″ and set them aside.



Chicken quilt template
Next, print out the chicken silhouette pattern (above) and enlarge it to fill the majority of an 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper laying in the landscape position. Then, trace it onto a piece of cardboard and cut that out. That will serve as your pattern. The chicken pattern should fit nicely on your 11″ x 11″ square.

Next, cut a square out of your Wonder Under that fits the chicken silhouette. Following the directions on the Wonder Under, iron the rough side of the Wonder Under to the wrong side of the fabric of your choice. Note: When ironing, the Wonder Under should be underneath the fabric and you should be ironing on the good side of your fabric.

Next, flip this piece of fabric over to reveal the ironed on Wonder Under and trace the chicken silhouette onto the Wonder Under paper. (Feel free to flip the direction of the chicken now and then.)

Cut out the chicken.

Carefully remove the paper backing of the Wonder Under.

Take one of your 11″ x 11″ squares and place your chicken cut out in the center. Next, mist the washcloth until it is damp and place it on top of the chicken. Then following the directions on the Wonder Under, iron on top of the damp wash cloth until the chicken cut out and its edges are completely adhered to the fabric square. Patiently, it might take a little while.

Finally, repeat the above steps until you have made 20 squares complete with chickens attached. (I’ve only got 18 more left after sharing this post with you.)

Happy Sewing Peeps! Click here for the next step of the chicken quilt Part 2

DISCLOSURE: I learned to sew in 4H in the 4th grade. I’ve been sewing for over 30 year. I’m not a professional quilter. I take short-cuts and I may not do things the “right” way according to other quilters and sewers. Nonetheless, you will have a lovely handmade quilt when we are through. One that you will hopefully come to treasure for a lifetime.

Photo Credit: Tilly’s Nest


Author/Blogger/Freelancer-Sharing adventures with backyard chickens, beekeeping, gardening, crafting, cooking and more.



22 thoughts on “A Tilly’s Nest Quilt-A-Long: Sew A Chicken Quilt: Part One”

  1. I have been wanting to make a quilt for a few years and now this is it!!! I am absolutely in love with it!!! I can't tell you how happy I am to do this sew along! Thank you so, so much!!!

  2. Oh I guess I missed the beginning post but glad I saw this one. I think I will join in also. Maybe having a time frame will help me get at it. I probably have enough fabric in my stash for all of your peeps to make this quilt. LOL I have just recently moved so the challenge will be to find what I want. Thanks for the invite and do hope pictures will be shared along the way. Happy Quilting!

  3. I am going to be picking up my fabric tomorrow hopefully. I am assuming this fabric is for the squares only ? I dont sew and hope I can get through this and end up with a cute quilt. Since I have silkie and showgirl chickens I made a special template for mine.

  4. I really wish I could sew … I was kicked out of my school sewing class at the age of 14 (a looooong time ago!!) for being too clumsy, and I've never had the confidence to try since. 🙁 Also I live in Italy and I don't think I could get 'Wonder Under' which sounds as though it would save a lot of hard work. Who knows though – I might try it and re-establish some confidence in my sewing abilities! 🙂

  5. Gosh I would love to give this a go! Your instructions are very straightforward….I've never tried anything like this though. I can just about sew in a straight line with a sewing machine…. do you think a beginner could manage it?


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Sharing an inspired life from the New England seaside. Chickens, Bees, Gardens, Art and Yummy Goodness.