Sunday, August 20, 2006

Chickens in the Kitchen

This is a picture of my chicken collection--or at least the part located in the kitchen. I have been collecting chickens for years. They used to all live in the kitchen, but now because of over crowding, they have spread their wings to other parts of the house!

I spent a few hours last night washing, dusting and rearranging them. You can see where there is a coffee mug missing--that one was not in the picture because it was already in use--for my morning coffee.

These are some closeups.

So how does this post connect to quilts? Below is a picture of a quilt hanger featuring a chicken (of course) that hangs in the kitchen. The quilt on the hanger was part of my Certo Jam entry to our local fall fair in 2004.

This is a closeup of the fabric--pears and blue fabric with dark spots that I like to think are blueberries. The jams that I entered into the contest were pear jam and blueberry jam.

You might ask why put a quilt with a jam entry. The story starts some years prior when I decided I wanted to enter some of my jam in the fair. There was a special category for the best Jam that was sponsored by Certo. I also wanted to enter the category sponsored by Kellogg that was for the best decorated Rice Krispie squares.

I decided that I would cut my Rice Krispie squares in the shape of rectangles and I would wind licorice ropes around them to make them look like bales of hay. Well you can't display bales of hay on a plate, so my husband came up with the idea of putting my Rice Krispie hay bales on a hay wagon. My husband made the cutest little hay wagon from leftover pieces of wood and used my son's mechano set for the wheels .

When it was time to take the entries to the fair, I discovered that I had forgotten to actually enter the Rice Krispie category. However, I did remember to enter the Certo jam class. I didn't want my husband to be offended because I didn't use the wagon he made, so my mother suggested that I display my jam on the back of the wagon.

Our parade each year usually includes local organizations using hay wagons as the base to their floats so I decided that I would make the hay wagon into a Certo jam float like you might see in the parade. Every other entry was rather plain in that they just entered their two jars of jam. I won that year - I am sure only because my entry was the only one that was decorated.

Little did I know that a fellow quilting friend of mine had been entering the Certo jam contest each year and she was accustomed to winning. Needless to say, the jam wagon set the bar for future years and future entries. The friendly rivalry was on.

The following year--2003, we both tied for first place. In 2004, I was short on ideas--there are only so many ways you can display jam. I came up with the idea of making a quilt featuring the fruits that would end up being in my jam. I chose pear and blueberry because there is a strong contrast in the colours--essential for a quilt. The following photos show the quilt lined basket with the jam--another winning entry.


  1. Thanks for sharing the story of your jam quilt. It's often that little extra that draws you in. It all comes down to those common marketing tools, packaging and display. Good for you in having the creativity to make your product stand out from the rest.

  2. That is excellent! I love it! And I won an entry in our church cookie baking contest last year because of presentation and you just totally gave the best idea for me for this year YAY ;) ((((((((((huge smooches and hugs LOL)))))))) melzie

  3. Such ingenuity, Norma but then seeing your quilts, I knew that about you. A couple of my quilting friends are chicken buffs but I was into cows, particularly Holsteins. You really have a nice collection there!

  4. love the story about the jam quilt.... Have you seen the "funky rooster/chicken" block in the Collaborative quilting by Marston and Moran? I could see that fitting with your collection :-)

  5. Good story, Norma. Your presentation would also make a great Christmas gift - a little quilt wrapped around some homemade goodies.
    I like your chickens too - especially the black and white ones.

  6. What a creative way to display your jams and quilts and homemade wagons. Congrats on winning!

  7. What a delightful story - thank you so much for sharing! And, congratulations on winning so often - WTG.

    I love your blueberry/pear quilt - it's darling.

    I have chicken and roosters in my kitchen. I have several lined up on the shelf above my kitchen cabinets.

  8. What wonderfully creative entries! Love the idea of decorating your entry. I don't remember anyone ever doing that to entries in our fair.

    What a wonderful chicken collection you have. But no chicken quilts? I have lots of great chicken quilt patterns, so I know they are out there. Country Threads pubished a book years ago called "For the Love of Chickens". Have you seen that one? I think it's a collector's item now.

  9. Your story is the quilt hanger and yay for hubby making the cute little far as the hay bales go I think I need to remember that for a future time.

  10. That's too funny! What a creative thing to do, though. My best friend collects chickens and I found a fabulous one for her at an art store in Pie Town, NM. There isn't much there - a post office, two cafes serving pies, and the art store. The chicken was folk art from Russia, and one half of the store-owner team is Russian. Chickens are such fun! Did you ever make Mary Lou Weidman's chickens?

  11. Hi Norma, I love your quilts and jam and wagon story...*VBS* I'm so impressed with your creativity..I think that is just wonderful to connect things like that.
    And your chickens..oh my...LOL I absolutely LOVE your black and white speckled hen...that's one good chicken.
    I have a smallish chicken collection..have been crazy about them for years..especially banties. I have a few chickens in my kitchen but nothing like yours. Great post...*VBS*

  12. Love the chickens I have to admit that I am afraid of live chickens (attacked by a rogue rooster as a child) but yours look rather friendly. Thanks for telling us the jam and quilt story I enjoyed reading it and hope you have many more winning entries.

  13. Great story!! But did you ever enter the krispy treat dectorating contest?

  14. Love the chickens! The quilt is really cute.

  15. What a great story. Your quilt is so pretty. Thanks for sharing.