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Chicken Ranch

Posted on: February 24th, 2017 by Lorna McMahon


What’s this? Well…. It’s not another Christmas quilt…
This is something that rarely happens. The Chicken Ranch was a finished quilt TOP that I shared back in late August in a Let’s Bee Social post here. And then this quilt top hung in my sewing room for 6 months.
That is something unusual for me. I normally finish a top and then get it quilted up right away before starting something new. This is due to a promise that I made myself back when I started quilting. I know how easy it is to get swept away with the adrenalin rush that comes along with the excitement of starting a new project.

However, leaving this quilt top hanging there, unquilted, did give me the opportunity to enter it as an unquilted top in our little local fair this past fall. Only to be told that the seams were pressed “wrong”. You see, the judges go through a training process that still stresses some longstanding (dare I say outdated?) views of what is the right way of doing things. And I am a press-all-the-seams-open kinda girl.


I quilted with my usual organic wavy lines, using Omni in grey on top to blend in with the background and a soft green in the bobbin to blend in with the backing.


The backing is a wideback print from the Northcott Fabrics Artisan Spirit collection. After quilting and squaring up the edges, I used the trimmings to make the binding. This is also the same fabric used in the Mama Hens wings.




This long overdue “Chicken Ranch” quilt finished at 55” x 70″
and was the 20th use of my 2nd edition of 100 labels
ordered from Ikaprint.


If you would like to make your own Mama Chicken block,

Or you can purchase the Chicken Ranch pattern here.
The Chicken Ranch pattern includes those adorable baby chicks!
Linking up to Finish it up Friday with

Amanda Jean of Crazy Mom Quilts


Keep On Quilting On!


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20 Responses

  1. Whatca lovely quilt. The chickens are delightful. Love your organic wavy lines.

  2. Nice flock of chickens! I need to get some labels…

  3. Beautiful finish of your Chicken quilt. Love the green backing and binding. Love your little barnyard of hens and chicks!!

  4. Yes! Judges need to be brought up to the present. I have been down graded for not stitching my binding corners on the front side! My opinion, and I am not alone, that if the binding is turned well, there is no need to stitch the angle on the front. Cute pattern!

  5. Liz Horgan says:

    I just LOVE this quilt!

  6. judges do need to judge on how things are done now. a top of someone I know was entered and she left a salvage edge on a piece as she was almost out of fabric – the salvage edge would have been covered by the binding – she was told it should have been cut off before piecing and was marked off for it

  7. Pat says:

    This is really cute. The next time I quilt something, I'm determined to try your wavy lines. Again. I've tried before without much success but I love the look.

  8. This is a really cute quilt, Lorna. I read your blog all the time, but I do not always comment (sorry)This is such a happy pattern.Thank you for the free momma chicken pattern.

  9. Judy MacLeod says:

    Another adorable pattern! My cousin's girlfriend has chickens, and I'm trying to get her into quilting. This one just might do the trick!

  10. sam says:

    this is so cute. But all your patterns are cute and so easy to follow. Love your wavy line quilting. Inspiring.

  11. Anonymous says:

    So cute 🙂 I like your wave line quilting too…Katrin

  12. Anonymous says:

    Very cute hens and chicks finish!Don't give those judges another thought, Lorna! Keep on with your creative cuteness and generosity! Quilt for your own enjoyment and never mind the opinions of others.

  13. JanineMarie says:

    I do like the chickens, but oh, those little chicks. I think I can hear them peeping. I have always loved your signature wavy quilting, and I think it's time to try it. I always forget: do you quilt all in one direction or do you go back and forth?

  14. I am sure that mother hen could use a christmas hat 😉

  15. Jen Barnard says:

    I'm a seams open girl too, I find it easier, and everything lays flatter too. I know a quilter who was told by a judge she had picked the wrong thread colour for the quilting and that she should have put more thought into the choice.

  16. Hey Lorna – I LOVE your quilting methods and I agree that some of the old fogies need to get with the program! LOL! I have been told that if you press the seams open the batting may \”beard\” through…I could see perhaps if you are using wool batting, but with today's needle punched batting I am not so sure it would be a problem. I am working on a quilt block for my local shop and thanks to your tutorials, I am brave enough to press open some of the seams – so necessary to reduce bulk! You keep doing what you do friend – and I will keep appreciating it ever so much! And thanks for the Mama Chicken!

  17. Ha ! How darest she ! No such thing as wrong . There never was , and that was what put me off quilting years ago !

  18. Julierose says:

    Oh this is an adorable quilt–love the Mama…and who says you can't iron your seams open–I do..all the time…not a fan of the quilt police mindset…that being said–the colors are perfect for Spring and Easter…hugs JulieroseP.S. thanks for the tutorial…

  19. Try not to be too upset by the judge's comments. There have to be some standards if we're going to have quilts judged. It's difficult to accept, but the truth is that in the first round or two of judging, quilts have to be eliminated. The comments are there to tell you why a particular quilt didn't make the cut(s). I have had several quilts in shows and, while I understand and respect the judges' opinions, I sometimes choose to do things my way. That means some of my quilts won't win. I'm okay with not winning if it means I can do things my way. With this attitude, I don't get upset, I just get it.

  20. Adorable finish. Too bad, judging hasn't moved with the times. How can seams be pressed wrong??? Seriously…..