Drafting A Pattern

Next Monday we will look at drafting a pattern on graph paper. If you want to join us, please purchase a pad of 1/4″ graph paper – 4 squares per inch and a sharp pencil. We will start with something very easy.

Janice B. in Michigan drafted the feathered circles on her own. Here is her sample block.

It looks perfect to me! Bev sold 32 books after I posted her address. I know others of you are working on this quilt. Show us your work!

Have you seen the Puppy Bowl commercial with the chicken who plays the Star Spangled Banner on a toy piano? My chickens are slow, I tell you! I have the xylophone hanging on the wall but I’m going to move it and spread cat food on the keys. Ha! I’ll let you know if they suddenly become musical. Don’t judge, folks – it’s a long winter here in North Iowa.

I went to a meeting last weekend about proposed bills regarding animal cruelty laws in Iowa. I am appalled and ashamed to tell you that Iowa ranks 49th, only Kentucky is worse. The commercial livestock industry in Iowa is afraid if laws are more humane to companion animals, it will eventually affect their commercial livestock operations. I can hardly talk about it, as you can imagine. If you’re an Iowan reading this, please ask your senator and representative to support the bills making animal cruelty a felony.

24 thoughts on “Drafting A Pattern

  1. Vickie

    Chickens comment cracked me up. Hey, those piano playing chickens had to start somewhere and who knows you may have one in your bunch doing the same shortly. I found the book on eBay but haven’t started my quilt, yet. Love all your posts. The pictures on this one didn’t come through on the email but it just made me come to the blog and I finally left a comment.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Vickie – I love hearing from readers – the comments are the best part!

  2. Patty McDonald

    Cat food on the piano keys(?!) I thought you were putting peanut butter. All year I’m giving my ‘girls’ bread, pasta, potatoes, veggies, and this week they got left over pumpkins. Watermelon and cantaloupe is their favorite food. Your kitties will be playing the piano with that cat food on the keys.
    We hear about animal cruelty too often. Even when we raised beef and pork to butcher, our steer was brushed every day, and our pigs learned to walk on a leash and pens were cleaned daily. They all got belly rubs and were treated with love. Our 5 dogs are in the house every day so they get bathed at least every other week. Some times they roll in stinky stuff and get one more often. (We live in southern Calif. so weather isn’t a problem.) We know our animals aren’t human but we give them the best life we can while they are alive. I’ve seen your pics and know you do the same. Kindness can be mandated for animals but hard to enforce.
    I purchased the quilt book on etsy ( for a decent price) but haven’t started the quilt. Having a little retreat in April for 6 friends and I’m making 3 sample quilts for the big day. It will have a ‘bee’ theme….bee kind, bee gentle, bee loving, bee humble.. The big project will be a Kathy Schmitz pattern Bees in the Bowers. I’m prepping the center stitchery part so they can stitch at my house. They will have the pattern so they can finish the quilt at home. Takes a bit of planning but I enjoy that.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Patty – I’d love to be at your well planned retreat – sounds fun – love Kathy’s work!

  3. LMK

    that’s awful about the animals, i agree with you.!!!! we’re going to red wing sat. (feb. 3rd) to a quilt show, it’s at sargent’s nursery, a nice show, lots of vendors too, plus it’s nice & warm inside. paul has been dusting & he vacuums a lot (i think he’s going to wear out the vacuum) he helps in the kitchen too, he just got an air fryer so has been using that once in awhile, plus all his other kitchen gadgets he has. he got them at tag/estates sale, nothing new. we like going to the household sales, just went to one last sat. south of stacyville. we go the last day, it’s usually half price day, we figure if there is something we need or want, that’s good, if not, that’s okay too, plus you get to look at the house. stay warm!!! we’re waiting for warmer days but then who isn’t??? wanted to say too, i enjoy your posts news & pictures)

  4. Angie

    Your comment about “don’t judge “ made me laugh out loud. I needed that. Did you see the article about a woman that wanted her peacock brought on the plane as a support animal? They told her several times NO. Can you imagine sitting next to a peacock buckled in on your flight? One person wanted a snake. If that happened I WOULD need a calming animal. Thanks for the laugh.

  5. Marilyn

    I am looking forward to learning to draft a pattern, I don’t like animal cruelty either.

  6. Paula

    I am glad you will be doing the drafting class. Our Boxer, Hemi, is our baby and sleeps in our bedroom on his own bed. I am working on my feathered circles and will send you a pic when I get it finished. All blocks are done except for the hst’s and they are almost finished. Loved making this quilt and it is so much easier than it looks. Paula in KY

  7. Diane

    I have graph paper and will learn with everyone else. I have so many projects I don’t need to draft more–LOL!! Ohio has “Puppy Mills”, but they are working on regulating them, thank goodness. I will never understand how people can be so inhumane to all of our creatures. Very sad. My husband keeps telling Squeak how lucky she is–ha. She rules the roost. Good luck with the chickens; I’ll expect to see one of them next year on the Super Bowl!!

  8. Martha Engstler

    I don’t understand where the brain is of these people that are inhumane to their pets and just through kittens to the side of the road. My friend fosters kittens and they are always so sweet. Hope Iowa can correct their low rating of animal cruelty. Love hearing about your chickens. Always love your blogs.

  9. Karen L Chaudoin

    Thank you encouraging people in their awareness of animal cruelty. I can’t wait to learn to draft a pattern and more than that to hear “the rest of the story” about your chickens and the music lessons!

  10. Sue

    I’ll be waiting with 1/4 inch graph paper and a sharp pencil on Monday. Sounds fun.
    Janice B.—-Your feathered star block is gorgeous. Looks like the huge full moon we all just saw. Well, actually, you had to see it at 3AM here. After that the fog rolled in and you couldn’t see it anymore. Plus, the whole house became nearly as light as day for awhile. I want to make the feathered star but I have so many projects plus a March retreat.
    I can’t wait for the first note on the xylophone. Bet I will hear excited shouts all the way to Oregon.
    Animal cruelty is disgusting and despicable. I can barley think about it.

  11. Chris

    What a great idea. I never thought of drafting my own pattern. I will join in and give it a try.

  12. Launa

    A good touch with a cattle prod could change political votes on animal cruelty.

    Hope your chickens “tune up”, Mary.

    Will check on your pattern drafting lessons. I learned a lot from Mary Ellen Hopkins, but am always in for more tips.

    17 degrees up here in snowy Idaho this morning. Sun is coming out, tho

  13. mary

    I think animals keep us grounded in how to treat others. I have outside cats that are waiting to be fed at 6 AM and then show up at 3PM for food. They dance for me thru the patio door until I feed and talk to them.. Your posts are such a delight to read and I learn so much. Keep doing what you do and being an example for us all. Quilting and farm life, what a blessing!

    1. Fiona at Ice Bear Quilts

      Love the Puccini chicken! I think teaching it to peck where the keys light up red must have taken a lot of patience!

    2. CountryThreads Post author

      Helen – Thank You!!! I love this video – what a great chicken – I can’t wait to show Reed!

  14. Anne

    No judgement here-I had a diapered duck that followed me everywhere for 6 1/2 years and slept in a basket by my bed-she was an imprint when I got her(someone dumped her by a pond). I have 8 other ducks-all rescues or adopted. They have their separate personalities and likes-they know some human speech and I have learned some duck. I no longer eat meat because of them. Everyone should have a ‘farm’ animal as a companion-I think there would be a lot less animal cruelty. I think agribusiness and monoculture will be our undoing.
    Love your blog and how you love your animals.

  15. Fiona at Ice Bear Quilts

    Can’t wait to hear if your chickens’ dormant musical talent emerges with the help of cat food! We have always fed the wild songbirds in the garden, and they attract collateral birds: we used to have a crow that came and tapped on the back door when it wanted a treat! I wish I had thought to give him a keyboard or a xylophone or something, it would have sounded way better!! What always made us laugh was how affronted he looked if we didn’t immediately snap to and fetch him something. I do not understand how people can be cruel to animals. With you all the way with regard to animal protection, but so sad that it is necessary.

  16. Felicia Hamlin

    I love that chicken video, she is good! Don’t give up Mary, one of those chickens might surprise you. Some people can be cruel to other people and animals don’t mean anything to them, it is sad.

  17. Kate

    Although I do eat meat, I hate how many animals are treated before they are killed. I can’t even stand to see a cattle truck or chickens being shipped to market. We followed a truck one time loaded with chickens who were packed so tightly in it they could barely move. I couldn’t stand it. Then I came home and pet my chickens and promised them it would never happen to them. But we meat eaters have to speak up for the animals, that they are treated humanely before they are processed.

  18. Becky from TX

    I had no idea about Iowa being ranked 49th….that’s just horrible!! Shame on Iowa!! You would think the puppy mills and cruelty to companion animals could be separated from cattle, chicken and other animals processed for food in the laws.

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