Monday, January 27, 2020

Chicken Wire Quilting

Grab a 1/4" quilting ruler and head to the sewing machine - let's stitch some chicken wire!
Chicken Wire Quilting tutorial

Super simple to stitch, with just a marked grid and a ruler, what barnyard quilt would be complete without it? In this tutorial, I'll go over the stitching sequence first, followed by a video showing the stitching in progress, then a final discussion about scale. Let's get started!

Chicken Wire Quilting

Once the grid is set up, stitching starts at the middle of the left line of the first grid square (red dot), then down to the grid intersection. The stitches back over that line, and stop at the middle (red dot) before angling up to touch the middle of the top line of the first grid square.

start row 1 for chicken wire quilting
Then it angles down to the middle of the next grid line, 

starting row 1 for chicken wire quilting

and continues straight on that line to the next grid intersection.

chicken wire quilting

And straight back up it goes, doubling the stitching and looking just like the twist in real chicken wire, before angling again into the next grid square. Repeating the same sequence of stitching lines all the way across within the grid forms the first row of stitching.

completed row 1 for chicken wire quilting

The next row starts with the peak of the design, and is offset by half the grid square. Work either from the right to left for continuous stitching, or left to right with a new start, as shown below.

beginning of row 2 for chicken wire quilting

This offset row starts stitching at an angle to the center of the grid square, then down to the center of the grid line, doubling back to angle over to touch the straight line from the row before, at the grid intersection.

start of row 2 for chicken wire quilting

At the finish of the second row, the chicken wire design starts to take shape.

two rows of stitching to complete one row of chicken wire

Continuing the design is easy - just alternate the row 1 and row 2 stitching lines.

Here's a video, showing both rows being stitched in the a continuous line method.

Chicken Wire Scale

It's important to check the chicken wire scale to the quilt before stitching, as the open space length is more than the width in this design, and could lead to chicken wire that's bigger than expected. 

Since the size of the grid determines the width of the chicken wire, it's helpful to draw a grid in several sizes on a piece of vinyl. Then sketch in the chicken wire design, overlaying the design on the quilt to test the scale. 

chicken wire size testing
In the picture above, there's testing of a 1 1/2" width at the top, 3/4" in the middle, 1/2" below that, and finally 1" at the very bottom. 

On my test, the 1/2" chicken wire fits the scale of the chicks and would certainly hold them in, but it's too small a the scale for the rest of the quilt. Three-fourths was still too small, but 1" works fine as a scale to fit both the chicks and the rest of the quilt.

Who Rules the Roost quilt quilting by QuiltFabrication

And that's all there is to finding a grid size for chicken wire that fits with the quilt.

Wasn't that easy? Now all those barnyard quilts can be full of chicken wire - have fun quilting!

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