Saturday, January 7, 2012

Roosters and Angel Quilt

Roosters are interesting creatures. Watching our roosters and their hens in our farmyard is a lot like having a fish tank. I don't know what it is about them, but just watching them hunt for tidbits, fluff their feathers, and cock their heads to look at things is fascinating. Everyone who comes on our farm always asks about the roosters, so I decided they needed a blog mention. 
This is our first rooster, he's the non-dominant one. He's prettier than our other guy, but really he's a weenie when you get down to it. He's supposedly a Cuckoo Maran, but we think he has some Barred Rock in him too. He doesn't really have much of a posse, and is a bit of a loner most of the time. He was hen-raised (that makes them a tiny bit wilder), and we bought him with a couple of other gals about 2 years ago. 
And this is the rooster I call our "stealth rooster." Now, I say that because he really shouldn't be here. He and many of 2010's hens are the Red Star breed, which are a sex-linked chicken breed. This means that when you have chicks, the hens will be red and the roosters will be white. This lets the hatcheries figure out very easily what gender the chicks are, because determining gender on a day-old fluffy chick is really hard. People actually make professions out of doing it. 
So do you see how he has a lot of red on his wing? Well, on a baby chick there is a high wing-to-body ratio. So as a chick, this guy looked like a gal. Hence, stealth rooster. He's a big boy, you can see him next to his hens. That's why he's dominant, and he has some wicked spurs on him too. 
We don't mind him, though, it's good to have a few roosters around. For the large part, they kind of keep the flock together. I don't think they do much to defend from predators since I never see any battle scars on them, but at least they're intimidating. I know Nermal's kinda scared of him. 

This is a quilt top I finished from a commission. I have a gal at work who has a quilt like this for her son and wanted one for her daughter. The hardest part of this was just that the small calico prints aren't really in style right now so I had trouble finding fabrics that were the same style as her existing quilt. The blocks themselves were simple, and there's some handwork for the angels' heads and halos. Each angel is a 6" block and the sashing is 2". My client (?) says she'll have her mom do the quilting, so this will probably go to her some time in the next couple of weeks.
I had two extra angels who didn't really fit in the main quilt, so I made a little doll quilt/wall hanging for her daughter. I think it's cute! And if I ended up machine quilting the big quilt (the original is hand quilted), I think I'd do something like this with the clouds. But I'd make the clouds a little bigger and I'd mark them out ahead of time so they end up in balanced locations. 

Lastly, Hazel pictures! These were taken by my dad and brother while we were in California for Christmas. 
Here I'm putting Hazel in her Christmas dress as she plays with her uncle David. David had this cute playhouse that is used to pack the solar cell kits his company makes. They decided to make their packaging also functional instead of a waste of a bunch of cardboard. So much fun!
She also figured out how to do somersaults there, but hasn't really done any since. 
And I love this one. These Mardi Gras beads became a new favorite toy (they came back with us), and my brother really has an eye for photography. Love the way he composed this shot!


Betty Strickland said...

I love the angel quilt but was wondering how you applied the circles.

Janice said...

Thanks! I just used traditional needle-turn appliqué on the circles. Kay Buckley's perfect circles probably would have helped as well, but I didn't have those at this point!