best layer of the month #March

I haven’t bothered taking any recent photos of the gals these past few weeks, but they’re all well, and strutting around, enjoying the milder weather.

country 05

I have been counting eggs as usual though, as I collect them on a daily basis, and this month there have been quite a few days when I’ve found four eggs, all snuggled up together in the straw. 

Miss Plumpton, however, is our best layer of March.  She only took a rest for 2 days this month, and laid a total of 29 eggs.  Her shells are very pale, compared to the other gals, so very easy to recognise.  Other gals all laid very well too, including the older hens. 

22 laid by Mauricette, 19 by Miranda, and 18 by Miss Moneypenny, so a grand total of 88 eggs in March.  And, yes, neighbours have been enjoying fresh eggs aplenty this month.

the chicken or the egg?

This is the title of an exchange which was proposed on a French cross stitch forum, where I’ve been a member for quite a few years now.  “The chicken or the egg?”.

Even though I don’t celebrate Easter, I quickly signed up because you know me:  crazy hen lady, with my lovely laying hens who keep me amused what with scooping up poop, collecting eggs and chatting to the gals every day.   I couldn’t not join in this exchange, now could I?

The “rules” were simple: to send a hand-made gift, with a chicken or egg theme, and to add some choccies to the parcel.  Originally, I was going to cross stitch a design, and make a little egg cosy.  But then I got to wondering: do people really use egg cosies these days?  I mean they’re pretty, and decorative, but they’re not really something we use.  At least, I don’t.  I usually soft boil my eggs and eat them while they’re still piping hot.

So . . . a change of plan . . . and a rummage through my crafting stash followed, during which I unearthed the following.

easter bag

Perfect!  A “chicken and egg” fabric . . . but not very big.  Little brain then started thinking “patchwork”.  As any patchworker knows, the ideal solution for making a small piece of fabric go further is to chop it up and sew it back together again.  But still, I couldn’t think of something useful to make.  And for some reason my brain was set on “useful” not “decorative”.

easter bag 02

First things first, I decided to slice up my fabric, and make bands (sacrificing the wording “Springtime”) and doing my best to pattern match.  Not perfect – it worked on a blue chicken but the egg was off somewhat.  And then I knew what to make!

easter bag with pouch

A cotton tote bag, and matching cotton pouch.  I’ve made several of these bags now, so I can literally do it without having to think too much.  On this one I overlocked the seams of the band, and top-stitched so make sure it doesn’t fall to pieces.  For the bag assembly, I used French seams, including when boxing off the bottom corners.    This gift was sent to Michèle, who will be moving (permanently) to live in Spain.  When I think of Spain, I think of outdoor fresh fruit & veggie markets and I hope this bag will come in very useful when Michèle is out doing her shopping.  I also thought it appropriate that colours are blue, white and red: the same as the French “tricolore” flag.

easter exchange

So there you have it.  One practical tote bag neatly folded away in its matching pouch, a little crocheted amigurumi chick (just for fun) some choccies, and a card.