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.
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”.
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!
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.
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.