The fact that there's a well worn copy of The Little Red Hen among the books from our own childrens' childhoods' was a factor. And it certainly helped that "In The Nursery" by Jennifer Sampou and Carolyn Schmitz had a helpful pattern. I had used another pattern from this book for a quilt for Miss P's big brother,
which, I am ashamed to say, was also eons in the making.
I cringed at the instructions which said to fuse the applique shapes for the Little Red Hen and her friends onto the background fabric. Choke, gasp, splutter! Depending on your point of view, I am either a purist, a masochist, or seriously deranged. I'm arguing for purist. I like handwork. Glue would be fine for a paper collage, but for fabric --- never!
The Little Red Hen finds a seed and asks her farmyard friends to help her plant it.
They decline so she plants it all by herself. Here she is, well most of her, digging the hole....after I had first back basted her parts in place (my absolutely favorite applique technique.)
Meanwhile the lazy little pig was taking shape, and plans for the cute, but unhelpful, kitten were coming along.
The seed grows into wheat and the Little Red Hen again asks for help harvesting it, but the other critters are too busy, so she does it all by herself.
Then, all by herself, she grinds it into flour.
Ever the optimist, she asks her friends if they would like to help her bake some bread.
They are still too busy.
So she bakes the bread all by herself..
When the heavenly aroma of bread baking wafts through the farmyard all the friends rush to the Little Red Hen's side to help her eat it. But, the Little Red Hen has managed thus far without any help from her friends and decides that she will eat the bread all by herself, thanks for offering though.
While the Little Red Hen's wheat was growing, so was Miss P. When she was six months old we went to visit.
Her first b'day came and went. Her second birthday came and went.
She had a third birthday, and shortly after that
she came to visit us.
But , as you can see, Miss P was a lot less bothered by the whole business than I was.
It is possible that my brain is disfunctional, considering all the chances I had to get it right .......
When they left, I got to work and, finally, finished the quilt top.
But I wasn't out of the woods yet. Now more opportunities for procrastination presented themselves.
Should I hand quilt it?
And risk taking another three years to finish?
Threw out that daft idea.
Piecing and applique are my comfort zone. The actual quilting fills me with terror so, I did the sensible thing, and took the quilt to a friend of a friend and paid her to machine quilt it.
It was a long road but it's finally done. I had such fun making it I think I just wanted the process to go on and on and on...
I am always more about the journey than the destination.
And, best of all, reports are that Miss P loves all her quilted farmyard friends.