CNCHnet . . . The Textile Arts Webzine of the Conference of Northern California Handweavers

Cookbook Chicks


One day we will have a world
where a chicken can cross the road without being questioned about her motives. . .

Meanwhile, you can make this “cookbook chicken” who will sit quietly on your cookbook page to keep it open, or beside your computer, or even on your loom, to keep you company. They truly like to be helpful and friendly.


This little chicken is the answer to what to do with some of those delightful scraps of handwoven fabric. Diablo Weavers Guild made them some years ago as a fund raiser and they proved to be quite popular.


8” x 4” piece of handwoven fabric
iron-on stabilizer if fabric is loosely woven
2 black beads for the eyes
small bit of polyester batting
small white beans
feathers for the comb and tail (feathers with a heavy shaft are difficult to work with) scrap of yellow felt for beak


Iron on the stabilizer if your fabric is loosely woven, or simply a light weight fabric.
Cut out two beak pieces from yellow felt, similar to what is pictured in fig. 1,

figure 1

round the corners on the sides a bit. Fold lengthwise and pin or baste together as shown in fig. 2, bottom beak inside the top beak. Trim the beak length if you think its too long.

figure 2

Select feathers for comb. Almost anything works as long as the shafts are not big and hard. Secure the beak and comb to right side of your fabric as shown in fig. 2, and about 3/4 inch from the corner. Be sure the top beak is up toward the corner.
Fold bottom up to top, right sides together with beak and comb inside, as shown in fig. 3.

figure 3

Stitch 1/2 inch seam along top, pivot and sew down, over the beak, to about 1/8 inch below beak. Secure your stitching. This long seam runs down the top-back of the chicken, from the top of the head and comb to tail.
Prepare the tail feathers and insert them inside the chicken, centering on the sewn seam.
Baste or pin in place and squish tube together so that the sewn seam is in the center, as in fig. 4.

fig. 4

Sew a 1/2 inch seam
Turn right side out. The opening is down from the beak along what is the breast of the chicken. Stuff a small amount of batting into the corner by the beak and comb.
Sew bead eyes through all layers, pulling in a bit so they are slightly recessed.
Fill the rest of the space with small white beans and whipstitch front opening closed.

Enjoy your new friend!

chick #1

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