Happy Chinese New Year to everyone. January 28, 2017, was the first day of the Chinese new year and beginning of “Spring Festival” in modern mainland China. It’s called “spring” festival to correspond with the first term (spring) of the solar calendar which can fall anytime between January 20 and February 20. It’s the most important public and family holiday for the Chinese people and lasts seven days. It could be compared to Christmas in the US, particularly the time between Christmas and New Years Day when folks travel home to be with family and enjoy many traditional activities.
I was fortunate to travel to China during Spring Festival in February of 2015. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I even took Row by Row along. Our row theme that year was Row by Row H2O. 2015 was the Year of the Goat (ram, sheep, lamb). You can see the “goat” garlands in this Shanghai marketplace. The crowds gathered were huge because most citizens were on official vacation at this time.
In the Chinese zodiac, each year is associated with one of twelve different animals. 2017 is the Year of the Rooster. The ancient Chinese word for rooster can also be interpreted as any barnyard fowl or chicken. We quilters are particularly fond of our chickens. A simple Google search using the words chicken and quilt yielded over two million images in .8 seconds. That’s a lot of chicken quilts! Use the words rooster and quilt. You’ll get about a half million hits.
The phrase “rooster’s head” was particularly important to me when I was teaching children to sew on sewing machines. I called the main thread take up guide “The Rooster’s Head” because that’s what it looks like when you view it from the side. The-rooster’s-head-has-to-be-up was the mantra. Use the hand wheel, kids, and always return the rooster’s head to the top when you complete a line of stitching. Whenever I could see that a student was struggling to pull their work from beneath the presser foot, all I had to say was “Where’s the rooster’s head?” and they could immediately solve their own problem.
Row by Row Experience has a wonderful program launching this summer called Row by Row Junior. It’s for kids 6-14 to travel along with you, collect free row patterns just for them to make, and learn to sew with you and support from www.rowbyrowexperience.com. Be sure to ask your favorite local quilt shop to offer Junior this summer.
Here are just a few of the many rows that found a Home Sweet Home for chickens, roosters, and a pheasant from around the US and Canada in 2016. Enjoy!
Quilt Cabin Colby, Kansas 785-462-3375
Let us know how you liked our flock of rows. Write a comment below. Comments take a little bit to show up so don’t worry if you can’t see your comment right away. Remember to ask your local quilt shop to offer Row by Row Junior this summer.