Sunday, August 17, 2008

I just couldn't wait! Chicken Scratch Pattern #1

So, yes, it's a few hours before Monday officially but I just couldn't wait to post my very first in my week-long series of chicken scratch patterns!

Of course, the reason I'm so excited is that I have opened up my new etsy shop,
The Make-Do Mercantile!

You can get my very first drafted-by-me pattern for a pinnie you can make from a vintage pillowcase!

And the very first educational pamphlet and badge set for the Make-Do Marigolds mail club! Which brings us to why I have drawn up these free patterns. In this summer issue of the Make-Do Mail, the craft project is a chicken scratch apron and while I love the pattern I put into the booklet, there are so many cute ones an there don't seem to be a lot available online.

So here is the very first in a week-long series of free patterns. Check back each day for a new pattern! I can see a couple of these birds flying across an apron. Or curtains, wouldn't that look great?

This pattern is for your own personal use.

A bit about chicken scratch
Chicken Scratch is cross stitch (and other simple stitches) done on gingham using the squares as a grid. It is also sometimes called cross stitch on gingham, Amish lace or snowflaking. Although not as well known as cross stitch or needlepoint, you can find more info on the web about chicken scratch then about some of the more obscure needlecrafts like huck weaving and hardanger embroidery. It seems to be enjoying a small revival!

All the patterns I will post this week can either be worked in cross stitches or double cross stitches. I think this one would look great in double cross stitches since it's kind of a loose pattern but it would show up well worked in single cross stitches on a light fabric done in dark floss. The number of strands of floss you use will depend on the width of gingham you use (meaning the width of each square) and your personal preference. I like to use eighth inch gingham and 2 strands of floss for most of my aprons.

Some further reading on chicken scratch:
PDF from West Virginia University Extension Service
Crafttown's pattern for a little tree has three little printable patterns
PDF from University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service
Instructions and heart pattern from Pegasus Originals
Primrose Design's chicken scratch tutorial


  1. Oh wow, this looks SO fun! I love the birdie!

  2. How wonderful! The internet is pitifully shy of free chicken scratch patterns. Thanks so much for sharing.

  3. Jenna, this series rocks! What a great idea - and a generous one - for you to share these patterns with readers! I've scheduled a link to this post to go live on my blog in the morning (central USA time) of August 21. Hope it brings you lots of new clicks.


  4. hi, Jenna, your etsy link in this post doesn't work. :)

  5. Hi Jenna!

    I just finished getting all your lovely patterns. I have several things with chicken scratch embroidery on them that my mom & aunts made many years ago. I never knew it was a particular style of embroidery! This is great. I'm going to make something for my grandmother using this, and I'm pretty sure it will make her day to see someone practicing it!