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Thank you for visiting!

I would love hear from you, so please feel free to leave comments on the blog, or if you prefer email, the address is knitandcrochetwithsuzann at outlook dot com.

Suzann Thompson

Warm regards,

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Celebrate Doilies on Red Heart Blog

Celebrate Doilies on Red Heart Yarns blog

Please enjoy a short, sweet blog post about the Celebrate Doilies exhibit on Coats & Clark’s Heart Strings, a blog by Red Heart Yarns, where you’ll get an insight into the secret power of doilies!

Here’s the link: http://blog.redheart.com/celebrate-doilies-exhibit-enchants/.

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Antelope Horns in Bastrop

By the time the sun came up on Saturday, April 21, my wall hanging Antelope Horns was in the back seat of the car, and we were on the way to pick up my friend Peggy. Our destination was Bastrop, Texas, and our mission was to deliver Antelope Horns for the second round of judging for the Bastrop Art in Public Places 2D program.

Antelope Horns waiting for judges in Bastrop

Nearly three and a half hours later, we arrived at the Bastrop City Hall, where friendly folks greeted artists and showed us where to drop off our work. Antelope Horns is second from the right in this photo.

Anne Beck, who organized the competition, explained why artists were asked to bring their works to town for judging for the first time this year. Previously, judging was accomplished by looking at photos of artwork online and ranking them according to a list of criteria. Once the chosen art was installed in Bastrop’s public buildings, judges took a closer look at the artwork, this time choosing five pieces for cash prizes. Judges were amazed how different the art looked online versus in person.

Things changed slightly this year, with one group of judges viewing the original group of entries online, and choosing 30 pieces for the next round. Artists brought their work so the next judging panel could see them in real life, and choose the sixteen works to be displayed in Bastrop for one year.

Lost Pines Art Center, Bastrop, Texas

While the judges worked, artists and their guests took a tour of the Lost Pines Art Center, a community-centered gallery with classrooms and a gift shop. Even on that cloudy, drizzly day, lots of natural light streamed in, illuminating paintings, photos, and sculptures by area artists. I loved the butterfly mosaic by Jim and Marlene Outlaw, in the floor just inside one of the building’s entries.

Butterfly Mosaic by the Outlaws, Lost Pines Art Center, Bastrop, Texas

Antelope Horns in Bastrop Art in Public Places

BAiPP provided a nice lunch for us, and Peggy and I talked with our table-mates until Anne came in to tell us whose works would be staying in Bastrop.

I’m very glad to tell you that Antelope Horns is one of the sixteen! It is on display in the Bastrop Public Library until mid-April 2019.

Artists, if you’re within driving distance of Bastrop, I hope you’ll consider entering your work next year. To get their news, which will include notification of next year’s competition, sign up for the Bastrop Art in Public Places newsletter at their website. Good luck!

If you’re wondering “How did she do that?” you can read about the process of making Antelope Horns in the first three posts on the list, when you click this link: www.textilefusion.com/?s=Antelope+Horns. Here’s the short version: it is knitted, quilted, and embellished with crochet and embroidery.

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Celebrate Doilies Podcast

verypink.com podcast about Celebrate Doilies

Installing Celebrate Doilies in Austin last week was an adventure, which became even more exciting when Casey of www.kcknits.com came by the German Free School to interview me for Episode 95 of the www.verypink.com podcast.

In a testament to how well social media can work, Casey told about how she found me through Twitter. I had tweeted about a crochet sample book on loan to me from Gwen Blakley Kinsler, the Crochet Kween. Casey saw a retweet, read about Celebrate Doilies, and messaged me.

For the interview, we both wore clip-on microphones, even though her recorder had very cool directional microphones attached to it. I’ve learned a lot about recording voices in the last few months, and you definitely need a microphone close to the person who is speaking. Clip-ons are a pain, because their long cords tangle so easily and they limit your movement, but they are much less expensive than the fancier alternative.

We talked about how the idea of Celebrate Doilies came to me, back in 2015. Casey asked about some of the stories people have told me about their family heirloom doilies, and I was glad to tell them. After the interview, she photographed the exhibit, which we had just finished putting up.

You can listen to the podcast online at https://verypink.com/2018/05/02/podcast-episode-95-celebrate-doilies/ or wherever you get your podcasts.

Casey added some history about the German Free School in her own blog post about the podcast, which you can read at www.kcknits.com/blog/doilies.

kcknits.com blog post about Celebrate Doilies

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Visit Celebrate Doilies in Austin

Celebrate Doilies in Austin, Texas

It’s May, so come and see the Celebrate Doilies exhibit at the German Free School, 507 East 10th Street, Austin, Texas! It is open for viewing on Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. all through the month of May 2018.

The German Free School was built by German immigrants in the 1800s (I think), using rammed earth. It’s a lovely, historical building, and the perfect backdrop for my doily-inspired art quilts, Sandi Horton’s poetry, and doily heritage stories about crocheters of the present and past, and their work.

The exhibit will also be on display during Maifest, May 12, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Read more at www.germantexans.org/events/maifest-2018.

Celebrate Doilies in Austin, Texas

There’s metered parking just outside the building on 10th Street, and you should be able to see the big, blue, baling twine doily from the sidewalk.

Sandi and I will present “What to Do with Oma’s Doilies” on Sunday, June 3, 2018, at 3 p.m. That will be your last chance for a while to see Celebrate Doilies in Austin.

Many thanks to the staff at the German Free School and to my sister-in-law Carolyn and my daughter Eva for their work installing the exhibit last week.

Celebrate Doilies in Austin, Texas
Celebrate Doilies in Austin, Texas

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Celebrate Doilies, Comanche

Celebrate Doilies in Comanche, Texas

The Celebrate Doilies exhibit and the 4 North Event Center in Comanche, TX, were a perfect match for one week at the end of March 2018. The wedding venue married the vintage beauty of the building on the courthouse square to the vintage doily heritage and doily-inspired art.

You might say that Comanche is in northwest Central Texas, and it is one of the last few stops before the great expanses of West Texas begin. Buildings around the courthouse retain their attractive western flair, and decorated bicycles are permanently parked in front of several businesses. I passed this one on my way to and from the car, unloading wall hangings and doily heritage posters. Someone had fun embellishing it with old crochet, and I took it as a good omen for the exhibit.

I hung several pieces, including House of Crochet, Sweet Home, and Afternoon in the enclosed patio at the Event Center. The natural light is perfect for viewing and photographing artwork (and people, I’m guessing). The space feels good, and I told Charles I’d love to have my living room on that patio.

Celebrate Doilies in Comanche, Texas

Light from the patio streams through French doors leading into the elegant main room, where I displayed the doily heritage posters and several wall hangings, like Crochet Comets. I love how the celestial elements of comets and a sunray come together in this photo.

Celebrate Doilies in Comanche, Texas

Another set of French doors leads to the Beer Garden, which is welcoming and comfortable. German-style food is served a few days of the week. We are definitely coming in for a German meal someday, without doilies, to enjoy the Gemütlichkeit.

The Beer Garden at 4 North Event Center, Comanche, Texas

The baling twine doily at Celebrate Doilies in Comanche, Texas

Many thanks to Sloane Northridge for her enthusiasm for having Celebrate Doilies at the 4 North Event Center. The venue normally hosts weddings and other celebrations, and I recommend it for its elegance and for Sloane’s knowledgeable management.

I enjoyed seeing friends and meeting doily enthusiasts during the week Celebrate Doilies was in Comanche.

Celebrate Doilies is a traveling exhibit. If you’d like to see the exhibit at a gallery near you, please ask the venue manager to visit www.textilefusion.com/celebrate-doilies-exhibit-details. We can work it out!

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Crochet a Shamrock for St. Patrick’s Day

You still have a time before St. Patrick’s Day to crochet a shamrock table mat or ornament!

Crochet a shamrock with this pattern available at Ravelry

The pattern is part of my “Sweet Picot Heart” collection, available through Ravelry.

The Shamrock is one of the projects in my “Sweet Picot Heart Motif and More” pattern, which also includes

  • the Sweet Picot Heart motif
  • a heart table mat
  • written and charted instructions photos to help you visualize the
    instructions better
  • how to join heart motifs
  • how to do an invisible join at the end of the last round
  • the inspiration for the pattern
  • nice suggestions for using the heart motifs
  • permission to sell items you make with this pattern

For each “Sweet Picot Heart and More” sold, I will donate one dollar to the Comanche (TX) All Pets Alive group, which compassionately cares for stray pets until their owners are found or until new homes are found for them.

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Santa Train Finished on Time

All kinds of things happened last fall. I was going to add, “as usual,” but really, more than the usual stuff happened last fall. My final Christmas in July report got forgotten in the shuffle.

The good news is that the Santa Train was finished on time!

You can see reports on Weeks 1-12 if you go back in the blog posts to July, August, and September 2017. Here’s the final report of how starting early and pacing yourself works for finishing Christmas projects.

In Week 13, I finished the second candy cane and did the wreath and gift box for the train.

Candy canes, toys, gifts for Santa train kit, number 86365 by Bucilla, one week at a time

Week 14 was about putting a bow on the wreath and starting the teddy. Candy canes, toys, gifts for Santa train kit, number 86365 by Bucilla, one week at a time

The teddy and a Christmas ornament for the train’s roof were the jobs for Week 15. Candy canes, toys, gifts for Santa train kit, number 86365 by Bucilla, one week at a time

The teddy bear turned out so cute, you need to see him up close. the teddy bear on the Santa train kit, number 86365 by Bucilla

And finally, we come to Week 16, when I made the green gift box with lots of little embroidered exes (xs?), sewed it and the second candy cane on the train roof, and attached the hanging loop. Yay! It’s finished! Candy canes, toys, gifts for the Santa train kit, number 86365 by Bucilla, one week at a time

Candy canes, toys, gifts for the Santa train kit, number 86365 by Bucilla, one week at a time

We hung the Santa Train inside our front door, where every time we went in or out, it sparkled thrillingly. Santa train felt kit, number 86365 by Bucilla, finished

Christmas in July project for 2018
I have two more Christmas felt and sequin kits somewhere. They are probably in a moving box from when we came back to Texas in 2003. There are a few of those still in my parents’ storage barn.

My job between now and July is to find all those old boxes and clean them out. If the kits show up, great! One will be my project for Christmas in July 2018. If they don’t show up, here’s a peek at my Plan B for 2018.

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Celebrate Doilies on the Move

All set up for What to Do with Grandmother's Doilies presentation

Make plans soon to see the Celebrate Doilies exhibit at the W. K. Gordon Center for Industrial History, in Mingus, Texas. The exhibit will be there through March 15, 2018. For hours and other details, please visit the Exhibition Schedule. The Gordon Center is on I-20, between Weatherford and Eastland.

Shae Adams, the Center’s curator, mounted the exhibit and organized our “What to Do with Grandmother’s Doilies” presentation on February 25th. She and I were talking about why a doily exhibit might be a good fit for the Gordon Center. Shae said, “Crocheting doilies is a home industry.” How true!

Sandi Horton playing flute at the What to Do with Grandmother's Doilies presentation

The photos are from our presentation. I talked about how to take care of doilies, doily projects you can do, and more. Sandi read poetry about her family’s needlework, and played a short musical prayer on her Indian flute. We had a fun and interactive crowd from Mineral Wells, Gordon, and as far as Proctor, Texas.

Suzann at the What to Do with Grandmother's Doilies presentation

The Gordon Center has artifacts and displays about the company town of Thurber, Texas. In many a Texas town with red brick streets, the bricks were made in Thurber. When I was there with friends, we watched a film about the town. It seemed like a wonderful community, but it was difficult to move away from Thurber, since workers were paid in company scrip, which merchants outside the town wouldn’t accept as payment.

Plan to spend some time, if you go, to see the exhibit and the permanent displays and film about Thurber.

Suzann's Constant Comets wall hanging and Sandi Horton's family heirloom crochet at the Gordon Center

If you can’t make it to the Gordon Center, Celebrate Doilies will be at the 4 North Event Center in Comanche, Texas, from March 19th through the 25th. The hours will be Monday-Friday, 4-7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. I’ll be there the whole time, so come and see me!

Sandi Horton and I will give a short presentation in Comanche on Saturday, March 24th, at 2 p.m.

Celebrate Doilies is booked at the German Free School in Austin, Texas, in May. Many of the doily wall hangings will be in a special showing of quilts at Tarleton State University, Stephenville, Texas, in July. I’ll post more information about those venues in the months to come.

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Sweet Picot Heart

Sweet Picot Heart crochet patternUse any yarn to crochet the Sweet Picot Heart motif, from crochet cotton thread to bulky yarn. Use the hearts to tuck into a Valentine’s card, as mug rugs, and as embellishment for garments or accessories. I’ve got you covered on the instructions: they are both written and charted.

The crocheted Sweet Picot Heart motif pattern is for sale now on Ravelry.

The “Sweet Picot Heart Motif and More” pattern includes

  • the Sweet Picot Heart motif
  • a heart table mat
  • a shamrock table mat
  • written and charted instructions photos to help you visualize the
    instructions better
  • how to join heart motifs
  • how to do an invisible join at the end of the last round
  • the inspiration for the pattern
  • nice suggestions for using the heart motifs

Sweet Picot Heart crochet patternFor each “Sweet Picot Heart and More” sold, I will donate one dollar to the Comanche (TX) All Pets Alive group, which compassionately cares for stray pets until their owners are found or until new homes are found for them.

Sweet Picot Heart crochet pattern

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Fishy Cento

Britain’s National Gallery recently started #artgold on Twitter to promote their Art Gold film series. People and museums took over the hashtag, tweeting golden artifacts, golden jewelry, and art of gold. I got into the act, too, because my wall hanging Fishy Cento was partly inspired by a painting in the National Gallery.

Fishy Cento, a TextileFusion artwork by Suzann Thompson

I was preparing artwork for my first solo exhibit, which opened in the winter of 2002 at the Colour Museum in Bradford, U. K. In other words, I was preoccupied with wall hangings most of the time.

detail of Fishy Cento, a TextileFusion artwork by Suzann Thompson

“Mom, will you ever make me a wall hanging?” asked my then six-year-old daughter, Eva, with a look of yearning on her sweet face. How could I resist? She loved fish, so we agreed on a fishy wall hanging.

The fish in her own aquarium were the models, but they didn’t take orders very well. “Hey, fish! Hold still, so I can draw you!”

Nope.

They darted around, ignoring me. Eventually, though, I cobbled together a pretty good sketch Eva’s fish, and they appear in Fishy Cento. Speedy is the Golden Orfe and I think the red fish is Bulgey.

detail of Fishy Cento, a TextileFusion artwork by Suzann Thompson

When it came time to create a background for these woolly fish, my process came to a standstill. The aquarium water was clear, so the background to the actual fish was the wall behind the aquarium. Black makes bright colors pop, but black background seemed too stark. People think of water as being blue, but even if it is blue, you wouldn’t see the blue-ness in the small area the wall hanging portrayed.

My Sheffield friends Betty Spence and Helen Neale and I met for a coffee one day during my struggle (unbeknownst to them) with the background color. Helen had been to the National Gallery in London. She told about a painting of a horse, which had a golden background. No pastures or barns to distract from this horse—oh no—just the horse, surrounded by gold. The painting was probably Whistlejacket (c. 1762), by George Stubbs.

detail of Fishy Cento, a TextileFusion artwork by Suzann Thompson

Bingo! I had my background color. Thank you, Helen!

The next question is, what in the world is a cento? I found it one day when I was reading the dictionary, looking for words with “cent” in them. It can mean ‘a patchwork garment’ or ‘a collection of verse.’

The fish have patchwork garments, so there’s that. I also wrote some fishy verse to use on this wall hanging, but as the piece progressed, it became obvious that the poems wouldn’t fit into the picture. They’ll have to wait for Fishy Cento 2.

In closing, I recommend reading the dictionary. It’s pretty interesting. Also, next time you’re on Twitter, look up #artgold. You’ll see wonders.

See more of my textile art wall hangings in the Gallery section of this website.

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