Three Stories, Three Stories

October 12th, 2016

TextileFusion wall hanging, Three Stories

This wall hanging is called Three Stories, and I also have three stories to share with you in this post.

First Story

I’m putting together an exhibit called “Celebrate Doilies!” which will run from July through September 2017. The exhibit will feature photos of doilies and stories about their makers.

For the next several months, I will be collecting photos of doilies and stories about them and the people who made them for the exhibit, which will be at the Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council, River North Gallery, in Stephenville, Texas.

This means that if you have family doilies hidden away in drawers or proudly displayed in your home, I would love to hear from you. This blog post has lots more information.

To learn even more about how you can join in this project, visit and click here to see a sample doily story.

TextileFusion wall hanging, Three Stories

Second Story

The three stories of the wall hanging called Three Stories are the stories of the filet crochet house, the vintage quilt top, and the doily that I cut into quarters to embellish the corners.

I picked up the cute filet crochet house from Ebay. It may be a placemat, a table mat, or a chair back cover. Whenever I find vintage crochet for sale, I consider it having been released from its previous story. My job is to give it a new story.

Same with the vintage quilt top—I found it at an estate sale. The piecing and stitching are far from perfect, but the overall effect is charming.

The white doily in the corners is also from Ebay. The thread is small and the stitches are firm and well-made.

We don’t know anything about the people who made these things or what their lives were like. It’s fun to imagine the history of the doilies and the quilt top.

Three Stories and other wall hangings that feature doilies will also be part of my exhibit next year.

Third Story

Three Stories seemed a little plain to me, so I decided to fancy it up.

How? With crocheted flowers! And buttons!

A couple of crochet flower books I know came in handy. I crocheted “Sweetheart Rose” from Crochet Bouquet, and “Twirl Center” and “Paired Leaf Frond” from Crochet Garden.

I arranged them in an old-fashioned garland-y way and appliqued them to the quilt during last Sunday’s Dallas Cowboys football game. The Cowboys won and Three Stories is finished.

Next, I’m looking forward to hearing your doily stories—one, three, or however many you have!

TextileFusion wall hanging, Three Stories with Twirl Center Rose

Another Wall Hanging with Crocheted Flowers

September 25th, 2016

Five Point crochet flower from Crochet Bouquet

The Five Point flower from pages 85–86 of Crochet Bouquet was perfect to embellish my latest wall hanging. The Five Points in the photo are made with Aunt Lydia’s No. 10 crochet cotton. They are really small and cute.

I’m making the wall hanging to enter in a juried show with an evolution theme.

You can crochet three different sizes of flowers from the Five Point pattern, one size growing out of the previous one. To me, that is a visual way to show how something might develop over time.

The quilt design also goes from plain to fancy, another sort of visual evolution. Here’s a peek at one of the steps in this wall hanging’s evolution.

Another TextileFusion wall hanging in the works

Crochet Kaiser Roll Hints

September 13th, 2016

Crocheted Cheese Sandwich on Kaiser Roll

Thanks to Lindsay for asking about the Kaiser roll in Cute Crochet World. It’s part of the “Cheese Sandwich on a Kaiser Roll” pattern on pages 56-58.

Crocheting the Kaiser roll, I ran across two places in the instructions that need correcting:

  • Page 57, third column, second paragraph, 4th and 5th lines down should read “transfer ch-2 lp of Rnd 2” not Rnd 1.
  • Same page and column, end of Rnd 6 should read “join with a sl st to ch2 at beg of rnd and end off OR cut yarn and needle join.” The words “and end off, or” are missing in the printed instructions.

You can find corrections for all of my books by following the links in the sidebar of this blog. If you find a mistake in one of my patterns, please let me know and I’ll list it in the corrections pages.

Alright, back to crocheting a bread roll. The top of the roll has the subtly swirled, puffed look of a real, yeast bread bun. Here’s how to get that texture.

In the “Read Me First” section of Cute Crochet World, page 8, I wrote about the “first stitch” and the “next stitch.” It’s so important in crochet to pay attention to details like this in the instructions, and be able to recognize them in your work.

Crocheted Cheese Sandwich on Kaiser Roll

In this photo, Rnd 1 is joined with a sl st in the first sc of the round. To begin Rnd 2, ch 2 (which counts as the first hdc), and hdc in the first stitch, which is the same stitch you sl stitched into to join Rnd 1.

Crocheted Cheese Sandwich on Kaiser Roll

To join Rnd 2, sl st in the top of the ch-2 at the beginning of the round. Can you see the sets of 4 hdc sts separated by ch-3 spaces?

Crocheted Cheese Sandwich on Kaiser Roll

To make it easier to find them later, place a marker around each of the five ch-2 in Rnd 2. I used safety pins here.

Crocheted Cheese Sandwich on Kaiser Roll

With Rnd 5 finished, you can see how the hdcs are moving in a little swirl pattern. The ch-spaces move a couple or three stitches counterclockwise with each round.

Crocheted Cheese Sandwich on Kaiser Roll

After Rnd 5, enlarge the live loop far enough that it won’t start unraveling as you work on the next step.

Crocheted Cheese Sandwich on Kaiser Roll

Turn to the wrong side of your work. Look at the ladders formed by the ch-sts. Rnd 2, where you have markers, is the first rung of the ladder. Three more rungs follow (Rnds 3, 4, and 5).

Insert a larger hook under the first rung, where the marker is. Remove the marker. Insert the hook under the second rung and pull the second rung through the first.

This will feel pretty tight, but that’s how it is supposed to feel. You can use your fingers to lift the loops. It’s a lot easier that way.

Crocheted Cheese Sandwich on Kaiser Roll

*Insert your hook under the next chain and pull it through the chain on your hook. Rep from * once. The yellow bracket shows the ladder of chain spaces, all chained up.

Now put the marker or safety pin into that last loop to hold it in place. Do the same with the other four chain ladders.

Crocheted Cheese Sandwich on Kaiser Roll

When you are finished chaining up all the ladders, turn back to the right side. See the fluffy Kaiser roll top?

Insert your smaller hook back into the enlarged loop and tighten the loop around the hook.

Crocheted Cheese Sandwich on Kaiser Roll

In Rnd 6, when you get to a loop with a marker in it, work a hdc into the loop and remove the marker.

Crocheted Cheese Sandwich on Kaiser Roll

After crocheting into the loop, the instructions tell you to skip the next hdc, and hdc into the next 5 hdc. You may not be able to see the skipped hdc very well, since it may be covered or squished by the stitch you just completed. However you should be able to see five hdc before the next marker. In the photo above, they are marked with yellow dots. Hdc into each of those.

Crocheted Cheese Sandwich on Kaiser Roll

A needle-join is by far the best way to finish off this cute Kaiser roll top. After the last hdc, cut the yarn and pull the final loop right out of the top of the last stitch.

Crocheted Cheese Sandwich on Kaiser Roll

Thread the yarn end into a tapestry needle. Skip the ch-2 and take the needle under the top of the first full hdc of the round. Pull it through.

Crocheted Cheese Sandwich on Kaiser Roll

Insert the needle into the top of the last st of Rnd 6…

Crocheted Cheese Sandwich on Kaiser Roll

…and on the wrong side catch the vertical loops of the hdc. Pull the needle through. Adjust the loop to match the tension of the other loops around the edge of the roll.

Crocheted Cheese Sandwich on Kaiser Roll

Here’s the finished top. Now is the time to sew on beads to resemble seeds, if you want.

Crocheted Cheese Sandwich on Kaiser Roll

Crochet an inside bun. Sew the bun pieces together around the edges, stuffing lightly before you close the seam completely.

Crocheted Cheese Sandwich on Kaiser Roll

Red Vases with Crocheted Flowers

August 6th, 2016

This is Red Vases, my latest crocheted flower wall hanging.

step by step TextileFusion wall hanging, Red Vases

How many flowers and leaves from Crochet Bouquet and Crochet Garden can you spot? Many are the samples that appeared in the books. I’m glad to finally find a place for them.

My friend Peggy suggested adding beads to the Bluebells from Crochet Garden. What a great idea!

step by step TextileFusion wall hanging, Red Vases

Read more about the making of Red Vases at Suzann’s TextileFusion, beginning, middle, and finished.

What are you doing with your crocheted flowers?

Autumn Leaf Wrap in Love of Crochet

July 21st, 2016

Chestnut Wrap, Love of Crochet, step-by-step photos

Image copyright Love of Crochet/Caleb Young, Photographer.

I’m so pleased to have Cute Crochet World’s Horse Chestnut Leaf featured in this lovely wrap! Instructions are in the Fall 2016 issue of Love of Crochet magazine, which will be on the newsstands in August. If you can’t wait that long, you can purchase the digital edition now at

We don’t have room for step-by-step photos in most magazine instructions, so I’m posting some here. If you’d like some help visualizing the instructions, the following photos should help.

Autumn Leaf Wrap, Love of Crochet, step-by-step photos

Use your markers! They will help you find your place.

Autumn Leaf Wrap, Love of Crochet, step-by-step photos

When you join the leaves, place them wrong sides together. You’ll be glad of the markers at this point.

Here’s another view of the leaf join.

Autumn Leaf Wrap, Love of Crochet, step-by-step photos

Autumn Leaf Wrap, Love of Crochet, step-by-step photos

After the join, finish the leaf in progress.

Autumn Leaf Wrap, Love of Crochet, step-by-step photos

The Leafy Trim on the Autumn Leaf Wrap has 24 joined Horse Chestnut Leaves.

Autumn Leaf Wrap, Love of Crochet, step-by-step photos

The first row of the wrap joins directly to the Leafy Trim.

Autumn Leaf Wrap, Love of Crochet, step-by-step photos

Autumn Leaf Wrap, Love of Crochet, step-by-step photos

Row 3 of the wrap joins to the stems and creates their attractive curve.

Autumn Leaf Wrap, Love of Crochet, step-by-step photos

Autumn Leaf Wrap, Love of Crochet, step-by-step photos

Autumn Leaf Wrap, Love of Crochet, step-by-step photos

Autumn Leaf Wrap, Love of Crochet, step-by-step photos

You can see the join up-close in the photo above. Below, Row 3 is finished.
Autumn Leaf Wrap, Love of Crochet, step-by-step photos

For step-by-step photos of the Horse Chestnut Leaf, visit the previous blog post here on Curious and Crafty Readers.

Hints for Crocheting the Horse Chestnut Leaf

July 18th, 2016

Crocheted Horse Chestnut Leaf Tutorial

Horse chestnuts! They’re such cool trees, and I would never have known about them if we hadn’t moved to England. Their flowers are fancy and frilly, and they produce very hard nuts. Their leaves inspired the “Horse Chestnut Leaf” design in Cute Crochet World (pages 74-75).

The pretty “Chestnut Wrap” in the Fall 2016 issue of Love of Crochet features a trim made with joined Horse Chestnut Leaves. The magazine will be available on the newsstand in August. You can purchase the digital edition now at

Here are some step-by-step photos to help you visualize the instructions in the book. I’ve made two small improvements that will make the leaf easier to make.

Crocheted Horse Chestnut Leaf Tutorial

Row 1 of the Horse Chestnut Leaf sets up the central veins for the five leaflets or lobes. Very easy. When you’re done, ch 1 and turn. In the original pattern, I didn’t include the ch-1, because you don’t really need it. However, the ch-1 makes it slightly easier to turn.
Crocheted Horse Chestnut Leaf Tutorial

On Row 2, you’ll run into two unusual stitches. Find instructions for the htr (U.S. half double treble) here. The other is the stitch-top picot. I believe it leaves less of a gap between the stitches on either side of it. To make the st-top picot, ch 3,

Crocheted Horse Chestnut Leaf Tutorial

…insert hook into the Front Loop of the previous stitch and under the loop that lies just next to it as in the photo above, yo and draw through all lps on hook.

Crocheted Horse Chestnut Leaf Tutorial

St-top picot complete.

Crocheted Horse Chestnut Leaf Tutorial

In Cute Crochet World, at the end of the first four lobes, the instructions say “rotate piece so you are looking at the base of the lobe, sl st around the sl st at ase of lobe,…” Instead of doing that, simply sl st in the space between the lobe you just finished and the next lobe. The photo above shows where to place the hook.

Crocheted Horse Chestnut Leaf Tutorial

Row 3 is worked along the base of the lobes. The instructions take you through how to do each stitch. If it helps, think of it this way, sc-3dc-sc-together.

Crocheted Horse Chestnut Leaf Tutorial

After the final yo and pull through all loops on hook, the base of the leaf pulls together and looks like this.

Crocheted Horse Chestnut Leaf Tutorial

The very best way to finish the leaf is to needle-join the stem to the base of Lobe 5. After the last stitch of the stem, cut the yarn and pull the hook straight up from the last stitch. The end of the yarn will pull out of the top of the last stitch.

Crocheted Horse Chestnut Leaf Tutorial

Thread the yarn end into a needle. Take the needle under the first sl st of Lobe 5, Row 2.

Crocheted Horse Chestnut Leaf Tutorial

Then take the needle back into the top of the final stem stitch (the yarn is coming out of this stitch).

Crocheted Horse Chestnut Leaf Tutorial

On the needle’s way down, catch the loop at the back of the leaf—see the photo above. Pull the thread through, adjust the new loop to a good tension, and weave in the end.

Sunflower on a Grid

May 30th, 2016

TextileFusion wall hanging with Sunflower on a Grid

I consider craft design and art to be two ends of a spectrum. Sometimes they meet, like in my little “Tropical Sunflower” wall hanging. It is knitted and quilted in the TextileFusion tradition, and I embellished with buttons and the very cute “Sunflower on a Grid” from Crochet Bouquet.

For the larger flower, I crocheted the petals from “Sunflower on a Grid,” one after another until there were enough to go around the big yellow circle.

One of my favorite things about “Sunflower on a Grid” is that you can see what is behind it, through the grid in the flower’s center. This twin set takes advantage of the feature, letting you see the shell underneath the cardigan. Instructions to make the twin set are here.

Twin set made with Sunflower on a Grid

New Designs in Love of Crochet!

April 16th, 2016

Love of Crochet’s Summer 2016 issue celebrates the splendor of summer’s lacy crochet. Flower-inspired designs include two blankets, a poncho and a cardigan. Mesh variations include several shawls and a top. Plus, crochet the next car in the amigurumi train series.

Love of Crochet, Coral Flame Wrap

I designed two of the magazine’s twenty projects, which will keep you crocheting well into the summer.

The body of my Coral Flame Wrap is an easy-to-make mesh pattern stitch, crocheted in Classic Elite’s lovely cotton yarn, Mesa.

My favorite part is the flowery fringe. On the way out from the edge of the wrap, you crochet two petals of each flower, and on the way back in, you complete the four-petal flowers. So cute!

Crocheted flower fringe

Here’s a sample of the flower fringe worked in a different yarn, so you can see its detail.

Love of Crochet, Belle Doily

The Belle Doily still makes me smile when I look at it. At first glance, you might see a flowery sort of design. But no! Look again and you’ll see eight fancy dresses from Cute Crochet World (“Dress Up Time”), joined to the center of the doily at the shoulders, and then tacked to each other at the hem. The thread is Handy Hands Lizbeth No. 3 cotton.

The print edition of Love of Crochet, Summer 2016, will be on sale around May 3. The digital edition is available to purchase now at

Find a tutorial for the crocheted dress in the doily at Tiny Crocheted Prom Dress.

The Coral Flame Wrap and Belle Doily photos are used with permission with credit to Love of Crochet/Julia Vandenoever.

All Aboard the Crochet Express! NatCroMo 2016

March 25th, 2016

All Aboard the Crochet Express! Blog tour sponsored by

When Amy and Donna of asked me if I would take part in this year’s National Crochet Month blog tour, I was thrilled. That was last September, and I started thinking about my blog post right away, because March would be here in the twinkling of an eye. Time flies!

Time Flies, winged clock pattern by Suzann Thompson

And now March is almost over—time flies!

Time Flies, winged clock pattern by Suzann Thompson

In honor of fleeting time, the pattern for the Time Flies flying clock motif is free through March 31, 2016. The “buy now” link will take you to the pattern at my Ravelry store–promotion will be applied at checkout.

After the 31st, you can purchase “Time Flies” on Ravelry for $2.50. But don’t wait—get it free! Hurry, because…what am I going to say?


Thank you very much for joining the Crochet Express blog tour and stopping by my blog today. Your visit is my birthday present! I’m 57 today, but it seems only yesterday that I was 25 years old. Talk about time flying.

At 25, I had already been crocheting and knitting for half my life. I was a single, working woman, living in my hometown of Austin, Texas, and dating a really nice guy named Charles. I was the founding member of our local Knitter’s and Crocheter’s Guild.

inspiring vintage craft magazines

The year was 1984 and here are some random memories of that time.

  • I loved Irish Crochet Lace… My reprints of old Irish Crochet pattern books were just about worn out because I looked at them so often.
  • I collected crochet, knitting, and craft magazines, like the two shown above… As I studied the designs and patterns, a little voice in my mind would say, “I can do that.”
  • I couldn’t forget my childhood dream of being an artist…

How did all this work out for me?

Well, it worked out in a very organic, connected way that I can see now in hindsight.

In 1987, I made a collar from one of my Irish Crochet books. The pinwheels, leaves, and round motifs were crocheted separately. As one does in Irish Crochet, I basted them to a fabric template. But instead of joining them with a crocheted mesh, the instructions said to sew the motifs together wherever they touched.

I sewed the collar to the dropped waist of my wedding dress and wore it when I married that really nice guy, Charles.

Irish Crochet embellishment on Suzann's Wedding Dress

And what about my beloved craft magazines? Living, breathing people came up with the designs in those magazines and wrote the instructions, and I wanted to be one of those people!

designs by Suzann Thompson

Through our guild, I met Pam Noel, a published crochet designer who lived in the Austin area. She connected me with an organization called the Society of Craft Designers (SCD). At the SCD conference in 1990, I sold my first knitted sweater pattern. Using what I learned at SCD, I published many needlework and craft designs, including my first crochet patterns in 1994, which you see here.

designs by Suzann Thompson

The Society of Craft Designers is no longer around, but the Crochet Guild of America offers an excellent professional day at its annual conference, where you can learn about the business of crochet designing.

designs by Suzann Thompson

The patterns shown here are

  • “Fun & Sporty: Striped Shell Vest,” McCall’s Crochet, pp. 10 and 13 ff., October 1994.
  • “Autumn Flavors: Half–Moon Tunic,” McCall’s Crochet, pp. 10 and 13 ff., October 1994.
  • “Hat and Scarf Set,” Annie’s Crochet Newsletter, pp. 20 ff., November–December 1994.
  • “Take–Along Blocks—Crimson Bouquet,” The Needlecraft Shop Afghan Collector’s Series, Paradise 962290.


The art part of my life took longer to develop. I wanted to make pictures, but hanging crochet or knitting on the wall causes it to stretch. Not good.

Through trial and error, purposeful research, and accidental discoveries, I figured out that quilting stabilizes knitted or crocheted fabric. You can hang quilted knitting or crochet on the wall and it won’t stretch. That’s how my signature style came to be. It is called TextileFusion, because it incorporates knitting, crochet, sewing, quilting, and embellishment together in a project.

I definitely went through a learning curve, both in technique and artistry, and here are a couple of my latest pieces.

Mama Lion, a TextileFusion creation by Suzann Thompson

Mama Lion was made in honor of Lion Brand Yarn Company, which sponsored exhibits of my work at the International Quilt Festival. The lioness in the picture was at the Fort Worth (TX) Zoo, watching over her three babies in the grass below the ledge she rested on. Read more about the making of Mama Lion at the Lion Brand blog, and here.

Firewheel Meadow, a TextileFusion creation by Suzann Thompson

Firewheel Meadow, finished in 2014, features about 65 crocheted flowers with button centers as well as crocheted leaves and more buttons. It was a lot of applique! Pacing myself helps a lot, so I made a plan to attach four flowers or leaves each day until it was done. And one fine day, it was. Read about the making of Firewheel Meadow here.

The rest of my TextileFusion wall hangings are at


Life in our family goes on around all this yarny activity. Charles and I raised two daughters, Eva, now 20, and Ella, who is in seventh grade this year. We moved across the Atlantic twice. We built an earthen house.

We were out shopping as a family in 2006, when we noticed fashion garments embellished with crocheted flowers.

“That is so cool!” we agreed. But the more garments we saw, the more we noticed how similar the flowers were. That little voice in my mind spoke up: “I can do better than that!” The seed of an idea was planted that day. It eventually grew into two books: Crochet Bouquet: Easy Designs for Dozens of Flowers (Lark, 2008), and Crochet Garden: Bunches of Flowers, Leaves, and Other Delights (Lark, 2012). (I’m giving away a copy of my latest book, Cute Crochet World, below.)

Crochet Bouquet by Suzann Thompson

Crochet Garden: Bunches of Flowers, Leaves, and Other Delights, by Suzann Thompson

Crochet Charm Lace cape

Suddenly I had many crocheted flowers and not enough garments to embellish. Hmmm. Could I make collars with my yarn flowers like I made the collar from the Irish Crochet Book? Why, yes I could! And not just collars, but table mats, scarves, and even a poncho.

Crochet Charm Lace trillium scarf

I call the technique “Crochet Charm Lace.” Crocheted motifs are arranged on a fabric template, pinned in place, and sewn together where they touch. When the sewing is done and the fabric removed, you have an interesting, lacy piece. Read lots more about Crochet Charm Lace here.

Crochet Charm Lace pineapple runner

You probably noticed how my book and magazine designs come around to embellish my artwork. In the search for art inspiration, I run across new ideas for book and magazine designs. Things I learned or did a long time ago, crop up to inform what I’m doing now. Sometimes, I can trace a current project to an inspiration from many years ago.

Crochet Charm Lace TelevisionStars scarf

Time flies, but I think it flies in a kind of spiral pattern. Like crocheting a beautiful doily, time comes around and goes around. It lets us build on the past. Gradually, through time, we create the pattern of our lives.

Time Flies, winged clock pattern by Suzann Thompson

Crocheted Twirly Rose Scarf in Love of Crochet magazine

So as 2016 flies by,

  • Watch for my designs in Love of Crochet magazine. The Spring 2016 issue is on newsstands right now, featuring my Twirly Rose Scarf and lots of other cute patterns. The Summer 2016 issue will have more fun designs. (Photo of Twirly Rose Scarf is used with permission. Copyright 2016, Love of Crochet.)
  • Visit the wonderful International Quilt Festival, Chicago 2016, and see me and fourteen of my TextileFusion artworks. The Festival is at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, April 7-9. I’ll be with my exhibit or in the Open Studios. I would love to meet you!
  • Check out my other blog, Suzann’s TextileFusion, which is an online journal of my crafty life. It’s where I post about making wall hangings.
  • If you tweet or post on Instagram, please follow me. I post pretty pictures, mostly of crochet and knitting projects. Take a moment to reply to one of my posts, and I’ll follow you back. I’m @textilefusion on Twitter and @suzannthompson on Instagram.
  • I’m scheduling workshops and exhibits for 2017, so come back often for updates!
  • And finally,

Cute Crochet World, by Suzann Thompson

A Little Dictionary of Crocheted Critters, Folks, Food & More

To enter, make a comment at the end of this post, no later than 11:59 p.m. on March 28, 2016 (U.S. Central Time). Come back to this post on Tuesday, March 29, to see who won the book. Good luck!

We have a winner. Congratulations, Stephanie! And thank you, everyone, for leaving such nice comments.

Thank you for visiting Curious and Crafty Readers.
Come back soon!

Time Flies, winged clock pattern by Suzann Thompson

Time Flies—My First Pattern for Sale on Ravelry!

March 24th, 2016

Crocheted Homemade Cherry Pie from Cute Crochet World

“Time Flies” is my very first pattern published for sale through Ravelry. Yay! I’m very glad to have finally met that milestone.

The pattern includes written instructions and step-by-step photos for a crocheted clock face with a minute hand and an hour hand and two wings. You can use the motif for applique or in a crochet charm lace design.

This pattern will normally sell for $2.50, but in honor of National Crochet Month, and to celebrate the Crochet Express blog tour stop at this blog on March 25, “Time Flies” is free through March 31, 2016, U.S. Central Time. Click on the “buy now” link above, and when you check out, this promotion will be applied to the pattern.

Don’t wait to take advantage of this offer, because…TIME FLIES.

Crocheted flying heart or winged heart

In the “Time Flies” pattern, I suggest using the wings on other motifs and here are some ideas. Instructions for crocheting the heart, ice cream cone, kiwi, car, and mama motifs are in the book Cute Crochet World: A Little Dictionary of Crocheted Critters, Folks, Food & More (see the sidebar for a link to this book at

Crocheted flying or winged ice cream cone

Crocheted flying or winged kiwi

Crocheted flying or winged mama

Crocheted flying or winged car