Archive for the ‘Crafts’ Category

Crochet Flower Art

Monday, February 27th, 2017

 TextileFusion wall hanging, Winterling, by Suzann Thompson

It’s great to have a stash of ready-crocheted flowers, because you may need them for a wall hanging, like this one.

It’s called Winterling and I’ll soon be adding a link to Suzann’s TextileFusion so you can see how I made it. While we wait for that post, here’s a rundown of the crocheted flowers in Winterling.

Flower Number 1: In the summer of 2006, I pitched a book idea to Lark Crafts, a subsidiary of Sterling Publishing. That book idea became Crochet Bouquet: Easy Designs for Dozens of Flowers. Flower number 1, the buttony sunflower, was one of the sample flowers included in my proposal.

Crochet Bouquet and Crochet Garden readers will recognize all of these flowers:

From Crochet Bouquet:

2 These deep purple leaves and their antique gold partners are “Small One-Row Leaves” from pp. 120-121.

3 The yellow flowers with black button centers are “Small Petals Around,” p. 36.

4 “Circles within Circles,” pp. 22-23. Find a step-by-step photo-tutorial at

5 The medium sized “Primrose Layers,” pp. 90-91, with some hints and photos of an in-progress primrose at

6 You can make several versions of “Five Point,” pp. 85-86. This is Rnds 1-2 only. There’s a tutorial here:

From Crochet Garden:

7 Rafflesita, pp. 122-123. The step-by-step photo-tutorial at will help. The Rafflesita in the middle of the bouquet is an original flower from the book.

8 “Samarkand Sunflower,” in all its sizes, pp. 60-61. The yellow beads really brighten these flowers.

 TextileFusion wall hanging, Winterling, by Suzann Thompson

9 “Forget Me Not,” pp. 86-87. Tutorial at

10 “Twirl Center Rose,” pp. 116-117.

11 “Any Color Pinks,” bud and full flower, pp. 96-97. Bud and flower are designer originals.

12 “Anatolian King Flower,” pp. 104-105. The bright King Flower is a designer original.

13 “Russian Spoke Flower,” pp. 100-101, another original from the book. Learn how to do the Russian spoke stitch here:

14 “Turkestani Star,” p. 70, another designer original.

15 “Perspective Daisy,” pp. 56-57, inspired by the Winterling china factory’s Zwiebelmuster.

And finally, a motif I made for Crochet Garden, but it didn’t make it into the book:

16 “Leaf Spray with Berries,” which you can make from a free pattern.

Winterling will be among the doily-themed quilts at the Celebrate Doilies exhibition, opening July 1, 2017 at the Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council in Stephenville, TX. More information, please visit the exhibition schedule or the Doily Heritage Project page.

close up of vase in the TextileFusion wall hanging, Winterling, by Suzann Thompson

Another Wall Hanging with Crocheted Flowers

Sunday, 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

Sunflower on a Grid

Monday, 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

Two Great Magazines!

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Crochet! magazine, Fall 2012

I always look forward to receiving my copy of Crochet! magazine in the mail, but especially the current issue! In the Fall issue, there’s an article (by me—yay!) about the Russian Spoke stitch, or double bullion stitch, with step-by-step photos.

Purple Haze Shoulder Warmer in Crochet! magazine, Fall 2012

But we didn’t stop there. Carol Alexander, editor of Crochet! asked me to design a project that included the Double Bullion Stitch. I was glad to do this, using the lovely Ritratto yarn from the S. Charles Collection to make a capelet. The flouncy border is made with Double Bullion Stitches.

Crochet! magazine, Fall 2012

Two flowers in Crochet Garden feature the Russian Spoke stitch and its friend, the Russian Spoke Picot.

* * *

CraftSanity magazine

Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood is a busy crafter, volunteer, and mom, who also publishes a magazine called CraftSanity. The magazine represents a broad range of articles of interest to fans of home-made and hand-made items, including canning, embroidery, weaving, and of course, crochet! You’ll also find interviews with artists and craftspeople and recipes.

In Issue 7 of CraftSanity, Jennifer published her interview with me–yay again! We had a great phone conversation and then she sent me questions to answer via email. Lark Crafts kindly gave permission to reprint the pattern for the Russian Picot Daisy. There was just enough room left to print the recipe for my favorite cooling dessert using our garden produce—Mint Ice.

CraftSanity magazine

More Information

Crochet! is the official magazine of the Crochet Guild of America. Click here for subscription information:

Buy copies of CraftSanity magazine here:

Very First Video!

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

from Suzann's first YouTube video

Wow! Who would have guessed that posting a video on YouTube could be so exciting? Well, it is! And I hope this will be the first of many.

“Suzann Thompson, Crochet Author” tells the story of how a regular kid grows up to be a crafty author. It’s really a movie-ized audio slide show, but it’s a start! I hope you’ll watch.

Here’s a slide from the show. Can you read it? It says “Thank You, Readers.” This means you.

Organize Earrings with Crocheted Flowers and Plastic Canvas

Saturday, September 3rd, 2011

crocheted pansy embellishment on earring organizer

Here’s a pretty way to organize your pierced-earrings! Embellish a sheet of plastic canvas with crochet trim and crocheted flowers. Sew on a crocheted cord for hanging. Reinforce the top edge of the plastic canvas, so it won’t buckle when you hang it up. Finally, add earrings.

You’ll need:

  1. A sheet of plastic canvas, available in the needlework section of craft stores
  2. No. 10 crochet cotton in matching and contrasting colors (I used Aunt Lydia’s Classic No. 10 Crochet Cotton in lavender, violet, and shaded yellows for the trim, wasabi for the leaf, lavender, violet, yellow, shaded violets for the pansies)
  3. Crochet hook, 2.00mm (size 4 steel U.S.) or size needed to achieve a firm gauge
  4. Sewing thread and sewing needle
  5. Tapestry needle
  6. A crocheted flower or flowers and leaves from Crochet Bouquet, using No. 10 crochet cotton (I made two Plain Pansies and one Spiky Leaf, pages 63-64, 121-122)

Crocheted border detail

Crochet around the edge of the plastic canvas:

Rnd 1: Begin anywhere along the edge of the plastic canvas. Place 1 sc in each mesh square along the sides. In each corner square, (1 sc, 3 ch, 1 sc). Needle join last sc to first sc (find step-by-step photos of needle joining here in photos E, F, and G.)

Rnd 2: Begin a new color in the ch-3 sp at any corner of rnd 1 with ** (sc, ch 3, sc), * sk 1 sc, ch 2, sc in next st; rep from * to within one st of next corner, sk 1 st, rep from ** around, ch 1, needle join to first sc of rnd.

Rnd 3: Begin a new color in the ch-3 sp at any corner of rnd 2 with * (2 hdc, ch 3, sl st in 3rd ch from hook) twice; working along the side, (2 hdc, ch 3, sl st in 3rd ch from hook) in each ch sp to next corner; rep from * around, needle join to first hdc of rnd.

Flowers and Leaves
Crochet desired flowers and leaves for embellishment.

Hanging Cord
Leaving a long tail for sewing, ch 2, sc in 2nd ch from hook, * insert hook into side of sc you just completed, draw up a lp, yo and draw through both lps on hook; rep from * until cord is about 1” (2.5cm) longer than the top edge of the plastic canvas. Fasten off, leaving a long tail for sewing.

Weave in ends. Arrange flowers and leaves on plastic canvas. Sew in place with sewing thread, making stitches around the inner rounds of the flower, leaving the outer edges of the flowers free for a more natural look. Make sure you catch the meshes of the plastic canvas as you sew. This sounds silly, but I found this part to be challenging!

first of many pairs of earrings on the crocheted pansy and plastic canvas earring organizer

Use No. 10 cotton to sew the dowel rod to the top back of the plastic canvas. This keeps it from bowing out when you hang it up.

Sew the Hanging Cord to the top corners of the plastic canvas.

Hang fish-hook style earring from the meshes in the canvas. You can also store stud earrings on the plastic canvas, as long as the earrings don’t fall through the mesh.

Crochet a Mother’s Day Card

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

crochet flower Mother

You still have time to give your mother a hand-made card for Mother’s Day!

Page 129 of Crochet Bouquet gives general directions for making greeting cards with crocheted flowers.

Mostly you need to choose a flat flower or leaf, and use a fine thread to make it. Find blank cards and matching envelopes at craft stores.

For the card shown here, I used

  • Aunt Lydia’s No. 10 crochet cotton in violet, golden yellow, shaded violets, wasabi green
  • size 4 (US) steel crochet hook
  • blank card and envelope (I bought extra in case of mistakes)
  • rubber stamp with “Thank You” or other message that you like
  • stamp pad with gold ink

    1. Practice stamping on some scratch paper until you get the feel of the stamp and ink. When you’re confident, stamp the blank card.
    2. Crochet the Plain Pansy (pp. 63-64 of Crochet Bouquet) and the Spiky Leaf (pp. 121-122). Make a chain the desired length for a stem, turn, skip one ch st, slip stitch in each stitch of the chain.
    3. Weave in the thread ends and press flower and leaf if necessary.
    4. Arrange flower, stem, and leaf on card. When you are pleased with the arrangement, glue them to the card, following the directions on page 129.

Corrugated Leaf Poinsettia

Friday, December 5th, 2008

Crocheted Poinsettia Christmas Table Mat

Corrugated Leaves from Crochet Bouquet make a good-looking poinsettia for a Christmas table mat. I used only five leaves. Seven red leaves will give you a much fuller poinsettia.

A fuller seven-leaved poinsettia looks good with a couple of green leaves tucked behind the red. With only five leaves, a green leaf overwhelms the red flower. That’s why I just suggested leaves with green buttons.

Crocheted Poinsettia Table Mat

You will need:

  • Crochet Bouquet
  • DK weight yarn, bright red and a darker red
  • A package of Kunin’s Shaggy Plush Felt, cream color
  • Sewing thread and needle, pins
  • Five small yellow buttons and five green buttons
  • Trim for edges of felt, like gold braid, rick-rack, buttons (as shown)

close-up of Crocheted Poinsettia

  1. With bright red yarn, crochet three Corrugated Leaves (pages 109-110 of Crochet Bouquet), with three points along each side. Make a stem with ch4, sl st in 2nd ch from hook and in remaining chain. Finish with a needle join to the base of the leaf.
  2. Make two more leaves with the darker red yarn. Weave in ends on all the leaves.
  3. Cut the felt in half to make two pieces approximately 17-1/2 x 11-1/2″.
  4. Pin the leaves in an uneven star arrangement, with stems toward the center, leaving space in the middle for the yellow buttons.
  5. When you’re pleased with the leaves, sew them in place. Sew the yellow buttons in the center of the leaf arrangement as shown in photo.
  6. Sew a green button between each leaf pair, as shown.
  7. Add trim around edges of felt.

Crocheted Christmas Tree and Poinsettia Mats

Homecoming Mumsy How-To

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

a homecoming mum made with Mumsy from Crochet Bouquet

Many thanks to my cousin Phyllis for showing me how to make a homecoming mum. (Visit her Southern Living At Home web site here, and her Isagenix web site, too!) She was appalled at how much homecoming mums cost, so she and her daughters and their dates would get together before the homecoming football game and make their own.

Their black and gold mums are way over the top, with braided streamers, fancy folded points around the rosettes, and strands of charms. When homecoming was over, the girls hung them on the walls of their rooms.

Here’s a fairly simple version. The streamers are about 30 inches long (about 75 cm). Feel free to tone it down or fancy it up! Either way, start early enough that the glitter and glue will have time to dry before the game—give yourself at least three days.

supplies for a homemade homecoming mum

You Will Need

  • Crocheted Mum, using the “Mumsy” pattern from Crochet Bouquet. Use lightweight yarn. I used a sport weight wool to crochet five tiers of petals.

For the rosette:

  • 2 yards each of a 1-1/4″ wide ribbon and a 1/2″ ribbon

For the streamers:

  • 1 to 3 yards of ribbon in several different widths, in school colors
  • 2 yards of ribbon around 3/8″ wide, in an accent color like black, white, gold, or silver

Some optional decorations:

  • 1 to 2 yards of ribbon with footballs printed on it
  • 1 to 2 yards of lightweight metallic chain or other novelty trim
  • Tiny cowbells or jingle bells

Other supplies:

  • Heavy card, like the card at the back of writing tablets
  • Fabric glue or hot glue
  • Scissors for cutting the card
  • Sharp fabric scissors for cutting the ribbon
  • No-fray adhesive
  • Stapler
  • Clothes pins
  • Glitter and glue or glitter-glue
  • Large safety pin
  • A few inches of duct tape

write on ribbon with glitter and glue and set aside to dry

  1. Cut ribbon streamers to the desired length. Cut a V-shaped notch at the bottom edge of the wide ribbons. Cut narrow ribbons at an angle. Carefully dab no-fray adhesive along the bottom cut edge of each ribbon.
  2. Use glitter glue or glue and glitter to write name, date, school name, or other words on the wide ribbons if desired. Set all these ribbons aside to dry.
  3. cut cardboard circles to fit behind the mum

  4. While they are drying, cut two heavy card circles that are as large as possible, without showing behind the mum. I traced about 1 inch in from the edge of the mum, then took a round plastic lid about the right size and drew around that. Using those two lines as guides, I cut out my circles.
  5. Cut 8 to 12 six-inch lengths of the wide and narrow ribbons you bought for the rosette. Center the narrow ribbon on top of the wide ribbon, bring the cut ends together to make a loop, and staple the ends together.
  6. gluing ribbon loops for rosette

  7. Arrange the stapled loops around the edge of one of the card circles, to see how many you will need to go around (I used nine). The stapled ends should overlap the edge of the card by at least one inch. Place the mum on top of the arrangement to see if the spacing is correct. Adjust if necessary and trace just inside the stapled ends so you will know where to put them when you glue them on.
  8. Take the loops off the card. Spread glue on the card as shown in the picture, and begin placing loops in the glue. Add glue where the ends overlap. (You can use hot glue for this if you want. Be careful!) Set this aside to dry.
  9. If you haven’t already crocheted the mum, this would be a good time to do it.

  10. When the streamers are dry, arrange them on the other card circle, so you can see how they need to be spaced. The way they show when you arrange them on a flat surface is very much how they will show when they are worn. If one ribbon is completely hidden by another, it will mostly stay that way. You’ll need to stagger them, and you may want to balance narrow with wide, balance one color with another. Keep your glittery ribbons near the top of the stack.
  11. Once you have the streamers the way you like them, you may want to take a digital photo and print it, so you can refer to it as you work. Otherwise, grab the tops of the ribbons between your palms and flip them over so the ones at the back will now be on top.

    Now start gluing the streamer tops, face-up, onto the cardboard. Begin with the streamers which are now on top of your stack. Glue the tops about halfway up the card circle. Cluster them toward the middle of the circle, and let them fan out slightly, so that they’re 6 to 8 inches wide at the bottom. Add glue as necessary.

  12. Clamp the glued streamer tops against the card with a couple of clothes pins. Let dry.
  13. When the rosette is dry, use a strip of duct tape to fasten a large safety pin near the edge of the back of the rosette as shown in the photo (the loops are glued onto the front).
  14. When the streamers are dry, place the card circle on the back of the rosette’s card circle, so that the pin is perpendicular to the streamers (the pin should be parallel to the ground, the streamers should hang away from the pin). On the streamer circle, mark the position of the pin’s loop and fastener.
  15. Mumsy glued onto rosette card

  16. Put the rosette down. With scissors, gouge a hole where the pin’s loop was marked. Gouge and cut a larger hole for the pin’s fastener. Put circles back together, threading open pin end through the smaller hole, and the fastener through the larger hole. Do they fit well? If not, enlarge holes.
  17. Once the pin fits well into the holes, glue the back of the rosette circle to the front of the streamer circle. No streamer tops should show at the back. They will be sandwiched between the card circles. The pin should look as it does in the picture, except we hope you will be neater than I was.
  18. Clamp with clothespins at the edges. Put glue on the front of the rosette, and on the bottom of the crocheted mum. Press the mum in the center of the rosette.
  19. Weight the mum with heavy books, or other clean, heavy objects. Let the piece dry overnight. Remove weights and fluff mum’s petals. Tie bells or sew charms onto streamers if desired. Wear to school and to the homecoming game.