Posts Tagged ‘art’

Sweet Home

Saturday, November 19th, 2016

Sweet Home, crochet and quilt art, by Suzann Thompson

I remember very well the sweetness and simplicity of childhood and the images from that time that are with me to this day. Children’s book illustrations and some idealized picture of home are strong in my memory. I think that’s where a lot of the designs for Cute Crochet World came from.

My current project is an exhibit called Celebrate Doilies! which will debut at the Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council Gallery in Stephenville, Texas, in July and August 2017. In addition to a lot of doily history (read more here), the exhibit will include my art quilts made with vintage crochet.

Sweet Home, crochet and quilt art, by Suzann Thompson

At first I couldn’t figure out how to incorporate this thread crocheted placemat into a quilt. My mind apparently mulled over this problem while I wasn’t paying attention. Some days later, my perception of the piece suddenly shifted from a placemat to picture frame. After that, it was easy to decide what picture to frame: a childlike picture of home.

Strip-piecing left over from a previous quilt seemed perfect to frame the frame. Luckily, I still had enough cut strips to fill the gaps.

Sweet Home, crochet and quilt art, by Suzann Thompson

Cute Crochet World came to my aid, with patterns for crocheting the “Cozy Home,” “Cherry Blossom” (I used green instead of pink), “Summer Sun” with clubby rays, and “Cutely Cloudy.” I made several trees and two suns, before finding the right combination of size and color.

Sweet Home, crochet and quilt art, by Suzann Thompson

When button time came around, I turned to family and friends for input on which buttons I should sew around the edge of the placemat: mother-of-pearl or blue?

My mom thought the house looked like it was on an island, the lace edges with blue underlay seemed like a beach, and the dark blue buttons were the deep blue sea. I liked this image very well.

The consensus from Instagram and Twitter was that the blue buttons looked better than white, but some friends said they thought a lighter blue might look best.

Sweet Home, crochet and quilt art, by Suzann Thompson

I posted the comparison of dark blue and lighter blue buttons. @franloveswool summarized my own feelings, saying, “This is trickier than I thought.” @fairetreasures said that the dark blue gave the piece great contrast, and the lighter blue looked nice because it picked up the colors of the house.

What to do? Mix light and dark? I tried that, but meh. Wait. Why just one round of buttons? Why not a round of lighter blue and a round of darker blue? Yes, that was the solution. Thank you, friends and family!

Sweet Home, crochet and quilt art, by Suzann Thompson

No. 10 Crochet Cotton Flowers are Perfect Quilt Embellishment

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

Evolution of Minimalism, by Suzann Thompson, detail

I wondered and planned and fretted about how to strongly stabilize a quilt so it would hold up a bunch of crocheted flowers.

As it often happens, my projects change as I work on them and begin to understand how they are developing. So instead of my original plan of crocheting flowers with yarn, I decided to crochet with No. 10 crochet cotton. The flowers turned out to be so light, the quilt didn’t need extra stabilizing. Yay!

My collection of Aunt Lydia’s No. 10 crochet cotton had the perfect colors to make the “Five Point” flower from Crochet Bouquet (above), and “Forget Me Nots” from Crochet Garden (below).

Evolution of Minimalism, by Suzann Thompson, detail

You can use crocheted flowers to embellish bed quilts, too. To attach them, use sewing thread to sew all around the flower’s edge. Tack down the flower center. Use your judgement whether you need to add more stitching between the center and the edges of the flower.

Most of the time, sewing thread disappears between the loops of crochet, but use a sewing thread that closely matches the color of your crochet thread or yarn, just in case.

The wall hanging is called Evolution of Minimalism. You can read more about it at Suzann’s TextileFusion.

Evolution of Minimalism, by Suzann Thompson, detail

Red Vases with Crocheted Flowers

Saturday, 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?

Cute Crochet World‘s “Owl” Makes Artistic Debut

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

Owls are so cute! Crocheters love them, if #crochetowls on Instagram is anything to go by. Have a look at crocheted owls on Google Images for an amazing variety of big-eyed birds.

To quote the famous sonnet writer, Elizabeth Barrett Brownyarn, “How do I crochet an owl? Let me count the ways. Oh, wow. There are lots of ways to crochet an owl–way too many to fit into sonnet form.”

Night Owl, Bright Owl, © 2014 by Suzann Thompson, commissioned by the friend of a bride who loves owls.

Dream Home—A Crochet Picture

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

Keeping a crochet secret is very difficult! I wanted to blog about the Dream Home project many times. But I also wanted to enter it into the Crochet Guild of America Design Competition. One of the rules is that an entry cannot have been published in print or online prior to the competition.

Dream Home, by Suzann Thompson

Now that the CGOA Design Competition is over for the year, I’m free, freeeeeeeeeeee! I’m free to tell the story of Dream Home. Finally!

I love fairy tales and similar stories. The illustrations I remember from childhood were rich in color and imagery from nature. Fairy tale homes had no modern machinery or complex technology.

Crocheted rabbit, ladybug, mushrooms

In a dream, a rabbit can fit under a toadstool, day and night can share the sky over your house.

You can see those childhood and dream images in Dream Home. The subject is pretty simple—a house, trees, some animals. As you come closer, you see more complexity—images in the sky, and the many small pieces that make up the whole.

I keep peeking around the doorway to look at Dream Home hanging in my livingroom. Seeing it makes me happy.

The History of Dream Home

Dream Home

Originally, Dream Home was going to be mounted onto a piece of felted wool and then made into a quilted wall hanging. The blue felt looked so good with the motifs of the picture. I was prearranging the pieces in this photo. That was when I realized just how many motifs were still left to crochet—lots and lots of blue circles for the sky, lots and lots of green petals and pink flowers for the lawn.

Finally the crochet charm lace was all done, meaning the motifs were sewn together to form the picture. I couldn’t quite visualize the finished piece, so I rolled the picture inside the felt and thought about it…for months.

With the deadline coming nearer, I bought a small quilting hoop to hold the piece while I hand-quilted it. Still, I couldn’t see it finished.

One day Ella and I were wandering around Michaels. In the painting section, I saw canvasses and thought, “What about sewing the picture to a canvas?” Artist’s canvas comes stretched and stapled to a wooden frame. It’s easy to hang. Right or wrong, a picture on canvas looks more like art than the same picture on a quilt. Now THAT, I could see.

I bought a canvas and prepared it by spraying it with a clear acrylic coating.

crocheted wall hanging

crocheted wall hanging

Should I use the pretty, blue, felted wool in the background, or not? After canvassing family members for their opinions, I chose to put the picture on the canvas without blue wool.

The sewing began. To keep the picture from sagging, I sewed around every single motif, attaching it to the canvas. Ignoring the large number of motifs, for fear they would discourage me, I just sewed one at a time. Eventually they were all sewn down.

crocheted butterflies

The picture looked lonely, floating around on that big, white canvas. It needed the button frame, which didn’t take very long to sew in place. I love button frames.

Here’s the scoop on the motifs:

From Crochet Garden:

  • Butterflies (left, in the sky), “Sulfur Butterfly & Friends,” pp. 31-33
  • Curlicues that form the water (lower left), “Curlicue Sprays,” pp. 62-63
  • Purple anemone with white and black center (right, under owl’s wing), “Anemone & Friend,” pp. 120-121

crocheted curlicues, water, and turtle

crocheted owl, anemone, mushroom, ladybug, bullion rose

From Crochet Bouquet:

  • Big green leaf (lower right, between toadstools and red rose), “Small One-Row Leaf,” pp. 120-121
  • Pink flowers in lawn, “Millefiori,” Tiny Petals, p. 26
  • Grass tufts in lawn, “Millefiori,” Rounded Petals, p. 25
  • Smallest trees in background, “Veined Leaf,” Plain Vein, pp. 123-124

crocheted house, tree, turtle, grass, bunny, flowers

crocheted rocket, star

From Cute Crochet World:

  • Mushrooms, “Storybook Mushroom,” pp. 59-61
  • Bullion rose, “Valentine Roses,” pp. 92-93
  • “Ladybug, Ladybug,” pp. 20-21
  • “Bunny,” pp. 38-39
  • “Turtle,” pp. 27-29
  • House, “Cozy Home,” pp. 133-136
  • Medium sized trees to the right of the house, “Cherry Blossom,” pp. 76-77
  • Owl, “Oval Owl,” pp. 36-37
  • Stars, “Starry Night,” pp. 98-99
  • Moon, “Winter Moon,” pp. 96-97
  • Rocket ship, “Vacation Transportation,” pp. 116-119
  • Clouds, “Cutely Cloudy,” pp. 86-87
  • Airplane, “Vacation Transportation,” pp. 116-119
  • “Bluebird of Happiness,” pp. 24-26
  • Sun, “Summer Sun,” pp. 94-95

crocheted bluebird, sun, cloud, butterfly

crocheted airplane, cloud, star

Next year’s entry into the CGOA Design Competition is already underway. It’s a…oops, can’t talk about it yet.