Posts Tagged ‘doily’

Sacred Threads in Herndon, VA, through Sunday

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

A Worthy Accomplishment, art quilt with doily and other crochet, by Suzann Thompson

As you walk through the Sacred Threads art quilt exhibit, you can listen to a recording of artists talking about their work. (More about the exhibit below.)

Coming up with a one-minute commentary about my piece, A Worthy Accomplishment, was a new challenge for me. I wrote and *cut and practiced reading,* and repeated between *s several times. That’s a reference to knitting and crochet instructions, in case you were wondering.

The volunteers at Sacred Threads set up a telephone recording session, where artists could call in and record their speech. I was able to listen to my recording and decide whether to save or re-record. It took me about three tries to get it just the way I wanted it.

* * * *

Sacred Threads is an exhibition of quilts that express life’s journeys. Through their art, quilters express joy, inspiration, spirituality, healing, grief, and peace. Read lots more about this thoughtful and interesting exhibit at

The project is run by volunteers, like these two who were hanging the quilts for the 2017-2019 show, which debuted in Herndon, VA. This photo from the Sacred Threads Facebook page is used with permission.

A Worthy Accomplishment, art quilt with doily and other crochet, by Suzann Thompson, at Sacred Threads

The exhibit will be at the Floris Methodist Church in Herndon, Virginia, through Sunday, July 23. After that, A Worthy Accomplishment is coming home, but thirty-six of the original 300 quilts in the Sacred Threads exhibit will travel around the United States through June 2019. These are the venues so far:

  • Flint Festival of Quilts, Flint MI – September 2017
  • HeART Gallery, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Toledo, OH – October 18-30, 2017
  • Grace Episcopal Church, Gainesville GA – November 1 – December 15, 2017
  • Voice of the Spirit Gallery, West Raleigh Presbyterian Church, Raleigh, NC -January – February, 2018
  • Southeastern Quilt & Textile Museum, Carrollton GA – March-June, 2018
  • Good Shepard Episcopal Church, Hayesville NC – July, 2018
  • The Rectory Cultural Arts Center, Norcross, GA – August, 2018
  • Virginia Quilt Museum, Harrisonburg VA – September-December, 2018
  • Best of the Valley Quilt Show, Lindsay, CA – April, 2019
  • A World of Quilts, Danbury, CT – May 2019

If you or your venue is interested in receiving a portion of the 2017 exhibit, please indicate your interest by filling out the Traveling Exhibit Interest form.

If you aren’t able to see the show in Virginia, I hope you will like to read the speech about A Worthy Accomplishment:

Hi. I’m Suzann Thompson, talking to you from Comanche County, Texas.

I’ve met a startling number of people who feel unworthy.

I think our culture feeds this perception. As a society, we seem to admire enormous wealth and power. We marvel at technology. And then we go to the movies and see heroes swooping in to save the world!

Those are BIG, IMPORTANT things.

My quilt, A Worthy Accomplishment, draws attention to the SMALL important things that most of us do every day. We take care of ourselves and others, work at home or away. We are kind and thoughtful. And sometimes, we take time to make something, like a delicious meal or a quilt.

We probably won’t become famous or rich for doing these things, but I think they are worthy accomplishments and because we do them, WE ARE worthy. I hope you think so, too.

Read more about this wall hanging at

Doily Yarn Bombs for Art Exhibit

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

The Celebrate Doilies will open in two short days! Yay!

But let’s dwell for a moment on the past.

Baling twine doily for Celebrate Doilies exhibit

My parents have raised cattle for a long time, and cows need hay during the winter. Mom and Dad buy big, round hay bales, which used to be tied up with yards of blue and white synthetic string called baling twine.

My dad can hardly stand to throw away anything that might be useful someday, and so he has a tub full of baling twine. “Suzie,” he has often said, “you could knit something out of that baling twine.”

Yes, I could knit something with baling twine, but as we say in my little family, “Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.”

All that changed when I was looking for a good fiber to make a doily to yarn bomb the Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council gallery during the Celebrate Doilies exhibit. I tried crocheting the baling twine. It was kind of stiff and springy, but it could definitely be crocheted.

In the photo above, I’m on round 13 of the baling twine doily.

Doily yarn bomb for Celebrate Doilies exhibit

My mom offered a softer option: macramé cord that had been among her craft supplies for about 25 years.

The five hanks of cord totaled about 270 yards, so the crocheting went relatively quickly. The vintage pattern accommodated the varying weights of the cord perfectly. It was pattern number 7444 for a luncheon set. You can find the pattern by searching the internet with the terms “luncheon set 7444.”

In this photo, my assistant is stretching the doily on a length of PEX pipe, with the help of the dogs. The doily measured about 40 inches across when stretched.

Three Stories, Three Stories

Wednesday, 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 Rose” 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

New Designs in Love of Crochet!

Saturday, 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.

Make a Snow Globe Doily with Crochet Charm Lace

Friday, December 11th, 2015

Crochet Charm Lace Snow Globe Doily by Suzann Thompson

Imagine, for a moment, this dream crochet project: you can make it with leftover yarns or new yarns. You can mix yarn weights and textures. The finished piece can be any shape and size. Best of all, you won’t need to make gauge swatches.

Ah, what a lovely dream.

But wait! You can turn the dream into reality with a technique called Crochet Charm Lace. To do it you will need crochet motif patterns, yarn and hooks for crocheting motifs, waste fabric, safety pins, tapestry needle, scissors, and supplies for blocking.

For your first crochet charm lace project, consider making something small, like a scarf or the Snow Globe Doily shown here.

A Quick Summary of How to Make Crochet Charm Lace

  • Cut a fabric template in the shape of your choice. It won’t be part of the finished project.
  • Crochet motifs from one type or many types of yarn, weave in ends and block.
  • Arrange and pin motifs, face down on the fabric template and safety-pin in place.
  • Sew motifs together wherever they touch.
  • Remove safety pins and turn your crochet charm lace piece right-side-up.


For the Snow Globe Doily, you will need:

  1. A selection of white yarns and threads. The yarns in “Snow Globe” range from No. 30 crochet cotton (very fine) to worsted weight yarn, and they represent many different fibers, like cotton, linen, and wool.
  2. One or two icy blue yarns the same size as one or two of the white yarns you chose. To be used as accents and for filler motifs.
  3. A selection of crochet hooks to give a firm gauge with the chosen yarns.
  4. Books:
  5. Cute Crochet World: A Little Dictionary of Crochet Critters, Folks, Food & More, “Snow-People” pattern.

    Crochet Garden: Bunches of Flowers, Leaves, and Other Delights, “Frost Flower” pattern.

    OR any patterns for small and large crocheted snowflakes and snowmen.

  6. Sturdy fabric to make a template in the shape you choose. “Snow Globe” is 16″ in diameter.
  7. Pens, templates (such as a large platter) as needed to make a template with fabric.
  8. Iron, press cloth, ironing surface, pins
  9. Patterns for Filler Motifs (see end of this post) and Small and Simple Snowflakes and Tiny Flakes (see tomorrow’s post)

Make a Fabric Template

How to Make the Crochet Charm Lace Snow Globe Doily by Suzann Thompson

Cut out the desired size and shape of your project from any sturdy fabric. The fabric will not be part of the finished piece, but you need it to create the shape of the Crochet Charm Lace.

For the Snow Globe project, I traced around my largest round platter—about 16″ across—with a ball-point pen, onto leftover cotton twill fabric. Round is nice, but you can cut out a heart or square or whatever. You can even use a piece of clothing as a template.

Choose Motifs

The motifs used in Crochet Charm Lace are stand-alone crocheted motifs. In other words, they are NOT afghan motifs. We are lucky to have quite a few non-afghan motif books on the market, featuring everything from flowers to dachshunds to sea creatures.

I chose motifs from my own books to make the Snow Globe Doily shown here. The “Snow-people” are from Cute Crochet World. The large snowflakes are “Frost Flower” from Crochet Garden: Bunches of Flowers, Leaves, and Other Delights.

Two or three motif patterns are plenty for a crochet charm lace design. Pick your favorite flower and leaf designs, for instance. Or consider groupings like televisions and stars; oak and maple leaves; or clouds, umbrellas, and rain boots. Find several ideas here.

In addition to the main motifs, you’ll need small motifs to fill in awkward spaces in your crochet charm lace creation. A filler motif can be as simple as one round of single crochet or half-double crochet.

Choose Yarns and Hooks

Here’s a general rule for choosing yarn. If you have many textures and weights of yarn for your crochet charm lace project, keep to one or two colors for the major motifs; on the other hand, if you are using lots of colors, keep to a narrow range of weights and textures.

You are welcome to break this rule.

The filler motifs can blend or contrast. I chose DK weight cotton and wool yarns, No. 10 crochet cotton, an even lighter cotton than that, and even some handspun wool. My light blue filler motifs contrast with the mostly-white snowflakes.

Choose hooks that will give you a firm gauge with the different yarns. Consult the Craft Yarn Council’s yarn and hook chart at and go for the hooks at the smaller end of the scale for each weight of yarn.


Crochet enough motifs to thickly cover your fabric template. I crocheted “Frost Flowers” in several sizes of yarn and thread. The pattern in Crochet Garden includes a “Fancy Flake” option, which I used for a few of the flakes. I used pale blue as an accent in some of the Frost Flowers.

To add variety, I made Small and Simple Snowflakes and Tiny Flakes. I will post the patterns tomorrow.

Finish the Motifs

How to Make the Crochet Charm Lace Snow Globe Doily by Suzann Thompson

Weave in ends and block the motifs.

To block, hold small motifs like these under the tap, squeeze out excess water, hand-stretch and flatten each motif, and press gently using a press cloth to protect the crochet.

When a motif just won’t lie flat, pin it out and let dry.

How to Make the Crochet Charm Lace Snow Globe Doily by Suzann Thompson

Arrange and Pin

Arrange motifs right-side-down on the template, with an eye toward distributing color, shape, and size in a pleasing way. Take them right up to the edge of the template. If you have a few large or major motifs, lay them out, more-or-less evenly-spaced across the template. Arrange the other motifs around them, with edges touching wherever possible.

Squeeze in as many motifs as you can, as if you were working a crochet jigsaw puzzle. They won’t all fit perfectly together, which is what results in the lacy effect of Crochet Charm Lace.

You may need to make a few more motifs. Estimate how many and make a list like the one in the photo below.

Do you see spaces that need to be filled, but they’re too small for the regular motifs? Make filler motifs, like my blue sc-circles, to fill those spots.

How to Make the Crochet Charm Lace Snow Globe Doily by Suzann Thompson

In this experimental arrangement for the Snow Globe table mat, I was trying to figure out how many more flakes and filler motifs to crochet. Before pinning the motifs, I turned the pieces face-down.

Arranging motifs will probably take more time than you expect. Feel free to take a break and come back later.

As I arranged and rearranged motifs for the Snow Globe Doily, my daughter said, “Mom, the snow people should be holding hands.”

Her instincts were right, as usual, so I put them closer together with their hands touching. I also felt they would look better if they “stood” on the Tiny Flakes, which seemed more like solid snow.

Act on your thoughts and ideas about placing motifs. If you have a pretty satisfactory arrangement, but want to try something else, photograph the original arrangement first. That way you can recreate it from the photo, if necessary.

When the motifs are exactly the way you want them, pin each one to the template with one or two safety pins.

How to Make the Crochet Charm Lace Snow Globe Doily by Suzann Thompson

Sew Motifs Together

Sew motifs together wherever they touch, skimming the tapestry needle under the loops just inside the edges of the motifs (see the photo below). When you tighten the stitch, the motif edges will pull together on the right side (which you can’t see at the moment). The stitch won’t show on the right side.

How to Make the Crochet Charm Lace Snow Globe Doily by Suzann Thompson

Note how the sewing stitch catches the loops just inside the edges of the motifs.

For sewing, use the thinnest thread or yarn you crocheted with. For heavier yarns, reduce bulk by splitting 4-ply yarns into two 2-ply strands for sewing.

Sew with yarn that matches the color of one or both motifs you are sewing. You will frequently have to weave in ends, cut the sewing yarn, and start in a new place.

How to Make the Crochet Charm Lace Snow Globe Doily by Suzann Thompson

On the wrong side of the piece (which you see while sewing), small lengths of sewing yarn may show at the edges of some motifs. The stitches will not show on the front.

For many crocheters, stitching is not the most fun. But keep at it. It’s worth it. If you need a morale boost, unpin a finished section of your crochet charm lace project and peek at the right side. I think it will give you incentive to keep going.


At some point, you will finish sewing motifs together. Really. You will.

And here comes the best part! My favorite! Take out the safety pins. This photo captures the moment: pins gone and then…

How to Make the Crochet Charm Lace Snow Globe Doily by Suzann Thompson

Set the fabric template aside.

Imagine a drum roll.

Turn the piece right-side-up. Live the dream.

How to Make the Crochet Charm Lace Snow Globe Doily by Suzann Thompson


To supplement the instructions for the Frost Flower in Crochet Garden, please look for the photo-tutorial at

Sc Filler Motif

Ch 4, join with sl st in first ch to form a ring.

Round 1: Ch 1, 7 or 8 sc into ring, cut yarn, and needle-join (also known as invisible join)–7 or 8 sc.

Shop, See Art, Learn at Quilt! Knit! Stitch!

Sunday, July 12th, 2015

Double Bullion crochet workshop

The Quilt! Knit! Stitch! show in Portland OR next month is going to be great fun! I’m looking forward to taking a folk embroidery workshop and shopping at the market.

In addition to lots of three- and six-hour workshops and the retail market, the event includes exhibits of textile artworks. My own TextileFusion exhibit–knitted, embellished quilts–will make its national debut there. Yay!

I’m the crochet teacher, offering these workshops:

  • Full of Bullion (Stitch, That Is). The double bullion picot petal flower above is one of our samples for this class.
  • Pretty Picot-rama
  • What to do with Grandmother’s Doilies
  • Crochet Charm Lace

Please go to for more information and to register.

Vintage Flower Fabric

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

vintage crocheted doily book

Being a fan of flower fabric, I was happy to find this vintage pattern book, Doily Bouquet (Star Book No. 71, by American Thread Company).

The doily at the top right is made of flowers crocheted separately at first, and apparently joined as they are made.

For my own flower fabric, like the Roses Poncho (close-up below), I crochet all the flowers separately, pin them to a template, and sew them together with sewing thread.


I chuckled when I read the doily instructions. The designer obviously assumed some intelligence on the part of the crocheter, which is not so common nowadays:

“Work a 2nd daisy same as 1st daisy, joining it to 1st daisy as illustrated.”

Illustrated where? The only illustrations in the book are photos of the doilies. You’re on your own to figure out how to join the flowers.

I think it’s good for crocheters and other crafters to figure things out on their own. You have to think. You have to try various options to find the best one. The more you are forced to figure things out on your own, the more you improve as a crocheter.

That’s how crochet designers, teachers, and writers are made. Hurray!

A Crochet Bouquet Doily on Crochet Insider

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

experimental arrangement of flowers for doily

Please visit Crochet Insider to find instructions for a bright doily made with flowers from Crochet Bouquet!

I tried several ways to put the flowers together, as you can see from the test pieces here.

experimental arrangement of flowers for doily

I settled on the doughnut-shaped mat.

Why a doughnut shape? Because the many different types and textures of yarn make the surface of the mat uneven. The hole in the middle is so you can nestle in your vase or bowl, with no worries about it being wobbly!

Daffodil Doily Found

Monday, January 12th, 2009

crocheted daffodil doily

Reader Carol N. of Montana, USA, writes

Hi Suzann,

I bought your book Crochet Bouquet. I thought you might find it interesting that the daffodil doily you mentioned was featured on Clark’s J&P Coats Book No. 258 dated 1949. Just yesterday I bought this book and other vintage crochet books at a thrift store. This doily is the one on the cover. There are many other very beautiful flower doileys featured in the 15 page book.

I may make one myself!

vintage Star crochet books

Thank you, Carol! I had never seen a doily like that until I bought it at an antiques store in Comanche, Texas. It’s an unusual doily, and I’m glad to know where to find the pattern.

crocheted pansy doily

While I was working on Crochet Bouquet, I found inspiration from vintage crochet books, like the old books shown here, which were published by the Star Thread Company. The patterns are so pretty.

Pansy doilies are a great favorite. Between us, my mother and I have several. This one looks new, but it is crocheted from an old pattern.

One thing is for sure: people love flowers, and they’ve been crocheting them for a long time.