Tag Archives | crocheted

Sweet Home

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

Comments { 0 }

Happy Pi Day!

Crocheted Homemade Cherry Pie from Cute Crochet World

Mmmmm….cherry pie with a lattice-top crust! It’s a wonderful, no-calorie treat to make for March 14, 2016, 3.14 16, Pi day! The pattern for “Homemade Pie” is in Cute Crochet World: A Little Dictionary of Critters, Folks, Food & More, pages 48-50.

Notice how nicely the crust goes around the circumference—it’s a very tidy pi-d. Ba hahaha. I always laugh at my own jokes, just in case no other geometry geeks with a good sense of humor are around. Around!? Ba hahahahaaaa!

Okay, I’m done with jokes now. Here are some hints to help you crochet “Homemade Pie.”

The pie filling is crocheted in round, using the yarn flavor of your choice. In contrast, the lattice top is worked back and forth. The woven-looking texture is created by alternating Back Post and Front Post double crochet sts (BPdc and FPdc).

Here’s my system for remembering how to make back/front post crochet stitches:

To start a BACK Post dc: the hook starts at the BACK of your work (as you are looking at it right now) and comes around the post of the stitch below, and you yarn over in BACK.

By the same token, for a FRONT Post dc, the hook starts in FRONT, goes around the post of the stitch below, and you yarn over in FRONT.

Hints for making Homemade Pie from Cute Crochet World

The photo above shows the finished lattice top. Count around the edge to find 14 spaces, which you’ll work into to join the top to the filling.

Hints for making Homemade Pie from Cute Crochet World

Place the finished lattice top on top of the finished pie filling, both with right sides up. The pattern says to insert the hook in the first space, and also into a stitch of the filling, draw up a loop, finish a sc, and ch 2. Work two more stitches into the same space, but place each into the next stitch of the filling.

Hints for making Homemade Pie from Cute Crochet World

In this photo, the first space of the lattice is joined to the filling, and you can see how the stitches are evenly spaced, because they’re placed into three successive stitches of the filling. Leave a long end for sewing when you finish the crust.

Hints for making Homemade Pie from Cute Crochet World

To sew the finished pie tin to the crust, skim your needle under the “v” shape created by the single crochet sts on the wrong side of the crust, and sew into the next st of the pie tin, moving one stitch over with each stitch.

Hints for making Homemade Pie from Cute Crochet World

When you’re finished sewing and stuffing the pie, thread the long end of the pie crust into a tapestry needle. As described in the instructions, bring the needle out at the top middle of the pie, then take the needle through the pie and out the bottom. As discretely as you can, catch the bottom of the pie with a stitch, as you bring the needle back up to the top (as in the photo above), tack, and weave in the end. This preserves the flat shape.

Hints for making Homemade Pie from Cute Crochet World

My piecrust looked a little underdone, so I brushed it with a little brown eyebrow shaping powder. I thought I still had some golden brown eye shadow, but no.

Hints for making Homemade Pie from Cute Crochet World

Crocheted Homemade Cherry Pie from Cute Crochet World

Comments { 0 }

Hints for Making “Wiener Dog” from Cute Crochet World

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

Complete written instructions for the Wiener Dog are on pages 40-41 of Cute Crochet World. These photos and hints will help you have a successful doxie crochet experience.

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

Strange as it may seem at first glance, the Wiener Dog is crocheted in three rounds. The first round makes the shoulder and chest of the dog, while the second begins the head and body. The second round also makes the front leg. The nose, tail, and back leg are finished in Round 3.

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

Here, Rnd 1 is finished and the head and ear are started. The notes and arrows in the photos should help you with stitch placement as you follow the instructions in the book.

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

The body starts as a long chain. Work back along the chain and then attach to Rnd 1.

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

This is the end of Rnd 2, with the front leg complete. The arrows show where to begin Rnd 3.

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

The nose starts as a chain. Work back along the chain and attach to Rnd 2, as shown.

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

To start “Ear and back of neck” in the pattern: fold or move the ear out of the way to the back, sc in next stitch of head, which is beyond the ear.

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

Keeping your hook and yarn out of the way, fold the ear down to the right side. Insert the hook in the marked stitch, insert the hook into the next st of the head, yo and draw through all loops on hook.

The pattern notes “(sc2tog made),” but this is wrong! Please delete that phrase. To make myself feel better about this, I checked my original manuscript—it wasn’t there! Yay! But I obviously missed it when proofreading. Aw man!

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

Now we’re at “Back and tail.” The dots show where to place the stitches along the back. They are worked into the free loops of the foundation chain. Be sure you start in the correct loop (it will have a htr in it already from Rnd 2 (htr instructions here LINK).

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

“Back and tail” are done. The reason the tail curves, is because you work 2 sl sts into one of the chains.

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

This doggy’s hind leg is shaped in one row. You chain, make a picot, decrease to make the foot. The photo shows the next decrease, which forms the ankle.

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

When the hind leg is finished, you skip one st of the body and sl st in the next st. The photo should help clear any confusion about which stitch is which.

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

The best way to end a motif like this is with a needle-join. When the chest is finished, cut the yarn and pull the hook straight up from the final stitch. The end of the yarn will come out at the top of the last st.

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

Thread the yarn end into a needle, take the needle around the stitch at the base of the front leg and back down into the final stitch of Rnd 3. At the back, catch another loop, like this:

Crocheted Dachshund Tutorial

Adjust the new loop to look its best, weave in the end, block, and you’re done!

Need a bone for your new Wiener Dog? Pattern in the next post.

Comments { 0 }

Crocheting Flowers for Puzzling Pinks

Suzann Thompson's Puzzling Pink quilt at the Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council

Crocheted flowers for Suzann Thompson's Puzzling Pink quilt

Pink! It’s my most favorite color. It’s a good thing too, because the Puzzling Pink wall hanging is covered with dozens of pink flowers and I crocheted them all. And appliqued them.

Crocheted flowers for Suzann Thompson's Puzzling Pink quilt

These softly variegated flowers, made with Prism’s Kid Slique, are adapted from the Russian Picot Daisy pattern in Crochet Garden. Such luscious yarn!

Also from Crochet Garden, I made Anemones in Aunt Lydia’s No. 10 crochet cotton, Begonias in a Spud & Chloe yarn, and Tabby Ovals in a long discontinued yarn.

Crocheted flowers for Suzann Thompson's Puzzling Pink quilt

Crocheted flowers for Suzann Thompson's Puzzling Pink quilt

The long-stemmed buds are from the Valentine Roses pattern in Cute Crochet World.

Crocheted flowers for Suzann Thompson's Puzzling Pink quilt

Comments { 0 }

Step-by-Step Forget Me Not

Crocheted Forget Me Not Flower Tutorial

Today is National Forget-Me-Not Day! Who knew? Many thanks to Vintage Bell Broken China Jewelry, whom I follow on Facebook, for bringing this to my attention! National Forget-Me-Not Day reminds us to get in touch with friends and relatives that we don’t see very often.

National Forget-Me-Not Day has nothing to do with flowers, but what better day to bring you a tutorial for the Forget Me Not flower on pages 86-87 of Crochet Garden? You’ll need a small amount of yellow yarn for the center, white or very light blue for Rnd 2, and sky blue for the petals.

Crocheted Forget Me Not Flower Tutorial

Rnd 1 is the brilliant yellow, single crochet center of the flower. Rnd 2 tells you to join the next color “with dc in FL of any st of rnd 1.” To join with a double crochet, place a slip knot on your hook and yarn over. Holding the yo in place on the hook, insert hook into the front loop of any stitch of Rnd 1.

Crocheted Forget Me Not Flower Tutorial

Draw up a loop (as in photo). Now you have three loops on your hook, which is exactly what you need to finish the double crochet. Work the rest of the stitches of Rnd 2 in the front loops only of Rnd 1.

Crocheted Forget Me Not Flower Tutorial

Here’s Rnd 2 all finished, with the yarn ends woven in. Do you see the stitches of Rnd 1 that have no stitches of Rnd 2 in them? We’re going to call those “free sc”s.

Crocheted Forget Me Not Flower Tutorial

Rnd 3 is worked in the back loops of the stitches of Rnd 1, so you need to fold Rnd 2 to the front, completely out of the way, and insert your hook behind Rnd 2 into the back loops of Rnd 1. The first stitch of Rnd 3 goes in any “free sc” of Rnd 1.

Crocheted Forget Me Not Flower Tutorial

When you’re finished with Rnd 3, it looks like this from the front…

Crocheted Forget Me Not Flower Tutorial

…and like this from the back, for a total of 15 sc.

Crocheted Forget Me Not Flower Tutorial

Rnd 4 begins with ch 1, and then a sc in the first “free sc” of Rnd 1. The sc will seem fat and tall, because it is created around the sc of Rnd 3, and the ch of Round 2 at that point. Both those stitches will be hidden from view by this new sc.

Crocheted Forget Me Not Flower Tutorial

Now it’s time for a little multitasking. Work the next three stitches by inserting your hook into the next chain space of Rnd 2 AND also in the next sc of Rnd 3. The ch-sts of Rnd 2 will be hidden inside these three sts.

Crocheted Forget Me Not Flower Tutorial

The next two sts go into the next tr of Rnd 2. Ah, simple.

Crocheted Forget Me Not Flower Tutorial

Once again, you’ll be multitasking for the next three sts. They are worked into the next ch-sp of Rnd 2, AND in the next st of Rnd 3.

Whew! Done with one petal and ready to start the next petal with sc in the next free sc of Rnd 1. Four more petals, and you’re done!

I added some Ladder Leaves (page 71 of Crochet Garden) and filler motifs to my little Forget Me Nots, to create this piece of Crochet Charm Lace.

Crochet Charm Lace with Forget Me Not Flower

Comments { 4 }

Dream Home—A Crochet Picture

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.

Comments { 0 }

Step-by-Step Crocheted Dogwood Flower

Crocheted Dogwood Flower

Blooming dogwood is beautiful sign of spring!

Dogwood trees don’t grow in our part of Texas, so I studied photos of dogwood flowers, in hopes of including the pattern for one in Crochet Garden: Bunches of Flowers, Leaves, and Other Delights. Shaping the petal correctly was a challenge, but adding the dark notch at the petal end stumped me…for a while.

Crochet your own dogwood blossoms with the instructions found on pages 40-41 of Crochet Garden. I hope you enjoy making a tree-full! These step-by-step photos should help.

Crocheted Dogwood Flower Photo Tutorial

Each petal is made with three rows of crochet. To make the curved end at Row 1, you will “hdc-dc-htr-tog across the 3rd, 4th, and 5th ch from hook.” Let’s break that down:

  • Yo, draw up a loop in the 3rd ch from hook (3 lps on hook).
  • Yo, draw up a loop in the next ch, yo, draw through 2 loops (4 lps on hook).
  • Yo twice, draw up a loop in the next ch, yo, draw through 2 loops (6 lps on hook).

The photo shows how the decrease looks at this point. Now you’re ready to finish off this decrease: yo and pull through all lps on hook.

Crocheted Dogwood Flower Photo Tutorial

Finish Row 1, using decreases and different heights of stitches as instructed. This photo shows Row 1 finished, just before turning.

Crocheted Dogwood Flower Photo Tutorial

Here’s where we introduce the accent color, which will comprise the dark notch at the end of the petal. For the first petal, leave a reasonable-length yarn end, and begin crocheting over the accent color with the original yarn. As you crochet Row 2, you are looking at the wrong side of the petal.

Crocheted Dogwood Flower Photo Tutorial

When the final dc of Row 2 is done, drop the main petal yarn, remove the hook from the loop and enlarge the loop, so it won’t come unraveled as you do the next few steps. Turn back to the right side of the petal. Find the stitch in which you made the dc. Then go to the next st of Row 1, and insert the hook in that stitch, as in the photo.

Crocheted Dogwood Flower Photo Tutorial

To make the dark notch in the petal, yo with the accent color and draw through the stitch. With the accent color, make 2 slip sts in the side of the dc of Row 2. It’s right there, where you need it. You’ll easily be able to find 2 loops on the side of this stitch. Drop the accent color.

Insert your hook into the enlarged loop that you dropped earlier. Tighten the loop. You’ll have 2 loops on the hook, as you see in the photo above.

Crocheted Dogwood Flower Photo Tutorial

With the main color, chain 1, drawing the loop through both loops on the hook. Then chain as instructed for Row 3.

Crocheted Dogwood Flower Photo Tutorial

Remember how you decreased three stitches to make the curve on Row 1 of the petal? To make the mirror-image curve on this side of the petal, you do the opposite: increase by placing 3 stitches into the 3rd chain from the hook.

Crocheted Dogwood Flower Photo Tutorial

As you crochet Row 3, watch for the instruction to begin crocheting over the accent color again. That will bring it back down to the center of the flower, where it will be ready for the next petal.

Crocheted Dogwood Flower Photo Tutorial

Cut a 1/2″/1.3cm strip of stiff card to make the loopy center of the flower. I cut mine from a cereal box. Wrap the accent yarn carefully around the paper strip. Placing the wraps next to each other will make them all the same size. Insert your threaded tapestry needle under the wraps.

Crocheted Dogwood Flower Photo Tutorial

Pull the thread under the wraps, remove the needle, tie the ends of the thread as tightly as you can to hold the wraps. Remove the cardboard and tighten the knot.

Crocheted Dogwood Flower Photo Tutorial

Tie the yarn ends again to lock the knot in place. Use the ends to sew this piece onto the flower. For the wrap ends, you can trim them and hide them among the loops, or you can bring them to the wrong side of the flower and weave them in.

Comments { 2 }

Cozy Home Features

Crocheted House Tutorial

Time to customize our Cozy Home! Page 136 of Cute Crochet World gives instructions for these add-ons: gable vent, window boxes, shrubbery, lintels, and chimney. The first three are crocheted separately and sewn on.

Lintels can be embroidered or crocheted. Here’s how I like to crochet them:

Crocheted House Tutorial

The thread is under the work. Insert hook from the right side of the work to the underside.

Crocheted House Tutorial

On the underside of the house, yarn over hook.

Crocheted House Tutorial

Draw the loop to the right side of the work.

Crocheted House Tutorial

When you have enough stitches, cut the yarn, leaving an end of about 10″/30cm.

  • Draw the loop completely out so the end of the yarn is on the right side.
  • Insert the hook from the underside to the right side of the work, in the same space as the yarn end comes out, making sure that your last loop will be caught by the yarn.
  • Yarn over with yarn end, and pull through to the underside of the work, catching the last loop as you go, so that it can’t come unraveled.

Now you can use that long yarn end to crochet the rest of the lintels—fewer yarn ends to weave in! Yay!

Crocheted House Tutorial

Embroider flowers and leaves or use beads to represent them. I like French knots for flowers and straight stitches for leaves.

Crocheted House Tutorial

Welcome to your new Cozy Home!

Comments { 0 }

Happy Valentine’s Day and Excuses, Excuses!

crocheted hearts

The good news is that, by summer, we may be able to move into the house we’ve been building for the last three years. The other good news is that I’m writing another crochet book.

The bad news is that house-building and designing are consuming my life and taking time away from my blogs. I think that I’ll be back posting frequently and regularly by the beginning of this summer. I hope so, because it’s fun to blog, and I owe tutorials to a couple of readers.

Would you like to see our house? Here’s a photo album showing our progress: http://tinyurl.com/earthen-house

These crocheted hearts are a sneak peek at my new book, which will be published in Spring 2014. Have a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Comments { 0 }

You Can Pre-Order Crochet Garden!

Crochet Garden by Suzann Thompson

Just on a whim, I checked at Amazon to see if my new book is for sale yet. It is!

Crochet Garden will be released in May 2012, but you can reserve your copy by pre-ordering it at Barnes & Noble or Amazon.

This is the first time I’ve seen the cover, though the cover may change between now and next spring. This cover shows several designs from the book:

  • “Sulfur Butterfly”
  • “Samarkand Sunflower” in the O of ‘Crochet’
  • “Grandmother’s Windmill Flower”
  • “Trillium and Fronds” (the fronds are the stems of the flowers)
  • “Russian Picot Daisy” featuring a little-known vintage crochet stitch
  • buds from “Pinks of Any Color”
  • another Trillium
  • “Candy Cornflower”
  • “Pasque Flower”
  • and half of a “Mini-, Midi-, Maxi-mum”

I am looking forward to May!

Comments { 0 }