Tag Archives | flowers

Arranging Flowers for Winterling

I had to try many different flower arrangements before finding my favorite for Winterling. It was fun! Here are a few:

flower arrangement for TextileFusion wall hanging, Winterling, by Suzann Thompson flower arrangement for TextileFusion wall hanging, Winterling, by Suzann Thompson

Hmmm. Yeah, the white flowers seem too startlingly bright. So for the next try, I took the daisies off and also the big sunflower, because I thought it was too heavy and large for the composition.

flower arrangement for TextileFusion wall hanging, Winterling, by Suzann Thompsonflower arrangement for TextileFusion wall hanging, Winterling, by Suzann Thompson

How about the one on the left?—it’s kind of minimal with a more controlled color selection. Given a choice, I usually go for fancy over minimal. The next one is alright.

flower arrangement for TextileFusion wall hanging, Winterling, by Suzann Thompson

Thinking the sunflower might not be too heavy after all, I added it back in. Yep, I think this is the one.

flower arrangement for TextileFusion wall hanging, Winterling, by Suzann Thompson

After pinning all the flowers and leaves in place, it was time to sit down and sew. And I mean sew for a long time.

Something kept bothering me about the Samarkand Sunflower which has a yellow center, then a white round and a band of periwinkle blue before the round of white petals. The blue band looked too plain and big. A few bright yellow seed beads took care of that problem.

flower arrangement for TextileFusion wall hanging, Winterling, by Suzann Thompson

After sewing the flowers on, I appliqued a crocheted picot vine in the borders. Each picot has a seed bead on it, which is stitched in place to keep the picot from curling. Buttons berries grow from the vine.

That does it for Winterling! Want to know where the flower patterns are from? Visit this post to find out.

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No. 10 Crochet Cotton Flowers are Perfect Quilt Embellishment

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 here and here.

Evolution of Minimalism, by Suzann Thompson, detail

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Threads of Texas Quilt Show 2016

Threads of Texas Quilt Show 2016

The Town ‘n Country Quilt Guild’s biennial quilt show, Threads of Texas, is over for 2016. I imagine there are some members still recovering from organizing and staffing this wonderful exhibit.

My friend Peggy and I sold tickets for four hours. We met lots of people eager to see the quilts, shop for supplies and gifts, and have a little lunch.

Along with our friends Hazel and Donna from the weekly Dublin Rippers bee, we entered several quilts in the show. We laughingly considered changing our name temporarily to “The Ribbon Ladies,” because between us, we won a total of ten or eleven ribbons!

Afternoon won a blue ribbon (first place) in the category “Other Techniques—Small.” I posted in-progress photos of Afternoon earlier in this blog.

Threads of Texas Quilt Show 2016

You’ll also find some blog posts about Red Vases, which won second place in the same category. Same for Antelope Horns, coming in at third place.

I haven’t written about Crochet Comets yet (but I will!). It is my first quilt made from quilting fabric, and it’s embellished with doilies. Crochet Comets and Red Vases won merit ribbons for embellishment.

Threads of Texas Quilt Show 2016

Peggy has already planned what she’s going to sew for Threads of Texas 2018. I’m not sure what I’m going to enter, but I am sure looking forward to it!

Threads of Texas Quilt Show 2016

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Three Stories, Three Stories

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 www.textilefusion.com/doily-heritage-project 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

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Red Vases with Crocheted Flowers

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?

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Millefiori from Crochet Bouquet Explained

Crocheted Millefiori Motifs

“Millefiori” on pages 25-26 of Crochet Bouquet: Easy Designs for Dozens of Flowers offers small flowers in five different petal shapes. Four of the petal styles are joined with a technique that gives an attractive and neat finish to warm the cockles of your crochet heart.

“Rounded Petals” is shown in the photos. In the book, patterns for “Pointy Petals,” “Rounded Petals,” “Baby Stars,” and “Heart-Shape Petals” should refer you to page 15 for finishing instructions.

Here’s how joining the petals works.

Crochet Millefiori Motif Tutorial

Following the instructions in Crochet Bouquet, crochet four or five petals in the shape of your choice (Photo A). When you’re done with the last sl st, cut the yarn, and pull the yarn straight up out of the last sl st.

The petals are numbered to keep track of them more easily.

Crochet Millefiori Motif Tutorial

Thread the final yarn end into a tapestry needle. Arrange the petals face-up. Beginning with petal 1, skim the needle under the visible loops of the first ch st of the petal and the final sl st of the petal as in Photo B.

When I say visible loops, I mean the ones you see as you look at right side of the petal. They are just one loop of the chain plus one loop of the sl st.

Crochet Millefiori Motif Tutorial

In Photo C, I have skimmed the needle under the first and last loops of petals 1, 2, and 3.

Crochet Millefiori Motif Tutorial

I pulled the yarn through the first three petals, and in Photo D, I’m skimming it under the loops of petals 4 and 5.

Crochet Millefiori Motif Tutorial

Tighten the yarn end to draw the petals together. Once again, skim the needle under the first loop of petal 1 as shown in Photo E.

Crochet Millefiori Motif Tutorial

Take the needle through the base of petal 1, from front (right side) to back (wrong side).

Crochet Millefiori Motif Tutorial

Tighten the yarn end once more, tack to secure the yarn, and weave in the end (Photo G).

Crochet Millefiori Motif Tutorial

If you haven’t already done so, weave in the end at the start of the flower. Take a moment to stretch the petals from side to side before blocking.

These are truly quick and easy flowers.

Crocheted Millefiori Motifs

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Valentine’s Day Quilt Finished!

Valentine’s Day Quilt finished!

On Tuesday evening, at the girls’ piano lesson, I sewed the last button onto my Quilting Ladies’ Group Valentine’s Day Quilt. I tried to sew more buttons on, but when I put them tentatively on the quilt, the quilt said, “Enough already!” Usually, I can find a place to tuck in one more, but all my attempts were rejected.

Valentine’s Day Quilt details

So it was finished! Yay!

This quilt combines old and new and bits and pieces that will remind me of friends and fun times. Like this pretty quilted heart will always make me think of Peggy.

The yellowy flower is a Twirl Center Rose from Crochet Garden.

Valentine’s Day Quilt details

These yellow and white applique daisies are from my mother-in-law’s sewing collection. She was a lovely lady named Mary Eugenia Frederick. She went by ‘Gene,” but we thought Eugenia was a beautiful middle name for our younger daughter.

Rachel made the fabric flower with the red center. Our older daughters like to go adventuring together and talk about music. Gail Hughes made the green buttons that serve as leaves for Rachel’s flower.

Valentine’s Day Quilt details

Three pink heart buttons from Hazel are surrounded by flowers from Crochet Garden: Begonia (lower left), Turkestani Star with a button from Gail Hughes, and Any Color Pinks at the upper right.

Valentine’s Day Quilt details

For Donna’s quilt, she asked us each to sign a piece of fabric, which she incorporated in to her quilt. The spool charm is from Donna.

Valentine’s Day Quilt details

This heart, cut out of an antique quilt, is from Mindy. Both green buttons and the crystal topped button on the heart are by Gail Hughes. Hazel’s buttons are the red heart-shaped ones hidden next to the big heart.

This quilt is full of love!

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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!

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Crochet Bouquet is About Variety!

Polymer Clay for Everyone, by Suzann Thompson

When I wrote Crochet Bouquet and my first book, Polymer Clay for Everyone, I wondered about my readers’ favorite colors. Would they like bright colors? Pastels? Dark colors? Browns and tans? Metallics?

The answer seemed to be YES. Think of any color, and somebody, somewhere, will love it. To please all the somebodies, everywhere, I set out to include a wide variety of colors and color combinations in my books.

The plan worked well for Polymer Clay for Everyone. The cover shows bright projects, but inside the book, every one of the color groups I mentioned (and more) is represented in the many different projects. By “and more” I mean glow-in-the-dark. My scary, bloodshot, glow-in-the-dark eye ball necklaces were brilliantly captured by photographer David Sherwin.

Crocheted Triple-Crowned Flower

With Crochet Bouquet, I ran into a snag. Early in its childhood, the Art Department at Lark Crafts decided that Crochet Bouquet’s “look” would be bright and happy, with crisp white paper and designs with bright garden colors. And of course, it’s beautiful. I’m glad they chose the bright, happy look.

I did crochet some designs in browns, metallics, and darker colors. I feel a little sad for those pretty designs, not being included in the book. So here they are. This is their moment to shine. I hope you like them.

These brown and cream flowers are called “Triple-Crowned.” You may recognize the petals as Trimmed and Picot Off-Center Rounds from pages 27-28 of Crochet Bouquet. They’re sewn to a 15-dc circle and then the “crown” is added.

I made these with luxurious Crystal Palace Yarns: Party, Popcorn, and Cotton Chenille (the red/orange crown on one of the flowers). The feathers were from my parents’ guinea fowl. One Triple-Crowned is embellished with Mill Hill bugle beads.

Crocheted Stacked Flower

The Stacked Flower is made with Loopy (pages 57-58 of Crochet Bouquet) and the Large Star Flower (page 92). The other flower in the stack didn’t make it into the book.

The large specimen was crocheted with Plymouth Yarns Alpaca Boucle and decorated with feathers from the craft store. The small flower is made with Coats Aunt Lydia’s Fashion Crochet Thread, size 5 (metallic). The medium sized Stacked Flower is Louet Euroflax Sport in brown, black, cedarwood, and green.

Would you like me to post the instructions for Triple-Crowned and the Stacked Flower? (You’ll still need Crochet Bouquet to make Loopy, the Large Star Flower, and Off Center Ovals).

(Polymer Clay for Everyone is out of print, but you can usually find it online. It was published in England under the title The Polymer Clay Sourcebook. Same contents, different cover. Oh, and also in France! Same contents, different language.)

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Earthen Bricks Don’t Like Rain

clouds left over from Hermine

These stunning clouds are remnants of the tropical storm Hermine, whose tentacles reached far inland and gave us driving rains in September.

We had plenty of plastic to cover our walls, but our stacks of earthen blocks were unprotected. The rains, blowing hard from the east, moistened blocks as far as 15 feet from the open eastern end of the house.

rain-damaged earthen block

Luckily, most of them are fine and still usable. These didn’t fare so well. They were much closer to the eastern edge of the house. But, luckily again, they were unusually thick blocks. We tend to make those at the beginning of a brick run, before the machine is adjusted to the moisture of the soil we load into it.

I wondered what we would do with those large blocks, and the rain gave me the answer—recycle them!

Wasp moves in to earthen house

So we lost a few blocks to the rain, but look what we gained!

Gorgeous autumn wildflowers!

This one is eryngo. Prickly, but beautiful.

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