Sunday, 15 March 2015

Mother's Day crochet flowers

I have been working on creating a crochet flower corsage over the last couple of weeks. There is an abundance of patterns for this purpose-the crochet flower is more than well documented! However, I wanted something that was exactly right as I wanted a special flower for today- Mother's Day. 

I no longer have my Mum to give flowers to,  as she passed away three years ago now. Mother's Day was always such a special time for her-I think this went back to when her own mother was a parlour maid in service in the late 1890s-servants would be given the day off to go 'a-mothering'. Whenever we would journey anywhere on Mother's Day and traffic was busy, Mum would declare, 'Oh they're all off a-mothering!'.

Above is one of my favourite vintage photographs-my mother as May Queen, in 1932 aged 14, the year she left school. She always said the roses were so heavy she remembered almost dropping them!

I wrote a few months ago about how my mother of the bride outfit for my daughter's wedding was a tribute to Mum's wartime bridal outfit with  three carnation corsage. Mum loved flowers- her father had been a keen gardener and she too was green-fingered. Once when I was at primary school I came home and could not find her anywhere in the house. Finally I went out into the garden and located her in the greenhouse potting and planting, having completely lost track of time, like an artist deep 'in flow'! 

Roses were her favourite and she had the complexion of an English rose, so my Mother's Day tribute is a pretty rose corsage. The basic pattern I used can be found here. As I used 4 ply cotton and a 2.75mm hook with the measurements suggested the rose would come out a little small so I adjusted it starting with 75 chain-this gave me 36 delicate petals. When assembled the flower measures about 3in across, just right for a corsage.

My daughter spotted them and asked for one each for her Mother-in law and Grandmother-in-law. She chose the candy pink and lilac ones and I made a little gift box for each:

The gift boxes were made from the new Sizzix Bigz XL gift box die -it makes a cute box perfect for jewellery items etc. I decorated each with the birthday cards I made earlier in the year.

Finished off with a hand stamped tag and organza ribbon they were all ready to go:

Hope the two lovely ladies they are intended for enjoy them!

I always miss my own Mum but I am blessed in being a Mum myself and have had a lovely day being spoiled with flowers and books-my only dilemma is which to dive into first?

Hope you have had a lovely day!

Best wishes
Alison xx 

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Spring crochet motifs

Thank you all so much for such kind comments about my crochet makings for the family. Their accessories have still been well worn but we have had some milder weather this week and definitely the beginnings of Spring! 

Along with rabbits, chicks, flowers and eggs,  in Spring we often think of hens strutting around in verdant pastures. It has been a while since hens pecked around our old farmhouse but my kitchen has plenty of reminders of times when they did:

I'd love to put this board outside but sadly wouldn't have any to offer these days!

A shabby old chicken who looks like she has been there since the 30s! With French pottery bowls.

I like this proud strutting rooster-he is a fabric print.

With thoughts of Spring in mind I had the urge to create some cute Easter crochet motifs. 

 So my first fun make was some cute hens:

Here they are, strutting among the tulips.

To make them I used Patons 4 ply 100% cotton-I really like this for motifs. It has a lovely feel and  lustrous sheen to it, I used a 2.75 mm hook as I crochet fairly loosely; the gauge doesn't really matter but for an applique the crochet fabric needs to be fairly firm. Her legs were a bit tricky but once I got the hang of them I couldn't stop making them! 

Her wing shape is embroidered on and her eye is a French knot.

Well having begun with hens I had to follow with chicks... I wasn't happy with the shade of yellow in my favourite Patons though, I just had to have something brighter, more of a chick coloured yellow! My search led me to Susan Crawford vintage cotton. There I found 'Canary' the perfect shade-as yellow as an egg yolk! Oh Susan though you now have me hooked on the quality of this gorgeous yarn and I want to make all your vintage designs in those mesmerising colours!

The chicks were easy to make but again, beaks and feet are a bit fiddly...a bit of practice to get them uniform but on the other hand each does seem to have its own character!

These designs were from the fabulous book' How to make 100 Crochet appliques' by Deborah Burger. The book uses American crochet terminology but I have now learned this by heart as I could no longer miss out on the fantastic patterns that come from our American friends! Now I know it it actually makes perfect sense!

The author has designed a plethora of fun motifs in themed sections-something for every occasion; I really want to make them all!

So how shall I use my hens and chicks? I had the intention of using them for Easter cards but my daughters suggested they would look cute on a tea towel or teapot cosy! Any suggestions? I'd love to hear them!

So like my chicks, Spring is springing in Cornwall...some sweet primroses on my rockery. 

Have a lovely week,
Best wishes
Alison xx