Vintage Flower Doily Garland

Once upon a time, I discovered a crochet artist called Sophie Digard.  I fell into immediate rapturous love with her intricate lace like scarves; an alchemy of design and colour that had the inspiration levels soaring into overdrive!  I had never worked with cotton before, but decided it was something that I’d like to try crocheting with very much indeed.  My dear old Nan used to crochet doilies when she was alive, and these too held the same fragile allure for me.  Such care had been taken with the beautiful patterns, the elegant stitches creating a floral masterpiece that would have taken quite some time to create.

The thing was, a doily seemed doable, but a scarf or a shawl made with such fine threads seemed a little daunting.  Did I have the patience to work diligently at something that would surely be a labour of love, an endurance, a project that would take a Very Long Time?

In short, no.

I’m one of these people who sometimes like a quick result, a fast and happy little project that can be quickly made and installed; a project that I can work at alongside my Bigger Blanket projects.  And whilst I love the vintage feel of a crocheted doily, I wanted something a little more colourful and festive; something that would feel inspiring and exciting to look at.  So I decided to make a garland; a flowery, autumnal garland that I could hang in my home.  A garland inspired by my Nan’s pretty doilies and the delicate threads of Sophie’s beautiful creations, indeed it would be a miniature floral doily garland!

Oh the excitement at realising a new project is about to be undertaken!

So a couple of weeks ago, I purchased a handful of skeins of cotton thread.  I spent a happy half hour winding them onto old style wooden laundry pegs (my preferred method of storing all embroidery cottons).  I chose DMC perle cotton skeins #8, but you can also buy this in balls.

And then I dug out my Crochet Motifs book and looked for some pretty doily style flowers to make.

As most of the patterns are from the book, Im sorry to say that I cannot reproduce them here – but if you have the book yourself I can point you in the general direction of the flowers I chose (numbers 41 and 53).

I also designed a little flower myself – for which the pattern is here:

The stitches are written in US terms.

  • Ch4, SS to join to form ring.
  • Ch3, 14DC into ring, SS to join (15 stitches).
  • *Ch5, SS into 3rd stitch along* Repeat ** around circle, until you have 5 half circle loops made from the chain stitches.  SS to finish round in first stitch.
  • *6DC into each half circle loop*  Repeat ** into each loop to make petals, SS to finish and tie off.  Secure ends by sewing into the back of the flower.

You can use this pattern with any yarn of course, but for those of you who’d like to try out the cotton perle flowers that I made here, I used a 2.5 hook.

But now…it’s time for a little Ta~Dah moment!

I’ve hung my little flowery doily garland over some photos and decopatched letters.

What do you think??  I’m rather smitten by it, and am now contemplating making one for my kitchen!  The flowers, although a little fiddly to start with do crochet up quite quickly once you get the hang of working with the cotton (I’m used to working with DK yarn, so it was quite a difference to me and took a little getting used to).  However, I think it’s worth persevering with as the outcome is so delicate and pretty.

To  join your flowers to form a garland, choose a cotton/yarn colour and start by attaching with a SS to the top of a flower; then chain across (I chained 25 here) and SS to join your next flower.  Just carry on in this way until all flowers are attached and finish off with a SS in the top of the last flower, secure and tie in ends.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the tutorial; I’m going to love you and leave you now as I feel a big mug of tea coming on!! Thanks for coming by today!

Much love

Autumn’s Pleasures

It’s the time of year when I get the urge to nestle and make my house cosy.  I want to make a new blind for my window and tie backs for my curtains…I have a desire to sort through my fabric stash, and fold it into neat piles whilst dreaming of things I can make with it.  I discover enticing projects in magazines and on Pinterest that I suddenly need to be making.  I want to be cooking delicious, seasonal soups and soul warming food; like French toast on a Sunday morning, gently scorched golden and crisp, and generously dressed with a spoon of my favourite Berries and Cherries jam.

Such simple things like making my home cosy for the colder months, and preparing good food makes me feel very contented.

I also like the colours of this time of year – if ever there were a siren from nature that Summer was up and Autumn was in it’s the glorious rainbow leaves that adorn our trees so briefly, before the high winds have them spiralling and spinning to the ground.  Green melts quietly into the palest of yellow and deepest of ochres; and then the dramatic russets and golds, tarnished with bronze and amber illuminate the stark branches against vivid blue or wildly dark grey skies.  I see firey reds, scarlet and purple ~ the city is ablaze with colour and it’s beautiful.

Out shopping the other day I stumbled upon a bunch of sunflowers, very reasonably priced in my little supermarket I might add,  that were just begging me to take them home.  I put them in a crochet covered jam jar and enjoyed seeing their happy yellow faces enormously.

The simple things…

…like winding crochet cotton onto wooden pegs and planning a little project with those faded, vintage colours on a tiny little hook…something to brighten up my little house…

… and making a warming chicken and vegetable soup to eat whilst escaping amongst the pages of Country Living magazine…

It was whilst I was enjoying this very bowl of soup that the Postie brought me something rather exciting.  I’d been waiting for this particular parcel for some time, with a mixture of trepidation and expectation.  You see, I’d made the decision to have a collection of my art work printed professionally as greetings cards and had sent my images off to a lovely printing company to be turned into proofs.  I was over the moon with how they have turned out, what do you think?

From the Christmas Collection:

From the Coastal Collection:

I’m going to be busy placing an order for these now, and they’ll be available in my Gallery Shop very soon.

There is much to do on the art front; I’m making plans for the work I’ll be taking to the Christmas Fair in December, as well as keeping busy with several commission pieces.  In the midst of all this, I would love to make space to create a brand new Christmas card design – I suppose I’m rather late with this compared to some, but I’m sure I can make it materialise in time if I try!

I wish you all a beautiful weekend, wherever you are in the world.

Psssst!!! Have you subscribed to my monthly Art E-zine yet? I can promise you some wonderful seasonal discounts to come in the next couple of months on my art!  Just complete the box up in the side bar and look forward to it plopping into your inbox x