January is not the most inspiring of months is it? That’s why we crocheters and makers need lots of colourful projects to keep us cheerful.
Don’t you just love all the generous sharing of beautiful crochet ideas to be found here in cyber land? Thinking back to years ago, how did we find our patterns and ideas? If you went for a browse in a wool shop it was very difficult to find anything interesting in a world which basically belonged to the knitters. There might be one thin and dusty folder hiding at the back of a shelf with crochet patterns which frankly were often hideous. Booklets of patterns published by the wool companies were better hunting ground though generally there might be only one or two crochet patterns in a sea of knitting. Then there were women’s magazines where you might be lucky to find a gem.
Of course a few of the good old patterns still pop up nowadays. I made these little crochet dresses for my twin girls back in 1980 and then last year made another for my granddaughter. You can definitely still see this pattern on the web.
Last year I learned many skills to apply to my creations. The most useful are some of the various joining methods for crocheting motifs together and I knew when I first saw the lacy continuous flat braid join that I would need it at some point.
You can find Heather Leal’s excellent tutorial for this beautiful join written in UK terms here: http://www.thepatchworkheart.co.uk/2016/08/continuous-flat-braid-join-tutorial-in.html
Well as you can see I applied the join to my own experiment in making a fusion quilt for my granddaughter. A fusion quilt brings together the two worlds of quilting and crochet and is a very satisfying make indeed.
So out comes the sewing machine. Now this old friend has been with me for many years as it was my 21st birthday present a very long time ago. Although it’s had a lot of use over the years, not much of that has been recent. It is like riding a bicycle though (actually I can’t do that but let’s not dwell here) and you soon remember how it all works.
For this project I definitely wanted unicorns and soon found some pretty fabric in a local shop along with a toning piece for the backing. Also required is a piece of quilting wadding. A metre of each is enough to cut forty two six inch squares. Apologies here for flitting from metric to imperial but that’s how it is. I laid all three fabrics together, marked the cutting lines using a long steel rule and cut through the layers all together.
Your fabrics need to be r side to r side with the wadding square under neath and then they are ready to stitch.
Machine about half an inch from the edge leaving a gap down one side for turning them through. Clip the corners across to reduce the bulk of the seam then turn the fabric through the gap in the stitching. This makes a wadding sandwich with fabric as the bread on both sides.
The next step is to top stitch around each square which also closes the little gap.
When all the squares are finished you will have a very satisfying pile of neat wadded pieces ready for the next stage.
I found the next bit the most tedious part of this project as each square needs to have blanket stitch applied to the edges and it takes ages. I chose crochet cotton for this job but I dare say you could use thin yarn. It’s very important to give each edge the same number of stitches. Mine had sixteen plus the corners. I started off with a piece of measured and marked paper pinned to the fabric as a guide but quickly abandoned it and did it by eye which was much quicker and easier.
At last it’s time to pick up the crochet hook again! I edged each square with two rounds of double crochet, making extras to turn the corners.
At this point I was very good and paused to sew in all the ends, quite a task. Then at last it was time to start the joining. Now as I said before there is a perfectly good tutorial for this so just head over to the link above and I’m sure you will find it as easy to follow as I did. What a joy to be back in the soothing rhythm of continuous crochet!
I really loved making this join and there is no need to worry if you find your count is slightly out here and there. It can be fudged and made to look right. Crochet is so forgiving isn’t it?
To finish the quilt I chose a deep border which compliments the join. It’s based on number 74 in that great border book by Edie Eckman ‘Around the corner Crochet borders’.
This is my finished quilt which is six squares by seven squares.
And that’s it, my first fusion quilt. If you fancy having a go then I really hope you will. The continuous join makes all the difference I think as I really could not face stitching all those squares together. The lacy look is just what I wanted.
Enjoy your crochet,