Creating Canvas – Crochet, Beads and Stitching

I have been experimenting for sometime with combining crochet and embroidery to create canvases to hang on the wall. Over the coming weeks I will share a series of images I have created in the last 6 months or so and talk about the inspiration for them.

As a starting point I thought it might be helpful to show how I take a finished piece of crochet and attach it to a canvas, ready to be displayed. This heart is a gift for my daughter to hang in her bedroom.


Before creating the filling for the heart, I loosely attach a piece of fabric to a canvas and tack down the outer frame or cordonet. I then create a series of Irish crochet and freeform shapes to fill the shape, using crochet cotton and 1 and 1.5mm hooks. Once complete I fill in the gaps between the shapes and connect them together using a combination of irish and freeform lace filling stitches. I then worked a row of dc over the cordonet I laid down for the frame. The filling was then stitched to the frame and I worked a scalloped edging around the frame to complete. This left me with the piece above. The next stage was to sew in all ends and steam block the heart to shape, ready for mounting.


There was a slight flaw in the canvas and I wanted a black background so I used a piece of surplus black lining fabric to cover it. I started by cutting a rectangle of the lining material that covered both the front of the canvas and the frame at the rear


I pinned the lining material to the canvas at the back and stapled it down, one side at a time, ensuring I kept the fabric taut. I also made sure the I tucked a small hem under to keep things looking neat.

imageThe next step was to pin the heart to the front of the covered canvas. I would normally iron the backing fabric but my daughter preferred the texture of the unironed material. I also played around with using beads to add a bit of sparkle to the finished heart. I then whip stitched the heart into place, working very carefully and keeping it taut to achieve a good finish. I used an earring that had lost its friend form the large gem and bent the post and used some invisible thread to keep it in place. For the other beads I rifled through my collection of random beads and old bits of jewellery that a lady at church kindly gave me. I think they finish the piece nicely.



Handmade Monday 110 – Developing a Crochet Medallion

Welcome to this week’s Handmade Monday, pop across to Handmade Harbour to join in, find out more or read lots of lovely crafty blogs around the world.

Useful hints and tips can be found….

For crochet bloggers:  there’s a great post about keywords over at the Crochet Liberation Front blog this week! I think you could take the advice and adapt it to any subject you blog about regularly though. I’m certainly going to take the tips on board and investigate the power of SEO .

Advice on attracting new readers:  Knitrun4sanity has a great post this week about increasing your readership – another source of great advice which I need to work on implementing.

Inspired by Spirit…

This week I’ve been playing with ideas around the theme of “Spirit” , the current #creativebeings prompt. I want to make a mixed crafts – knitting, crochet, beads – wrap / throw or perhaps waistcoat based on the theme of spirit as a bridging piece between full structure and freeform. Its still very much in the dreaming / sketching stages as yet. The emphasis for this piece will be on the experience of Spirit in Faith and the first motif is based on the Trinty –  Father, Son and Holy Ghost. The colour grey really appeals to me for this project as Spirit is often described as misty, ethereal and unseen -with beads and maybe sequins to  add the light and the corner of the eye effect. I’ve designing motifs around spiritual concepts that appeal to me without beads initially so I am confident about the pattern before adding them.Here’s the first:

Trinity Hexagon

If you’d like to make it please remember it is designed for those at an intermediate to advanced skill level as a stepping off point for your own creativity.   If you scroll to the bottom of the page, you can download the pattern there.

I’ve photographed the stages to explain how it was done:

1. Making The 1st Inner Circle

Step 1




2. Adding the 2nd Circle

Step 2



3. Completing the Trinity

Step 3




4. Adding the First Round of the Motif

Step 4




5 &6. Forming the Corners

Steps 5&6



7. Final Round

Step 7





If you’d prefer a pattern, you can download it: Trinity Hexagon– please note there are no photo’s on the pattern, it is written instructions only.

This is my first photo tutorial and I’m sure I’ve made some mistakes, so I’d really welcome your feedback please 🙂

Handmade Monday 100 – Experimentally Cross

Welcome to Handmade Monday 100 –  Wendy has some special treats over at Handmade Harbour, so please feel free to take a look and maybe even join us!

I’ve mentioned before that I’m embarking on a design series based around the theme of hope, which will run alongside a series of blog posts that will detail my journey  – the first one was posted on Thursday and I’m looking for guest bloggers and people who want to share experiences of hope who might be interested in contributing.

I’m starting to research symbols that signify hope for a later post and also to help me with the design process and the most obvious to me and it seems many others, even those without a faith, is a cross. I want to make portable gifts that symbolise hope and the cross suggested itself as a good place to start.

I also feel really drawn to experimenting with wire and beads when crocheting small symbolic items – things that will make pendants, charms and key rings for example. So yesterday morning I duly dug out my reel of silver beading wire – previously rewound and detangled  – and my pot of random beads – mostly picked up from the floor when my crafting table collapsed!

I started off with a centre circle with a bead inside and built the cross up around it. I’d been doodling crosses before, and having recently read a novel about anglo saxon life which included the early church, noticed there were some celtic and early Christian influences creeping in. I placed one seed bead per stitch and basically let the cross form itself and this is the result:


I need to do a bit of work on trying to get the stitches more even and the beads to sit better. Once I’ve solved that then the big challenge will be photography! I got some great advice from lots of facebook friends which meant I ended up with an image that I could show, so am very grateful to them 🙂

Handmade Monday 78 – Weddings

Welcome to this week’s Handmade Monday blog, you can find out more about Handmade Monday and how to join in over at  Handmade Harbour, a blog thats well worth reading in itsown right too!  And if you’re not a blogger yet….. pop over and be inspired by a wide range of crafters from across the globe, its worth it :-)

I like to feature work from other crafters on my blog from time to time and from the feedback I’ve had from my readers they like it too. So today I’m going to concentrate on weddings.

Inspire Create and Celebrate

I’m part of a Hampshire Crafters Co-operative, Inspire, Create and Celebrate, and as well as a lovely new website designed by Sharon and Jackie, we also have a facebook page, set up and maintained beautifully by Kirstie. Our aim is help people add a personal touch to celebrations that doesn’t cost the earth and to share ideas, hints and tips that mean people can still have a wonderful day, but on a lower budget. So as well as making to order for Brides, we also upcycle, recycle and I think most importantly run taster workshops where we can start passing on our skills. Our first wedding workshop  is Saturday 8th September in Southampton and if you’d like to come along, please pop across to the website and sign up.

Our talented team: Jackie, Kirstie, Sharon, Maria and myself bring a wide range of craft skills as you’ll see from the photo’s and info below:

Jackie Noyce – Aussie Jax

Jackie is a fantastic florist, who not only creates wonderful displays in both real and silk flowers but also passes on her skills via regular floristy workshops and taster sessions across the city. Her facebook page is an excellent resource for brides and full of Jackie’s personal top tips to help you plan and organise your special day. I first met Jackie at a “start your own business” event when we were both taking our first steps to setting up and its been really great to see her business grow and flourish, as she juggles it with the demands of bringing up her family.

Wedding Flowers by Aussie Jax

Sharon Griffin and Maria Martinez – Crafting Cronies

I met Sharon following on from a newspaper feature about how I use crafts to overcome the symptoms my spinal condition causes. She contacted me because she too was recovering from a long term illness and wanted to know more about starting her own crafting business, so I popped round for coffee and the rest was history! When we had our first ICC meeting Maria came along too and wowed us with her beading. Sharon specialises in paper crafts, sewing and knitted headbands.

Sharon recently shared her feelings and inspiration for becoming involved in ICC and wanting to make peoples’ celebrations special:

I’ve been to a number of weddings over the years and the ones that stick out in my mind the most are the ones where the Bride and Groom have added their own finishing touches. I couldn’t tell you what the brides dress looked like but I can tell you that the bunting and the little pots of homemade jam favours and the twinkling trees to hang our best wishes on to,  were all wonderful finishing touches to a contemporary cottage style wedding.
The weddings with a theme tend to be well thought out too, another wedding had a Safari theme where the tables each had a picture of a wild animal on them and the children played games and had their face painted (if they wished) to carry on with the theme. The 1st song to get everyone on the dance floor was Tiger Feet!
Yes the bride wants to look a knock out on her big day and she has every right too, and yes the compliments will flow, but long after the day people will talk about the small finishing touches, that part of ‘you’ that has gone into ‘your’ day, that’s what sets your wedding apart from high street.
Helping friends and relatives making up collages, putting slide shows together, making wedding stationery that shows a part of their personality that’s the part I enjoy most.

Designs by Crafting Cronies

Kirstie Turner – Pandora Style Jewellery

Kirstie is another team member who uses craft to help her overcome the symptoms of chronic pain. Like me, she has had to make the difficult transition from nurse to patient and also struggles with the all too common lack of understanding people show to those who look well – total disbelief that anything can be wrong. Kirstie devotes her time to both fundraising for local charities, running a facebook charity and fundraisers group and helping at the local RSPCA clinic, often bring sick and injured animals home to hand rear, joining her extensive menagerie of rescued parrots and parakeets. Her jewellery is simple but stunning and she has taken courses in silver smithing and silver clay too. All Kirstie’s profits go to charities, so by buying your jewellery from her, not only to you come to own something beautiful, you also help keep 4 charities afloat: the local RSPCA vet clinic, Down to Earth Community Farm in Southampton, Birdline and DEBRA.

Kirstie’s inspiration to create arises from the car accident that changed her life:

The name  PandoraStyleJewellery came about due to my love of Greek Mythology and as I was starting this hobby as a point of focus in my life to help me with me rehabilitation following a car accident, so at a time when I needed ‘Hope’, I felt the inclusion of the name Pandora was fitting given that Hope was the only thing left in Pandora’s Box; and all I had!

Here’s a selection of her beautiful creations:

Designs by Pandora Style Jewellery

Bev Newman – Bits and Bobs Crafts

My passion for creating special occasion accessories and clothing has developed from a love of vintage. I discovered the antique pattern library a few years ago and found a whole world of beautiful crochet and knitting, most of which was hidden from the world as it was part of ladies’ lingerie.  I’ve been experimenting with lace crochet and knitting ever since. I also remember when I was a bridesmaid for my cousin Irene – her oldest daughter is getting married next week – my Aunt Joyce was a seamstress and made all our bridesmaids dresses – I still have mine somewhere! I remember her making the head dresses too as I was a “dummy” for the little bridesmaids and have fond memories of an evening, not long after Mum died, trying on hairbands and juliet caps until the decision was made. I also inherited a now far too tempermental singer sewing machine, one stitch only, made in 1924 from my great aunt. It had been her neighbour Ethel’s before and she had made “umpteen” wedding and bridesmaids dresses for local ladies over the years. So I suppose the idea of handmade weddings is somehow ingrained too!
I’ve been working on crochet decorations so far but am starting a new project this week, upcycling a basic white top and skirt with vintage style crochet lace to make a bridal outfit. I’m also designing a 20′s style bridal handbag and am just finishing a lace wrist cuff.

I love the concept behind ICC – especially as we get to work with brides and their families to pass on skills and who knows where that may lead for them too in the future!

Wedding Designs by Bits and Bobs Crafts