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 118 – Blooming Marvellous

Welcome to Handmade Monday. Please remember to pop over to Handmade Harbour and read the posts of crafters the world over or……even better join in 🙂

Today I spent a lovely few hours at Hobbycraft crocheting flowers.  I came over all horticultural and decided to go for making the elements for a string of bunting based on the white garden at Sissinghurst – all waiting to be blocked now:

Image1 Image2

I’ve photoshopped the close up flower to show the true colour of the green yarn 🙂

Image3Along the way I also helped 2 lovely ladies with their crochet conundrums and advised a couple more about beginners projects. And hopefully helped sell a couple of books.  The best of the 2 I worked on was ’50 sunflowers to knit, crochet & felt’. Its on my wishlist now too 🙂

It made a nice change from my current wips:

A waistcoat knit in one piece top down that I’ve designed for me – not able to photograph this yet as its not possible to spread it out without losing all the stitches and as its lace I’m sure you’ll understand 🙂

A set of nesting bowls in videotape for an exhibition day at Southampton Central Library on Wednesday – the Eco fair


And ‘Beauty from the Scrap Heap’ a freeform knitted and crocheted piece using swatches, practice pieces and demonstration pieces. I’m connecting them with crazy crochet lace and should finish tonight if all goes to plan! It has flowers, hearts and even an owl lurking in its midst and I am planning a competition for kids along the lines of how many …….can you see?


4kcbwday7 Looking Forward

Sorry this is late but it turned out to be an emotional and exhausting weekend sorting out the bungalow with Dad, deciding what to keep, what to store and what to throw. And closing the front door for the last time was very  hard. As was coming back and knowing that Dad was staying in the care home permanently. I’ve no idea of the number of families I supported towards making the decision when I was nursing but what I do know is that I totally under estimated just how hard it is to do.

So I think my looking forward is not going to be as strictly skills based as I’d intended…


WaterWater centre


As regular readers know I’ve been on quite an artistic journey and have been working on more freeform crochet and knitting projects often inspired by Devon scenery.



This access to the natural world and the rugged beauty of Dartmoor is having some influence on my current thinking as I’m considering  a move back to Devon,   to be closer to Dad. Having done a bit of research and wandering around I’ve also discovered that along side this beautiful and inspiring back drop that there . is a vibrant creative community established in a nearby little town too….so in theory from a work point of view it would be a good move. But the overall pull is purely emotional, so I think it is wiser to sit with the decision and see how I feel in 6 weeks or so and not rush headlong into a move…

But to give you an idea of  why the village itself inspires me so much creatively this is virtually the same view Dad has from his window now.  And a a view I’ve always loved where ever we’ve lived in the village:

The hill in the background is called Ugborough Beacon and is something of a local weather station… if the “beacon has its hat on” – in other words the top is lost in cloud, we know we’re about to get very wet! Over the year it changes its clothes regulalry, currently its a sort of brackenish brown, but through the year is moves through  greens, gorse yellows and white… its especially pretty in winter!

So I hope that if  I feel my decision is the right on and all goes to plan I’ll be writing for the next Knitting and Crochet blog week from a kitchen table in sunny Devon, with views over Dartmoor and the tumbling River Avon in easy reach …. and my work will be increasingly freeform based and highly influenced by the natural world around me…

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 🙂