When last we scrapped happily together, we had finished doing the blanket stitching around the outside of the squares.
The blanket stitch is attractive in its own right but its real purpose is to serve as the base of the crocheting. Without the crocheting this would be just a bunch of cute squares but we’d have to use them as coasters.
I am absolutely not going to try and teach you how to crochet! I have seen the crocheting many of you do and me teaching you would be like the local yoga instructor trying to teach Gandhi about meditation.
I am an accidental crocheter at best. I learned out of desperation while living in a cheap motel for 6 weeks, with no access to my chosen crafts.
I know three stitches—slip stitch, single crochet and double crochet. I could learn more stitches but the truth is I don’t even really enjoy crochet. I have a death grip on the hook and my hand is always sore. I do it now only as a means to an end, the fusion quilt.
All of this is said to make the point that the crochet on fusion squares can be simple and basic and, even if you don’t already know anything about crochet, you could learn enough, quickly, to make a quilt like this. If you don’t have a friend you can teach you the basics, the internet is full of tutorials. That’s how I learned.
On the other hand, if you already now what you’re doing, you could do something way more complicated and interesting for the borders on your squares and make the crochet a bigger part of the look of your quilt.
What I’ve done around my squares is start with single crochet and do one stitch in each opening created by the blanket stitch. I go around once and then I go around again and do a double crochet stitch into each single crochet. At the corners, though, I do three double crochets into one corner stitch, to create the fan shape that eases around the corner.
Like I said, super simple, super basic. But the possibilities are endless for the crocheting. If you want ideas, search on Pinterest for “fusion quilt.”
After you’ve done all these steps on all your squares (however may that is—for me, it’ll be about 112, if I remember correctly), the time will come to crochet everything together. At some point, I’ll tell you what’s entailed in that, although you can probably figure it out.
My progress to date is:
20 squares finished and blocked*
12 squares finished but not blocked
6 squares blanket stitched and ready for crochet
5 squares ready for blanket stitch and then crochet.
* The blocking of these squares makes a huge difference. I lay the crocheted squares face down on my ironing board and use pins in the four corners to slightly stretch and flatten the edges. I spritzed them with a water bottle and leave them to dry.
ScrapHappy is open to anyone using up scraps of anything – no new materials. It can be a quilt block, pincushion, bag or hat, socks or a sculpture. Anything made of scraps is eligible. If your scrap collection is out of control and you’d like to turn them into something beautiful instead of leaving them to collect dust in the cupboard, why not join us on the 15th of each month? Email Kate at the address on her Contact Me page. She welcomes new members. You don’t have to worry about making a long term commitment or even join in every month, just let Kate or Gun know a day or so in advance if you’re new and you’ll have something to show, so they can add your link. Regular contributors will receive an email reminder three days before the event.
Here are the links for everyone who joins ScrapHappy from time to time (they may not post every time, but their blogs are still worth looking at).
Kate, Gun, Titti, Heléne, Eva, Sue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, Sandra, Linda, Chris, Nancy, Alys, Kerry (that’s me), Claire, Jean,
Joanne, Jon, Hayley, Dawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline and Sue L.
It’s wonderful you’ve found a purpose for those too pretty to toss embellished fabric bits. Thank you for giving a shout out to blocking. I found recently that not enough quilters know about this technique. The quilter I told about it looked at me like I had discovered fire.
I know that, in my quilting, I have never, ever blocked anything! It is only because the crochet wants to curl that I started doing it. it makes a huge improvement!
Same reason I started blocking my quilts
Progress, progress… And definitely blocked please! Looking forward to seeing the individual pieces come together next 🙂
Well, it’ll be a while before they start being crocheted together, truth to tell. I want to finish all the squares so I can then play a little with the layout . . . and that means finishing something like 70-80 more . . . eek.
Another gorgeous Fusion Quilt in the works. Would you tell/show a picture of what you’re using for the crochet? I bought something recently for this purpose but it seemed to heavy and weighty for the purpose ~ thank you Kerry 🙂
It’s perle (or mercerized) cotton and I originally got it for weaving. But it’s perfect for this, too. The blanket stitching is done in a weight called 5/2 and the crochet is done in 3/2–it’s slightly heavier. The 3/2 is about the same weight as Aunt Lydia’s size 3 crochet yarn, which you can buy in the big craft stores, but there’s no Aunt Lydia equivalent to the the 5/2. I buy mine online at Yarn Barn of Kansas. https://www.yarnbarn-ks.com/Cotton-perle/products/740/
These look so pretty and the crochet did need blocking didn’t it.
It really did. I was a little horrified, when I first started crocheting and saw how bad it looked, unblocked!
Simple but oh so lovely.
Thanks, Laurie–each little block has its appeal.
So crochet’s not for you? Oddly, it’s the only textile-craft I’m even half way competent at. Perhaps I should revive this half-remembered skill, so I can be a proper member of Team Hands at Home.
Margaret, you are always going to be considered a critical member of Team Hands at Home, whether you crochet or not! But why not give it a whirl?
Do you know, I think I will …. when I have the time ….. I did actually enjoy it. I made my then toddler son a woolly bear of a coat once, so I can’t have been all that bad, or all that idle.
Thank you for explaining the steps on crocheting around your scrap blocks. You make it easy for me to try it out. I have some damask napkins that need a purpose.
I’m so pleased that this might be of use to you!
Lots of progress, and a wonderful mixture of scrappiness to make the quilt interesting and lively. Do you also have brighter pieces that will demand a brighter edging, or is it all soft and pale because it’s derived from vintage linens?
It’s all pretty much soft and pale. There are bright spots of color, like the cherries and berry, but I’m sure I’ll do the off-white edging like the last time.
A perfect use for old materials! I do like the blocked squares. Beautiful work, Kerry!
Thanks, Lavinia! It makes me really happy to be able to showcase these pretty scraps!
I really like all the different skills involved with this quilt… I’m almost tempted to make one…
Go for it!! And, yes, the range of skills is partly why i find it appealing–no need to feel bored because you can just move to a different step.
Simple is often best I find. Blocking makes a huge difference in my opinion. Even acrylic yarn benefits from a few pins and a spritz of water. It’s looking gorgeous.
If I could crochet like you can, I might be tempted to go for a fancier edging but the simple one works fine. And I can manage it!
I think this “scrap happy” business is a great idea. I look at all the denim jeans my daughters give to the local charity shops and think of ways they could be reused. Back in my youth, we used to make purses from of our old jeans or remove the inside seams and craft skirts. The really clever among my girlfriends made “Prairie” skirts. Remember those? Add some embroidery or trim the edges with simple crochet and voila – new from old. We need to do more of this if we’re going to keep crap out of landfills. Scrappy scrappers scrap on!
I remember all those uses for old jeans–we were so DARN cool back then!! One of my weaving goals (eek–too many of those) is a rag rug made of strips of sturdy fabric, like denim.
Great progress! And thank you for the steps for the edging, I need it spelled out for when I do this too.
That will be fun, seeing what you come up with! Two women in my sewing group snapped up the fusion quilt technique and made their own versions. One woman used pretty, new fabrics and the other used squares she had embroidered and then didn’t know what to do with. Very different, both, from my approach but so effective!
the crochet border really makes for a very pretty effect!
Thanks–I think it maintains the soft, vintage vibe from the scraps of old linens.
Perfect idea for the fusion quilt.
Thank you! I had been searching, for a long time, for a way to use those vintage scraps!
I am now seriously considering purchasing some pretty tea towels that I can cut up and repurpose into a fusion quilt. Or maybe just some fabric that isn’t overly colourful …….
A friend of mine bought some quilting cotton with a soft cabbage rose pattern and made the squares and alternated the print with sold in similar colors. And she used a deep pink for the crochet. It’s beautiful!!
Aha!! Coincidentally I am visiting my LFS this very morning ……..
Oh, well done!
I can’t wait to see the quilt whole. The individual squares are so charming.
They are, aren’t they? That’s what maintains my interest in this whole undertaking.
It’s going to be another beauty!
The first time around, I wasn’t sure I’d like the end result but this time I know what to expect!
Another vote for blocking from me, I’m afraid! It’s all coming along beautifully. And on the crochet front, have you considered trying a different type of hook? My crochet comfort was considerably enhanced when I switched to these ergonomic hooks and there are plenty of other choices too. 😀 https://www.addineedles.co.uk/addi-swing-109-p.asp
Those crochet hooks look like toothbrushes! Thanks for the link–I’ll keep my eyes open . . . but I am still not sure crochet is ever going to really be my thing. Weaving seems to be . . .
it’s good to know where our clear passions and strengths lie – and there is no doubt about your weaving prowess!
They are coming along! Doesn’t blocking make such a difference? When I teach something like hand applique I love to see students’ faces when I show them how to block!
I never even considered blocking for quilting before but, yes, it can change everything!
Hmmm…they would make lovely coasters and certainly add some class to the cocktail hour.
Yes, but it would be a shame for me to have to kill the first person to spill red wine on them . . . 😉
well done, it’s going to be beautiful. I think your simple crochet is perfect, anything more would detract from the vintage squares.
That’s what I tell myself, since the crochet is as fancy as it’s going to get! Glad you agree!
These fusion quilts are absolutely breathtaking. I do not know how to crochet, but I think I need to learn. I don’t know who is getting this second quilt of yours, but I hope s/he knows how lucky they are to be the recipient of such an heirloom.
Oh, I’m keeping both of these quilts. No way would anyone else appreciate them enough to make me happy. I have twin beds in a guest room and they’ll be perfect there. You could total learn how to crochet well enough to make a quilt like this!
Great progress! I went to Pinterest, to check it out …. wow ,all kinds of ideas! The little flowers in the corners are cute but I don’t think I would enjoy starching them to keep them that way. Simple is best in my opinion.
A friend of mine made a fusion quilt with blocks she had embroidered and she crocheted little flowers for every corner–not my idea of fun!
How lovely this is! Blocking definitely makes all the difference to the look of the square.
Thanks, Clare–I am a total convert to blocking!
I especially love the embroidered squares. And I love the scrap nature of the project; I need to check out what others in the group are making. I also hopped over to read how crocheting saved your life (great title and post).
I wrote that post about crocheting saving my life very early on in my blogging days and I had almost no readers then so it makes me happy that you went back and read the post! I like the embroidered squares, too–they are very “hands at home”!
I’m terrible at crochet, and can’t knit at all. So that instruction about blocking is really useful for me, thank you. All I can manage is chain , double and treble, and broomstick. I really struggle with patterns.
However – I recently made myself a hooker ring, when I made a whole load of themed pieces for Wild About Wool – a festival of all things yarny at Poltimore House (super interesting local large manor house, dating back pre-tudor, that was most recently a residential home, after spending a period as ‘Exeter’s women’s hospital’) Turns out my most challenging part – after the counting, god how I struggle to count – is keeping the yarn tensioned. I’ve yet to get the rings properly in my Etsy shop because I sold out on day one (this has NEVER happened before, and was very exciting!!!! ) If you want to see what I’m talking about, take a look at my IG or FB accounts where the lovely @LilypondYarns demonstrated the use of the rings in multi-strand knitting (find me
at @DawnGillDesigns in fyou are interested)
That ring is super cool! I have never heard of such a thing before but I can see how it would be really useful. And how neat that you came up with the idea from remembering your grandmother’s special tool!
your post prompted me to properly list it this morning. It seemed to be a marmite idea at the fair, but just about everyone that gave it a go with hook(s) and wool loved it.
What wonderful progress you are making on these pretty squares. Your crochet stitches are wonderful. It is reminding me to get back to my scarf mini-granny squares. But autumn stitching jumped the queue!
Thanks, Jocelyn! Good luck with your granny squares–something always seems to jump the queue, doesn’t it!?
I do not need another project but these quilts of yours always tempt me! You are going to have some nice colors in this one–fun to put it all together. I hope you will post a photo of both quilts on their beds when you are all finished. So many lives went into these quilts. I wonder if all the women who embroidered these lovelies will haunt the dreams of anyone sleeping under them.
This one will have more color than the first, I think. In the first, I put all the whites/lights in the middle and the brights around the edges. If I have enough color, I’ll put them in the middle this time, just for a change. I’m hoping, if the women who did the sewing come to our dreams, it’s in as soothing a mood as they brought to their stitching!
Love these fusion quilts! Just the mere thought of collecting acceptable textiles is daunting. 🙂 Scrappy colored fabric quilts and now, textile scrap fusion quilts might just be my favorite types.
I love scrappy quilts, made from whatever leftovers. And collecting the textiles for the fusion quilts was, for me, just a sideline of selling vintage linens on Etsy–the damaged pieces simply added up. BUT if I were starting from scratch and wanted to make this sort of fusion quilt, I’d scour eBay for mixed lots of vintage linens. Some eBayers routinely sell dozens of old hankies or linens for very low prices.