Over a week ago, somebody over on Facebook asked how I’m joining my motifs together – single crochet, slip stitch, sewing? So I promised some pics and guidance, and it’s taken me this long to get round to it 😀
I join my flowers together in essentially three different ways (all US terms).
Firstly, slip stitch:
In the middle of the picture here, see the green, joining the top and bottom motifs together? There’s a slip knot you can see towards the right hand side, which is where I started (the ends aren’t shown in, which is why it’s so visible). Then I worked the two pieces together, back sides facing each other, until I reached the end of a ‘side’. I then moved on to a third motif, which you can see on the left hand side (purples and black), which I joined onto the top motif in the same way.
I like the slip stitch joins because it’s very neat, and it means all three colours (motif one, motif two, and join) can be clearly seen. For something like this, where it’s a colour bonanza, that’s a lovely bonus 😀 it isn’t an entirely ‘flat’ join, but I’m not trying to make this cushion cover entirely flat, so that’s okay.
Secondly, single crochet join:
Here, the join is in light brown, between the top and bottom motifs. Similarly to the slip stitch join, I put two motifs together, back sides facing each other, and worked single crochets through both loops of the stitches on each flower. This is slightly less of a ‘neat’ join, in that once it’s flattened out, the ‘back’ of the stitches can look a little sloppy sometimes. But sometimes that’s not a bad thing!
See how it creates a contrast with the colours of each flower? And when I’m going around a ‘petal’, it can create a lovely extra curve in the fabric. This piece is all about curves and curls, so I do like using this join at times. It’s especially useful when I’ve joined motifs into a group and then find I’ve managed to leave just a little bit of room between two flowers – not enough to do a slip stitch join, or to add an extra round of single crochet, but just needing that little extra bit of leeway.
The third method – a hodgepodge combination of slip stitch and single/half-double/double crochet:
See the purple in the middle? I had a small gap, too small to bridge either with slip stitch or single crochet, but not quite big enough to justify working a row and then joining it with slip stitch. So I mixed the two methods together.
You can see on the right hand side where I started, with single crochet through both sides. I then stopped working through both sides, and instead worked a single crochet into the lower half of the fabric. I then slip stitched into the next stitch of the upper half of the fabric, and worked the next single crochet into the lower half of the fabric. Slip stitch into upper, then half double crochet into lower, sl st, dc, sl st, etc, until the gap was small enough again to work single crochet into both halves of the fabric.
It creates a slightly odd looking texture, but it settles as flat as the single crochet join, and it means fewer ends to sew in on this join. I will probably put some slip stitches or surface crochet over the top of those stitches, to add some extra pizazz to it (less is more? Not on this project!).
I’m doing no sewing of motifs together, with one exception: I am occasionally using an end to just draw together a stitch or two that’s gaping a little bit. If there’s a gap, say, where three ‘corners’ meet, I might draw an end across to reduce the gap just a little.
When do I join?
Regardless of what method I use, I join at two different times. I start off with a handful of individual motifs, and then I join them together into a group. Once I have a group, I work around the edges to ‘bulk up’ the group before then adding further motifs.
And then I start joining groups, and adding more individual motifs as I go along and fill up the space 🙂
So there you go. That’s how I’m doing it.
Progress has halted a little at the moment. I’ve got another project for which I have a deadline, so I’m working on that. And last week my mother came home from hospital after a really awfully long stint there – she broke her thigh and had to have major surgery, including rather a lot of metalwork. It was all a bit awful, really, and she’s still non-weight-bearing, so it’s a long road to recovery. This week has all been a bit frenetic and exhausting, and I’ve mostly put aside the cushion cover until I’ve got a bit more brain power. But hopefully within the next few days I shall get back to it 🙂