Hello and welcome to Patchwork House . . . . .
my little corner of the world in South Yorkshire, England, where you will find me addicted to colour and playing with yarn!

28 April 2017

Flower Garden CAL

Good morning friends and a happy Friday to you all!
You may remember that over the past few months
 I was working on a secret project?
 Well at last the day has arrived
 and I am allowed to share with you what it is all about!

I am going to be leading the new Crochet Along (CAL)
 launched today by

It is a beautiful blanket of flowers
made in my colour recipe called Flower garden,
using a pattern written by Lynne Rowe.
The pattern involves making 3 different types of squares, 
joining them and making a border.
 It is made in Stylecraft Special Aran
 with a 5mm hook, in beautiful colours.
The completed blanket is approximately 108cm square.

 It is suitable for anyone who has mastered the art of crochet
 and is ready for a fun project. The pattern is clearly written
 and will be released in 4 installments on the Knitting Network website.
 I will be helping you all along
 with photos being posted each week
 on my blog Facebook page and Instagram.

You can join the Facebook Group
to take part in the fun.

You can follow me on Facebook HERE
and find my Instagram feed HERE

It starts on 12th May 2017, so you will need to get organised.
 Yarn packs can be purchased
and you will need a 5mm hook.

I look forward to chatting with you all in the group
 and sharing the colourful fun!

happy hookin friends, hope you are as excited as I am!
x x x

26 April 2017

Spring Inspiration

Hello its good to be back in blogland!
I've been absent a while and feel I owe you all an apology and an explanation! I am so lucky to have many loyal followers all around the world, who check in daily on Facebook and Instagram looking for a mugshot or a burst of colour. I really value your comments and support, your interest in my makes and your concern for my health. It's been a pleasure to get to know many of you who comment frequently and who also live life with health issues.

We are now settled into our new home and are enjoying walking daily in the local countryside. Since Christmas my time has been taken up with concentrating on improving my health. As you know I live with Lupus and have been inactive for 18 months whilst dealing with pain and fatigue. I am very pleased to say that at last I have found medication which seems to be working and I am now able to go out most days. Part of my condition is also coping with the mental exhaustion experienced when dealing with extra things. 

4 months ago I joined Slimming World with the aim of gaining some control over my life. Living with Lupus means that I often feel out of control as my immune system is busy fighting my own body, causing me pain and exhaustion. Making changes to my diet and now eating healthily, has helped me to lose nearly 2 stone (23 pounds). I am feeling so well and happy and am enjoying my new way of life.

As my head was so full of planning meals, shopping and cooking and walking,
 there was little time and energy left for blogging. Sadly I had to take a break!
 But the good thing is I'm now back,
 full of energy and a new zest for my crochet work!
 I have still been hooking in the background,
 as you know crochet is my therapy and helps me to relax.

The lovely colours of Spring have been a real inspiration to me lately. Watching the Rectory garden wake up after the long cold winter has been such fun! We have had many types of daffodils and shrubs in bloom and its been such a pleasure to fill jugs with flowers from the garden.

For a while now I've had this colour recipe in my head
 and I've really enjoyed making this baby blanket.
 Inspired by daffodils I used
Stylecraft Special DK in
spring green

Beautiful Shells is a free pattern on Ravelry
and you can find it

I have worked 2 rows in each colour,
 the foundation row and then the shells.

It is really easy when you get the hang of it and grows very quickly!
I must admit that mine did not lie flat when first made,
 but after a wash I pulled it into shape and dried flat it came out fine.

This blanket is addictive! No sooner had I finished it and my head switched to pink! Walking daily and watching the beautiful spring blossoms emerging against the blue skies, I soon had an idea for a second baby blanket!

This time I used Stylecraft Special DK
 fondant, candyfloss, pistachio and cypress
 with cloud blue as a background.

It is oh so pretty!
Imagine my delight when I found this matching mug!

So I now have 2 baby blankets in my stash,
 always handy to keep in for presents!

Its great to be back with you, my dears!
I've been working on some secret projects behind the scenes here at Patchwork House. Soon very soon, I will be able to share these with you, its all very exciting!

So now I'm in control of my new lifestyle, I am hoping to create a working routine for myself. We start each day with an early walk after breakfast, then into my craft room it will be. Mornings writing and dealing with my social media sites, then afternoons filled with yarn and hooky!
Lets see how this works! I have plans to improve and update my blog, bringing you more colour recipes, which you have all grown to love!

I'm off now to work on my granny squares,
 with the new vintage shades of Stylecraft Special DK.

Do keep watching this progress,
 I will be writing a blog post called The Beginners Blanket,
 teaching how to make squares, join them and finish with a border.

Wishing you all a happy hooky week
x x x

24 January 2017

Stylecraft Extra Special

If you are thinking that this delicious bright blanket
 looks familiar, well you are quite right!

Last summer, myself and the other Stylecraft Blogstars,
 were all working with the new Batik yarn.
I made a blanket using the wisteria block by Jan Eaton,
 in all the rainbow shades and it was very popular.
If you missed the original post you can read it

Stylecraft Batik

In fact it was so popular,
 I received many requests from crocheters,
 asking for an alternative in a non wool yarn
 and a more affordable option.
So here is my response for you!

I have chosen to work with
This is our much loved Stylecraft Special DK
 which comes in 8 shades with a fleck in it.
Of course it has the softness and washability we all love
 and comes in 100g balls at the normal affordable price.

For my squares I have used

the pattern I am again using is the
 wisteria block
 from the book
 200 Crochet Blocks by Jan Eaton

These shades are absolutely delightful,
 so bright and remind me of jewels!
I made as many squares as I could from the 6 balls
 and then made the largest blanket possible.

For joining I chose parchment
 from the regular Special DK range

The pattern in the book has 7 rounds,
I stopped after round 5
and used my joining colour for round 6.
(I did not make round 7 at all.)

The squares were then arranged in a random manner.
I like to play crochet sudoku
and try to arrange them so that there is only 1
 of any colour in each row or column!

For joining my squares, I have again used the method of crocheting together
 from the back, using UK dc through both loops.
 This makes a strong join with a ridge on the back.
 You can follow my tutorial for this joining method

When joining begins something magic happens
 and flowers appear where the 4 corners meet!
 This was a happy accident that I discovered,
 but please note it only works if you omit round 7 of the pattern!

As you will see the blanket is full of pattern
as the holes in the squares form diagonal lines across the blanket.

Every blanket deserves a border to frame it.
First I made 1 round of trebles around the whole blanket,
then I chose border 27 from the book
Around the Corner by Edie Eckman.
You can buy these books from Amazon,
follow the link on my sidebar to have a look.

I am frequently asked if I block my squares.
My answer is no, I am lucky enough to have flat squares straight off my hook.
 However I always wash my blankets to help settle the joins.
 This has the effect of blocking
 and a certain magic happens when you wash the blankets too!
 I just use my regular soap powder and fabric softener
 and wash at 30 degrees, following the instructions on the ball band, 
then I tumble dry on LOW. 
The result is a beautifully soft flat blanket!

I hope this leaves your fingers twitching and wanting to create!
If you do have a go, dont forget to share photos of your makes,
 either in my Facebook group called Crochet Inspired by The Patchwork Heart
 or on Instagram use the #inspiredbythepatchworkheart
 for a chance to be featured on my Sunday Spot!

wishing you a relaxing hooky time

This post was sponsored by Stylecraft Yarns

11 January 2017

Wrap Around Cushion Cover Tutorial

How to make a wrap around granny square cushion cover.

This is the easiest, fastest cushion cover,
 that I have ever made and it is such fun!

1. Make a granny square using as many colours as you wish.
Please notice that my square is perfectly square
 and does not have that horrid twist that some people find in their work.
If you would like to find out how I make my granny square
 and learn a useful trick, you can read my tutorial

2. Keep making your granny square
 until it is big enough to wrap around your cushion.
 Note that when placed diagonally on the square
 the diagonal of the cushion is the same length as my square.

3. Wrap the square around the cushion,
 noticing that I have a little gap between the edges.
 This is perfect as a little stretch to join the edges,
 will ensure a perfect snug fit on your cushion.

4. Crochet together the 2 edges starting from the corner.
I have used UK dc through both loops for a good strong join.
If this method is new to you, you may like to read a joining tutorial

5. This makes a ridge on the top. 
Notice how I continued over the centre onto the 2nd half.

6. Join again in the 2nd direction, crocheting over the previous join.
(If preferred you could sew the edges together.)

7. Tadaa! Now you have a cushion cover!

8. You can choose to join using your last colour
 or an alternative colour for a different effect.

9. This really does make a perfectly shaped cushion
 with 90 degree corners and perpendicular sides.
 Its is so easy and addictive, beware you will make many!

Patchwork House is full of cushions!
I will always make more!

 If you have enjoyed my tutorial, please consider making a small donation,
 to support my work here at Patchwork House. 
You will find a PayPal donate button on the sidebar.
 My tutorials are all written for free and I post frequently on
 to bring colour into your days.

Have fun hooking these beauties



7 January 2017

Quotes to encourage and inspire

Hello my hooky friends
wishing you all a happy Saturday!

Here at Patchwork House my day started in my favourite way,
 with a long sit surrounded by my yummy crochet,
 accompanied by teas and coffees till I felt ready to move!
 I hope that you too are able to find
 that much needed therapeutic hooky time today.

Over the years it has become my trademark
 to post mug shots of my mug matching my crochet.
 When I dared to suggest that I might change my posts 
a few years, ago I was flooded with pleas to continue!

To thank you all for being there,
 (as without your loyal following my work would have no purpose),
this year I have decided to produce for you
a series of quotes, set on these images you love so much.
Quotes to inspire and encourage, that you may use.
Please feel free to save them on your Pinterest or post them on your sites.
It is my aim to encourage others.

I can't work as a school teacher anymore
 but I can post pictures of my crochet to inspire and encourage others!
Many of you will know that the last 2 years have been difficult for me,
 faced with chronic illness and having to take early retirement from a job I loved.
It's a long road of constant blood tests and trying new medication,
dealing daily with pain, exhaustion and fatigue,
 hoping that eventually one day I will find something
 to stabilise my connective tissue disorder,
 which will enable me to have a better quality of life.

In the mean time I've decided, that the only way forward for 2017,
 is to stop grieving for the past and move forward!
 So with my positive pants on,
 I am encouraging myself as much as you, by making these quotes!

So I will indulge myself in colour

beautiful mugs 

and enjoy every moment of what I do.
I am so blessed to be able to crochet full time
and to have you share my journey.

Crochet is such therapy,
 with the concentration needed,
 the constant counting takes my mind off pain
 and provides excellent exercise for my sore swollen hands.

Its not going to be easy
but Ive got a big smile today
and am looking forward to what 2017 has to bring!

I have created a page for these quotes
 which you can access easily
 from the menu at the top right of the blog.
Take a look
So do check back regularly to see new ones added each week.
You can also find these on my Facebook page in an album

I wish you all a happy weekend.
Don't forget to squeeze in some colourful crochet therapy

with love

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