Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Dahlia Crochet Cushion

As you may recall, while I was away for my week by the sea, I began a second crocheted flower cushion. You can see the beginnings of it in my holiday window seat here. It grew much more quickly and easily than my first version (even allowing for my difficulties with keeping an accurate count of anything over ten stitches!) It's exactly the same delightful Lucy of Attic 24 pattern as before which you can find on Lucy's blog here but in very different colours from my first rosy one. Not early-summery, pale pinks and lavenders, deep rose and crimson reds with light gooseberry greens and pale blues for contrast this time, but more late-summer-nudging-into-autumn colours.

The colours of dahlias and chrysanthemums - deep burgundies, wine reds, tawny golds and burnt oranges lightened with some soft white peach, apricot and old rose. Not my normal palette at all but very much my mother's and as it is a birthday present for her next month that is as it should be. I am really pleased with the result and I hope my mother will be too. (She doesn't read this so I am not spoiling any surprises by showing you an advance peep by the way.) I can't believe how different it looks from my first version. Of course it's obviously the same pattern and everything but its mood is different, if I can put it like that, and actually I have really enjoyed working with these very different colours.

I don't want to abandon my normal palette entirely but it's been really good to spend time with a different one for a change and making something for somebody else (whose colours I know these are) has been enormously liberating - it's taken all the angst about whether a departure from my colour norm will jar horribly with my other makes and silenced that whispering voice in the back of my head that would otherwise have kept saying "These colours are not you, Mrs T!" It's freed me just to enjoy the colours for their own sake. Very liberating indeed. Anyone else find this?

And the really interesting thing is that I've found, on finishing the said cushion, and returning to my hooky basket to start something new, that although I naturally gravitate back to colours I loved before, I am seeing them slightly differently. Although the ground is the same it is also subtly different if you see what I mean and I find myself wondering more experimentally and less predictably about colour choices than before this project. Interesting. I'd be fascinated to know if anyone else has had a similar experience with colour especially with colour that they wouldn't normally think was "them".

And just to echo my finished cushion the dahlias are in flower most spectacularly in my garden.

I love dahlias - they are so opulent and flamboyant and they are also user-friendly to grow - you stick the tubers in the ground and let them get on with it. My kind of plant! They don't like severe cold and I think you are supposed to lift the tubers in the autumn and replant them in the spring to avoid losing them in a very harsh winter but mine, I'm afraid, were left to take their chances. They are so beautiful this year though, that perhaps I must take the extra trouble this autumn. The only snag with their wonderful rich pom-pom heads is that their deep, soft petals appear to be favoured to an extraordinary degree by earwigs chilling out on holiday. I do not like earwigs. They are not exactly harmful creatures but they do bite and are not easy to trap and remove. The jug of dahlias in the pic had to remain outside until all vacationing earwigs had checked out - much to their disgruntlement!


  1. Fantastic cushion - lovely colours and your dahlias are beautiful. I planted mine late and so mine are only just about getting going - so I have dahlia envy! And of course envy your cushion . I must look the pattern up ! X

  2. The beautiful late summer colours in your cushion remind me of my grandmother's sitting room! Colour combinations are a fascinating thing to play with - sometimes a colour you're not keen on can be lifted by a tiny bit of your favourites.
    Pretty dahlias. I don't know why I don't have any in my garden.

  3. Your mother is going to love her present! Choosing colors has been on my mind lately because I'm itching to start another crochet project but haven't quite settled yet on what I want to do. I love both your cushions, and it is interesting how the colors give them such a different feel. And you don't know how covetous I am of your beautiful flowers -- thanks for sharing them:)

  4. Oh it is glorious - I'm sure your mother is going to love it. I am fairly fickle with my colour choices - there is no single palette identifiably mine, so I flirt with many. The only one I consistently struggle with using is purple/lilac.
    And I have flower envy - my dahlias are unaccountably puny this year.

  5. Dear E
    Wow, wow, wow! What amazingly beautiful colours, not just on the cushion but the dahlias too. Normally, I would choose pastels or blues, teal greens or purples, but those rich pinks, reds and burgundy colours are wonderful. I don't have any dahlias in my garden either - after seeing your photos, this is something I must rectify for next year! I bet your mum will love her present.
    Best wishes

  6. What a beautiful cushion - I'm sure your Mum love it, the colours are gorgeous! And thank you for all the dahlia pictures, I really enjoyed them, such majestic flowers x

  7. Elizabeth, that cushion is so beautiful, what a lovely gift for your mother. I personally really like the autumnal colours you chose. I definitely stick to a certain palate when crafting and need nudging out of my comfort zone. When I made that scarf in purples and lilacs (not my colours at all) I did find myself growing to like them. I think sometimes less colour is more too, and I have to really battle with myself not to use every colour available just because they are pretty! x

  8. Lucky Momma! She'll be in love, Elizabeth, it IS gorgeous. May have to give this pretty thing a go myself... I'd dig those sweet ladies up this fall. Their little faces and bonnets are too precious. Pleasant dreams.

  9. Hi Mrs. TT!
    Well done! I love the colors and your photos are great!
    Dahlias. I wish I had some!

  10. I love the colours you chose for this cushion, your mum will love it !
    I must have a try with the dahlias in my tiny garden, yours are beautiful!
    Love from France

  11. Hello - Colour and different colours together is everything for me - gardening, decorating, painting, and just seeing/looking.I don't necessarily choose colours that are 'mine' as such but fall in love with the combination. Often it is only later that I find that colours I have chosen (to work with) have also spilled over into my life. For example, I bought some of Oxford Kitchen Yarns hand died wool, decided to use the arran to make a bag - orange, yellow, mauve. My sandals broke and I replaced then with a blue/mauve pair. I bought a new pair of trousers for the summer and my children convinced me to get the orange ones. On a windy day my Mum lent me her scarf - orange and purple. I made blackberry icecream and it is a fab mauve and purple. Suddenly I am surrounded in orange and purple and I shall use the bag and not give it away.(Picture on my blog soon!)Hope to see you soon x

  12. A poem ....

    oh mrs T
    such beauty!
    The colours are lovely
    a true essence of the country!


  13. That cushion is fabulous, love it!

    And yes, the earwig problem, known to all dahlia growers! Like you I adore dahlias but can't abide earwigs, so I grow my dahlias in large patio containers and admire them through the window :)

  14. I love that cushion it is on my list of projects


Thank you so much for taking the time to visit me at Mrs TT's and comment. I love to read what you write.