#181 Inspired by a Sunflower Window

Thursday, January 21, 2016

My Sunflower Window
This block is from the HodgePodge Crochet Along Afghan Sampler.   It's called  Sunflower Window and the pattern was designed by Kimberlie Goodnough.  I've seen these 6 and 8 petal flowers on Pinterest (my Crochet Granny and Crochet Flowers Boards have some beauties on them) but it wasn't something that I was ready to attempt ... until this pattern showed up in the CAL (crochet along).  Then I knew I had to do it, right?  

Well, I'm super happy I branched out and let something new inspire my creativity! After crocheting the Sunflower Window block my wheels started turning.  It must be that designer thing ... you know ... you have to do things in 3's, or 5's or 7's ... the odds.  {smiles}  Ideas started whizzing around in my head before I'd even finished my Window ... I'd say that's a GREAT design!

Anyway, bit of a back story, for quite some time I've been wanting to use my Grandma's flower {one of the crochet flowers I associate with her} and make an afghan that I hope will someday be handed down with TONS of LOVE attached.  So ....

I immediately thought of the flower my Grandma used to crochet on sooooo many granny afghans she made.  Back in the day, I remember her calling it 'fancy work' whenever she would crochet or tat.  I can see her now ... sitting in her rocking chair fancy-working away.  I don't remember her ever using a pattern.  She just did design after design from memory.  Her doily's, and ripple afghan's ... all of it ... it was done impeccably.  I was a little girl when Grandma taught me how to crochet and whenever I see this 'dahlia' flower or any crocheted rose ... I think of Grandma.  But my favorite is the dahlia.

The dahlia flower I'm using here is like the one my Grandma crocheted.  I couldn't help but think ... this would look GORGEOUS in the center of Sunflower Window ... with the green leaves and the blue petals framing it! That's when this block was born ... Grandma's Block.
Mischelle Block 2 ... Grandma's Block

After finishing the blue petals (for lack of a better term) I finished the block just like my Grandma taught me ... using the standard granny crochet pattern.  It was funny because I didn't even think about the border ... I was totally thinking of crocheting with Grandma and I just did the traditional granny on the rest of the block.  It was meant to be.

I SOOOOOO LOVE how this block turned out!  It brings back so many warm and loving memories! And Grandma O'Farrell was NOT known for being a warm fuzzy ... but when it came to crocheting ... there was much love, and patience, and teaching.  Here is a photo of my Grandma O'Farrell with her 2 eldest sons.  My dad was baby #3 and he hadn't been born yet.  And then there was also a #4 son.  4 boys ... God Bless her!  I especially LOVE this photo because it's the only image I have of her before the 'grandma' years.  I love seeing her as a young, beautiful woman.

Grandma O'Farrell with 2 of her 4 boys.  Uncle Sun and Uncle Bub.

This is how I remember Grandma and Grandpa.  At their red house in Kansas City, Missouri.
Grandma and Grandpa O'Farrell

Here's a VERY rare family photo that totally warms my heart:
Grandma and Grandpa with Grandkids

Grandpa and Grandma are holding my twin brother and sister (the babies) on the back row, I'm the little red head in the red dress with white collar on the back row to the right.  And my eldest brother is that smiling kid down front on the left.  All the rest are cousins.

Isn't it amazing ... the emotions and memories tied to what we do and love?!

I must note, for the record, that Grandma never allowed me to cook or clean with her ... and that explains so much!  LOL!  But she did teach me how to crochet and this block really took me back to those days we lived in the red house in KC.  Family.  And Love.

So that's the story of the 2nd block.

Well ... all designers know you can't have evens!  That's when this next block was born:

On Grandma's pieces the flowers were usually a rainbow of beautiful colors.  Once in a while she'd do a monochromatic theme ... or just a handful of colors.

This block reminds me of how intricate, and delicate ... and FANCY ... Grandma's work was.  She was so incredibly talented.

So when I started this CAL ... who knew this is where it would take me?  I love the direction though ... so I'm gonna' keep on hooking and continue my 'Grandma's Afghan'.  I must say ... I think Grandma would love that the blocks are stepped up ... they aren't just a granny stitch around a flower {not that I don't love those} ... I think she'd be pleased with these.

THE PATTERN FOR BLOCK 2 OVERVIEW ... Grandma's Block ... please call it whatever you like!

Grandma never used patterns ... so I don't know for sure how she made her flower.  This is the closest thing I can find to it ... if not the same?  Who knows.  This pattern can be found at Mille Makes it's called Something Pretty the Pattern.

The next rounds ... the green and the blue ...are the same as my green and blue rounds on the Sunflower Window Pattern.

Finally ... I added my granny border that Grandma taught me to crochet as a little girl and finished it off with the edging from the first block in the CAL.

The flower center of my square is a flower that I LOVE and it came from Mille Makes - Something Pretty the Pattern.   The only thing I do different on this pattern is that I only crochet 2 chains between each cluster ... Mille does 3.  I like a tighter look though ... so it's just personal preference!

So make your flower center (mine is done in white) and then fasten off (if you want to, of course).
I sew in all of my tails right away on my flowers ... it causes less stress along the way ... Grandma didn't teach me that though!

AFTER my flower is done I changed to my pistachio and followed the directions for the Sunflower Window block.  This block is a FREE Ravelry Pattern ... so go download it now!

I started to follow the Sunflower Window pattern on Round 4.  This is MY Pistachio Green round .. which I'm calling leaves.
I fastened off my Pistachio after this round and weaved in my ends.

I slip stitched on my Robin's Egg Blue (LOVE THIS COLOR) and again followed Kimberlie's instructions for the Sunflower Window.

Here I started following the Sunflower Window pattern on Round 5.  You will actually slip stitch your blue to the center double chain of any 5 double chain group to start this round ... as per the instructions.

This is where I free-styled the design and did what Grandma taught me to do umpteen years ago ...

ROUND 6:  Adding chain foundation to prep for ROUND 7.
Working from the BACK of my Block.
I joined my white with a sl st to the back of a BLUE sc space on the BLUE flower.  This is the valley part of the flower from the front.
ch3 and then join with a sl st to the BACK of the 3rd stitch (it will be the middle stitch since this is a 5-stitch petal).  You will be slip stitching to the two back loops of the double crochet - towards the bottom.  You are forming a circle with all of these 3 chain spaces.
Continue doing this around the back of the block until you have slip stitched to your starting place.

Back of Block

You now want to work from the FRONT of your block so make sure you turn it over! {I have forgotten this step SOOOO many times on projects!}
Chain 3, 2 dc, chain 1
3 dc, chain 2, 3 dc, chain 1 (your first corner is made)
3 dc, chain 1 - in next three 3-chain spaces
3 dc, chain 2, 3 dc, chain 1 (second corner is made)
3 dc, chain 1 - in next three 3-chain spaces
3 dc, chain 2, 3 dc, chain 1 (third corner is made)
3 dc, chain 1 - in next three 3-chain spaces
3 dc, chain 2, 3 dc, chain 1 (final corner is made)
3 dc, chain 1 in next TWO 3-chain spaces
Join with a sl st to top of the 3 chain stitch and fasten off.

Join green with sl st to the 3 ch sp you just fastened off.
Chain 3, 2 dc, ch2
3 dc, ch 2
3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc (your first corner is made)
Now continue the following until you return to your starting stitch:
3 dc, ch 2 in the next 4 - 3chain spaces
3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc (each of your corner spaces)
Join with a sl st to the top of the 3 ch sp and fasten off.

Join white with sl st to the 3 ch sp you just fastened off.
This is EXACTLY like the previous two rounds EXCEPT there are 5 - 3 dc spaces between each corner.  
Round 7 we had 3 - 3 dc spaces between each corner.
Round 8 we had 4 - 3 dc spaces between each corner.
Round 9 we have 5 - 3 dc spaces between each corner.
Fasten off and weave in end(s).

FINISHING 2 rounds ...
I then finished off the last two rows using the SC Beginner Swatch by Tanya Naser on Ravelry.  If I'm remembering correctly ... I may have skipped a few sc's to make my rows match the count of these ... I just blended them into my piece evenly across the row.  (Clear as mud, right?)

I know I made this sound and look SUPER crazy ... sorry about that.  Hadn't thought about marking it down while I was crocheting {I was too busy reminiscing} so had to walk myself through it step-by-step.

My Cup Runneth Over,

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