Composite Crochet – Teapot Motif
by Ann Reillet
Printer Friendly Pattern: Teapot Composite Crochet
This is a freeform composite motif made up of various little shapes to fill the outline of a teapot; an imitation of metalwork in thread crochet. Size 20 mercerized cotton thread and #10 steel hook were used.
Repoussé [Fr. pronunciation ‘rue-booze-aye’ meaning ‘pushed up’] is a metalworking technique used to describe a low relief created by hammer-stamping the design into the back, a concept similar to reverse painted lampshades. The technique was known in antiquity with examples dating to the 2nd millennium BC.
The inspiration for this project came from a teapot silhouette by Milo. The artist, Milo, is a Portland, Ore. based graphic designer who maintains websites at: milodidit.com / A Method to My Madness and Etsy boutique, Barking Mad Arts & Curiosities.
What I like most about Milo’s artwork is the way it stands out from traditional silhouette work by its lack of sharp lines. Rather, in this example, the work is comprised of intricate vines, flowers and leaves; all the components of Irish Crochet. While I couldn’t possibly replicate in thread what the artist accomplished in this silhouette, it’s the outline of the pattern that served as my guide.
Sketch a pattern or use clip art, coloring book pages, photographs or silhouettes; whatever item you want to make. The main focus is on the outline of the shape. This outline is filled in with an amalgam of small crochet motifs which are joined or sewn together to form one piece.
The first consideration is size. Although thinner thread will allow for smaller motifs, one’s ability to micro-crochet is a factor. I printed the design in full-page mode so the finished motif measures about 7″h x 8″w.
The second consideration is the main design or focal point; what motifs to use and where to begin. I opted for a large and medium flower of the same design as well as a large and small leaf of differing shapes. These make up the main motif placed in the center of the pot. Once arranged, I pinned them atop the printout on a styrofoam platform and set to work on the lid. I added two lines; one under the lid and one at the very bottom. The rest is comprised of smaller filler pieces consisting of a circle, a 5-petal flower and a sprig with leaves of picots and/or clones knots.
The filler motifs:
- The first one is ch 2, 10 sc in 2nd ch from hook, join. End. These can be made larger by substituting hdc or dc.
- The second one is ch 4, 2dc-tog, ch 3, sl st, *ch 3, 2dc-tog, ch 3, sl st, repeat for 5 total, end with ch 4 (stem optional). These can be made larger by substituting a triple tog.
- The third begins with a slip knot that has a healthy tail. ch 4, dc in 4th ch from hook, ch 3, sl in same beg ch, working over the tail, 3 sc, then either picot, clones knot or create another tog leaf, continue by spacing 3 sc apart, then work another picot, clones knot or tog leaf trying to vary which st chosen. After a satisfying length or not more than half, work the back as an oval over the tail and into the sts on the opposite side. At end, trim any remaining tail. These sprigs can be made as long or short as needed, mirroring or slightly askew of what was done on one side to the other (oval) or with only one side worked and the other straight.
Teapot taking shape. I added some Venise Lace and beads. This is a wonderful project to try mixed media or assemblage; the gathering of various materials like beads, pearls, buttons or lace and other fabric scraps. You can use various colors, dye or stain with tea or purple onion skins. Be creative!
Once the area is filled in, start tucking/sewing-in tails and/or use the tail to sew to the next motif. I used a combination of sewing thread and tails. The hand sewing is by far the most tedious part, but it’s relaxing so long as you have adequate light and maintain good posture.
All that pinning comes in handy now because by the time you finish sewing and joining, the motif will hold its shape. At end: spray with heavy starch, let dry, remove pins, and slide off the pinning board. If pressing, iron with steam from the back side and use more starch. The motif can be stiffened to hang in a window or decoupaged onto a tray or platform, mounted and framed as wall art, or even used as an applique in sewing or insertion for Irish Crochet, etc… so many possibilities!
“Easy Ovals Butterfly” Pattern shown here: https://crochetthread.wordpress.com/2015/08/07/butterfly-collecting/