3 crafts start small, end big February 15, 2014 • Robin Stroot
One thing in common with knit, crochet and quilt crafters is the ability to take small pieces of fiber and/or cloth and make something such as a garment or home décor item. No fiber or fabric is wasted. I would get flour in cloth sacks and after the flour was gone, I used the fabric bags as kitchen towels. I know many people whose mothers or grandmothers used the flour sacks as fabric for clothing and quilts.
A motif or block is a small craft project that uses different colors for parts of a square and/or fabric/fiber strip. Often times, motifs/blocks are made using leftover yarn/fabric. The design of the square or block is left up to the individual crafter. The advantages to working in small blocks or squares is that you can often use it as a travel craft and color or stitch patterns vary to make each creation a one-of-a-kind project. I’ve often used crochet or knit squares to try a new stitch or color pattern. It helps me decide if I want to use the stitch or color pattern for a larger project.
One disadvantage is that you will have to join the squares, blocks or the project strips together. Some stitch patterns for knit and crochet will include instructions on ways to join the squares/blocks together when working the last row of the craft project. This is helpful if you are making several pieces so that once the project is completed, all you have left is to hide the ends of the thread or yarn and the project is completed.
Regarding the tails of yarn and thread for crochet/knit projects or clipping thread ends on quilt blocks: I know it is tempting to just finish the square, motif or block and set it aside with the thought that you will hide all the yarn ends after you put the squares together. But, it’s better to take a few seconds and hide/clip the ends of the yarn BEFORE you place the finished square aside and start a new one for the next block. If you’re doing a large project such as an afghan, it will save a lot of time assembling the blocks or motifs together. That way all you have to do is join the squares together and finish off the entire project with an optional edging.
Speaking of motifs and blocks, I just saw a show on television that had two young women working on knitting small motifs, complaining about having to make the blocks that eventually would be put together for an afghan. Later in the same show they had the characters putting the blocks together for the afghan. Problem for me is that the blocks they were putting together were crochet color blocks and earlier in the show, the girls were making knit blocks. Most people wouldn’t catch that difference but you can believe that those who knit and crochet noticed the mistake.