The little birds...

If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.

Banner by Free Pretty Things for You.

Tuesday 23 August 2016

The Christmas Challenge. A tutorial...

My Christmas cupboard is full! Now I am storing things underneath and on top! This is a good feeling. Last year when I finally went through everything at the end of November I had my presents,  things for charity gifts and things to get me through the busy December and January birthdays that our family has. It was really good. So I think I am on track for a repeat of that!
I have been still working on crochet around towel sets and bathmats.

Last week I got a lot of questions on crochet edgings. So this week I am going to go on with that and I hope it helps!

Firstly go here to a post I wrote a couple of years ago. It shows some things you can add edgings to plus a basic tutorial on how to do a simple edge and how to get that foundation row done.

Since then I have seen so many new things with a crochet ending including tablecloths, napkins,  bath mats, pretty bibs (burp cloths) curtains, skirts, scarves and many more!

For the basics start with my old post and what I say here will be in a addition.

Firstly there are extra ways of working your foundation row. The main thing is finding something that will make holes easily through your material. Some things are much easier than others. Towels are usually easy as they are soft. If you want to do an edge around thick cotton or denim you are going to need a super fine hook, skewer, darning needle or something like that.
After I wrote this Glenda told me there is a device you can buy that makes the holes for you! Vicky also suggested to run things through the sewing machine with no thread to make your holes and regular spaces.

Rosanne and Vicky both work their edging and sew it all on afterwards meaning they don't need to do the foundation row. So there are many options and you can do what you think is easiest.

Most times I let how something is made dictate where that first row will go and how wide it is. If there is a hem or border then I work my holes just under that line where there is a single layer of fabric as you don't want to be trying to get a hole through layers. Hems and borders helpfully give you a lovely straight line to follow too.  Some ladies mark out their holes/stitches by measuring and placing dots. I don't I just go by my eye. So thats up to you.

When Mel was here we were studying a bathmat that my sister in law gave me with a beautiful crochet edge.  We decided it looked easy enough to copy so I am going to share that here.

As with all patterns it is going to look finer and lacier with a fine cotton and chunkier and thicker with a thick cotton. This is the bathmat I am copying:

I had a towelling bath mat and 5 ply cotton so thats what I've used.

The first row I just did a basic double crochet into my hole, one chain then a DC into the towelling and worked that all around. I used my really fine crochet hook for this row.
I just choose one that will go through and also pick up the cotton ok.

The next row I changed up to a medium crochet hook. On this round I worked one double crochet into the first chain of the foundation row. Then three chain and skipping three chain spaces I worked a double crochet into the fourth space. So it formed bridges and pillars like this:

Easy! The next row I worked three double crochet into each "bridge" and one chain  between each set...

The next row...

This ones a bit different. I worked three double crochet, one chain and three more double crochet into the first "bridge" then one chain and skipping one whole bridge and going over to the alternating one repeat the there double crochet, one chain and three double crochet into that space... and work around doing this skipping a space each time...

So now you are starting to get a scallop edge. You could even finish it there if you are fed up by now!

The final row really makes it though! 

This time work five double crochet, one chain and five more double crochet into the very top chain space of you last row of arches.  It is one arch on top of another. Then work one single crochet in between each set to secure your arch in place. And repeat. . This gives you a very big scallop to finish.

I really love the result and can see it on pillowcases, sheets and kitchen towels!
It is really just a series of easy rows. And possibly not even correct but what I could make of the bathmat edging by looking at it closely.

I think it was Mark Twain who said "the more you explain it to me the less I understand it". lol
If this applies please try you tube or find some tutorials as if edgings appeal to you they are easy and fun.
I have imaginings now of making covers for food with these edges and gingham curtains with this along the bottom! It costs very little to really add a lot to something!

Also remember when women ran a row of lace along their pantry shelves? Imagine working crochet edgings for this!

Vickie from Vickie's Kitchen and Garden did this. I love it! She had plain metal shelves and take a look at what she did!

Thank you for letting me share this Vickie! Her blog is really good to follow as amongst other things one of her regular features is current listings of wonderful free ebooks. I follow on Facebook and then never miss the books I want to add to my collection. They are amazing!

So there are many ideas for your crochet trims and lacy edgings. As usual it is a case of too many ideas and things I want to do and not enough hours!

What are you working on and adding to your gift cupboard? I hope the week is going well! xxx

PS next week we will start Show and Tell again! Thank you for the photos already! Please feel free to post pictures on the Bluebirds Facebook page or email me at
I love to see what you're working on! xxx


  1. I love your tutorial and I can't wait till winter to get crocheting these beautiful trims. I'm going to start with a pair of socks for my beautiful granddaughter. thanks so much for mentioning me Annabel- The feeling is mutual. Your blog provides so much inspiration and instruction how to make my home among other things beautiful! Have a great day!

    1. Hi Vickie,
      I loved the pictures of your pantry shelves and the way you've made everything look so inviting. Cookie

  2. Dear Annabel,
    Those crochet edgings are just gorgeous! I especially love the bathmat. One day I will give it a go. My gift cupboard is getting really full as well, and not so neat looking now. Things are getting piled up on top of each other! I have been working on a special birthday gift for next month so haven't made as much as previous months. It will be Christmas before we know it! xx

    1. Dear Mel, My cupboard is no longer neat either. Its just too full but think of the fun when we get to sort and wrap!
      Vicky commented on dandelion greens being sold in her store! I thought of you and if you know about using the greens. Plus I saw a recipe for dandelion and magnesium balm. Let me know if you want that!
      I hope we get to see this Birthday present when its finished! With love

  3. Hi Rachel,
    Thank you so much and please thank your Dad for me. I'm really looking forward to making this when good citrus becomes available. Right now any citrus fruits in the stores here are all thick skin and hardly any of the real fruit. Hope the chokoes are growing well . Blessings. Cookie.

  4. Dear Annabel,
    Thank you for the beautiful and very understandable tutorial. What a wonderful feeling to have your Christmas closet filled to the brim.
    I'm looking forward to starting some crochet projects now that I have a good idea of exactly how to proceed. XXX Cookie

    1. Dear Cookie, Thanks... because I don't read patterns etc I am hoping my basic demo is helpful and easy. It is a bit funny trying to describe things though! I really hope you love these projects! They are really fun and theres a whole range of gift possibilities!
      Many thanks, Love

  5. Your crochet work is stunning and the bath mats are an excellent idea! What a wonderful gift those would make!!! I hope your weather is starting to warm up :)

    1. Dear Jes, Thank you. Bath mats are notoriously yucky and expensive here. So the first time I saw a pretty one I was so excited and they make great presents!
      Yes the weather is beautiful! Today is like a proper spring day! I am out the front painting. With love

  6. Dear Annabel,I very much appreciate your edgings tutorial, you;ve inspired me to try this now to find a bath mat and cotton :-) love Maria xxx

    1. Dear Maria,
      I think you will love this! Some bath mats have a backing and rubber etc and they are no good. I get some suitable from the supermarket, Spotlight and IKEA. And Aldi often have lovely ones. Hand towels too. This is good when its warmer weather and working on rugs is too hot.
      With lots of love,

  7. Hi Annabel,

    I am not surprised that your gift cupboard is have been churning out gorgeous gifts all year!! I am sure it is a magnificent sight to behold! Your crochet tutorial is wonderful...thank you for taking the time to put it together!

    Love your pantry shelves, Vickie!

    xx Jen in NS

  8. Beautiful crochet edgings as usual, Annabel. Oh to have a white bathmat! We have red dirt here and with two men in the house they wouldn't stay white for long :-)

    1. Dear Nanna Chel, yikes red dirt! Well I have white towels, bathmats, lounge ... oh lounge is more cream... oh sheets, doona cover, pillows etc. Bleach is my friend. But red dirt might beat me! At the farm the soil is sandy so it is light... but gritty. I am working on blue towels now with blue edgings for a gift. They are really pretty! Its the blue like on my screen page. I hope you are having a good week! With love

  9. Dear Annabel, I would dearly love how to sew and make roses like that for face cloths, bibs for babies presents , towels etc. I do not have a sewing machine. That cheeky chook was just literally "nesting" but I can see why you won't let her inside. Maybe she needs an old towel or blanket in her hatch. She did offer you a gift of her egg so she must be content. Nothing like home made eggs from hen house. The joke on people here in the city will pay up to $8.00 for so called "free range". As much as I'm into all that I don't live a farm so just buy roam free instead. I think supermarkets just play on peoples conscience and unless I got eggs myself how can I know ?
    Sick this week. Made a gorgeous batch of chicken soup with loads of herbs, garlic and veg. Gargling with a lot of salty water as my grandmas advice for a very sore throat and it works! I couldn't agree with you more about harvesting our own. Even I in the city grow own herbs and baby tomatoes etc. I long to move to the country and be self sustainable. Bake , and meet a man who doesn't think it's silly to make gorgeous meals and a real little "nest".
    How I saved this week;
    1.Picked up an extra shift at work before came down with this awful virus
    2. Went over my health insurance and by reviewing things I don't use saving $70 a month! So so happy!
    3. Made different soups as cauliflower was on sale and broccoli too..who doesn't love a warm soup on a cold rainy day ?
    4. Went via the reject store to see what toiletry items were on sale
    5. Followed the aldi 7 day specials to plan meals
    6. Had two nights meat free
    7..stopped using fabric softener and used a dash of vinegar in final cycle for soft clothes.
    8. Cleaned out my wardrobe and gave to the smith family shoe drive for those literally with nothing on their feet.
    Hope you had a lovely week. All of vickys jars look amazing as does your crocheting. Sonia

    1. Dear Sonia, I am sorry you have been sick! I hope you are feeling much better. The chicken soup was a good idea.
      I might do a tutorial on the roses. There is no sewing machine involved what so ever. Otherwise look on tube tube how to do grub roses. They re very simple once you have mustered one stitch which forms the "grub" which is wrapping the cotton around the needle lots of times. It takes a little practice then once you've got it you have it forever! It really adds a sweet touch.
      Soup is wonderful, Well done on those!
      Well done too on donating shoes. Even though you weren't well you really had good savings and the $70 a month on the health insurance was very good!
      I do hope you are feeling better. With love

  10. Annabel, your edgings are really pretty and set off beautifully with the grub roses - I especially like the frilly edge. Thank you for the tutorial. I can see some of these in my new bathroom (when it's finished), though maybe not white. I sometimes think the towel is a useful tool for wiping off the dirt before getting in the shower :-)


    1. Dear Janine,
      It will be sos lovely having a new bathroom. I am working on blue towels now and the edging looks lovely in blue!
      Have a great weekend! With love

  11. Annabel,such beautiful handwork!!

    Vicky's Mom

  12. Those are all so pretty! They turn the humble towel and bathmat into something of loveliness!
    Vickie I love your shelves with the lace and it looks like you've been garden busy!

    1. Dear Vicky, It seems like the name Vicky is connected with good pantries! Thanks re the towels. When all the harvest etc is over you might get more time for such stuff like your dish towels! Thanks for persisting with commenting as I know you had trouble! With love

  13. Dear Annabel,
    Your crocheted edgings are so pretty! You inspire us all with your lovely creations.
    Vickie, I love your pantry shelves! I knew they looked familiar, as I pinned them on my Pinterest page a few weeks ago :)
    I hope everyone is having a good week. I am looking forward to show and tell and seeing what everyone has been making!
    With love, Kelsey

    1. Dear Kelsey,
      Knowing you love those shelves... I saw somewhere on pinterest where someone just glued pretty ribbon along the shelves edges. And another where they added a ribbon or fabric ruffle. I love all of this!
      Show and tell is shaping up to be really good! Have a great weekend Kelsey! Love

  14. Oh I love this. I wanted to do some kitchen towels for Christmas but I love the bath mat! Thanks for sharing this.

    1. Thank you! I always find it hard to get nice bath mats. So when I was given a lovely one I thought thats it Im copying this! They are really easy too! And everyone needs a bathmat! xxx


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