A Crochet Quilt Square

I’m not all that good a crochet, as I’ve always been a knitter, but I found some old patterns that intrigued me and thought I’d share.

This first one is for a granny square. If you make enough you can sew or crochet them together to make a quilt. The original publication states a pattern for the border would be published in a later issue. If I find it, I’ll share that too. Edit: I did find the instructions for Crochet Border for a Quilt.

A Crocheted Quilt. (Published in Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW:1870-1907 – Sat 15 Jun 1901, Page 43)

A crochet quilt square

This quilt is worked in separate squares, which must be sewn or crocheted together when the number is sufficient for the size of the quilt required. Use knitting-cotton, No. 6, and a steel crochet needle, No. 15.

Begin in the centre by winding the cotton twice round the first finger of the left hand, work 8 double crochet in the loop, draw the loop in closely, then join the last stitch of the double crochet to the first stitch, and this forms the first round of the quilt square. Every successive round is to be joined in the same manner quite evenly to its own commencement, and unless otherways directed, always turn the work with 1 chain to re-commence a fresh round, and insert the hook to take up the one back thread of the stitches of the previous round, that the work may sit in ridges.

2nd round: 1 double crochet on the first stitch, 3 double crochet on the next stitch, and repeat the same three times, making 16 double crochet in the round.

3rd round: 1 double crochet on each of three double crochet along the side of the square, 3 double crochet on the centre stitch of three double crochet for the corner, making 24 double crochet in the round, and fasten off.

4th-round: Holding the wrong side of last round towards you, do 1 double cro-chet on the third stitch of the three double crochet at the corner, 1 double crochet on the next stitch now a “tuft” –that is 5 treble stitches worked into a thread of the second previous round– miss the next stitch of the last round,1 double crochet on the next stitch, 1 double crochet on the next, 3 double crochet on the centre stitch of three double crochet at the corner, and repeat the same three times.

5th round: Plain double crochet, except behind the tufts, where a treble stitch is to be worked into the thread of the stitch that was missed in last round, and 3 double crochet are as usual to be worked on the centre stitch at each corner.

6th round: Work 1 double crochet on the third stitch of the three double crochet at the corner, 1 double crochet on the next, a tuft, miss one stitch of last round, 3 double crochet consecutive, a tuft, miss one stitch, 1 double crochet on the next, 1 double crochet on the next, 3 double crochet on the centre stitch at the corner.

7th round: Same as the fifth round.

8th round: Work 1 double crochet oh the third stitch of the three double crochet at the corner, 1 double crochet on the next, a tuft, miss one stitch of last round, 7 double crochet consecutive, a tuft, miss one stitch, 1 double crochet on the next, 1 double crochet on the next, 3 double crochet on the centre stitch at the corner.

9th round: Same as the 5th.

10th round: Work 1 double crochet on the third stitch of the three double crochet at the corner, 1 double crochet on the next, a tuft, miss one stitch of last round, 11 double crochet consecutive, a tuft, miss 1 stitch, 1 double crochet on the next, 1 double crochet on the next, 3 double crochet on the centre stitch at the cor-ner.

11th round: Same as the fifth.

12th round: Work 1 double crochet on the third stitch of the three double crochet at the corner, 1 double crochet on the next, a tuft, miss one stitch of last round, 15 double crochet consecutive, a tuft, miss one stitch, 1 double crochet on the next, 1 double crochet on the next, 3 double crochet on the centre stitch at the corner.

13th round: Same as the fifth.

14th round: Work plain double crochet, with 3 double crochet on the centre stitch at each corner.

15th round: The same, in this round there should be 27 double crochet along each side of the square and 3 double crochet at each corner; fasten off at the end of the round.

16th round: Hold the right side of the work towards you, do 1 treble on the first of the three double crochet stitches at the corner, inserting the hook to take up the two front threads of the stitches of last round, 1 chain, 1 treble on the corner stitch, 1 chain, another treble on the cor-ner stitch, 1 chain, another treble in the same place, 1 chain, 1 treble on the third of the three double crochet stitches; 1 chain, miss one, 1 treble on the next and continue thus in one chain, miss one, 1 treble on the next, till you get in all, 5 treble worked at the corner, and 13 treble along the side of the square with 1 chain between each; do 1 chain and repeat the same to the end of the round, and join evenly.

17th round: Turn, and work plain double crochet, with 3 double crochet on the centre stitch at each corner.

18th round: The same.

19th round: Hold the right side of the work towards you, and insert the hook to take up the one front thread of the stitches of last round, 5 double crochet on one double crochet stitch of last round, miss one, 1 double crochet on the next, miss one, and repeat the same to the end of the round, and fasten off; this round sits in little scollops, and there must be a scollop at each corner and nine scollops along each side, making 40 scollops in the round.

20th round: Hold the work the right side towards you and do a round of plain treble stitches, with 5 treble on the centre stitch at each corner, inserting the hook to take up the one top thread of the stitches of the eighteenth round, and keeping the little scollops down under the left hand thumb.

21st round: With the right side of the work still in front, do 1 double crochet into the top thread of a stitch of last row, do 1 double crochet into the front thread of a stitch of last row, and repeat this alternately all round, with 3 double crochet stitches at each corner.

22nd round: Work in the same manner, taking the top thread now where in last round the front thread was taken.

23rd round: Turn, and work plain double crochet into the back threads of the stitches of last round, and as before do 3 double crochet on the centre stitch at each corner.

24th round: The same as last round.

25th round: Work in little scollops, the same as the 19th round, a scollop at each corner and 12 scollops along each side, making 52 scollops in the round.

26th round: The same as the 20th round.

27th round: Turn, and work plain double crochet into the back threads of the stitches of last round, and 3 double crochet on the centre stitch at each corner, and fasten off at the end of the round.

28th round: Hold the right side of the work towards you, and inserting the hook to take up the back thread of the stitches of last round, do 1 treble, 1 chain, miss one, and repeat the same all round, making a little increase to ease the corners.

29th round: With the right side of the work still in front, do plain double crochet into the top thread of the stitches of last round, and 3 double crochet on the centre stitch at each corner.

This finishes the square. When a number of squares are worked they may be joined together by a row of double crochet, or simply sewn together.

eBook review: She Named Me Wolf

She Named Me Wolf by Tenkara Smart

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

The blurb: Wolf lives in constant fear of his alcoholic father, using his imagination and wisdom beyond his years to escape the pain until he must make a choice. Either stay in this life or move on, and only his best friend, who happens to be a ghost, can help him make the right decision.

She Named Me Wolf is book one in the series The Many Lives of Wolf and is the first glimpse into one soul’s travels through many lifetimes, seeking out the light in the darkness.

My review: She Named Me Wolf is different from the usual genre I read. The blurb hinted at physical abuse and a ghostly presence, and I felt intrigued enough to read the book.

Although the main character is a child at the start of the book and a teenager at the end, I would not say this is a children’s book. It might be confronting or scary to a young reader. Yet, I felt the author handled the physical abuse in the story in a gentle way (except for a couple of places, I’ll get back to these parts later). This might help a young reader experiencing something similar. However, I believe the two exceptions and swearing indicate the book is aimed at the young adult audience.

Swearing is frequent in today’s life. Although I’m not a person who swears myself, I believe the words used in the book would mirror what would typically be said in an abusive household. In fact, I think they have been watered down a lot. Just to be clear, the book starts out with name-calling and swear words are introduced as the story nears its end. To me, the terms are used in context, and it was not a shock to read them. To be honest, in this case, I feel it gives the storyline authenticity.

The two exceptions I mentioned earlier had a real impact on me. One spoke to me because of personal experience, and I reacted to the words I read seeing another face rather than Wolf’s. The other filled me with real fear. I must give credit to the author for her craft in writing these two scenes. To invoke such a strong reaction and incredible fear in me is no mean feat. In fact, it’s impressive.

The two main character’s, Wolf and Polly, are a perfect mix. Both are smart beyond their years, yet children all the same. I enjoyed reading Wolf’s story. I felt connected to him, and that forced me to keep turning those pages. I was not surprised when Wolf excelled at his “secret” activity. I wanted to learn more about his “travels”. And, although I will never understand why, just like Wolf didn’t understand, I could accept how difficult it must have been for his mother. I’m a firm believer that we don’t know how we will react to something until we experience it ourselves.

Another thing about the book is there are a lot of uplifting phrases and sayings scattered within the chapters. The words tell a story about abuse, but they also give hope. I found the mix to be well balanced.

The only negative thing I can say is that there was a mix of American and Australian grammar/spelling/words, hence the 4.5 stars. At one point, the use of a non-Australian word jolted me out of the storyline altogether. It was like a slap in the face. A non-Australian reader may not notice this, but for me, it’s essential to be consistent.

She Named Me Wolf left an impression on me, so I have no trouble in recommending it.

I received a review copy of this book, and this is an honest review.

eBook review: Esme’s Gift

Esme’s Gift by Elizabeth Foster

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The blurb: Terror was within. Terror was without. Like her mother, she was at the water’s mercy.

In the enchanted world of Aeolia, fifteen-year-old Esme Silver is faced with her hardest task yet. She must master her unruly Gift – the power to observe the past – and uncover the secrets she needs to save her mother, Ariane.

In between attending school in the beguiling canal city of Esperance, Esme and her friends – old and new – travel far and wide across Aeolia, gathering the ingredients for a potent magical elixir.

Their journey takes them to volcanic isles, sunken ruins and snowy eyries, spectacular places fraught with danger, where they must confront their deepest fears and find hope in the darkest of places.

Esme’s Gift, the second instalment in the Esme trilogy, is an enthralling fantasy adventure for readers 12 years and over.

My review: I enjoyed Esme’s Wish (Book 1), but Esme’s Gift (Book 2) wasn’t as good. The first half of the story dragged its feet a bit, but the second half picked up the pace and was more interesting. The pages turned swiftly then.

I liked the fact that the mysteries were not left hanging until book 3. It was great to know how, when, where and why everything up to now had happened. And it was even better that these facts went together well. In fact, the book was written like a cozy mystery, but without a murder. I found that interesting and well-plotted. I appreciated and enjoyed the arrival of certain other characters as well.

I didn’t like the school scenes. There may have been a reason for them, and I guess as the main characters are school age, it made sense to have Esme return to school, but it didn’t work for me. I’m not saying the scenes were poorly written, they just lacked interest, for me. However, younger readers will probably relate to those scenes much better than I did and enjoy them immensely.

Regardless of all this, I still loved the fresh, new world that the author has created. I look forward to reading more adventures set in Aeolia and finding out more about Seth’s motivations.

I received a review copy of this book, and this is an honest review.

Resources for Writing a Mystery

I’ve been researching mystery writing for the Cat and Mouse Adventure series (mainly because I am totally unhappy and unimpressed with the draft of Ghost at the Cemetery that I’ve written). I’ve discovered three websites that I want to add to my website. For two reasons, I want to be able to find the websites again, in the future, and because visitors to my website might benefit from them.

Frank Gruber’s “Fool-proof” 11 Point Formula for Mystery Short Stories

Classic 12-Chapter Murder Mystery Formula

Motives for Murder

Audiobook: The Wizards of Once

The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The blurb: This is the story of a young boy Wizard and a young girl Warrior who have been taught to hate each other like poison; and the thrilling tale of what happens when their two worlds collide.

Perfect for boys and girls who love fantasy adventure …

Once there was Magic, and the Magic lived in the dark forests.

Wizard boy, Xar, should have come in to his magic by now, but he hasn’t, so he wants to find a witch and steal its magic for himself. But if he’s got any chance of finding one, he will have to travel into the forbidden Badwoods.

Xar doesn’t realise he is about to capture an entirely different kind of enemy. A Warrior girl called Wish.

And inside this book, at this very moment, two worlds collide and the fate of the land is changed forever.

Xar and Wish must visit the dungeons at Warrior fort, and face the evil Queen.

But something that has been sleeping for hundreds of years is stirring …

My review: WOW. This is such a good story. From the first page, I was totally in. In fact, I was so taken by the plot and the characters, that I simply couldn’t stay away from the book for long periods. That doesn’t happen often, and is certainly a positive sign that I loved the book.

The world the two main character’s live in is dark. Wish is a warrior girl with a secret. Xar is a wizard boy with attitude. They come from different sides in a world where they are taught from birth to hate the other side. But these two are thrown together and must conquer all. (I know that’s a pretty general comment, but you’ll have to read the book to find out what they have to conquer.)

I love the two main character. And I have to say that Squeeze Juice is also a favourite of mine. The characters are so different, but so likeable. The story is so action-packed. Honestly, I can’t imagine anyone not enjoying this book.

I listened to the audiobook and I feel compelled to mention the narrator, David Tennant. He gave life to the characters and storyline. His reading was fantastic and I believe that added to my enjoyment of the book ten-fold.

This is the first of three books, I believe. I definitely will be listening to the rest of the series.

Highly recommended.

Ebook review: Windrider

Windrider by Pamela Freeman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The blurb: This story centres on Princess Betony, half human , half dryad. When the great dragon Windrider bewitches her father, King Max, she journeys to the high country to obtain his release. With the help of her friends, Basil and Clover, she tries to achieve her aim without changing into a wood-nymph.

My review: Book 2 in the Floramonde series for young readers (or the young at heart, like me).

The first book had a magical feel to it, that didn’t cross over to this book. However, that doesn’t mean the book wasn’t any good, because it is. This time, instead of the chapters telling many stories to make a whole, the entire book told a single story. Betony sets off to save her father, while her two best friends set off to save Betony from making a bargain she may regret.

In this book there is a dragon, magic, dealing with relationships (good and bad), and love. But the most important thing, in my opinion, is the theme that deals with the lengths we will go to to save those we cherish.

Recommended.

Ebook review: The Willow Tree’s Daughter

The Willow Tree’s Daughter by Pamela Freeman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The blurb: With a king for a father and a tree spirit for a mother, Betony is a reluctant princess who prefers the simple, outdoor life. This is the story of her life at the palace, her adventures with wizards, hobgoblins, unicorns and dragons, and her love for the gardener’s apprentice.

My review: A delightful story told in a fairy tale way, but with a twist. Each chapter felt like a stand alone story, but all the chapters together told the full story. The book is funny, moving and easy to read. There was a bit of everything, and something was always happening. It drew me in, and held me captive.

The characters are charming. I especially liked the main character’s strength. It’s good to find a princess who doesn’t need saving, and has a genuine connection with the people around her.

And there was even a bit of romance.

I’m glad I took a risk with this book. I’ll be reading more in the series. No doubt about that.

Recommended.