This is a book review of 50 Fabulous Crochet Thread Motifs, a crochet book featuring patterns for crocheting circles, squares, hexagons, flowers, hearts, ovals and many other interesting motifs and appliqués.
Author: Jean Leinhauser
Publisher: Leisure Arts
Copyright Date: 2009
ISBN 13: 978-1-60140-671-2
ISBN 10: 1-60140-671-1
- Softcover With Staple Binding
- Digital Download: PDF E-book
Number of Pages: 56
Cover Price: $11.95 US dollars
Skill Level: No skill level ratings are mentioned.
The Focus of This Book:
This is a collection of crochet motif patterns, all of which are suitable for working in crochet thread. Many of these designs are inspired by vintage crochet patterns. Some look lacy, three dimensional and / or highly textured, similar to vintage Irish crochet work. Others are simpler and flatter than vintage Irish crochet. There are a variety of different crochet stitch patterns used including popcorns, clusters, picots, shells and others.
Projects Included in This Book:
- “Pineapple Posy” — This is a three-dimensional square motif with lacy details in the corners.
- “Petal Wheel” — This is an 8-pointed motif with some clusters and openwork areas.
- “Rose Round” — This is a three-dimensional flower motif with three layers of petals.
- “Flower Square” — This is a really pretty square, but if I had been tasked with naming it, I wouldn’t have chosen the name “flower square.” To my eyes, it doesn’t really look all that floral. It has only 4 flower petals.
- “Pretty Popcorns” — This is a heavily textured, three-dimensional circle motif.
- “Lacy Clusters” — This is a six-pointed motif that looks vaguely floral.
- “Petite Pansy” — This is a lacy openwork pentagon-shaped motif with a three-dimensional flower in the middle. It’s quite pretty.
- “Frilly Fan” — The name says it all. Cluster stitches are an integral part of this froofy, feminine design.
- “Lacy Cross” — This cross motif isn’t as lacy as the name implies, but it’s quite pretty nonetheless.
- “Be Mine” — This is a solid heart shape with a simple, slightly frilly edging.
- “Daisy in Lace” — OK, so I’m not a botanist, but to my eyes this does not look anything like a daisy. I think it more closely resembles a daffodil or jonquil. It’s a three-dimensional, 8-pointed design with lacy, feminine appeal.
- “Picots and Popcorns” — This is another 8-pointed design in a sort of medallion shape.
- “My Wild Irish Rose” — This frilly flower is comprised of 4 layers that each have 8 petals.
- “Popcorn Circles” — This is a fancy, highly textured wheel motif with lacy details.
- “Scallop Square” — This square motif features lots of lacy openwork spaces. This could be endlessly useful for making bedspreads, placemats, linens or lots of other projects.
- “Lacy Points” — Another fancy, lacy square motif.
- “Whirligig” — This is an intricate looking flower motif with five petals.
- “Circle in a Square” — A simple motif comprised of only four rounds that doesn’t really end up being totally square, despite the name.
- “Star Bright” — This is a motif that’s sort of a star, but sort of not. The points aren’t rounded, so to my eyes it looks like more of a flower than a star.
- “Shell Flower” — This openwork flower design features six petals and significant amounts of negative space.
- “Little Pineapples” — This four-petal motif is far less complex, although also less impressive, than many of the vintage pineapple designs you see around.
- “Starshine” — This motif is something of a cross between a star and a flower. It has a large round center with five points (or petals?) radiating outward from there.
- “Roundabout” — This is a classic hexagon motif with a floral pinwheel-type design embedded in it. It would be a really useful design for many different purposes, including making projects like bedspreads, table linens, purses or tote bags, etc.
- “Cluster Wheel” — This rounded motif resembles a flower that has 9 petals.
- “Lovely Loops” — A three-dimensional circle motif combining texture, openwork areas.
- “Lattice Square” — This square motif resembles antique crochet square patterns I’ve seen in many different vintage needlework books.
- “Popcorn Square” — This is a gorgeous motif featuring textured popcorn designs combined with lots of lacy openwork areas. I think this would make lovely shawls, wraps, bedspreads or linens.
- “Loopy Oval” — This motif incorporates the lover’s knot stitch in its intricate edging.
- “Looped Center” — A flat openwork square motif with a floral design embedded in the center.
- “Open Shells” — A six-pointed floral motif.
- “Cluster Square” — A lacy openwork square motif
- “Elegant Square” — Another lacy openwork square motif. This one features cluster stitches, and it’s surrounded by a picot stitch edging.
- “Popcorn in the Round” — This elegant circle motif is highly textured, thanks to a cascade of popcorn stitches. It’s finished with pretty picots in the last round.
- “Ruffles and Flourishes” — A three-dimensional textured crochet square motif.
- “Roundelay” — A circle motif that’s more interesting than your basic circle, thanks to an interesting visual pattern incorporated into the design.
- “Windmill” — A spiral type motif that incorporates openwork and is edged with picots.
- “Filet Heart” — This is a classic filet crochet heart pattern with a pretty scalloped edging. I crocheted this pattern using worsted weight yarn and a size H / 5.0 mm crochet hook. The pattern instructions included at least one error, but since there’s a photograph of the motif that shows the work pretty clearly, I was able to figure it out and complete my square despite the errors. If this had been my design, I would re-work the edging a bit; the stitches are a little too crowded for my taste. Overall it’s quite a pretty design.
- “Daisies Won’t Tell” — It was interesting to me that the author saw daisies in this design. As published, that isn’t what I visualized when I initially looked at it. I stared at it for awhile and then decided to try crocheting a sample that’s more daisy-like; I worked the first two rounds of my sample in yellow yarn and then changed colors and worked the last 2 rounds in white yarn. I like it both ways, but think it’s much prettier in two colors, although it’s also more work to weave in extra ends. The instructions were workable, but I had to look carefully at the photo while I was working the last round, because there are some places where the work gets a bit complicated.
- “Daisy in Lace” — This is an 8-pointed hexagon type design with a cluster stitch flower motif in the center.
- “Arches” — This is another 8-pointed medallion style crochet motif pattern.
- “Sweet Shells” — This is a flat openwork flower type motif with 10 outer petals and five inner petals.
- “Hexagon Clusters” — This hexagonal motif has concave outer edges that peak in rounded points.
- “Coneflower” — It’s hard to tell from the picture, but it looks like this is a small flower with a three dimensional puffy center. I could be wrong in that interpretation, but I haven’t crocheted it to give you more details.
- “High Noon” — If not for the name of this design, I would have thought it’s a large and spectacular flower. The name, however, leads me to believe that it’s actually a crocheted representation of the sun.
- “Cluster Flower” — A flower with 8 petals and lots of open areas.
- “Delicate Shells” — Another medallion type flower motif with 8 petals; this one has a sort of wagon-wheel type design in the center.
- “Petite Popcorns” — This little flower motif has only two rounds, and the center is comprised of a ring of textured popcorn stitches.
- “Popcorn Daisy” — This pretty flower has 6 petals. It features textured popcorns in the center.
- “Pretty Points” — An octagon medallion style motif with a wagon wheel type design in the center.
- “Prancing Picots” — If this design had 6 points instead of 8, it would be suitable for use as a snowflake motif. Since it has 8, it doesn’t work as a snowflake, but it’s just as pretty and charming.
The book also includes a list of abbreviations, symbols and terms used, plus a brief section about converting US crochet terms to international crochet terms.
Things I Like About This Book
There is a nice variety of motif patterns here. Unless you happen to need snowflakes, which aren’t well represented in this batch of motifs, you’ll probably find something workable for most occasions when you need a motif pattern to complete a project you’re working on.
Some of these motifs are delightful.
Despite my nit-picking about the accuracy or lack thereof in the pattern names, I
really do appreciate it that the author took the time to name each motif pattern. Think about it; which would you find more inspiring to work on — “lovely loops” or “design #25”?
Things I Didn’t Love About This Book
I found multiple unclear places plus at least one outright error in the pattern instructions in this book.
Some of these designs are mediocre and sloppy.
You get zero information about each design except for the name of the pattern and the instructions for crocheting the design plus the photo of the project sample. No finished sizes; no yardage requirements; no hook size recommendations; no skill level ratings.
On the one hand, it’s really great to not have to worry about matching someone else’s gauge. Yippee!!
On the other hand, I would have appreciated having notes that mentioned the finished size of each project sample before and after blocking and the size of the crochet hook used to create it. That way I’d at least have a ballpark idea about what size range to expect, even if my work varies slightly from the samples. As things stand, you’re likely to have to spend a lot of time on trial and error with these patterns before you figure out whether you’ll be able to use them for whatever purpose you have in mind.
The motif project samples are all monochromatic, and they’re all worked in off-white thread. Yawn! OK, the ecru thread is beautiful and classic, and there’s nothing wrong with it, but they make up for the black-and-whiteness by printing some of the text in color and printing the patterns on pages that have a colored background. Am I the only one who gets irritated by this sort of thing?
Hello, publishers, if you’re going to give me all project samples worked up in white thread, I would rather have you save on printing costs, drop the price of the book and give me a book printed entirely in black and white. This sort of presentation is just silly. I’m not gaining any additional enjoyment out of having the background on these pages tinted in different colors. If the book price were a few dollars less I could have bought some more patterns or more thread instead of needlessly having money tied up in color printing when these projects really don’t need to be printed in color.
Despite that bit of ranting, I do think the book is a good value for the asking price. Sure, the value could be improved on — but if you need a variety of motif patterns and you crochet frequently, you’re likely to get your money’s worth from this collection.
Other Observations About This Book
The graphic design of the book is classic and doesn’t distract from the designs, but to my eyes it’s a little boring. On one hand, it’ll probably still look fine in another 10 years, which is a good thing. On the other hand, if you feel inspired by looking at a book featuring a fresh, on-trend style of graphic design (I do!) then this book may leave you yawning.
These designs are reminiscent of vintage crochet projects that were typical of pattern books published prior to 1930. If you’re a vintage crochet enthusiast, and you already own significant numbers of pre-1930s crochet manuals or womens’ magazines, no doubt you have some similar patterns included in your reference library already. Design wise, there really isn’t much new, fresh or outstandingly original presented in this book; however, this book brings real value to the table in the form of instructions that are readily usable by contemporary crocheters.
Bottom line, if you love the look of vintage crochet motifs but you tear your hear out when trying to decipher the confusing old-fashioned instructions, this book is going to be a real treasure in your crochet library. While many of these designs are reminiscent of others that have been previously published in vintage crochet manuals, the instructions are delightfully clear in comparison.
. I’m happy to recommend 50 Fabulous Crochet Thread Motifs to other crochet enthusiasts. At its original asking price of $11.95 US dollars, this book is a good buy. If you can find it on sale for less then it’s an excellent buy.
Where to Buy This Book
- Click here to shop for this book at the Leisure Arts website.
- Click here to check availability at Amazon.com.