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Doily Designer

Crochet World has the most gorgeous 3-D doily on the cover of the October issue. I interviewed the designer, Gemma Owen, to find out more about her work.

Click here for larger image.

DORA: Do you enjoy designing doilies? Why?

GEMMA: I love designing doilies! They can be any size or shape, and there are many colors that can be used. I especially love to re-create nature -- flowers, leaves or anything that I can incorporate into a design to make it come to life. 3-D doilies are just great because they attract attention and add to the decor in your home.

DORA: How do you work out the shaping and colors when designing doilies?

GEMMA: I honestly have no set way of designing. I start with whatever colors I want and just begin working and see what I come up with. There are times that I can see a design in my mind, and then I just set to work, pulling it out of my mind and into the real world. Being artistic has helped; I am always drawing and painting, so designing is an extension of that. In addition, I always use math when working with crochet, as you must add the right number of stitches per round to stay flat.

DORA: Do you design other things too?

GEMMA: Yes! I have done afghans, jewelry, doll dresses, MANY chemo caps and hats for the American Cancer Society, slippers for nursing homes, and of course, runners, pincushions, place settings -- anything made from thread! I love thread best, but crocheting with yarn is my second love!

DORA: What are you favorite threads for doilies?

GEMMA: My favorite threads are Aunt Lydia's, or anything Coats & Clark makes. Their threads are always superb, always consistent in color. I also like the Omega brand of thread, which includes colors not found in Aunt Lydia's.

DORA: Do you have any pointers on how to succeed with the doily pattern featured on the cover of Crochet World?

GEMMA: Sure, and these pointers apply to ALL thread work: Never crochet thread too tightly, and never too loosely. If it's too tight, it puckers and cannot be blocked well without really having to stretch it out. If it's crocheted too loosely, then the piece will look sloppy. You really have to get your thread crochet worked into a nice tension. Once you do, you learn the feel, and it becomes a habit to use THAT tension. Your pieces will come out looking very nice.

DORA: Any modifications to the design that you might suggest?

GEMMA: If you prefer bolder autumn colors, make leaves of reds and yellows. Or make the center flower red or burgundy, with golden yellow and orange leaves. I'd even recommend using different variegated shades for the leaves, as there are many choices. Fall offers many colors and shades of colors to choose from. It is only as limited as your own mind.

Wow, Gemma's enthusiasm is jumping off the page! Makes me want to get out my threads and start working on this right away. THANKS, GEMMA!

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