Difficulty: Intermediate ✦✦✧✧✧
My sister has been asking for me to make her a mustard yellow blanket for some time now. Unfortunately, I live in Denmark and she lives in Texas. Shipping is exorbitantly expensive from Denmark, so a blanket is not feasible until I move back to the States. Recently, I came upon this beautiful crocodile stitch flower square and thought it would make the perfect sunflower square decorative pillow. Sunflowers are her favorite flower!
Now, to turn this square into a pillow, I needed a solid square for the back. I get bored really easily if I have to do the same stitch over and over, row after row. I think I made about 2 inches of alternating sc and dc rows before I gave up. I was dropping stitches every couple rows and just not having fun. It was like I was a beginning crocheter all over again!
I set out to design a more interesting solid 12 inch square. In keeping with the overall shape of the front of the pillow, I decided to make a circle in a square with some texture in the rounds to keep it interesting. And so, I present my squared circle free crochet pattern.
The size of this square is dependent on the the yarn/hook combination and how many rows of border you add. Measurements of the square as written, made with worsted weight yarn and a 3.5mm (E) hook: 12 inches per side.
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For the sunflower, I followed Joyce Lewis's Crocodile Flower Square.
Notes on the Crocodile Flower Square:
I found that the square needed to be blocked twice: first, after creating the foundation of the square, and second, after stitching the petals and the border.
I also made a couple of modifications to the pattern to work better as a pillow:
The corners. I don't want the white pillow form to show through the ch spaces in the corners. To make solid corners throughout the pattern, stitch (sc, hdc, sc) in the corner of a sc row, or (2 dc, tc, 2 dc) in the corner of a dc row.
The sawtooth border embellishment (round 14). I alternated sc and relief dc around the row below.
The border (rounds 15-17). Rather than continue the sawtooth border, I alternated rows of sc and dc, ending in a row of sc, until I reached 12 inches on a side.
Squared Circle Row 1: 7 sc in a magic ring. Row 2: 2 sc in each st, sl st in the first st. (14) Row 3: [Sc, 2 sc in the next st] repeat 7 times. (21) Row 4: [Sc 2, 2 sc in the next st] repeat 7 times. (28) Row 5: Sc in each st. (28) Row 6: [2 hdc in the next st, hdc 3] repeat 7 times. (35) Row 7: Sc in each st, sl st in the first st. (35) Note: This row is optional. It is only necessary if your circle is wavy after Row 6. Do not do this row if your circle is laying flat or slightly bowing.
End the last row with a sl st in the first st to close the round. Now switch from continuous rounds (like a spiral) to defined rounds (like a circle).
Row 8: Ch 2, [dc4tog, 6 dc in the next st] repeat 7 times, sl st in the first st. Row 9: Ch 3, dc in the same st, [dc 6, 2 dc in the next st] repeat 7 times, sl st in the first st. Row 10: Ch 3, dc in the same st, [2 dc in the next st, dc 6, 2 dc in the next st] repeat 6 times, 2 dc in the next st, dc 6, sl st in the first st. (70) Row 11: Ch 2, [dc4tog, 6 dc in the next st] repeat 14 times, sl st in the first st. Row 12: Ch 3, dc in each st, sl st in the first st. (98) Row 13: Ch 3, dc in the same st, [dc 6, 2 dc in the next st] repeat 13 times, dc 6, sl st in the first st. (112) Row 14: Ch, [sc 4, hdc 4, dc 4, tc, 2 tc in the next st, dtc2tog the same st and the next st together (like an Even Inc), 2 tc in the next st, tc, dc 4, hdc 4, sc 4] repeat 4 times, sl st. Row 15: Ch, [sc 6, hdc 2, dc 4, tc 3, (2 tc, dtc, 2 tc) in the next st, tc 3, dc 4, hdc 2, sc 6] repeat 4 times, sl st in the first st. Row 16: Ch, [sc 15, hdc 2, (2 hdc, dc, 2 hdc) in the corner st, hdc 2, sc 15] repeat 4 times, sl st in the first st. Row 17: Ch, sc in each st around with (sc, hdc, sc) in the corner st, sl st in the first st. Row 18: Ch 3, dc in each st around with (2 dc, tc, 2 dc) in the corner st, sl st in the first st. Rows 19-22: Repeat Rows 17 and 18 two more times. Note: Each additional repeat of Rows 17 and 18 will increase the dimensions of the pillow by about 1 inch per side.
Since I am shipping this pillow cover to my sister and then ordering a pillow form online for her, I didn't want her to have to sew one seam to seal the pillow. Instead, I made her an envelope-style pillow case with a yarn button.
Inner "Flap": Row 1: Join in a corner of the flower square. Sc in each st across. Turn. Row 2: Ch 3, dc in each st across. Turn. Row 3: Ch, sc in each st across. Turn. Rows 4-9: Repeat Rows 2 and 3 three more times. Tie off.
To give the pillow a finished look, I chose to use a row of sc to sew the squares together. Fold the flap over and line up the edges of the two squares. Insert your crochet hook through all three layers of the pillow and sc in each stitch across. The inner flap should line up so that there are 2 sc in around each dc, and 1 sc in the side of each sc row. (Sc, hdc, sc) in the corners. On the third side, stitch through the inner flap beginning 13 sts from the 3rd corner. On the fourth side, sc around the first row of sts of the flap to continue the finished edge around. (Sc, hdc) in the last st. Sl st in the first st of the border seam. Tie off. Weave ends in.
Left: Stitching through all 3 layers to assemble the pillow. Middle: Lining up the inner flap on the third side. Right: Stitch around the first row of the flap to complete the border.
Yarn Button This button is designed to fit in a button hole created by 2 dc. Row 1: Start with a long end for sewing. 14 sc in a magic ring, sl st in the first st. Row 2: sl st in front loop of every st around. (14) Tie off. Leave a long end for sewing. Use a needle to weave the end back to the center of the button.
Find the center of the Inner Flap and attach the button to a row of dc. I pulled the two ends through the flap, around two dc, to center the button over the space between 2 dc in the back square. Weave ends in and you're done!
My sister's sunflower pillow! It matches her arm chair perfectly!