Overlay Crochet – Not what I thought it was

By Corinne Munger – 24 Comments
If you perform a search on Google for “Overlay Crochet”, be prepared to see the most spectacular display of color on the internet! It looks like you are viewing individual patterns from a kaleidoscope. Just amazing! What was I expecting to see and how did I come across this? I was trying to incorporate a chain stitch on top of one of my projects and thought this was called overlay crochet – well it is, but isn’t… crochet on top

My interpretation of Overlay Crochet (the new definition) is a crocheted “medallion”, whether it be round or square, with crocheted stitches on top of the medallion. You start with a colorful, concentric (not spiral) shape and then overlay stitches on to it to make your medallion. Here are some examples:
overlay 1overlay 2overlay 3
How Beautiful are these???

My research shows that this was introduced in the book Master Crochet Class (which I’ll be owning real soon). Instructions are hard to come by, but I did find one (Norwegian) site that has such good step-by-step pictures, you can probably follow it (it’s the bottom medallion in the above pictures). Click here to see it.

So I guess I was partially right in assuming that it was chain stitching over a crocheted piece, but I had no idea to what extent you could take this. I found this technique extended to pillows, purses and even jewelry. It’s extravagant, intricate and I’m sure involved. But I believe that this would be worth every second spent learning it.

Does anyone out there do this? Do you have any tips? I think I’ll give it a go on my own. Even if I just make the basic circle, I’m sure I can find a use for the explosive color somewhere!

Similar Posts


  1. Paula says:

    Hi, I checked out the website and wow….I love her technique. The pictures are so good, I am inspired to try this. The only thing, I don’t quite know what yarn she uses, and the hook size. It looks like cotton. Do you have any ideas on this? Thanks for any help, and thanks for posting this amazing site for us to drool over 🙂

    • Joyce says:

      It appears to be fine crochet thread – a guesstimate would be something like Perle Cotton by Presencia America. It comes in a variety of weights and a kaleidscope of colors. I’ve been using it for years for crochet, but it can be used for embroidery, tatting, needlepoint, hardanger. just google presenciaamerica.com

      • Ann says:

        I have made all 3 of these pictured overlay mandalas using Caron’s Simply soft and incorporated them in a patchwork afghan. The Norwegian one I finally was able to make it a square. I know the pictures were great but I had the instructions translated to English (as best the internet would do) and was able to follow them. I believe it’s a potholder originally. She also had a heart pattern which I made and it’s lovely.

        • Mie Christensen says:

          Hi Ann
          You’re absolutely right, it is a potholder, and it’s made in cotton, don’t think it’s Perlé,

          but something much thicker.

          Greetings from Denmark

  2. Grace says:

    You know, I did that stuff on accident just fiddling around. I had no idea it had a name.

    Also, I just got the Master Class book last night (and hadn’t looked through it all the way yet). I flipped through it just now. WONDERFUL. I’m glad I finally spent my Christmas money on it. =D
    You’ve got me excited enough to try some more things once I’m done with all the order I’ve got for my shop. ^.^

  3. That’s very interesting and inspiring! Beautiful stuff, for sure.

  4. Hi.
    Thank you for the nice comment about my crochet potholder. I have used cotton yarn and hook number 3,5 mm(I am not sure about the number in american term)

    olavas verden

    • Hi Olavas!
      Wonderful to hear from you! When I searched for examples of this technique, I came across your beautiful work and had to share it! I can’t wait to make some of my own! Thank you for joining us – can’t wait to see more of your projects!

    • Ann says:

      They are beautiful! Thank you for sharing your patterns!

  5. Varsha suraiya says:

    Simply amazing!Must try it.Can you give clearer instructions? Tks.

  6. Darlene says:

    A few years ago I downloaded some overlay crochet patterns off the internet. In these patterns you had to do a lot of double crochet, treble crochet, double treble, etc. over the prior rows as you crocheted giving a raised pattern to the finished piece. Some were potholders, coasters, doilies, medallions, etc. Both in one color and different colors. None of these particular objects used the chain stitching over the top method. I don’t know how to do that although I do have an instruction pamphlet on how it is done, I just haven’t at down and attempted to master it. I also have a book of doily patterns that uses that method to make the doilies. I wouldn’t mind having a few more patterns of that type as they are so colorful.

    • Ann says:

      I plan to make all the overlay patterns I have (quite a few I purchased from Etsy, Caro created) and make multi-colored doilies out of them. I think they will be absolutely gorgeous! Finishing up my sampler afghan with the patterns I have, also incorporated beads and buttons on them.

  7. Shelley says:

    If you highlight the text and “copy” it you can go to Google Translate and past it, it will then translate it for you.

  8. Mandy says:

    Try this ladies it may help you kick start your passion for ‘over crocheting’ I have made a few of these and turned them into cushions etc so easy to do


  9. Wendy says:

    I do this a lot with free form crochet, (though nowhere near as well as the pictures!) to add a layer of color and texture. I use chain stitches, fans, popcorns…try a Google search for, “surface crochet.” What you’re describing is just that, crocheting on the surface of a finished piece, for color, texture, detail.

  10. Maryann Crusoe says:


  11. Stephanie says:

    So my scrap-saving is not in vain? 🙂 I just love this idea!!!

  12. Carol says:

    Check out Melody McDuffee”s overlay crochet website. You can click the medallion on the home page for the large image. Gorgeous! She has a book titled Overlay Crochet. She has links to it on her web site. Melodys Arts

  13. Lorraine says:

    I have been doing a little of this beautiful work, but I thought it was called surface crochet.
    Check out these shops on etsy , wonderfulhands & zoomyummy
    The products are so lovely,I enjoy learning from these too sites.

  14. Donna Campbell says:


  15. Lisa says:

    My Dear mother has recently taken this up and has frogged MANY times, but has made SUCH a lovely afghan to raffle off for wounded warriors.

    You can find her facebook here:

    I’m sure she’d be more than willing to help anyone who might need it. She’s been crocheting for over 20 years, and even she is have difficulty.

    I’m very excited to try this *even if I’m pretty new to crochet* it’s just SO STUNNING *-*

  16. Janet says:

    I’m so delighted to find this! I have four of these, crocheted in red and white that were made by my grandmother about 70 years ago! I use them to protect my table when placing hot dishes on it. I was just about to really study one and write down what I believed the pattern to be to try it when I stumbled upon this. I can’t wait to make some of these as gifts for friends!

  17. Maria says:

    Go to YouTube and look at the Circles of the sun overlay…..there are 9 videos showing how to make them

Leave a Reply