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Showing posts with label lace making. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lace making. Show all posts

Saturday, March 15, 2014


The 3 inch wide kntted lace which I began when I was pregnant many years ago and picked up to work on again for that son's first child is finished.  I attached it to layers of crepe back satin, solid cream on one side, and a richly colored butterfly and roses print on the other. I knitted the lace, blocked it, cut and stitched the satin, went around the edge with pearl cotton in a blanket stitch, and finally, whip-stitched the lace to those stitches. It has been a labor of love, giving me the opportunity to focus on this baby, every stitch a prayer for her safe passage into this world and her journey in the years to come.  I have folded the coverlet and will pass it into the hands of my son and his wife today. Nora has been in our hearts for all these months, within days she will be in our arms.  Welcome, sweet little girl. You are covered with more than satin and lace. You are covered with Grace.

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Art of Making Lace by Tatting

Both my great grandmother, Ernestine M. Curley, and my grandmother, Mary Clyde Curley Terrell, kept samples of tatted and crocheted edgings and patterns for future reference, much as we keep printed patterns and directions today.  I do not remember my mother, Opal Terrell Teal, tatting, but she loved to embroider and crochet.  I have done my share of needlework through the years:  embroidery, cross stitch, crochet, and knitting but among my needlework supplies I count some of their handed down needles and patterns among my treasures.  In the first photograph, there are 4 of their edging patterns which I framed, among others.  The second row of lace above is tatted lace done by my great grandmother Ernestine.  The shuttle she used is shown in my hand in the photo below.

Tatting with a shuttle is the earliest method of creating tatted lace. A shuttle facilitates tatting by holding a length of wound thread and guiding it through loops to make the requisite knots. It is normally a metal or ivory pointed oval shape less than 3 inches long, but shuttles come in a variety of shapes and materials. Shuttles usually have a point or hook on one end to aid in making the lace. Antique shuttles and unique shuttles have become highly sought after by collectors — even those who do not tat.
To make the lace, the tatter wraps the thread around one hand and manipulates the shuttle with the other hand. No tools other than the thread, the hands, and the shuttle are used, though  a crochet hook may be necessary if the shuttle does not have a point or hook.netting and decorative ropework as sailors and fishermen would put together motifs for girlfriends and wives at home. Decorative ropework employed on ships includes techniques that show striking similarity with tatting.

Sewing instruction manual and sample, designed by Sister Mary Loretta Gately, as used in Sisters of Providence schools in the Pacific Northwest, 1908-1917
The Women's Museum, Dallas, Texas (special exhibit Women & Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America, 2009–2010)