Sunday, 16 June 2013

A touch of lace

The  exception to the self, book or friend taught crafts which will appear here is lace making.  I attended a council run "for leisure" adult education class for a few months run by and elderly Belgium lady from Bruges one of the most famous places for the making of lace.  The class was in bobbin lace not sewn lace.  It is made on a pillow of sorts, there are different designs for those. My first one was a big square of heavy polystyrene. 

The type of bobbins used vary depending on the lace making style and the pillow. For example in Malta the main style is for long ribbons of lace made on long thin pillows and the bobbins are very like mini baseball bats in appearance with the weight of the thick end providing tension to the work. For flat pillows which are geared to patterns which turn corners the bobbins are an even shape with a small hole at the end through which a wire onto which beads are attached, this beaded loop at the end of the bobbin stops it rolling and tangling the threads when not in use.  I have heard the beads refereed to as spangles and attaching the beads to spangling the bobbin. Theresa, my teacher never used that term however, she just called it beading.

There are different thicknesses of thread to use depending on the design you are making.  A sampler band was the first thing I did, learning the various combinations of moving the bobbins over and under to make tight sections or filling stitches. The first proper project was the edge for a doily with a fanned edge and corners to navigate.

I was very pleased with the result once it was attached to its linen base with the special cross stitch which added both to the decorative effect and sealed the raw edge of the material.

For my second project I wanted to make a gift for my mother. I shall come back to that and the linked craft of "spangling" later.   
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