Monday, September 26, 2011

Lace Critters!

This past week wasn't a regular weaving week on my loom. Instead, Thursday, Friday and Saturday I took a bobbin lace class with Louise Colgan. She flew in from California to teach us milanese lace. I've taken several classes with her before and we always learn so much when she comes. Having 3 days makes it possible to get most of our projects done. I chose to make a bumble bee this time. I thought I was biting off more than I could chew, but taking it step by step made it possible to work. This picture shows the finished project. I took my camera along Saturday and took pictures in the morning. I'd finished my little bee. This is the back of him. So, you can see his whole body. The wings are kind of hidden. When I take him off the pillow and flip him, you'll be able to see the front and how he's supposed to look.  I will probably have him off the pillow by next week and can post a picture of the front of him.
 Dene was still working on the body of her bee. It is alot of bobbins that you work with, but you're only dealing with 2 pairs or 4 bobbins at a time.
 Mary had started this cross last year when Louise came. She was able to get it finished by the time she had to leave on Saturday. She's going to frame it and give it to her mom for Christmas. Good plan! It's not a terribly complicated pattern, you just have to do it in sections and remember how to connect all the parts as you go. It's called sewings, you have to sew the threads to the next sections so it's all one cohesive piece when you take all those pins out!
 Roberta was working on a lady bug. Took awhile to get him done too! He'll look alot cuter once he's done and flipped over. I think they were using little black buttons for his spots instead of weaving black spots with their threads. Because you always see the back of the lace, the buttons are underneath the lace as she works.
 Last year I made a seahorse and have another one almost finished. Helen decided to make one this year. She got it done by the end of the day. You cover up what you've done so the threads don't snag on the pins. So there's seahorse under the cloth already finished.
 We had a nice surprise Saturday morning. A lady that lives in town came with the lace she inherited from her Grandmother and great aunt. This is the lady on the left, talking to Louise, our instructor.
 She grew up in Vienna, Austria, and had stories to tell about life before the war. Her parents owned a knitting shop where they used knitting machines. She, herself, does not knit although she does all kinds of other handwork!
Her great aunt lived in Bohemia in what is now part of Czechoslovakia. She made bobbin lace on a big roller pillow, something I haven't used yet. I'm not sure I could get the hang of that! She has some wonderful examples of lace pieces.
 This piece below was absolutely fascinating. She had to do alot of sewing as she went up and down each section of the piece!! But, what a wonderful result!
 We checked how she sewed the fabric to the lace. It looked like a machine, so precise, but it was all done by hand.
 There is no pillow large enough to make a table cloth this big, but she must have made the sections and then joined them. What a feat!!! Either she had a very good light source if she did this in the evening or she worked on it all day! Lace is slow. It takes about an hour to do a square inch.
 She had a picture of her family to show us. Her great aunt is on the right weaving a lace collar she made!
I had finished my bee Saturday morning so started on a hedgehog. I forgot to download the picture onto this blog so will post it next week. He's a cute little thing but I won't have time to finish him until our next lace meeting in October. I got most of the body done. I need to start sewing the threads to the rest of the body to finish the loop but need a bit of time to figure out how to do it. It's a bit complicated and I'm hoping that Helen will remember how to do it so I can get that done during our meeting!
Today it's back to weaving. I've got purple on the loom now so I'll be getting that fabric done. My show is in less than a month and I've got several more warps that have to be woven for that!!
This was such a nice break, having time to relax (with lots of pillows to cushion our backs!) and just flip those bobbins. The click of them was quite relaxing.
Now it's back to the world of looms and warps!


LA said...

From lace weaving to loom are a busy lady. Wonderful pieces!!!! And, how nice that you had such an interesting visitor!

Bonnie said...

Lace weaviing. Not sure I could do that. End products are beautiful. Purple, you will have to show that warp next week. My favorite color.

Tina J said...

Beautiful! I am glad you got to see all those pieces and with stories too. You just can't get any better!

Anonymous said...

Do you starch the lace or treat it somehow before removing it from the pins? Very fascinating.