Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sew & Tell: vintage lace

My mom has been cleaning out closets and she recently found a bag of my grandmother’s crocheted lace, doilies and other goodies that she gave to me. 

I can’t imagine the hours and hours of work that went into each piece. The crocheting was done with very fine thread and we estimate that some of the pieces are 75 years old.

These were the threads that were in the bag. The small ball of off white thread is marked 12 cents.

This order postcard for name tape was also in the bag. 

I’m sure this piece was intended to be a table cloth or table runner. It’s the largest piece and like so many, it’s unfinished. Some things never change, I know I have tons of unfinished projects in my stash.

This lace edging has darkened with age. I’m going to try to gently hand wash the pieces and store them safely to pass down.

I believe this lace was done with a method called tatting. I added a regular sewing pin to the picture so you could see how small the knots and loops are. 

Another large unfinished piece.

Beautiful round granny squares.

More lace edging. The little vintage iron is a miniature doll or play iron. It measures approximately 2.5” in length.

I imagine evenings spent without television and computers making these beautiful lace creations. But even without all those distractions, I’m not sure I could master this type of handiwork. It’s really amazing!

Thank you for visiting.



  1. Wow, what an amazing treasure, and beautiful handwork!!

  2. Oh wow. That really IS amazing. I can't imagine my eyes letting me do that, never mind my hands. Just gorgeous and what a sentimental find!

    The lace brings back memories of my very talented grandmother who could crochet like an angel.
    Yes that's tatting and it is done with a steel or plastic implement called shuttle.

  4. You have some BEAUTIFUL lace there! And, yes! Some IS tatted! You can make some gorgeous things using those pieces! Cannot WAIT to see what you do!

    1. Thanks Usha and Kai for confirming that the piece was done by tatting. I can't imagine learning that skill.

  5. So lovely. I have a drawer full of vintage lace, tatting, etc., that was my grandmother's. Sometimes I take them out and decorate with them but sometimes I just admire them and try to think of how she may have used them.

  6. These are absolutely lovely and made only the more so by your photography. Really a sweet vintage feel to them. I can't imagine how long some of those had to have taken.

  7. These are stunning!

  8. Very beautiful.


  9. So pretty !!

  10. I loved seeing the tatted lace. It is a very easy form of lace making, and I love to tat away while listening to music. If you can knit, embroider, or crochet, you can very easily needle tat. I learned how from a book I checked out at the library named "MaryJane's Stitching Room: 47 Farmgirl Handiwork Projects". The illustrated directions are a breeze.

    I admit, the needles are hard to find (at least here in Miami), so I ordered mine from Amazon.
    Thank you for sharing!


Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment. I enjoy reading and responding to your comments. If you do not hear back from me via email your profile is most likely defaulted to no reply-comment or anonymous and I am unable to respond.