"The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest."

Thomas Moore

Thursday, March 5, 2015

About bobbin lace...

This week I've referred to my Year of Gentle Domesticity plans a few times, and also shown you the framed mission statement I made for the bedside table which reminds and inspires me each morning to stay on track with the domestic arts I desire to re-visit, learn, enjoy and hone.
One of those arts to learn is bobbin-lace making and after receiving a few comments and emails about the subject I thought I'd explain a bit more about why I'm interested in it...

Bobbin lace is not new to our household.
My sweet daughter Blossom (who will be 21 in May, can you believe it!?) dabbled in this craft after a lesson in Alice Springs when she was just 12. This was her first piece of bobbin lace, which became a bookmark gift for me....

We left Alice Springs soon after and moved to a remote outback school where the nearest supplier of milk and bread was almost two hours away, so having ample activity supplies on hand for the children was very important as we didn't venture out much. We were homeschoolers and always open to trying new  crafts or techniques and because Blossom was very keen to continue with lace making we ordered her some basic supplies...

Over time I received more precious lengths of her practice lace....

Eventually in 2008 a new craft caught her fancy (beading) and I was left with her learner's bobbin lace tools which I duly packed away in case her interest ever returned.
Fast forward to 2011. 
Picking through the items at a local Saturday morning garage sale near our (then) home reminded me of the lace supplies stored up high in the linen cupboard. A woven bag hidden amongst piles of craft supplies held beautiful lace making bobbins and threads!
After handing over a crisp $5 note to cover the price tag marked on the bag I returned home with treasures for the future.
When this Year of Gentle Domesticity was rolling towards me and I began listing the things I'd like to learn through 2015, bobbin-lace seemed quite natural as my supplies are abundant...

I have a few time-consuming commitments for stitchery designs at the moment, but when the calendar rolls over into April some regular weekly afternoons will be given over to learning this wonderful and complex art, but I am a realist as well as a visual learner so I think YouTube might somehow be involved with lessons.

I'll show you some peeks at those stitchery commitments tomorrow.
 They are making me smile, but I do need time to crack on and finish them so last night I made enough dinner to cover two nights which means I can settle in for the entire afternoon today and tango with my needle and thread.

Mr E is very happy last night's supper is returning for an encore presentation tonight!
 I made Spinach & Ricotta Filo Roll from THIS recipe, and some Chilli & Capsicum Jam from a recipe inside the Paleo Cafe cookbook. Both were delicious!

What new craft would you enjoy learning?



  1. Bobbin lace making is on my list too. Right now I am learning crazy quilting. I love needle arts!! Keep us posted on your progress with the bobbin lace making.

  2. I did lace making when I was pregnant with my DS1 (30 years ago) and still have all the bobbins. Some are very special with my kids names and birthdates on them and others just plain but I loved bobbin lace making. So very relaxing although you do have to concentrate. One day I will take it up again. Hope you enjoy your journey with it.

  3. So that's what those funny looking sticks are that are in the box with my Grandma's tatting bobbins!! I never could figure that out! I don't even know if I kept them. I might have to look this up... : )

  4. Hi Jenny it's been a long time since I've left you a comment but I wanted to stop by and say how happy for and proud of you I am. Not that a stranger's pride means much, but if you recall, we "chatted" way back and you helped me get my blog up and running. I've stopped blogging after my beloved Princess left me, but I still check in with my favorites. I was just telling somebody at work today about how I've watched you start dabbling in needlework and now you're selling patterns everywhere! I like your mission statement for 2015 and can't help but be envious. It's wonderful that you are concentrating on yourself now that Blossom is grown. And NO I cannot believe she's 21!!

  5. Jenny, 30 years ago DH and I attended a winter craft workshop at Mitchell College Bathurst for a whole week during the mid eighties. DH learnt lead lighting and I did Bobbin Lace. I'm afraid his samples were a lot larger than mine!!! Our 3 children, eagerly waited to see our samples. I am sure they were disappointed in what I had achieved. I still have the bobbins, the cushion and the instruction book by Jenny Fisher,
    my tutor. Alas it was too slow for me!! I still have my bookmark and lace I put on the sleeve of a blouse I made.

    I hope you have more patience than me!!!

  6. LOL, Jenny! I have enough commitments with the things I already do, but tatting, either needle or shuttle, has long been on my list if I ever do a new one. Paul's grandmother showed me shuttle tatting when I was about 21 or 22, and you know I've wished a thousand times I had kept it up!

  7. i'm still improving on the crafts/skills i already do, knitting & crochet, latter one i need to learn more, but after seeing your embroidery & downloading your free vintage ones i want to learn it & i like the idea of putting them on a tea towel or cushion.
    looking forward to when you start your bobbin lace
    thanx for sharing

  8. This art looks so intriguing. I love lace, and those little turned wooden dowels are so adorable. I want to learn this art! I will be paying close attention to your journey.....I want to come too! Hugs, Cori

  9. As much as I love the lace I doubt that I have the time or patience to do it myself. With 3 counted cross stitches to finish that have been sitting incomplete for 10 years now, some scrabooking that also has been left untouched for about the same time ( my youngest daughter's deb pics still need to be scrapbooked and she is nearly 27!), my EPP insanity quilt requiring several borders and another EPP large quilt half done, I shall just sit back and see your progress hehehe. I would, however, love to have a go at rug hooking but can't seem to find any supplies anywhere.

  10. I've never made lace - it looks quite hard but a friends mother made me a tiny piece which fitted into a tiny box top years ago. It is beautiful. And the spinach dish looks so yummy - might have to try that.

  11. I love bobbin lacemaking. I learned this wonderfull craft when my older son was born - I got these lectures from my husband as a present. Last year I attended bobbin lace guild in our town - 4-5 ladies quietly lacemaking and chatting one evening a week. I hope you also will like it...

  12. Bobbin lace making is on my list of crafts I want to learn - as are many others 😉 ... I think there's even a lace making group up here!! At least there was several years ago 😊

  13. Good luck on your lace making. Sometimes I think I would like to learn how to crochet. But I already have ventured in to too many crafts and have way too much to finish up as it is.

  14. I don't know if I want to learn how to make bobbin lace, but the tools are very beautiful!

  15. I always admire these intricate pieces of art, but have never curried up the courage to actually learn it. I'm looking forward to seeing your creations one day soon :)
    And more yummy recipes!! I'll have to start the diet another month :D

  16. Not sure if I hae commented before, but I am following your blog on Bloglovin and have purchased a couple of your pattern from Craftsy! Love your sweet designs, when I complete a few projects, I'll be posting the pictures to the pattern page on Craftsy so you can see them.

    I love bobbin lace! My dear sweet Mama and I took at class several years ago, and really enjoyed it, tho' I don't believe I finished my bookmark. I hope you will share your progress.

  17. Jeany, my daughter also was taught bobbin lace by a lovely lady, when she was 13. She did it for a couple of years before the lady moved. She still has all of her gear, and says she will get back to it when life is a little less crazy.it certainly makes beautiful lacework.

  18. I have seen this done and it is gorgeous. I need a new craft like I need a hole in my head.
    But i will be working with Sharpies and rubbing alchol.

  19. We should be starting out on our bobbin lace about the same time. I'm trying to finish up some stitching also. I've been making lace for awhile as I taught myself to tat about 10 years ago. Bobbin lace is different though. We woke up this morning to 6 inches of snow. A little unusual for Texas in March. The university that Jim works at closed down for the day so he got an unexpected day off. Fun!

  20. The bobbin lace sounds like another one of the dieing arts ...So pretty...Nice to know their are folks still making it and learning to make it.

  21. Good luck with the lace Jenny. I have never tried it although I have a good friend who teaches (she also visits Australia regularly but I don't think to teach). Anyway. The closest I have got is with needle lace which I did a workshop on some years back. I fell in love with it and finished my sampler in double quick time but the follow up piece is still around somewhere waiting to be finished! xx

  22. I must confess my creatve juices were stirred when I saw bobbin lace. Since I have so many projects going at the present that are screaming to be finished...especially an Easter dress for my daughter...I will not venture out very far, I am still in the process of adding things for the future.

    I have enjoyed finding your blog. Keep inspiring!

  23. Is bobbin lace the same as tatting?
    Looks very intricate. Can't wait to see how it's done and what you made.


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