Tag Archives | doilies

Doily Premonition

Doily Premonition

On a Saturday in July, I went to my first Needles and Friends meeting in Comanche, Texas. For some reason, as I drove along the driveway, the macramé cord doily that goes on display with the Celebrate Doilies exhibit popped into my mind. It’s a big, eye-catching piece. “People just love big, flashy stuff like that,” I mused. Little did I know this was a premonition of what was to come.

My mom had given me some old macramé cord she bought years ago. I wasn’t sure how far the cord would go, so I searched for a design where it wouldn’t matter if I ran out of cord in the middle of a round.

Also, my mom had three different weights and colors of cord, so the design had to be forgiving enough to accommodate the different thicknesses.

I found the perfect pattern in one of my books of reprinted vintage thread crochet patterns. It was a luncheon set, with coasters, placemats, and a table centerpiece. They all had the same center, which was small enough for the coaster, and the other sizes were made by repeating a sort of spiderweb-type design round.

The pattern was originally published by American Spool Company, with no designer’s name mentioned. Its name is “Peacock Tails Doily Set #7444,” and you can find the pattern free at http://www.freevintagecrochet.com/doilies/7444-doily-pattern.html.

Doily Premonition

Back to the Needles and Friends group. We meet at Tomorrow’s Keepsakes, a coffee-lunch-antique-and-gift shop on the courthouse square in Comanche. One of our members showed her recent quilts and sewing projects, which we admired very much. (Starting in September 2018, we will meet the second Saturday of each month, at 2:00 p.m. Y’all come!)

When she finished, she sat down, and at that point I could see the lovely antique sofa behind her. Draped across its back was the small version of the Peacock Tails doily, crocheted in thread. Cue the theme song of The Twilight Zone…

This premonition thing has been happening to me a lot lately—something pops into my mind sort of randomly and I see it or hear it later in the day. Hmm…I wonder if it would work if I start randomly thinking about things on purpose, like old friends or a book I’ve been looking for. Must try to harness this!

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Celebrate Doilies Podcast

verypink.com podcast about Celebrate Doilies

Installing Celebrate Doilies in Austin last week was an adventure, which became even more exciting when Casey of www.kcknits.com came by the German Free School to interview me for Episode 95 of the www.verypink.com podcast.

In a testament to how well social media can work, Casey told about how she found me through Twitter. I had tweeted about a crochet sample book on loan to me from Gwen Blakley Kinsler, the Crochet Kween. Casey saw a retweet, read about Celebrate Doilies, and messaged me.

For the interview, we both wore clip-on microphones, even though her recorder had very cool directional microphones attached to it. I’ve learned a lot about recording voices in the last few months, and you definitely need a microphone close to the person who is speaking. Clip-ons are a pain, because their long cords tangle so easily and they limit your movement, but they are much less expensive than the fancier alternative.

We talked about how the idea of Celebrate Doilies came to me, back in 2015. Casey asked about some of the stories people have told me about their family heirloom doilies, and I was glad to tell them. After the interview, she photographed the exhibit, which we had just finished putting up.

You can listen to the podcast online at https://verypink.com/2018/05/02/podcast-episode-95-celebrate-doilies/ or wherever you get your podcasts.

Casey added some history about the German Free School in her own blog post about the podcast, which you can read at www.kcknits.com/blog/doilies.

kcknits.com blog post about Celebrate Doilies

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Visit Celebrate Doilies in Austin

Celebrate Doilies in Austin, Texas

It’s May, so come and see the Celebrate Doilies exhibit at the German Free School, 507 East 10th Street, Austin, Texas! It is open for viewing on Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. all through the month of May 2018.

The German Free School was built by German immigrants in the 1800s (I think), using rammed earth. It’s a lovely, historical building, and the perfect backdrop for my doily-inspired art quilts, Sandi Horton’s poetry, and doily heritage stories about crocheters of the present and past, and their work.

The exhibit will also be on display during Maifest, May 12, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Read more at www.germantexans.org/events/maifest-2018.

Celebrate Doilies in Austin, Texas

There’s metered parking just outside the building on 10th Street, and you should be able to see the big, blue, baling twine doily from the sidewalk.

Sandi and I will present “What to Do with Oma’s Doilies” on Sunday, June 3, 2018, at 3 p.m. That will be your last chance for a while to see Celebrate Doilies in Austin.

Many thanks to the staff at the German Free School and to my sister-in-law Carolyn and my daughter Eva for their work installing the exhibit last week.

Celebrate Doilies in Austin, Texas
Celebrate Doilies in Austin, Texas

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Celebrate Doilies on the Move

All set up for What to Do with Grandmother's Doilies presentation

Make plans soon to see the Celebrate Doilies exhibit at the W. K. Gordon Center for Industrial History, in Mingus, Texas. The exhibit will be there through March 15, 2018. For hours and other details, please visit the Exhibition Schedule. The Gordon Center is on I-20, between Weatherford and Eastland.

Shae Adams, the Center’s curator, mounted the exhibit and organized our “What to Do with Grandmother’s Doilies” presentation on February 25th. She and I were talking about why a doily exhibit might be a good fit for the Gordon Center. Shae said, “Crocheting doilies is a home industry.” How true!

Sandi Horton playing flute at the What to Do with Grandmother's Doilies presentation

The photos are from our presentation. I talked about how to take care of doilies, doily projects you can do, and more. Sandi read poetry about her family’s needlework, and played a short musical prayer on her Indian flute. We had a fun and interactive crowd from Mineral Wells, Gordon, and as far as Proctor, Texas.

Suzann at the What to Do with Grandmother's Doilies presentation

The Gordon Center has artifacts and displays about the company town of Thurber, Texas. In many a Texas town with red brick streets, the bricks were made in Thurber. When I was there with friends, we watched a film about the town. It seemed like a wonderful community, but it was difficult to move away from Thurber, since workers were paid in company scrip, which merchants outside the town wouldn’t accept as payment.

Plan to spend some time, if you go, to see the exhibit and the permanent displays and film about Thurber.

Suzann's Constant Comets wall hanging and Sandi Horton's family heirloom crochet at the Gordon Center

If you can’t make it to the Gordon Center, Celebrate Doilies will be at the 4 North Event Center in Comanche, Texas, from March 19th through the 25th. The hours will be Monday-Friday, 4-7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. I’ll be there the whole time, so come and see me!

Sandi Horton and I will give a short presentation in Comanche on Saturday, March 24th, at 2 p.m.

Celebrate Doilies is booked at the German Free School in Austin, Texas, in May. Many of the doily wall hangings will be in a special showing of quilts at Tarleton State University, Stephenville, Texas, in July. I’ll post more information about those venues in the months to come.

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Only Three Days Left to See Celebrate Doilies

doily textile art by Suzann Thompson

Don’t wait too long! You have only three more days to see the Celebrate Doilies exhibit at the Dora Lee Langdon Center in Granbury, Texas. The exhibit’s last day in Granbury is Wednesday, September 27, 2017.

Art quilts, stories, and poetry fill the first floor of the historic Gordon Home, beginning with Constant Comets and Sweet Home, which greet you as you walk into the front door.

The two front rooms have fireplaces and bay windows, and I really like how gallery manager Joel Back displayed some of the posters on the mantels.

doily heritage poster by Suzann Thompson

In one bay window, we decorated the grand piano with Sandi Horton’s family heirloom crochet and poetry.
Sandi Horton's family heirloom crochet and poetry

In the other bay window, you’ll find posters about doilies of the past and modern doilies from Coats & Clark. They loaned designer doilies for us to display as well. The modern doilies are by designers Susan Lowman, Kathryn A. White, and Lisa Gentry.

Doilies Past and Present by Coats & Clark

Come ready to read Sandi Horton’s poetry and about crocheters of the past. Once you’ve been through the exhibit, it’s a short walk to Granbury’s historic town square, where you’ll find great food, coffee, and shopping.

doily textile art by Suzann Thompson

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Celebrate Doilies Opening Reception Today

Doily yarn bombs at Celebrate Doilies by Suzann Thompson

We’re celebrating Celebrate Doilies today, July 22, with an opening reception from noon to 2 p.m. at the Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council, 204 River North Boulevard, in Stephenville, Texas.

Just look for the big doilies on the front of the building. The one on the left is made from macramé cord from my mom’s stash. Thank you, Mom!

Suzann Thompson with baling twine doily

The doily on the right is from my dad’s stash of baling twine. Thank you, Dad!

A friend saw this photo of me with the baling twine doily and wrote, “You look so tiny.” That was sweet, and it gives you an idea of the relative size of this doily.

Once inside the gallery, turn to the right to find the Doily Panel, made by participants in a workshop at my studio on July 8–Anna, Ella, Janetta, Royce, and me.

Doily covered panel at Celebrate Doilies by Suzann Thompson

And there’s more—doily heritage, doily art quilts, and doily poetry. Come and see for yourself!

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Celebrate Doilies Kickstarter Campaign to Launch May 28–Please Donate!

On Sunday, May 28, at 12:30 p.m. Central Time, I will launch a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to cover the remaining expenses of the Celebrate Doilies! exhibit you’ve been reading about on this blog.

Donation levels start at just $5.00, and there are rewards for each level. The more you donate, the better the rewards.

Please visit my Kickstarter page, and donate for art, for poetry, for heritage!

Celebrate Doilies! is a three-part exhibit. First there are doily-inspired art quilts by me. Here’s one called Winter Blues.

Winter Blues, a TextileFusion snowflake wall hanging

Find in-progress photos of this wall hanging here.

Part two of Celebrate Doilies! is poetry by Sandi Horton. She was inspired by the crochet-work of her mother and grandmothers. Read her poem about this pretty green and white doily here (scroll down a bit).

green and white doily by Sandi Horton

The third section of Celebrate Doilies! includes stories and photos of doily crocheters past and present, and their work. Here’s one of the stories that will be in the show:

heritage at the Celebrate Doilies exhibit

The show will be beautiful, and your contribution will ensure that all the heritage posters and poems are printed and hung, and more.

I appreciate your support, and I look forward to sending your rewards!

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Crochet Comets

step by step TextileFusion wall hanging, Crochet Comets, by Suzann Thompson

At our 2015 Dublin Rippers quilting retreat, my friend Donna challenged us. She had a black plastic bag full of fabric. We had to close our eyes and reach into the bag. We had until the next year’s retreat to make something from the fabric we drew from the bag. She said we could make anything we wanted. It didn’t have to be a quilt.

My fabric was a tiny print that gave an overall impression of a kind of pinkish gray. It reminded me of the night sky.

Weren’t there a couple of yellow and white doilies in my collection at home that might make good comets? I went home to my doily collection and, yes! There they were.

 step by step TextileFusion wall hanging, Crochet Comets, by Suzann Thompson

To get an idea of scale, I photographed the doilies and the gray fabric, plus some yellow fabrics that I planned to use for the comet tails. I used Adobe Photoshop Elements to digitally build the wall hanging, cutting and pasting the images of doilies and fabric.

I put several stars in the sky, just to give me an idea of how they would look. In the real wall hanging, I would use more stars and they would be a lot fancier. And I’d sew on a bunch of buttons as smaller stars.

Photoshop Elements has a click-and-drag tool for drawing boxes and circles and, hey—stars! I clicked on the star shape and dragged the first one. It was black, because that was the last color I had used. I changed the color, and the next stars were yellow.

 step by step TextileFusion wall hanging, Crochet Comets, by Suzann Thompson

The sketch was pretty rough, but it served its purpose. I could tell that the quilt would have to be about five feet wide to give the doily comets and their tails enough room. The horizon and a few houses gave me an idea of proportions between sky and earth.

I started laying out the quilt top, stopping only to buy a length of fabric to go between the dark earth and the lighter sky. As I worked and laid out the doilies and houses and moon, I got a feeling. It was definitely located in my chest. It was a feeling of inevitability that seemed to squeeze my heart.

The feeling was that the sketch might be rough, but it was perfect the way it was. Any attempt on my part to fancy things up, would not make the finished product look any better. As I worked I came to know this without a doubt.

So the quilt is as close to the sketch as possible. I did fancy up the comet tails with buttons and beads, but the sky is plain, except for the appliqued stars, including a black one.

 step by step TextileFusion wall hanging, Crochet Comets, by Suzann Thompson

The back is made from scraps, many of which were giveaways from my quilting friends. It is quilted in mostly parallel, curving lines. That took a long time.

This was my first mostly-fabric quilt with raw-edge applique and very simple piecing, and I learned a lot. It is also the biggest quilt I have made so far.

Crochet Comets is on display at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum in Golden, Colorado, until April 23, 2017. Starting July 1, it will be part of the Celebrate Doilies! exhibit, making its debut in Stephenville, Texas, at the Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council River North Gallery. (Details here.)

 step by step TextileFusion wall hanging, Crochet Comets, by Suzann Thompson

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Natcromo 2017 Celebrates Doilies!

Thank you to Amy and Donna of Crochetville.com for inviting me to join this year’s National Crochet Month blog tour! This is a wonderful thing they do, in addition to providing an internet home for crocheters all year round.

NatCroMo 2017 blog tour sponsored by Crochetville.com

Today, the love of crochet ties together thousands of people across the United States and the world. Crochet also reaches into the past to tie us to our ancestors and give us a sense of our place in history. Even for people who don’t do it themselves, crocheted items may bring back memories of happy times, visits, relatives long-gone.

Mrs. Jesse McKinnon's doilies

I’m seeing this effect more and more as I prepare for the Celebrate Doilies! exhibit, which debuts this summer in north central Texas. (See exhibit schedule here.)

The exhibit celebrates doilies through stories and memories from families in the area and beyond, through my own art and the poetry of Sandi Horton. Let me show you!

Stories and Memories

A few years ago, Mac McKinnon, who grew up a mile or so from where I live now, told me he had doilies and other crocheted items from his grandmother who raised him. “What can I do with them?” he asked. He was one of the first people I interviewed for the exhibit.

Mrs. Jesse McKinnon's doilies

McKinnon was orphaned as a fairly young boy. His aunt and uncle adopted him, and he went to live with them in Comanche County, Texas, where the family farmed peanuts and cotton.

McKinnon’s grandmother lived nearby. She was Jesse Pearl Craddock McKinnon, born around 1893. Jesse often took care of him, and McKinnon emphasized that she also “took time with him.” She taught him how to play games, but didn’t let him win just because he was a kid. They did all kinds of crafts together. He remembers making cork necklaces and decorating them with sequins.

Mrs. Jesse McKinnon's crocheted tablecloth

After her husband died in 1942, Mrs. McKinnon made a living sitting with elderly people. They were mostly bed-ridden, so she was there to keep them company and tend to their needs. Since a large part of the job entailed just being there, Jesse filled her time by crocheting.

The two doilies above and tnis table cloth are the work of Jesse Pearl Craddock McKinnon. It’s easy to understand Mac McKinnon’s love for his grandmother and his pride in her crochet skill.

Many more crochet stories and memories are featured at the Celebrate Doilies! exhibit. (There’s still time to share your own family doily stories! I’ll tell you how in a minute.)

Art

To me, many doilies are works of art and I certainly consider doily designers to be artists. For the past year, in preparation for Celebrate Doilies!, I’ve been using doilies in my wall hangings with great pride.

Winterling, a TextileFusion wall hanging by Suzann Thompson

Celebrate Doilies! features around twenty doily-themed TextileFusion wall hangings, like Winterling. Inspired by my mom’s Zwiebelmuster china, I created a bouquet of crocheted flowers in a blue and white china vase. And of course the vase rests on a lovely large doily!

Crochet Comets, a TextileFusion wall hanging by Suzann Thompson

Doilies take to the skies in Crochet Comets, which was my first fabric quilt, in contrast to my usual knitted quilts. If you can’t wait until summer to see it, Crochet Comets is on display now in Golden, Colorado, at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum through April 23, 2017. For details, visit my Exhibition Schedule.

House of Crochet, a TextileFusion wall hanging by Suzann Thompson

Laura Wheeler, Design 673, filet crochet house

I love home. I love to be at home. I love home- and house-themed art and crafts. What a thrill it was to find this lovely antimacassar featuring a filet crochet house! I paired it with a vintage quilt top and added crochet trim and buttons to make this quilt called House of Crochet.

(The original instructions for crocheting this cute, cute house available for purchase online at Today’s Treasures.)

See these and many more doily-rich wall hangings at the Celebrate Doilies! exhibit and at my website, www.textilefusion.com. (follow the gallery links).

Poetry

Poet Sandi Horton and I met at the Langdon Review of the Arts in Texas Weekend in 2016. I spoke about the upcoming Celebrate Doilies exhibit, and how it would include stories and memories about family heirloom crochet.

Doily by poet Sandi Horton

Sandi often writes ekphrastic poetry, which is about a scene or a work of art. Ekphrastic poetry might describe a painting, a piece of music, or a performance.

After my talk, Sandi told me she had doilies and other crocheted items that her mother and grandmothers made. She said, “I would like to write poems about them.”

That sounded wonderful to me! Sandi’s poems about her family’s crochet and even about my wall hangings are featured in Celebrate Doilies. Here’s a poem about her experience with crochet. It is used with permission.

Modern Girl
Copyright 2017 by Sandi Horton. All rights reserved.

The young girl eyes the multitude of colors
She wants to find just the right one
Should she be practical with a neutral
Or choose a bright, modern color?

Her mother and grandmother chose
Different shades of white and beige
They are so old-fashioned
The girl chooses a dazzling lime green

She wants to represent her generation
Even though most other girls don’t crochet
The girl wants to keep the chain going
Her nimble fingers tighten from the stress

Lime green thread twists around and around
The hook moves slowly, in an unsteady rhythm
Her mom says, ‘Crocheting relaxes me.’
The inexperienced girl continues to struggle

She refuses to give up
A smooth pattern finally takes shape
She finishes her first and only doily
Modern girls have better things to do

 Doily by poet Sandi Horton

Find Sandi on Facebook at My House of Poetry.

You Can Still Participate!

Do you have beloved family heirloom crochet you would like for me to show in the Celebrate Doilies! exhibit?

If you do, please visit the Doily Heritage Project page online. It will give you information and links to the Doily Interview, plus hints for photographing your doilies.

To be included in the July-August exhibit in Stephenville, Texas, I need your information and photos by May 1, 2017. The deadline for entering the next show in Granbury, Texas, is June 1, 2017.

Support the Celebrate Doilies! Exhibit and Crochet Art

I hope you like the idea of Celebrate Doilies! enough to support this effort!

For as little as $1.00 per month (that’s $12 a year), you can help me to pay for making posters and cover other expenses associated with putting on the Celebrate Doilies! exhibit. Visit my page at patreon.com to read more and donate.

Support the art and craft of crochet on Patreon!

You can choose one of several levels of support: $1, $3, $5, $10, $25, $50, or $100 per month. All of my patrons have access to a patrons-only feed, where I share exclusive news about my work and previews of blog posts. The rewards get better the higher the amount you pledge.

For instance, at the $5 level, you can participate in polls about names of wall hangings and design decisions, receive at least one art postcard per year, and have access to the patrons-only feed. And coming soon, at the $5 per month level, you can contribute a piece which I will use in a wall hanging.

Celebrate Doilies is Available to Travel

Crocheted Cars, pattern in Cute Crochet World, by Suzann Thompson

Celebrate Doilies! will be available to travel to other galleries and shows after October 1, 2017. Please email me at knitandcrochetwithsuzann at outlook dot com for scheduling and fees.

Small galleries and arts councils may be eligible for grant money to pay for exhibits like Celebrate Doilies!

Free Pattern for You, March 25 Only!

Crocheted Turkey and Penguin, by Suzann Thompson

Thank you for reading this far! As a gift for you, today only (March 25th, 2017) you can download the patterns for these cute crocheted Turkeys and Penguins for free—normally a $2.00 value. Here’s the pattern link: Turkey and Penguin at Ravelry Store.

From March 26-28, 2017, the “Turkey and Penguin” pattern will be half-off. That’s one dollar.

Postcards for You!

This is the first of two postcards I will be mailing for the Celebrate Doilies! exhibit. If you would like to be on my list for ONLY these two postcards, email me your mailing address (U. S. addresses only, please) at knitandcrochetwithsuzann at outlook dot com. I will not share your information.

Celebrate Doilies postcard

Thank You!

Thank you for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed reading about Celebrate Doilies! Will you share your doily photos and stories for the exhibit? Please do!

And remember, doilies are perfect for your glamping décor needs.

Heart Garland from a pattern in Cute Crochet World, by Suzann Thompson

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