Tag Archives | doily

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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Doily Posters at IOLI

Doily Posters at IOLI

Nineteen of the Doily Heritage Posters from the Celebrate Doilies exhibit are on display at the 65th Annual Convention of the International Organization of Lace (IOLI) in San Antonio, Texas, through Friday of this week.

As advertised, the posters tell about doily crocheters of the past and present, who are mostly from Texas. “Are there really that many stories to tell about doilies?” you may ask. When I first started collecting the stories, I wondered about that, too.

Doily Posters at IOLI

Soon I realized that doily stories are people stories, and there are more of those stories than we can collect in a lifetime. Doily stories are about families. Doily stories are about thrift and creativity. Doily stories are about mystery and mysterious connections.

If you can, go see these stories at the IOLI Convention display room, at the

El Tropicano Riverwalk Hotel
110 Lexington Avenue
San Antonio, Texas

Hours:
Thursday, July 26 and Friday, July 27
11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.

Many thanks to display coordinator and fiber Renaissance woman Pat Tittizer, who worked hard on several aspects of the IOLI convention, and provided these photos.

For more information about the IOLI, please visit www.internationalorganizationoflace.org.

Doily Posters at IOLI

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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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Sacred Threads in Herndon, VA, through Sunday

A Worthy Accomplishment, art quilt with doily and other crochet, by Suzann Thompson

As you walk through the Sacred Threads art quilt exhibit, you can listen to a recording of artists talking about their work. (More about the exhibit below.)

Coming up with a one-minute commentary about my piece, A Worthy Accomplishment, was a new challenge for me. I wrote and *cut and practiced reading,* and repeated between *s several times. That’s a reference to knitting and crochet instructions, in case you were wondering.

The volunteers at Sacred Threads set up a telephone recording session, where artists could call in and record their speech. I was able to listen to my recording and decide whether to save or re-record. It took me about three tries to get it just the way I wanted it.

* * * *

Sacred Threads is an exhibition of quilts that express life’s journeys. Through their art, quilters express joy, inspiration, spirituality, healing, grief, and peace. Read lots more about this thoughtful and interesting exhibit at www.sacredthreadsquilts.com.

The project is run by volunteers, like these two who were hanging the quilts for the 2017-2019 show, which debuted in Herndon, VA. This photo from the Sacred Threads Facebook page is used with permission.

A Worthy Accomplishment, art quilt with doily and other crochet, by Suzann Thompson, at Sacred Threads

The exhibit will be at the Floris Methodist Church in Herndon, Virginia, through Sunday, July 23. After that, A Worthy Accomplishment is coming home, but thirty-six of the original 300 quilts in the Sacred Threads exhibit will travel around the United States through June 2019. These are the venues so far:

  • Flint Festival of Quilts, Flint MI – September 2017
  • HeART Gallery, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Toledo, OH – October 18-30, 2017
  • Grace Episcopal Church, Gainesville GA – November 1 – December 15, 2017
  • Voice of the Spirit Gallery, West Raleigh Presbyterian Church, Raleigh, NC -January – February, 2018
  • Southeastern Quilt & Textile Museum, Carrollton GA – March-June, 2018
  • Good Shepard Episcopal Church, Hayesville NC – July, 2018
  • The Rectory Cultural Arts Center, Norcross, GA – August, 2018
  • Virginia Quilt Museum, Harrisonburg VA – September-December, 2018
  • Best of the Valley Quilt Show, Lindsay, CA – April, 2019
  • A World of Quilts, Danbury, CT – May 2019

If you or your venue is interested in receiving a portion of the 2017 exhibit, please indicate your interest by filling out the Traveling Exhibit Interest form.

If you aren’t able to see the show in Virginia, I hope you will like to read the speech about A Worthy Accomplishment:

Hi. I’m Suzann Thompson, talking to you from Comanche County, Texas.

I’ve met a startling number of people who feel unworthy.

I think our culture feeds this perception. As a society, we seem to admire enormous wealth and power. We marvel at technology. And then we go to the movies and see heroes swooping in to save the world!

Those are BIG, IMPORTANT things.

My quilt, A Worthy Accomplishment, draws attention to the SMALL important things that most of us do every day. We take care of ourselves and others, work at home or away. We are kind and thoughtful. And sometimes, we take time to make something, like a delicious meal or a quilt.

We probably won’t become famous or rich for doing these things, but I think they are worthy accomplishments and because we do them, WE ARE worthy. I hope you think so, too.

Read more about this wall hanging at www.textilefusion.com/blog/?p=a-worthy-accomplishment.

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Doily Yarn Bombs for Art Exhibit

The Celebrate Doilies will open in two short days! Yay!

But let’s dwell for a moment on the past.

Baling twine doily for Celebrate Doilies exhibit

My parents have raised cattle for a long time, and cows need hay during the winter. Mom and Dad buy big, round hay bales, which used to be tied up with yards of blue and white synthetic string called baling twine.

My dad can hardly stand to throw away anything that might be useful someday, and so he has a tub full of baling twine. “Suzie,” he has often said, “you could knit something out of that baling twine.”

Yes, I could knit something with baling twine, but as we say in my little family, “Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.”

All that changed when I was looking for a good fiber to make a doily to yarn bomb the Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council gallery during the Celebrate Doilies exhibit. I tried crocheting the baling twine. It was kind of stiff and springy, but it could definitely be crocheted.

In the photo above, I’m on round 13 of the baling twine doily.

Doily yarn bomb for Celebrate Doilies exhibit

My mom offered a softer option: macramé cord that had been among her craft supplies for about 25 years.

The five hanks of cord totaled about 270 yards, so the crocheting went relatively quickly. The vintage pattern accommodated the varying weights of the cord perfectly. It was pattern number 7444 for a luncheon set. You can find the pattern by searching the internet with the terms “luncheon set 7444.”

In this photo, my assistant is stretching the doily on a length of PEX pipe, with the help of the dogs. The doily measured about 40 inches across when stretched.

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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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A Worthy Accomplishment

A Worthy Accomplishment, crochet and quilt art, by Suzann Thompson

“Art imitates life,” people say. Recently, I saw art holding up a mirror to life, and the mirror reflected much more than I can usually see with the unaided eye.

At the movies we saw a preview about a boy who draws a monster. The monster comes to life and frightens the bullies tormenting the boy. In our main feature, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a sad, desperate, and powerless person inadvertently turned frustration into a powerful external force that destroyed buildings and killed people. This force manifested as a storm of destructive particles.

At home, we watched Star Trek Beyond, where the huge, fancy Starship Enterprise is taken down by a swarm of tiny spaceships, under the command of an unhappy former Starfleet officer.

The two takeaways for me were: desperation can turn into a deadly force; lots of tiny things can take down a big thing. These two phenomena are happening in our world’s population right now.

Which brings me quite naturally, I think you will agree, to my latest wall hanging, A Worthy Accomplishment.

Our United States culture worships enormity. Large corporations, huge wealth and fame, amazing feats of technology are admired and given special treatment. In contrast, regular people who do regular thing, like raising children, cleaning, cooking, going to work every day and other essential but not very exciting or profitable things, are treated as insignificant.

It’s fine to admire amazing things, and we should also value and admire everyday work and achievement. We need to acknowledge the contribution of people who take care of all the everyday things in this country, because they are the foundation on which our society is built.

I’d also like to bring to your attention the contribution of many thousands of women (mostly) who took the time to crochet a doily to beautify their homes, or a pretty trim to make a pillowcase or coverlet more inviting.

Many of these creators would say, “Oh that’s nothing, really. It’s just something I made.”

I say, “It is something, precisely because you made it.” It is something handmade, with love or curiosity and certainly with skill. It is something to be proud of, something beautiful, something worthy.

A Worthy Accomplishment, crochet and quilt art, by Suzann Thompson

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Three Stories, Three Stories

TextileFusion wall hanging, Three Stories

This wall hanging is called Three Stories, and I also have three stories to share with you in this post.

First Story

I’m putting together an exhibit called “Celebrate Doilies!” which will run from July through September 2017. The exhibit will feature photos of doilies and stories about their makers.

For the next several months, I will be collecting photos of doilies and stories about them and the people who made them for the exhibit, which will be at the Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council, River North Gallery, in Stephenville, Texas.

This means that if you have family doilies hidden away in drawers or proudly displayed in your home, I would love to hear from you. This blog post has lots more information.

To learn even more about how you can join in this project, visit www.textilefusion.com/doily-heritage-project and click here to see a sample doily story.

TextileFusion wall hanging, Three Stories

Second Story

The three stories of the wall hanging called Three Stories are the stories of the filet crochet house, the vintage quilt top, and the doily that I cut into quarters to embellish the corners.

I picked up the cute filet crochet house from Ebay. It may be a placemat, a table mat, or a chair back cover. Whenever I find vintage crochet for sale, I consider it having been released from its previous story. My job is to give it a new story.

Same with the vintage quilt top—I found it at an estate sale. The piecing and stitching are far from perfect, but the overall effect is charming.

The white doily in the corners is also from Ebay. The thread is small and the stitches are firm and well-made.

We don’t know anything about the people who made these things or what their lives were like. It’s fun to imagine the history of the doilies and the quilt top.

Three Stories and other wall hangings that feature doilies will also be part of my exhibit next year.

Third Story

Three Stories seemed a little plain to me, so I decided to fancy it up.

How? With crocheted flowers! And buttons!

A couple of crochet flower books I know came in handy. I crocheted “Sweetheart Rose” from Crochet Bouquet, and “Twirl Center Rose” and “Paired Leaf Frond” from Crochet Garden.

I arranged them in an old-fashioned garland-y way and appliqued them to the quilt during last Sunday’s Dallas Cowboys football game. The Cowboys won and Three Stories is finished.

Next, I’m looking forward to hearing your doily stories—one, three, or however many you have!

TextileFusion wall hanging, Three Stories with Twirl Center Rose

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Tell Me About Your Doilies!

Black-Eyed Susan Doily

I’m collecting photos of doilies and stories about them and the people who made them for an exhibit I’m doing next year at the Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council, River North Gallery, in Stephenville, Texas–and beyond, I hope!

Please join me in celebrating doilies by sharing the stories of doilies in your collection. Maybe you make doilies, or maybe your ancestors made them. Whichever it is, other people will love to read your stories.

All you have to do is send me a photo and fill out a questionnaire about you, the doily, and the person who made the doily. I’ll write the story from the information you give me.

To learn how you can join in this project, visit www.textilefusion.com/doily-heritage-project and click here to see a sample doily story.

The doily shown here was crocheted by my grandmother, Charles Etta Dunlap Thompson. I never met her, but my dad told me he was amazed that she found time to crochet and quilt, even when she was taking care of a household of nine.

By the time she made this doily, my dad and my Aunt Sue may have been the only children left at home. The pattern was published in 1949, when they would still have been in high school.

detail of Black-Eyed Susan Doily

Finding the publication date was a job for the Doily Detective (me). First I searched “daisy doily crochet pattern.” This returned lots of beautiful doilies, but not this one.

Well…the flowers might be sunflowers, I thought. A search of “sunflower doily crochet” turned up another batch of lovely pieces and hey! There was an image similar to my grandmother’s doily!

A few more clicks took me to a site that offers free vintage crochet patterns. That’s where I found out that this doily is called the Black-Eyed Susan Doily.

I searched Ravelry, an online knitting and crochet community, for the Black-Eyed Susan Doily, and found that it was published in January 1949 in Coats & Clark O. N. T. #258 Floral Doilies leaflet (pattern #D-207). The pattern also appeared in a leaflet called Floral Doilies for Crocheting.

Like quilts, doilies are an important part of our heritage. Quilts have been studied and written about extensively, but doilies have not. Let’s do something about this!

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New Designs in Love of Crochet!

Love of Crochet’s Summer 2016 issue celebrates the splendor of summer’s lacy crochet. Flower-inspired designs include two blankets, a poncho and a cardigan. Mesh variations include several shawls and a top. Plus, crochet the next car in the amigurumi train series.

Love of Crochet, Coral Flame Wrap

I designed two of the magazine’s twenty projects, which will keep you crocheting well into the summer.

The body of my Coral Flame Wrap is an easy-to-make mesh pattern stitch, crocheted in Classic Elite’s lovely cotton yarn, Mesa.

My favorite part is the flowery fringe. On the way out from the edge of the wrap, you crochet two petals of each flower, and on the way back in, you complete the four-petal flowers. So cute!

Crocheted flower fringe

Here’s a sample of the flower fringe worked in a different yarn, so you can see its detail.

Love of Crochet, Belle Doily

The Belle Doily still makes me smile when I look at it. At first glance, you might see a flowery sort of design. But no! Look again and you’ll see eight fancy dresses from Cute Crochet World (“Dress Up Time”), joined to the center of the doily at the shoulders, and then tacked to each other at the hem. The thread is Handy Hands Lizbeth No. 3 cotton.

The print edition of Love of Crochet, Summer 2016, will be on sale around May 3. The digital edition is available to purchase now at http://bit.ly/locsum16designer-di.

Find a tutorial for the crocheted dress in the doily at Tiny Crocheted Prom Dress.

The Coral Flame Wrap and Belle Doily photos are used with permission with credit to Love of Crochet/Julia Vandenoever.

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