I have now finished one whole piece of lace! Woohoo! This little edging was finished off during lesson 6, last weekend — I had to ask my teacher to show me how to stop or else I was just going to have to keep on until the end of time. You’ll notice a bundle of thread ends there; my teacher explained that if I was going to apply the lace to something that would be used, I would have to learn how to sew in ends and deal with them properly. That was enough incentive to just frame this, my first finished piece, for which I only have to thread those ends through my backing fabric, tie off to secure, and hide them back there that way. I won’t do anything permanent until I find the right frame, but I plan to back it with this charm square of Denyse Schmidt fabric.
I should’ve taken a close-up of just that corner, with the threads, but if you click through to the larger version on Flickr, you can actually see the improvement I made over the course of this project. The ‘heart’ directly below those loose threads was where I started, the ‘heart’ to the left is where I finished. My tension improved enormously as I worked, I’m so very proud! (By the way, the fabric in the center is a tiny piece of Liberty Tana Lawn, and the 20p coin is to show how very small this bit of lace is. The center is only 1.5″!)
Now I’ve started working on a bookmark in red and pink, with a different kind of fan along the edges. For this, I was given written instructions and told to try and follow them myself – I got a little confused at first, but kind of understood, and I’m proud to say that I managed to remind myself with the written pattern when I got home and had forgotten what to do.
Again, I can already see improvement as I work here – I don’t know if you’ll be able to squint past the pins, but if you follow the red curves on the fan edges, you can see that they’ve become much less messy already. I worked the top left fan first, and those curves are all over the place; the most recent worked was the bottom right, which has much neater and, well, curvy curves.
I’m also very proud to report that I have now made enough progress to have tools of my very own! My teacher was kind enough to lend me spare tools until now, to make sure I actually enjoyed doing bobbin lace before investing money into equipment, which was so sensible. I’ve done enough now to know for sure that I want to continue, so my teacher arranged some second-hand tools for me and I treated myself to the above tools from the very kind Paul at PDH Woodturning. Paul’s handmade tools are so beautiful and special, I’m so excited to work with them! Not related to lace, but maybe the handiest tool of the bunch is that little stand that my spool of thread is sitting on – I don’t know if these have a special name, but it’s basically exactly as it looks – it holds my spool handily while I hand-sew, and I’ve already been using it as I stitch the binding onto my now nearly-finished Mod Sampler quilt. More on the quilt very soon, but seriously, anyone with any hand-stitching to do should have one of these spool holder-thingamys in their sewing box!