PLG Newsletter Summer 2001

President’s Pearls

Here we are past Midsummer -time to start your Christmas lace projects. (don’t forget our tree.) And time to put aside October 19-21 for our fall celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Pittsburgh Lace Group and the Bedfordshire workshop with Judy Zeiss (more information below).
We’ve been ever-so-busy demonstrating hither and yon (well, ‘mongst folk dancers and goats), and there are many opportunities corning up. Do not feel thatyou are not good enough: no matter how little you think you know about lacemaking, you know a lot more than those leaning over you declaring, “That’s tatting.” See the Calendar and contact Betsy Sykes or Amy Gibbons. We welcome everyone who helps out! In April we held the annual meeting, which included the election of Betsy Sykes as vice president and Suzanne Potter as secretary. Also Robin Panza and Suzanne volunteered to become archivists, Amy will continue to print and mail the newsletter as well as organize our demonstrating, although others may be the contact person for specific demonstrations.
The amendment to the By-Laws was passed in a slightly different fomi from that stated in the Winter Lace Threads Article 11. DISSOLUTION. Section 1. In the event of dissolution of the Group, all assets owned by the Group shall be donated to another non~proflt I.ce~making group, to be determined by members in good standing at that time.
Afterter the boring business, we were edified and entertained by Roy Sykes who demonstrated bobbin-making. As predicted it was the highllight of the meeting, augmented by Robin’s fabulous display of bobbins. Some folks even risked life and liinb trying the bobbin making.
We look forward to seeing you at the meetings and our Thursday night sessions. -Margot Barbour

Our October, Fest

The Fourth of July has just passed, so it may seem a bit early to start thirlicing about our upcorning workshop with Judy Zeiss in October, but we all know just how quickly summer will fade into autumn!
Judy will present a slide show entitled “Lace Around the World” on Friday evening, October 19, and will teach Bedfordshire lace on Saturday, October 20, and Sunday, October 21, at the Churchill Borough Building. The Borough Building is spacious and comfortable with adequate parking. Truth be told, it is really quite post. Tracy of The Lacemaker ‘will be there with her usual lovely lacemakg supplies. We’re working on getting other vendors as well. In addition, we will celebrate our 20th anniversary.
Bedfordshire is a lovely old, traditional lace. Its characteristics are braids, leaves, nine-pin edgtng, picots, and trails. Judy has sent us three begnining patterns for those who have never made Beds. She will also choose a more challenging bookmark pattern for those who have experience with this type of lace,
Our workshops are intended to teach people the techniques and skills needed to make a particular type of lace. No one should feel indmidated about taking this workshop because she may not be an experienced lacemaker. We at PLG try to make sure our workshops are comfortable for those with all levels of lacemaking skills.
We’ll be firniing up the details for the workshop and ‘will let you know in the next newsletter just what time the workshop ‘will be held and what the price will be for both days. There will be a sign-up sheet on Thursday evenings, or you can contact me at 724-864-5520.Please mark your calendar now for a delightful weekend with Judy Zeiss. -Betsy Sykes

I.O.L.I. Charter Membership

At our annual meeting, the membership voted to become a Charter Chapter of I.O.L.I. The application is being processed and barring any unforeseen complications the charter should be picked up at the I.O.L.I. convention in Oklahoma in August. For those who don’t know, the benefits include being listed as a Charter Chapter in the I.O.L.I. Annual Directory; the chance to have an article about PLG as well as a list-
ing of future events in the I.O.L.I. Bulletin; copies of the Bulletin for the library; two posters as well as the Charter. Our president will receive a pin and gavel (no more banging the Thursday night class can to quiet us down, but a real gavel). We will be given preference over non-chartered groups in any case where preference is an option. Another advantage of membership in I.O.L.I. is the use of the Lace Study Box which includes pieces of lace, books, slides, and white cotton gloves. As we approach our twentieth anniversary, it is good that we continue to expand our horizons.
-Amy Gibbons

Allegheny County Fair

The Pittsburgh Lace Group’s intrepid demonstrators survived again. Friday, June 28, Melissa Boritch, Amy Gibbons, Sonya Hanczar, and Suzanne Potter demon-
strated lacemaking at the Allegheny County Fair in South Park. The good news was we were in a stone building with an electric fan we could airn and Cool water readily available. The bad news was, we needed both: it was hot and very humid. There was a breeze and after we were set up, it wasn’t too bad, especially as the temperature dropped in the evening. The questions were different from the usual since many of the people asking them were people who actually do needle crafts themselves. As a whole six members entered a total of 15 items and came away with several ribbons and over $35.00. It was obvious from the note about the “tat ted” cats affixed to my jumper, the judging needs some work. Hopefully next year the classes will be more appropriate and the judges will have a due. When Mike and I went to pick things up on Sunday evening, we had an exceptionally nice time at the fair and with a half hour wait after seeing everything we sat and watched the goats and other animals in the petting zoo. They had to be seen to be believed. It was better than TV. Everyone was most helpful in my collecting of our submissions and prize checks. I am glad that my memories of the fair’s heat and humid ity were replaced by the Sunday evening and the goats. -Amy Gibbons

Bobbin Painting Workshop

The Bobbin Painting Workshop on April 28 with Joan Cifiberto was terrific. Joan was a wonderful and talented instructor. She was very kind and patient, especially with those of us who are less than artistic. While we were waiting for the varnish to dry, we relieved the stress of painting by shopping and eat ing. Tracy from The Lacemaker had everything that you could possibly want and need. if only I could afford to have bought more! And the food table was overflowing with delicious treats. I think we all left with a beautiful shuttle or pair of bobbing and a lot more respect for bobbin painters! -Melissa Booritch

One of the Delicious Treats at the workshop, contributed by Barb Petrick of Warren, Ohio, was really sinful fudge:
2 sticks oleo or butter
5 cups white sugar
1 can evaporated mllk
Bring to a rolling boil and boil for 6 miriutes, stirring frequently!
Then add:
1 small jar peanut butter
1 small jar or 3/4 big jar marshmallow cream
1 12-oz. bag mllk or selmi-sweet chocolate chips

Folk Festival 2001

This year was the 40th anniversary of the Pittsburgh Folk Festival. Though it is smaller than it had been in the past, the festival is stlll entertaining and fun. Amy and Suzanne manned the display table on Friday evening and enjoyed the folk dances performed by the various groups. Saturday, Amy, Margot, Jozica, and Sonya were driven by the Zydeco music to make more lace and see the displays of the nationality groups (and Margot was driven out). Sonya, Robin, Betsy, and Roy Sykes demonstrated on Sunday and said the day was perfect, although it rained like crazy. The only thing we all missed was the usual swarm of children trying to make lace or bobbins, most likely because of our unsatisfactory location. -Suzanne Potter

Call for Contribuations!

As always, any and all contributions to this newsletter are most welcome. Any news about members, other lacemakers, bobbins, threads, patterns you love, books, ideas, pictttres-send ’em in and keep’em corning!


Remember the Children, by Man Brown

This spiral-bound book contains information gath ered in an 1861 “Survey of the English Lace Industry, focusing on child labor in Honiton and the Midlands. The interviews with lace dealers, teachers, and students provide a dear insight into their daily life. The pros and cons of the “Truck Systern,” where lacemakers were paid in goods which were sometimes overpriced, was discussed. The conditions in which lacemakers worked, the ages that they began to make lace, and the effect on theft lives were covered in depth. Individual lacemakers came alive through the pages of this book. It can provide numerous sto ries to tell while demonstrating and increased appre ciation of the day-to-day drudgery of the long hours spent at the lace pillow in the 1860s. This book is not in the PEG library, but may be obtained through The Lacemaker. -Amy Gibbons

Der Anfang vom Ende (The Beginning of the End),
by Ukike Lohr, is a book showing spedal beginning and ending techniques developed by Lbhr. Neat and tidy endings for a continuous lace (the main focus of the book) are a product of well thought out beginnings. Lbhr recommends that the lacemaker work through the steps and prickings in chapters 1 and 2 in order to gain the skllls to use the reference material in the rest of the book. All but one of the remaining chapters cover techniques specific to different types of lace-Torchon, tape lace, Flanders, Binche, etc. The last chapter, “Tips for Perfectionists,” contains methods that the less-finicky among us may want to ignore, but would add an elegant finishing touch to hand-made lace
After one has applied the techniques shown in the above book, it is time to turn to Mounting and Using Lace, by Jean Withers. This book shows the lacemaker how to form the lace into a completed article. Among the possibilities are combining lace with other needlework such as embroidery, black work, and aoss stitch; and mounting and framing. The drawings and photographs are dear and this is a welcome addition to our library.
Another beautiful addition is Nativity by Betty Brown. Each ornament depicts all aspect of the Christmas scene, including the star, baby Jesus, donkeys, and a palm tree. It’s Time to start those Christmas projects, PLGers!
These three great books were purchased through the auspices of the “can” of the Thursday night class at the April workshop when Tracy of The Lacemaker brought supplies, books, etc.! -Suzanne Potter

Calendar of Future Events

July 23-25, 2001, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 P.M.- Flanders Lace workshop with Vera
Cocknyt at The Lacemaker in Warren, Ohio
July 21-22, 2001-Demonstration at Ft. Arlen Antique Farrn Equipment show,
West Overton (contact Betsy Sykes for information and to volunteer)
Thursday, August 2, 2001, 7:00 P.M.- Regular monthly meeting
Thursday, September 6, 2001, 7:00 P.M.- Regular monthly meeting
September 15-16, 2001-Demonstration at Phipps Conservatory (call Amy
September 16, 2001-Demonstration at the Nature Center at Frick Park (call
Thursday, October 4, 2001, 7:00 P.M. Regular monthly meeting
Saturday, October 6, 2001-Demonstration at Youghtoberfest, under the bridge
at Boston (call Amy)
October 1~21, 2001-Beginning and Intermediate Bedfordshire Lace with Judy
Zeiss and PLG 20th Anniversary Celebration
Sunday, late November or Early December- Demonstration in a Nationality
Room at Pitt (information to come)

Flanders Lace Workshop
July 23, 24, & 25, 2001
9:00AM-4:00 PM.
The Lacemake; Warren, Ohio

Vera Cociwyt of Blankenberge, Belgium, will be teaching an 18-hour workshop in Flanders, a beautiful lace known for its star shaped, five-hole ground.

Cost for the 3-day workshop is $100.00 ($50 deposit required).
Supply list will be sent with confirination.
Contact Tracy Jackson:

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