PLG Newsletter Summer 1999

Opportunities Abound
Would you like to talk with the public about bobbin lace? Would you like to have a chance to make lace without feeling guilty about the housework that has been left undone? Would you like to tell people the difference between tatting and bobbin lace? Would you like to spend more time with other members of the lace group? Would you like to be sure that you are considered an “active” member? All of these are possible if you volunteer to demonstrate at one of the events that we have already scheduled this year.

Sign-up sheets are available at the Thursday Night Class, at monthly meetings, or you can call (412/828-7362) or e-mail Amy who will “enroll” you.

The ladies from The Lacemaker have invited us to demonstrate with them at Clintonville June 19 and 20, and 26 and 27, as well as September 4 through 6. This does require a “prairie” costume. Contact Tracy (330/847-6533) or Terri (330/889-2181) directly.

We have been given the opportunity to fill display cases in the Monroeville Library for the month of August (contact Gretchen at 412/372-8965) and in the Boyd Community Center in O’Hara (contact Amy). This is your chance to share your favorite lace pieces with the public. Both cases are kept locked.

Amy Gibbons

Important Notice
The meetings scheduled for June 5 and August 7 have been cancelled. There will be a short meeting on Friday, July 30 at 7:30 P.M., before Bridget Cook’s lecture at the workshop.

Tips from Spring Fling
We spent May 15-17 at Spring Fling sponsored by the Great Lakes Lace Group. Dewi took a workshop with Radmila Zumen on Russian lace and Amy took a workshop on Teacher Certification. While there we learned a number of handy hints and thought we would take this opportunity to share them.

  1. To clean brass pins easily, soak them in ketchup that has been diluted with water. Then rinse them off and let them dry.
  2. When pins are kept in a pincushion, if they spill, picking them up takes much less time.
  3. To protect pieces of lace in varying sizes and still be able to see them, use the envelopes postage stamp collectors use to display their stamps.
  4. Use left over thread and thread clippings to stuff pincushions.
  5. To tell if thread is the right size for a pricking, wrap it six times around a pencil and push the threads close together. If they fit between the holes in the pricking, the thread will work. If there is too much space, either reduce the pattern or use a heavier thread. If they don’t fit, either enlarge the pattern or use a finer thread.
  6. Scraps of old lace can be used many ways to trim clothing. They can be sewn onto a plain vest to make a “funky” vest. They can be arranged on an old earring or shoe clip to become a pretty hair bow or jabot. Radmila gave a talk on this after dinner Saturday night and it was great fun. Ask us and we will try to show you some of her tricks.

Dewi Wong and Amy Gibbons

Pittsburgh Lace Group

Notes from the ‘Net

Deb Bender (717/938-2904)
“The Keystone Lace Guild, Central Pennsylvania, will be hosting Anny Noben-Sleger of Hoefelt, Belgium, for classes in Flanders and Binche, July 22-27, 1999. Thursday (22nd) will be a welcome reception from 7:00-9:00 P.M. WEEkend class will be Friday 6:30-9:30, Saturday 9:00-4:00, and Sunday 1:30-4:30. Day class will be Friday 9:00-4:00 and Monday 9:00-4:00; Optional day class Tuesday 9:00-4:00. Cost is S80 (S75, register before June 6) for 12 hours: Tuesday is an additional S25. Classes will be held at the New Cumberland Church of God, 323 Reno St., New Cumberland, PA. We are within an hour’s drive of Hershey, Lancaster, York, and Gettysburg, and 1.5 hours from the IOLI Convention. We would love to show you around ‘our neighborhood’ if you have the time.”
Rosemarie Peel (717/938-2904)

More famous for her tatting. It’s a neat ground stitch.

“I first encountered a Star Ground in Susanne Thompson’s book ‘Torchon Lace Purse Pendants.’ I was fascinated by it and it made me get out my pillows again after few years in storage to work two little designs. Pin holes 45 degrees Pricking for one star is the same as a two-legged spider Torchon ground down the left and the right upper sides. Four pairs are needed to make the star (so you would be working with the two legs from the left and the two legs from the right if it was a spider [but it’s not … it’s a star]) Cross the two middle bobbins of the two left pairs left over right. Cross the two middle bobbins of the two right pairs left over right. Work the two left pairs through the two right pairs in cloth stitch, setting a pin in the middle of the crossings Make a half stitch with the two left pairs and with the two right pairs finish down the two lower sides of pinholes with torchon ground. Instead of torchon ground around the star, I worked one piece with narrow half stitch trails separating the stars and it looked very effective.”
A neat web site: It intends becoming a comprehensive site of lace-makers, lace suppliers, lace book dealers, and so on.

So far the pickings are a bit thin, but it’s growing. They want to add any sites (like PLG!) about lace.

A number of people were quite taken with my pocket bobbin winder. I believe The Lacemaker is carrying them, but in case you can’t get one that way, here’s the e-address for them:
Here’s a mail order source of fine silk thread- Treenway Silks. “The finest size offered by Treenway Silks (of Victoria, BC) is 120/2, equivalent to an 80/2 or 100/2 cotton (I use the 120/2 silk for Bucks patterns for instance). It is a strong thread, unlike Guttermans which I find has problems when used in handwork (nice for machine embroidery though). You buy the Treenway silk by the skein, one skein having many miles, price really reasonable (I am a satisfied customer with no shares in this business!). If you need quantity this is a far better buy than many small spools. Their silks . . . have a sheen rather than a shine. The natural color of the silk is light beige . . .. They are a mail order company, don’t have a web site yet but can be reached by e-mail.” treenway@coast-
Robin Panza If anyone is interested in subscribing to another lacemakers’ magazine, here’s info for Lace Magazine: Wim Lauriks at 1-800/832-LACE or by e-mail:

Pittsburgh Lace Group

PLG Library News
Thank you Dewi!

Many thanks to Dewi Wong for the additions she has made to the PLG library. The books she has provided are:

The first is a comprehensive book showing how to mount a piece of finished lace on the fan framework. The second is a pictorial anthology of Italian lace from the 16th to 18th centuries. The third is also an anthology, but of modern Czecho-Slovak lace.

These books are welcome additions to the ever-expanding PLG Library.

Thanks, Dewi.

Book Reviews
Basic Bedfordshire Bobbin Lace, compiled by Barbara Underwood

The Lace Guild’s (U.K.) basic technical instruction book for Bedfordshire lace is small, but packed with information. Barbara Underwood is a noted teacher of this lace style. The booklet (only 23 pages) consists of instructions for basic Beds lace techniques. If you desire to understand this lace, this is the book for you. The instructions, patterns, and drawings are very clear and easy to understand. After working through the exercise patterns provided, a Beds novice would be able to move onto more complicated patterns. This book is a wonderful addition to the PLG Library.

Italian Lace Designs, by Elisa Ricci

Looking for some ideas for your next lace project? Italian Lace Designs by Elisa Ricci could provide the inspiration you need. In this meticulously produced book, over 240 black and white photographs depict a wide assortment of laces. The laces shown range from “lacis” (embroidery on knotted net) to a variety of needlepoint and bobbin laces. Three hundred years of Italian lace is documented by showing lace from the 16th to the 18th centuries. The classic lace pieces are sure to inspire a contemporary lacemaker.

Suzanne Potter

Pittsburgh Lace Group Library Rules
The books in the PLG Library (housed at the Grace Reformed Presbyterian Church) are available for borrowing by all members.

Tentative schedule of future events:

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