Memories of Lace Weekend….

It seems like a year ago that I spent a wonderful weekend at the New England Lace Retreat in Wareham, MA–but it was mid-May–just 6 weeks ago.

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My photo makes this house look rather imposing!  It was actually very inviting, full of lovely antique and vintage furniture.  Those two large windows on main floor of the front are two generous ‘parlours’ where our classes were held.  To the rear was a large dining room where we had our meals.  For three meals each day someone would ring a bell to invite us to gather in the dining room.  My bedroom was on the 3rd floor, the window all the way to the left in the photo.  Since my room was in the corner it also had a side window with a lovely view of the pond.  This house sits right on the the bay side of Cape Cod.  It is quite a spot!

There was a wonderful glass enclosed porch at the right side of the house (not visible in my photograph) where we could congregate to work on our projects.  Some people chose not to take a class and spent their time on the porch working on projects they brought with them from home.

 During the weekend I learned a bit about Idrija lace from Allie Marguccio, who also gave a stunning presentation on her apprenticeship in Slovenia. In this photo our revered teacher, Allie, is the top most person on the right.  Can you find me in the topmost left??  My good friend and amazing lace mentor, Mary, has been obscured behind two heads on that top row with me.  Mary!  She has the patience of Job with me,  and she is a very accomplished lace maker.  I’m sorry you cannot see her.  A number of the women in this photo are in my Ct. lace group, and they have all been very supportive of my lack of knowledge!  What a great group of women, and what a great weekend we spent together!

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Here are a few photos of Allie’s work in Idrija lace.  Be prepared to be stunned!

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I’ve never seen a lace covered box before.  And how about this lovely heart surrounding a flower and the necklace in progress on Allie’s pillow?

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You really need to see a close up of the heart project! This project is a good example of both the wide tapes and narrow tapes used in Idrija lace.  The wide tapes are made with whole stitch and the narrow tapes are linen stitch.

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What intrigues me most is using this lace to adorn clothing.

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With that in mind, I am making a small project that can be used to edge a neckline.  I don’t think I’ll ever use this project on a garment, but it has been a good learning exercise.


That is my new bolster pillow for making Idrija lace, and my new bobbins which are bigger than the bobbins used for the types of lace from northern Europe.  I am enjoying working on a bolster.  And here is a close up, showing why this project will never be used on clothing.  It’s not ready for prime time….but I have learned a LOT!


As you can see, Idrija lace is a tape lace, using linen stitch for the narrow tape.  The tapes get connected with ‘winkies’– a new term for me–which are loops that get ‘sewn’ together. “Sewing” is the term used when you take one bobbin’s thread and put it through the loop of its partner bobbin.  You can see ‘winkies’ where the tapes are coming close together. Not something I can show here, but if you are a lace maker you will know what I mean!

Allie’s husband Tom makes the bolster pillows which are stuffed with sawdust and are quite heavy, and he turns the pretty bobbins.  Allie makes the cotton covers.  You can find them both here.

Allie share with us a good website for ordering traditional Idrija patterns from Slovenia. So many patterns to look at, you will need a couple of hours to peruse them all.  I have ordered a number of patterns for embellishing clothing, and I hope I’ll be ready to tackle one of them when they arrive!

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