Monday, December 21, 2009


Hi Everyone,

My elbow surgery went well, and I am beginning to mend. I am sleeping a lot and feeling nauseous now and then. It's just part of the deal with strong pain meds. The only needlework I'm able to manage so far is some very slow knitting on my knit-aroud loom. I am having serious tatting withdrawal. I've only shuttle-tatted do far, but I have a set of needles and directions. Do you think it would be possible to maneuver the thread enough by holding one hand steady and working with the other? I am completely unable to use the shuttle for now :(

Friday, December 11, 2009

Here I Am!

No, friends, I haven't disappeared. It's just been a crazy, busy time. As you can see below, I have been tatting. Here are my holiday card additions, all ready to be mailed. Today is the last day of finals, grades are due on Tuesday, and I'll be having surgery on my elbow next Thursday, so the craziness continues. I miss all of you!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Tatting at the Craft Show

One of our local fire departments had a fall craft show today, and I reserved a table for my tatted items (handkerchiefs, bookmarks, ornaments, & doilies). I didn't sell much - 2 handkerchiefs and 2 ornaments all day - but I had lots of interesting conversations and definitely did my part to show that tatting is not extinct. There were many people who took my information or left theirs expressing interest in having a class at the library when it fits into my schedule. My favorite quote was this one: "I've been looking for an old lady to teach me, but you're not an old lady!"

Monday, September 28, 2009

Butterfly "Pattern"

Thanks to everyone who has commented on my purple butterfly. Several of you have asked for the pattern. Here is what I used - it's a photocopy of my mom's pillowcase with some notes that I added as I worked it out. Also, I used Omega size 30 thread, color #850. It appears from my current Handy Hands catalog that this may not be available any more. I'll have to nurse the rest of my ball.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


I've finally finished the large butterfly for Elizabeth's quilt. This gives me 6 blocks, and I think I'm going to set them together with strips and make a wall hanging from them. Her birthday is this Friday, and I'm feeling a need to try to finish this project. This butterfly has been a journey for me. The sample was in my dad's things, a finished piece done by his mother. He tried to write out the pattern, but I couldn't follow it. My mother had tatted a couple of them and sewn them onto a pillowcase, so I used those to make a diagram from which I was able to work. Needless to say, I'm proud of this one. Elizabeth's quilt will have a family legacy of tatting in this block.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Card and Ornament

Today I finished another variegated tree ornament like the one in the previous post and embellished this card with some thread my sister-in-law found for me at a sale.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

This and That

I'm still plugging away on little projects. Over the last couple days I've finished a hanky, a bookmark, and a little ornament. The hanky and bookmark are my own designs (just simple doodles), and the ornament is adapted from a gift tag pattern on

Friday, September 4, 2009

I'm Here!

It's been a busy time with work/school back in session, the new puppy, and continued dr. appointments to try to resolve the issues with my elbow and hand. I did manage to tat this Rose Cross from Workbasket Magazine (March, 1989) over the last couple weeks. I've also reserved a table at a local craft show/sale in October, so I'd like to get some more bookmarks and ornaments ready for that.

Monday, August 24, 2009


My uncle sent me this little gem in the mail the other day. I don't know where he got it, but I'm glad he thought of me. My daughter really likes the weight of it and the way it feels when she tats, so I think I may end up losing it to her.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Elizabeth Quilt Update


I just wanted to let everyone know that this project is still moving along; I know it's been a while since I mentioned it. I'm about a half-round from finishing the large purple tatted butterfly, and then will sew it onto a block. I've also been making lots of little butterflies with leftovers from wound shuttles and am thinking about sewing them onto a piece of printed fabric as another block.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The results are in!

We didn't get soaked at the Farm Show, but we did stand inside the antiques building and then outside under the awning for over an hour waiting it out, then got sprinkled on here and there. I got 4 blue ribbons (first place) and one white (third place). They had an error in the judging in the doilies and changed my category number on the flower garden doily, so it ended up with no ribbon. I got a bunch of apologies, but I'm still not sure that I really buy their explanation. Something was fishy. So, here are the "official" results:

baby bonnet - blue ribbon
ornament - blue ribbon
vintage case - blue ribbon
purple oval doily - blue ribbon
eagle pillow - white ribbon
flower garden doily - nothing
hanky - nothing

If it's not raining this afternoon, I'll go back out and walk around some more. We didn't get to play our ring-toss game or eat everything we wanted (can we ever eat everything we want??).

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Made it!

Here are my entries, all done and ready to go to the Farm Show tomorrow afternoon. I've posted the info. about most of them earlier. The two new ones are the hanky with pink edging and heart pattern from the Handy Hands catalog and the ornament from Be-Stitched. It was actually way above my comfort level with that many beads on the shuttle, especially the last row, but I did it! BTW, I decided I liked it on the green ornament the best. I tried it on red and blue first.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Almost there!

Can you feel the tension mounting? 2 days until the Farm Show entries are due. Here are my two last-minute projects. I have this evening and Sunday morning available to tat if the new puppy in our house cooperates (lots of treats, lots of treats).

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

While We're Waiting

As we count down to the Farm Show, I had a quick tatting fix by getting out my little Christmas tree and started setting it up with a bunch of odds and ends from my tatting box. I took a couple snowflakes and pinned them to balls, what a great effect! And no sewing!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Farm Show Countdown!

I had to create a little bit of a rush for myself; that's half the fun of the Farm Show every year. So, I started a different ornament and a hanky in the last couple days to see if I can get them done in time. I made a mistake in a previous post. Entries are due next Sunday, the 9th. If things stay quiet here at home, if my order from Handy Hands arrives soon, if my elbow and hand cooperate, and if I can stay focused on these two projects, I can get them done. :) I'll post a pic of all my entries before I head out to the show next Sunday. 7 days to go!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Tatting Spaces

Krystledawne Tats issued a challenge last week to share pictures of our tatting space. I've had such a nice time visiting everyone else's spots that I thought I should show mine. The recliner is one my husband bought for me when our daughter was born 16 years ago. The coloring picture was done by our daughter a few years back also. The ott light is leftover from my cross-stitching days, and it serves me well. I use a knitting yarn/project holder on the floor to store a few projects, and the stand is a piece that my mother used to call a "dough boy." The top opens up to allow storage inside. Of course, my thread and books stash doesn't fit there; it is piled up elsewhere in the house.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Farm Show Entries Done

Here's the baby bonnet finished. I used the last of my white Irish linen, hemstitched it to the right size for the previously finished lace, sewed it up, and added a little embellishment. There isn't really a category for this entry, so I think it will go under "Any other garment." We'll have to see what the comptetition looks like.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Mary Fitch Hankerchief Case

Here is my version of what is pictured on page 12 of the 1915 book that I mentioned in the previous post. I'm not very good at "winging it" without a pattern, so I am quite pleased with myself on this one.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


I know it's been a little while. Some of you know that I had a slight accident on July 4th.

It's been 2 weeks since my little tumble off the motorcycle, and I'm tatting again (barely). The pinky finger on my right hand and my right elbow are still painful, but they move. I have a deadline for a couple projects (local Farm Show entries are due Aug. 5), so I can't sit around waiting for too long. Fortunately, one project has a simple ring edging that I can manage right now, so I've been plugging along.

My aunt was in town for a visit at the beginning of the month and brought me a surprise box. There was some fabric that she would like me to use in Elizabeth's quilt, a Knots! newsletter that had printed a letter from my dad, and (the big find) a 1915 pattern book, Crocheted Yokes and Tatting by Mary Fitch. It's a bit tattered, but definitely usable. I'm working on the Handkerchief Case from page 12, or something similar to it, since there is no real pattern.

I also need to get the linen cut and hemstitched to make the baby bonnet with the red, white, and blue hen & chicks edging. That should finish up my planned entries for the Farm Show. I'll also be entering the rose center ornament, the flower garden doily/mat, and the variegated purple oval doily, all of which I have pictured somewhere in this blog over the last few months. Oh, and if I make it over to the Tea Shop that has my hankies on sale, I may pick up one of them to enter as well.

That's the latest!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

More Quilt Blocks

We're making progress. Here are two more finished blocks. The first is one that I cross-stitched. It will need a border of some kind to make it as large as the rest. The second is one graciously donated by an online friend. Thanks, Nancy! Finally, we have my progress on the large butterfly that I mentioned earlier.

This will get us to the halfway point, as I need 12 blocks. I think the second 6 will be more challenging, as I have to come up with ideas. Looking back over the finished ones, I have 6 techniques: crazy quilting, fabric paint, embroidery, applique, counted cross-stitch, and tatting. Maybe a second block using each of these techniques (different designs, though) is the way to go.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Update to the RWB Hen & Chicks

In the previous post, I said that the hanky edging was almost done. Well, I finished it yesterday and began to sew it on today, only to find that I had accidentally made one too many repeats of the pattern on each side, so it is way too big. Change of plans! I have some nice soft Irish linen in my stash; I'm going to cut and hemstitch a square the right size, sew on the edging, and fold it into a bonnet (see my March 29 post for pictures of this technique). It's not what I had originally intended, but I think it will be cute.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hanky Edging

I've been working on this hen & chicks edging with Flora size 50 thread. It's actually almost finished with only 6 more repeats to go. Getting it sewed onto the hanky may take a while, though. Sometimes I get stuck there.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

One more

I just finished up the embroidery on this block.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Quilt Blocks

Here are the first two blocks: I completed the Sunbonnet Sue square, and a friend from Here-Be-Tatters (thanks, Eileene!) completed the crazy quilt square.

We have a start!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Butterflies for Elizabeth

I've been working on butterflies and some plans for them. I'm putting together a small sampler-style quilt and have two blocks planned so far: one with a painted Sunbonnet Sue design embellished with the first butterfly in the pictures below, and a second with a purple version of the third butterfly shown (the large one in shades of yellow and brown) centered on a white background.

I'm figuring out the pattern for that butterfly as I go along because the history is a little bit complicated. There is a partially completed one in my grandmother's notebook. My father tried to write out the pattern for it, but I really can't make much sense of it. The one you see below was tatted by my mother, and it is the easiest to follow.

The tiniest butterfly in the pictures is one I'm just calling "Leftovers Butterfly." I think I'll include them in cards to friends and family in the days/weeks ahead.

A last note, there are several friends who have offered to make a butterfly and/or a square for the quilt. Anyone who is interested is more than welcome to join me. The background fabrics will be white, and the butterflies should be primarily purple, if possible. Finished blocks should be about 9 inches square. Feel free to e-mail me with ideas.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sad News

It is with a very heavy heart that I share the news of my 19 year-old niece's passing. Elizabeth lost her battle with cancer last night. In her honor, I am going to be making purple butterflies. I'm not sure what I will do with them yet, but I'm thinking something like sewing them onto quilt squares or into the corners of handkerchiefs. Maybe I will put them in cards for family and friends.

I didn't get a chance to teach her to tat, but now her grandpa can do it in heaven.

Teaching Tatting

Time to get caught up here - on Monday I taught my first tatting class. We met at a local tea shop that is selling my hankies on consignment. We had 5 students, and my 16 year-old daughter was my assistant.

I set up a kit with a hanky, a handy hands catalog, an instruction sheet, a shuttle, and a ball of thread. We spent about 45 minutes working on the flip, then added the double stitch and closing a ring. That was all the time we had, but I showed them picots and joins at the end.

One student left with closed rings, and another called me the next day to report her success. That means we have at least 2 new tatters in the world. I'd suspect that at least one of the other students will stick with it as well.

A great time was had by all!

Friday, June 5, 2009


Another one-day project: today I tatted up this cross bookmark from the December 1977 issue of Workbasket to include in a letter to a friend. I used size 30 Omega thread.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Sometimes you need a one-day project. This was mine today. It's Medallion No. 30 from Tatting with Anne Orr. I used Lizbeth for the center and Hakelgarn 20 for the outside.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

All Finished

Well, I said I'd get bored. The nice thing about this pattern is that it finishes in lots of places. I decided 4 flowers was enough, so I put a final border of rings and chains around it and called it done.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Garden is Growing!

This will be the last picture from my scanner; as you can see, it barely fits. The next updated photo will have to come from the camera.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Flower Garden Progress

I figured it out! Here is what I have so far - two flowers in the garden. I think there will be a total of 7, one in the middle and 6 around. I'm using size 30 thread.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Flower Garden

I've been trying to figure out a way to reproduce the classic "Grandmother's Flower Garden" quilt pattern with tatting, and I think I've got it. This medallion pattern is from A Tatter's Workbook. If I use little white motifs as the path between different colored flowers made like this one, it should work. I don't know how big it will get; knowing myself, probably not very large (I tend to get distracted by other projects). The good thing is that I can stop in lots of places and have a doily/table mat of any size.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


This is my latest finish: a stamped cross-stitch embroidery block. It is 18 inches square, and I'm planning to make it into a pillow. I had planned to edge it with tatting, but I don't think it really needs it, so I will probably just go with a complimentary fabric for the pillow backing and call it done. It's for my husband.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Holiday Weekend Tatting

This weekend I finally got around to making the Spinning Wheel Glass Mat from Mary Konior's boo, Tatting with Visual Patterns. I've had it on my to try list for months. I used Lizbeth thread, color #122 (Caribbean). My 15 year-old daughter liked it so much that she picked up a shuttle and worked on her tatting a little bit, adding picots and joins to her skill base. Now she's ready to try some hen & chicks edging, the obligatory first project in our family tradition.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Hanky Time

Yep, it's another hanky. This one is about as classic as it gets: white on white. The thread is size 12 pearl cotton, color B5200 (snow white). I do have some exciting news about my hankies; there is a local tea shop that is going to try to sell them for me on consignment, and we're talking about having classes this summer in the meeting room. If it turns out to be a bust, I'll go back to my idea of donating the hankies to a residence for senior citizens around holiday time.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Hanky Bonnet

I finally got around to trying out this technique - pretty cute! There are instructions on several websites. I got mine from

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Another Hanky

I had a little trouble with this one. I couldn't find a thread in my stash that had the right amount of "shimmer" to go with the pre-done embroidery on the hanky. I finally ended up with size 12 pearl cotton, and I'm happy with the result. The picture doesn't really do it justice.


Nordic Needle is having a design contest, and I was trying to use things in my stash that I know they sell. This is what I came up with. I call it "Learn to Tat Bookmark" because the center is just rings, and the outer round is just chains - very basic. I used Pearl Cotton #5 for the center and Caron Wildflowers thread for the outer round.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Ornament with Lizbeth Thread

Today I played with some of my new thread and made "Rose Ornament" from Christmas Angels and Other Tatting Patterns by Monica Hahn. I like the pattern and the thread, so I might be making some more of these.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Income Tax Return

Tax time stresses me out every year. I don't know why, but it does. So, to treat myself for making it through again, I placed a little order with Handy Hands. Of course, most of the return money is earmarked for those darn bills, but I thought a small splurge was warranted. I'm planning hanky edgings and holiday ornaments with this colorful thread.

Friday, March 6, 2009


What to do with a sample of thread from a thread exchange? It was one shuttle full, just enough for this cute little bookmark made from the straight edge of the pattern for Hen & Chicks Cross found at The thread is Altin Basak, size 50. Actually this was another thread that I wanted to try as I had seen reference to it but never had my hands on any. Now I have!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Lizbeth Thread

I've been wanting to try this new size 20 thread from Handy Hands, and I received some in a thread exchange (thanks, Karey!). I used the round robin for beginners pattern and added a few beads on some of the joins to come up with this little decoration. The thread has a VERY nice hand and comes in lots of colors.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Something Different

I'm not of the Catholic faith, but many members of my husband's family are. Also, Dad was fascinated with the idea of a tatted rosary. Yesterday I was looking for a one-day project and I found the pattern for "Jeanne's Rosary" in the book, Tatting Online, by Georgia Seitz. I made a beaded cross to replace the tatted one, and I've attached it with a jump ring in case the recipient wants to replace it with a personal one. The thread is Olympus size 40 (which tats up like a size 20).

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Hanky Time

Hi Everyone,

It's just me with another finished hanky. The lace on this one is made with size 30 white cebelia thread, and the pattern is just rings and chains with 4 ds between each picot/join. It doesn't get much simpler than that!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Another Handkerchief

I finally finished my current hanky. Why is it that the last side always takes soooooo long? I told my daughter that I felt like a hamster in a wheel going and going and going, and going nowhere! Of course it is also great when the shuttle runs out of thread with 1.5 inches to go. Sigh. I'm sounding a little bit grumbly today - that probably has something to do with the fact that it's back to work full-swing tomorrow morning. :(

This is one of the hankies from Handy Hands, and the thread is Olympus size 40.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Hi Everyone,

I finally got around to sewing the lace onto a pillowcase that I've had finished for weeks. That's the worst part for me.

I've also finished two other projects in the last few days; unfortunately, I cannot post pictures of them for copyright reasons. The first is a pillowcase that I made for my daughter with an image traced and painted and then tatted edging added. I don't own the image, so I can't post a duplication of it here. The second is an ornament made with a photo of a friend's baby. After she receives it, I'll ask if she minds my posting it.

I'm also still working on hankies and pillowcases for some unknown purpose. That seems to be my "keep my hands busy" project lately. I'm really enjoying the discussions on the Workbasket group. It makes me feel like I'm not the only one stuck in a bygone era.

Tat's the latest from here!