My Personal Favorites
I started out with the idea of posting my five favorite pieces and within time, it grew to more.
I will tell the story of each as I post it. For several, I have told the stories many times, others this is the first time.
Here is Beautiful Lace Sampler. I stitched thhis for the saying and for the small strips of Valenciennes Lace
Beautiful Lace Sampler Part 1
I have collected 19th century whitework handkerchiefs for a long time -- 2020 marks the 30 year anniversary of my first (and still favorite) handkerchief which I bought in a Paris flea market. I collected the handkerchiefs for their embroidery, but many came with wonderful Valenciennes lace borders, often made to coordinate with the embroidered motifs. One of my favorites has irises embroidered on the handkerchief and coordinating irises on the lace. More about the handkerchiefs later.
I decided I would like to stitch a series of samplers each reflecting the motifs on the different types of laces and whitework that I have collected over the years. This is my first sampler in the series. I have also stitched the second and have a plan for the third. For the second I borrowed the flowers and designs from Ayrshire whitework. The third will be Honiton. I suspect I will turn once again to Jane Austen and try to adapt the motifs of Alencon lace. I have thought of attempting an elaborate whitework monogram for another. This would not be an easy task because canvas doesn't offer the freedom of line that surface embroidery does. Still, it would be fun to try.
One of the offshoots of collecting lace is tracing the evolution of the lace from handmade to machine made samples. The designs and overall appearance can be very similar. All of the lengths of Valenciennes lace on my sampler are machine-made examples and look surprisingly like the hand made. These tiny insertion and edging laces were, I am guessing, made in France from Edwardian times up through the 1950's, if not a while longer, for insertion and edging on lingerie. One practical difference worth noting between handmade and machine-made: I would never have been able to gather enough handmade Valenciennes lace for sampler kits; I did find enough of these little machine-made samples for some kits. It took me a year or so of searches to accumulate enough, but I have it all stored carefully for the time I sell the kits.