Official Newsletter   •   June 1, 2021

Contents in This Month's Issue

•  A Letter to Our Friends
•  Current Exhibit: Worn to Dance—1920s Fashion & Beading
•  Featured Exhibits in our Museum Shop: The Crochet Art of Cathy Adair-Clark
•  Upcoming Exhibits: The Bird in the Textile Arts
•  Treasures from Our Etsy Shop: Bridal Veils & Tiaras—of Every Era
•  Arts & Crafts Ephemera: Handwritten Labels in Script
•  Historical Textile Trivia: Weddings—Shoes & Stockings
•  New Products & Publications
•  Customer of the Month: Alison Becker
•  Classes at Lacis: Daffodils & Pansies, Tatting & Tambour
•  Textile Arts Events Calendar: What to Watch, See, & Do

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Our warmest greetings, Lacis friends

Welcome to the June issue of our monthly newsletter. We sincerely hope this finds you well, and hope you're getting a chance to enjoy the warmer weather, the longer days, and the time spent together pleasantly outdoors.

With wedding season upon us, we're happy for all the brides who are resuming their bridal plans. Due to the pandemic many of the would-be-wedded were compelled to postpone these nuptial celebrations. But we're equally happy for our seamstresses, and tailors, and designers, too, whose bread and butter was preparing formal garments for wedding parties, bridal gowns, and even quinciñeras—all the big gatherings that we've had to put on hold.
     We watched as many of them managed to creatively pivot in their industriousness (relying on their skills to produce masks during the PPE shortage, for example), and truly, the ingenuity of our local professional craftspeople knows no bounds.
     It'll be a welcome sight, to see them resume expertly working on gowns again. No doubt there are going to be some truly spectacular weddings this year—more intimate, exclusive, and poignant than years past, perhaps, but no less beautiful in terms of custom-made finery and accoutrement; perhaps for all the waiting they will be even more so.

Longtime piano collector (not to mention world-class piano logistics expert, a specialist in storage and moving) Greg McCrea visited us this past month. He was on a mission to find a replacement fringe for a very pretty Victorian piano stool that required some TLC.
     Well, as most of you probably know, fringe is something we happen to carry a lot of at Lacis, scads and scads of it, and in all kinds of lengths, weights, and colors, too. So, happily, we were able to provide him with a good range of options—and Greg kindly shared with us a photo of the results afterward! We're always delighted when our Lacis friends do that.

A gorgeous little Victorian piano stool of McCrae's that just needed a little extra attention.

We were so impressed by the final look of the upholstery and its trimming. That combination of burgundy fringe and "antique" ribbed braid really did the trick, don't you think?

We received some sad news this month: a great friend to Lacis, Gloria Penning, has passed away.
     Gloria Penning was many things: master lace knitter, skilled quilter, member of the Greater St. Louis Knitter's Guild, avid gardener, and compassionate rescuer of cats. Above all, Gloria was a kindred spirit. She wrote the Knitted Heirloom Lace series and Knitted Lace in Miniature, books we've long carried on our shop shelves, and pictured here (below). Gloria died at age 90, in March of last year.
     Deeply kind and open-minded, Gloria was intellectually curious, a loving mother, a musician, a cook, a naturalist. We are very glad she visited us in 2009—and gratified that she enjoyed Lacis so immensely. We will remember her with great fondness forever, and never look at knitted lace—especially in miniature—without thinking of her.

Gloria's sweet and forgiving personality comes through in her writing.
She took mistakes in knitting perfectly in stride; it was all part of the process.

Lately, we have been surprised and honored by several donations entrusted to us via post, or otherwise enclosed in mailing envelopes—such beautiful and precious heirlooms that we just had to share with you!


This extraordinary handkerchief belonged to Kate Levinson's great-grandmother's, Sarah Schwabacher. Sarah lived from 1845 to 1942. She and her husband were quite well-to-do and enjoyed a mansion in Pacific Heights.

This hanky, without at doubt, could only belong to a woman accustomed to the finer things in life. Look at that intricate detail, the fine translucency of the cotton weave...!


This paper envelope reads only, in faint, pencilled hand: "Mrs. Lancaster" of Oakland* was the original collector, preserver, and annotator of this collection of fine antique lace. They were kept compactly folded in this envelope for a very long time, with small handwritten labels pinned to them. The made their way to Lacis by way of Jo Anne Larson.

*We can only presume, as that was all that was written on the paper envelope; see the return address portion that reads, curiously, "After five days return to [two blank lines for an address] Oakland"? How cool is that?

Mrs. Virginia Juarez, née Acquistapace (1893-1980), of Guadalupe, California, hosted a regular Sewing Circle, "a group of her peers who did all kinds of needle work while keeping each other updated on their community"—knitting, tatting, crocheting, embroidery. This set of fluffy white towels were decorated with her own delicate lavender- and pale amethyst-colored tatted trim, in shades tastefully chosen to match the accent threads of the weave.

These towels and abalone shell tatting shuttle were part of a generous donation made to Lacis by her daughter and granddaughter, Shirley Boydstun and Ginni Easter.

Our book department here at Lacis has been enviably inundated with new publications. Some of the best, most mouthwatering titles are only available by special order, so if they appeal to you, let us know as soon as possible—since they could take a few days to arrive.
     We would argue that there is no more delicious feeling in this world than the anxious anticipation of the moment a deeply desired, long-awaited book at last arrives into one's hand. Peruse our offerings with that in mind.

This book has been long out of print, but is back—new and improved. It is just one in a series of costume history reference books jam-packed with huge, gorgeous photos.

     Lacis friends, as always, we appreciate your continued support and engagement. We hope you enjoyed this newsletter. Take care of yourselves, keep in touch, and carry on making.
     And this month, for the father figures among us, or in memory of the fathers we hold in our hearts—we honor you. Have a beautiful, happy Father's Day. Until next time,

Kind regards, and many thanks—
                           Your friends at Lacis

Current Exhibit

Worn to Dance—1920s Fashion & Beading

Now open for tours by appointment!

        •    Masks are required
        •    Tours are $3.00 per person and must be reserved in advance—calling us at (510) 843-7290 is best
        •    Tours can be scheduled for Monday, Tuesday or Saturday at 1:00PM & 3:00PM
        •    Tours have a two-person minimum and are limited to 5 guests maximum
        •    For Museum Members and their guests (4 max), tours are free!
        •    Please note that the second floor gallery at this time is only accessible via stairs

A 1920s wedding gown with an absolutely epic train.
Its tail end is pleasingly bookended by two beaded motifs that echo its square shape.

Almost 100 years ago, with the dawn of the Jazz Age, life changed dramatically for women in America. Suddenly the 1920s woman could vote, drive, spend her own money, smoke and drink in public, cut off her long hair, expose her calves, forgo her corset and—perhaps most iconic of all—she could dance.
     The most iconic pastime of the 1920s was dancing in nightclubs and speakeasies. Here women and men could freely socialize to the rhythm of Hot Jazz.
     That rhythm is most clearly made visual in the image of the flapper, with her (relatively) short dress, which sparkled in the dim lights, given heft, form and movement by the innumerable beads sewed to its simple shift-shaped form.
     These dresses, like the Jazz Age itself, were never destined to last. With the weight of the beads continually testing their union with the fragile silk, their eventual collapse was inevitable, as evidenced by the beads abandoned on the dance floor when the party was over.
     This is why, though the dresses remained the quintessential symbol of the times, so few of them remain today. By attentive restoration, we have been able to present examples of these dresses as they appeared when they first shone, as well as fascinating examples of dresses in different stages of construction process.

Closer views of the intricate beading and beaded tassels.

From the collection of LMLT; conceived of and curated by the LMLT staff
Running from November 16, 2019—Extended end date TBD

Currently on Exhibit in the Museum Shop

The Filet Crochet and Shetland Lace Sampler
of Cathy Adair-Clark of Windsor, Colorado

Filet Crochet Panels
These monumental window coverings depict a fantastic range of animals. As the months grow brighter and warmer, we couldn't resist sharing this pair of birds, but there's an entire pastoral series to be viewed as well, concentrating on a theme dear to Cathy's heart—sheep and shepherding!

On your next visit to Lacis, don't miss Cathy's butterflies and birds, the colossal imposing owl, a lively provincial scene featuring rooster and hens, and the peacock posed in all his glory! In the sheep filet panels, we see a wool industry-related sequence: a dog diligently guarding its flock, a spinner rooing a sheep. (That is, removing its fleece by hand.) Cathy's father, she recalls, "used to shear sheep in his youth; it would take a long time to roo a sheep, but a spinner sitting with her sheep and pulling a lock off and spinning sounded to me like heaven." We have to agree with her there—a sure image of a spinner's paradise.


Shetland Lace Sampler
This generous donation of decorative textile artworks from Cathy Adair-Clark is a tour de force of talent and devotion to the world of needlework, specifically her world of knitting and Shetland yarns: "I fell in love with Shetland sheep and their fleeces, and that has ruled my life since 2007."

The magnificent sampler she constructed in 2012 is 8 feet by 6½ feet, comprising 67 different fleeces of yarn, all hand-spun by Cathy herself. We also have her personally compiled tome of sketches available for your perusal, with each motif and its pattern, along with sources and progress reports, all passionately and fastidiously documented.

Upcoming Exhibits

The Bird in the Textile Arts

We can't wait to share this gorgeous exhibit with you all soon!
For the time being, please enjoy this extract from the exhibit commentary.

The bird in literature and on canvas has long held its place through all civilizations and all times. The bird captured in thread and textiles is more obscure and less defined. Depicted by a single thread, a bountiful palette of threads, a thread following a hook or threads in harmony through the bobbins of lace, the bird is captured by the hands of the creator.
    This amazing presentation captures this spirit from Pre-Columbian Peru to the earliest of laces to a world of unbound wealth of thread, color and needle.

Wedding Kimono

Though "kimono" means, quite literally, "thing that is worn", it has become—like so many other things in the hands of the Japanese—a powerful cultural symbol, elaborately ritualized and full of symbolic meaning.
     As garments go, the kimono is a deceptively simple one. Kimono are traditionally made from a single bolt of fabric approximately 40' long and 15" wide, and one garment requires the entire bolt of fabric. The components are relatively easy to assemble and disassemble, for cleaning purposes—but it still requires sewing.
     A woman's kimono ensemble can be made of up to a dozen separate pieces or more, and a formal outfit, such as this wedding kimono, really requires a licensed kimono dressers' assistance. For one thing, formal obi knots—the obi is the part that belts around the waist—demand the utmost skill and concentration to contrive properly. We recommend watching this 12-minute video on YouTube to get an idea of how the dressing process, as it were, unfolds.

NOTE: When we're ready to begin tours of this exhibit, its opening will be announced on our Facebook page—follow us to be the first to know!

Treasures from Our Etsy Shop

Just a few of our bridal crowns and wedding veils.
We have unique styles from across all eras listed on our Etsy page!

Roaring '20s-themed wedding? This elbow-length 1920s veil in ecru cotton netting for is perfect for the decadent flapper bride. This photo shows how it would have been worn in the era, but you could reverse it for a contemporary look —see the Etsy listing for more details.

  •     Netting is edged in 1/2" machine lace
  •     Satin rayon ribbon flowers adorn each side
  •     Ruffle is handmade bobbin lace

A terrific '20s tiara and tulle veil

Let's jump forward two decades. If 1940s style—or the Renaissance!—is more to your liking, this pointed halo crown should cut the mustard. But, should Catherine the Great just happen to be one of your personal heroines, it kind of gives off kokoshnik vibes, too, doesn't it? So unique and versatile

  •     Ecru silk satin & antique handmade bobbin lace
  •     Split veil with blusher

Fabulously, fiercly, fashionably '40s

Do you love drama? (Not relationship drama, obviously.) This 1980s bridal veil is a headdress fit for mermaid queens and hardcore rockstars. The spectacularly beaded headband serves as a base for the shirred ruffle halo crown. Dazzle like an old MTV music video in AB sequins, seed beads, and faux pearls.

A piece emphatically, ecstatically evocative of the '80s

  •     White nylon tulle netting; shirred ruffle at back of halo
  •     Double layer veil with thread edge
  •     Cowl drape

For the more understated, minimalist, Midcentury Modern bride, check out this 1950s French rhinestone bridal tiara. Its teardrop-shaped pearls, pearlized plastic orange blossoms, is deadstock vintage, complete with its original tag—you'll be the first to make memories in it.

  •     Headband length is 15"
  •     Height of crown at center is 3"
  •     Condition is immaculate

French floral finery from the '50s

Textile Ephemera: Paper Artifacts from the Past

Precious written items found at Lacis

Here at the museum we frequently see into two ways of labeling textiles in storage.
     One way is to write on a piece of card and fix it to a box by means of adhesive strips, that is, tape. Another is to write on a piece of paper and pin it to the textiles directly.

The labels you see above were pinned to precious mementos—neatly folded fragments of lace—which remained enclosed in a paper envelope for many years. If you look closely, you can see the minute little pinpricks. They read:

     "From one of my mother's collars. C. M. M."

     "These are the remains of mother's under sleeves made for her wedding dress in 1855.
     "Her dress years later and her embroidered petticoat were given to a daughter of Mrs. Holland in Peoria GI. for her wedding outfit."

     "A piece of the lace from my graduation dress 1883."

Imagine: an entire life story in textiles, in garments, in pieces. Who was Mrs. Lancaster, really? Who was the mother, whose three initials were C. M. M.? Who was Mrs. Holland's daughter? It seems we will never know.

Found separately from Mrs. Lancaster's collection, this rather tiny, elegantly pencilled label reads, simply, "Wedding Gown." Those two short words no doubt produced a wealth of memories for the person who carefully wrote them, and put the gown away.
     The formula for the sticky adhesive and petrochemical-derived plastic strip has evolved over time, and, over decades, sometimes degrades in surprising ways. Open a long-shut biscuit tin of old, rotting plastic buttons and you'll know what we mean. They can liquify into a sticky mess of putrid, unexpected colors, and offgas the most noxious odor imaginable.
     With this particular example, the cellphone-like tape was brittle and browned with age. Needless to say, it has long become separated from its box. Heaven only knows where the gown itself has got to.

In these small acts of conservation, these moments of uncovering and discovery, reading cloth, decipering messages—perhaps we can try to predict the ways in which future generations will ponder our lives, as they handle and reflect upon the small, crumbling remains of our clothing, our faded, tattered scraps of paper.

Historical Textile Trivia

Facts Both Interesting & Obscure from Ages Past

It may at first seem a little strange, how many wedding-related folk traditions involve throwing shoes and stockings—but then, consider how long the conjugal familiarity implied by the sight of a stocking has been a distinctive theme in art. Consider, too, how it is the usual nature of shoes and stockings to coexist in matching pairs, and one shoe or stocking on its own is a somewhat lonely thing. A metaphor for the comforts of matrimony, perhaps?
     According to Discovering the Folklore and Traditions of Marriage by George Monger (a book that we happen to carry, in case you're interested):

Some newly wed brides would try to foretell how her life would continue to throwing a stocking over her left shoulder as she prepared for bed. If the stocking landed in a straight line her luck would be continuous; if, however, it was not straight her luck would be variable.

A divine pair of antique bridal shoes from the Lacis shop floor— with sparkling sequins fit for Cinderella! The embossing on the leather soles gives us a clue as to the date of their manufacture: "Patent October 23, 1917"!

Sometimes it is not the bride herself who is subject to the superstitious practice, but a rather, an auxiliary unmarried female in her orbit. Remember the sibling rivalries in Kiss Me Kate, The Taming of the Shrew? Difficult Katharina, speaking heatedly (as usual) to her father, says:

"She is your treasure, she must have a husband;
I must dance bare-foot on her wedding-day,
And for you love to her lead apes in hell."
(Scene II, Act 1.)

Why does she say that, and with such bitterness? Because, Monger says:

In some traditions she [that is, the humiliated older sister whose young sister is marrying before her] would have to dance barefoot; in others she would have to wear green stockings. The green stockings may have been a sign of shame and green is considered an unlucky colour. This may have been a demeaning act to break her bad luck.

Yes, being forced to dance in front of others like this does sound truly horrifying. Of course it would "break her bad luck," because anything that should follow that act would necessarily have to be an improvement—nothing could possibly be worse.

Another gorgeous pair of antique bridal heels in white satin, made in the USA.

     On a lighter note, have you ever wondered about the cacophonous convention of tying cans and shoes to the bumper of the newlywed couple's car, as their friends and family see them off? Monger explains:

The going away car is usually decorated by the friends of the couple who see them off. Sometimes the decoration can be extreme and often involves tying boots and tin cans to the rear bumper... Boots and shoes tied behind have a less obvious meaning but there is a long tradition of shoes being thrown after a person to bring them good luck. In Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (published in 1861), the hero, Pip, leaves home to go to London:

'The last I saw of them was, when I presently heard a scuffle behind me, and looking back, saw Joe throw an old shoe after me, and Biddy throwing another old shoe.'

And, as many of you are probably already aware, the traditional "something blue" of "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" was a blue garter belt, the color of which was intended to intercept and neutralize the negative influences of the evil eye.
     Not a custom involving stocking or a shoe, it's true, but near enough to the relevant anatomical parts to merit a mention, surely.

New Favorite Products & Publications at Lacis

Our staff picks their favorite fresh titles & tools

Don't forget, Lacis Museum Members receive 20% off of books purchased in our Museum shop!

280 Japanese Lace Stitches
from Nihon Vogue

Tuttle, $25.00      FX56

Here's the latest in a series of stitch dictionaries that are objectively, unequivocally gorgeous reference books—and as William Morris said, "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." Knitters: you need these books in your house. Want to knit leaf pattners? Diamonds? Circles? Waves? 280 Japanese Lace Stitches has it all, conveying its instructions with the utmost clarity.
     The charts and symbols are nice big, helpfully color-coded as necessary; the "How to Work the Stitch Symbols" at the end are essential reading for the learning knitter. It really takes you by the hand and demonstrates the working of each stitch very explicitly, with more helpful color-coding, step by tiny step. It's a softback book, too, so you can flip to the parts you want to refer to in a hearbeat. Patterns include shawls, a cowl, and a nice, warm, comfy-looking beanie.

Amazing Japanese Crochet Stitches:
A Stitch Dictionary and Design Resource
by Keiko Okamoto

Tuttle, $25.00      FX55

This book will make non-crocheters want to become crocheters. It shows you 156 stitch patterns so you can achieve effects that are visually interesting and beautiful, like interlocking rings, and all the fancy Irish crochet motifs... Make adorable trims decked out with sunflowers, daisies and cherries, perfect for summertime! Make an organic-looking, stylish Boho vest! All of Keiko's projects have a timeless appeal. Even for novice crocheters, this book will be useful. The last twelve pages shows you how to work all the basic stitches in painstakingly precise, graphic detail.

Fashion: Treasures
of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston (Tiny Folio)

Abbeville Press, $13.00      NQ41

A tiny, compact brick of a book—think the proportional equivalent of a stocking-stuffer. It's jam-packed with fascinating photographs—more than 300 pages of beautifully printed text and pictures! This is the perfect present for taking a fashion-obsessed kid on a long summer road trip in the post-Covid era. It won't take up much room, and they'll be guaranteed not to bother you for hours... except to pepper you with, "Did you know...?" or "Have you ever seen...?"—factoids and anecdotes from the world of fashion. A book that gives and gives!

Patchwork & Quilting: A Maker's Guide
Victoria & Albert Museum

Thames & Hudson, $25.00      NQ40

"From Italian trapunto to Korean jogakbo*: fifteen projects inspired by the V&A collections"—the diversity of these projects will take you on a journey around the world and through decades of history, and in some cases, several hundred decades. Even if you don't actually attempt any of the projects, the pictures and stories about the museum pieces and traditions that inspired them are going to edify and delight you beyond reason.

*You might know of jogakbo by its other name, bojagi—the traditional Korean multicolored wrapping cloths, like the one that Youngmin Lee shows you how to make in this video from the Asian Art Museum.

Textiles of the Islamic World
by John Gillow

Thames & Hudson, $40.00      NQ44

623 color illustrations. "Wandering through an oriental bazaar or souk," writes Gillow, "...textile heaven awaits."
     The angarkha of the Mughal court in India (tapestry-woven robes for men)—the Malay metal thread embroidery of Sarawak and Brunei, that embellishes the pennanted bunting for bridal beds of state, sometimes felted, too, or in gilded paper appliqué. The voluminous, elaborately folded, embroidered agbada robes Muslim men wear in Central Nigeria—the graphically powerful, geometrically patterned Mende kpokpo strip-woven cloth, with thread dyed indigo blue and kola-nut brown, of Sierra Leone—the appliquéd tent panels from the Street of the Tent Makers, Cairo—all masterpieces. This book is a dizzying treasure trove of images, cultures, artifacts, and customs. The colors, the materials, the tales will stream endlessly by in the hours you will lose, immersed in this book and the textures of the Islamic world. Set aside some alone time, and be ready to be completely transported.

Bespoke: The Master Tailors of Savile Row
by James Sherwood
Foreward by Tom Ford

Thames & Hudson, $40.00      NQ43


For some, wearing a suit and tie signifies conformity, losing yourself as you blend into the faceless corporate masses; "bespoke", however, means something tailor-made for your unique self. You're quite literally clothing yourself in a tangible expression of the craftsman's expertise, their lifelong dedication to their demanding trade. This book is about wearable art.
      A book for the gentleman's gentleman, the gentleman's tailor, the aspiring gentleman... and anyone else appreciates, or is even merely curious about, the exquisite workmanship in men's custom garments. As you'll soon find, it's about so much more than just dressing up and getting fancy. And not only is the text essential reading for sharp dressers, but book is a consummate work of art in itself, too, if you should appreciate photography, typography, and graphic design.

Indigo: The Color That Changed the World
by Catherine Legrand

Thames & Hudson, $65.00      NQ39


The profound emotion the color indigo can provoke in the heart, the way it can charge and electrify the soul, the way you can almost become addicted to it—is one of those huge and ineffable mysteries of the universe. (If you aren't already clued in to indigo, you can start with the 2011 documentary Blue Alchemy: Stories of Indigo, and then do a deep dive into this world of blue with Catherine Legrand's masterful work.) Legrand unlocks so much of that mystery in her work, leaving no stone unturned, spanning continents and millenia, that it becomes a stunning experience, almost explosive. It's as if, after you really see this blue for what it is, you'll never be the same again.
     Many of our Lacis friends who are fully committed, "dye"-hard dyeing enthusiasts (you know who you are!) will be beside themselves when they discover this book in our shop, but really, the indigofera plant is one of those gifts from nature that shaped human history, so this is a story that everyone should know. The pictures alone will take you on an unforgettable journey.

1950s in Vogue: The Jessica Daves Years (1952-1962)

Thames & Hudson, $95.00      NQ45


First of all, full disclosure: the 1950s is this reviewer's absolute favorite decade in women's fashion, thanks to a childhood spent watching the super-fashionable, ever-exquisitely-attired Lucille Ball on I Love Lucy every summer night with Grandma. Lucy may have performed the part of a dingbat, but her wardrobe was elegance and sophistication itself. She wholly embodied this Vogue aesthetic that Jessica Daves so clearly had a hand in pioneering (the model shown on the cover—the inner book cover, that is, which you don't see here—is a dead-ringer for Ball). Those smashing silhouttes!—the impeccably selected accessories!—the make-up!
     It's enough to make you simply swoon.
     The photography and illustrations reproduced in this enormous (yet svelte) 11" wide x 14" tall (x only 1" thick) softback—which, appropriately, comes into your hands after sliding smoothly out of its snug, slim, persimmon-colored box—are splendid, just gorgeous beyond measure. The sweaters and skirts of the college girl, the colorful, wanderlust-inducing resort wear, the section on "couture and cars"...! Daves proves a fascinating figure, too, of course. We love her monochrome approach to her own life: she had an all-green office (an unrepentant Francophile, her furniture was entirely French Provincial, and her fine art collection, French modern), and her daily uniform tended towards all-navy blue. Heroic.

Textiles: The Art of Mankind
by Mary Schoeser

Thames & Hudson, $95.00      NQ38


Your treasured library of textile tomes is not complete until you have this book. It is 555 pages of sheer sumptuousness, a handsome hardback. You could concuss a cave troll with a book this big, nevermind that it's wonderfully written, full of invaluable information. If you're the kind of person who dreams of travelling the world collecting textiles, you're going to need to see this book. You won't know how you lived without it. Order it immediately, because it could take up to a week to get here!

Lacis Customer of the Month

Be inspired by our extraordinary visitors & craftspeople


Alison Becker

Amazing Lacis visitor Alison Becker made 500 masks during the pandemic—including for an entire class of kindergarteners!—as well as this quilt, replete with printed portraits of masked recipients. The faces are in B&W, the masks (and select other items) in color, making them really pop. Such vibrancy and visual ingenuity—we love it!
     Excellent work, Alison. We applaud your industriousness and big heart, and we so appreciate your sharing your project with us. You're a true inspiration, and your quilt is a testament to how creative people adapt to new challenges and even thrive under changing world paradigms.

Read more about this project on the Pixeladies website, where Alison has taken classes for mastering Photoshop!

Classes at Lacis

There are so many things to learn at Lacis!

We're very excited to be able to offer in-person classes once more. The re-scheduled classes listed below are available to those who were originally registered for them before they were cancelled due to pandemic restrictions, but please feel free to email us and let us know what classes you'd be interested in taking in the future, and we'll contact you when registration opens up!

         Pleated Pansy: A Ribbon Flower Class
         with Patrice Krems

         Saturday, August 14, 2021 — 12:30 to 5:00 PM

         Beginning Tatting
         with Kevin Baum

         Saturday, August 21, 2021 — 12:30 to 4:00 PM

         Tambour Embroidery
         with Zoya Parkansky

         Saturday, Sept. 18 & Oct. 2, 2021 — 10:00 to 5:00 PM

         Delightful Daffodils: A Ribbon Flower Class
         with Patrice Krems

         Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021 — 12:30 to 5:00 PM

Textile Arts Calendar

What to Watch, See, & Do

Are you promoting an educational textile event,
and you'd like to see it posted in a future Lacis Newsletter?
Contact us, and let's see if we're a good fit!

San Francisco School for Needlework and DesignGreater Bay Area Costumer's GuildTatter Blue LibrarySelvedge

San Francisco School of Needlework and Design
New online lectures offered monthly through Webinar!

These online lectures feature experienced stitchers and historians on the subjects of embroidery and other fiber arts. Each month SNAD will have available two separate special guest events for registration. These compelling speakers will share their specialized insights into their favorite aspects of a fascinating fiber-related topic.

Read more about Elizabeth Elvin, who also advises the British charity organization Fine Cell Work which teaches needlework to prison inmates in the UK

   •      June 23rd: Elizabeth Elvin

An interview with Elizabeth Elvin, former principal of the Royal School of Needlework. She began her career with them in 1961, starting in the Kensington workrooms for hands on training. It was also during this time that Elizabeth attended Goldsmiths College, studying under the famed embroiderer Constance Howard and going on to study with another renowned embroiderer Beryl Dean at Hammersmith College of Art.

   •      July 28: Kate Tume—Mother Eagle Arts, and a Life in Stitch

Kate Tume is from West Sussex, and her astonishing animal portraits make an impactful, unignorable statement about how the "cultural, social or spiritual reverence for the natural world has resulted in vulnerability, endangerment or extinction."

Read more about Kate Tume, whose own mother taught her how to embroider, and whose works all resonate with special earthly meaning

Greater Bay Area Costumer's Guild
Virtual gatherings and workshops for costume enthusiasts

The Greater Bay Area Costumers Guild is a non-profit organization made up of people who share an interest in recreational costuming. Located in the San Francisco Bay Area, they offer a variety of activities including workshops, costume salons and costumed events. Check out their new schedule of innovative pandemic-friendly events!

The Sewing Room's Jennifer Serr guides participants through this 4-hour millinery workshop, from building the frame to padding, covering, and trimming.

   •      June 6: Lost Bonnets of Bridgerton

Learn to build a Regency bonnet from start to finish—perfect for a walk on the ton! This workshop, unsurprisingly, sold out quickly, but you can sign up for private classes with Jennifer, if you've missed out this time.

   •      June 10: Regency House Party

Want to commune with your fellow Regency fans? Visit Lady Whistledown and catch up on all the latest gossip, sip tea, and have a blast with some Regency-themed shenanigans! Thoughtfully curated breakout rooms will include a Cocktail Lounge, Gaming Parlor, even a Sewing Studio—a little something for everyone.

The Tatter Blue Textile Library
"A gathering of material culture"

The fabulously blue textile library of Tatter in New York City

The mission of Tatter—journal, library, community—is to promote the consciousness of cloth by considering, and celebrating cloth's intrinsic and essential relationship in human life—through art, shelter, comfort, science, commerce, and culture.

   •      June 6: For the Love of Tatreez

Wafa Ghnaim is a Palestinian textile artist deeply beloved by our Lacis friends. Her moving and important book, titled Tatreez & Tea: Embroidery and Storytelling in the Palestinian Diaspora (2018), documents the traditional patterns passed to her by her embroidery artist mother, Feryal. Don't miss this talk—tatreez (that is, Palestinian embroidery) is a treasure!


Lacis friend, brilliantly talented, beautiful soul Shanti Bardot, is one of Wafa's many devoted students around the world. In fact, Shanti was the one who first introduced us to tatreez!

   •      June 26: Korean Saeksilnubi Quilting

In this virtual class with Youngmin Lee, you'll learn how to use hanji cord (made of mulberry paper) for batting, winding it about between the cloth and couching it in place with colorful embroidery floss, to create labyrinthine, low-lying dimensional designs. Youngmin Lee actually lives in the Bay Area, and thanks to the Asian Art Museum, you can watch a video of her demonstrating how to make bojagi (wrapping cloth).

Let your eye follow the soothing, meandering paths of the complexly grooved saeksilnubi surface. Its tight, compact orderliness is sure to give you a feeling of calm.

   •      Starting July 31: Historical Hand-Sewn Shirt Course

A new summer session is on offer! This two-month intensive led by scholar of hand-sewing Sarah Woodyard will have the participants connecting directly to history. This 19th century shirt was one of the original "no waste" garments, cut intentionally to save fabric: sturdy, practical, yet gorgeously romantic.

Fancy fashioning yourself a shirt for penning sonnets in?

Approaching the world of textiles with deep respect, intelligence, & joy

Selvedge is more than a periodical for lovers of the fiber arts. They offer a library of free craft projects, as well as a range of intensive virtual workshops taught by world-class teachers—textile artists representing all corners of the globe.

Dive into the world and history of muslin cloth with the mighty Mamta Varma and Sonia Ashmore (author of Muslin, one of the best—and biggest—books to be found Lacis)

   •      June 7: Legend of the Loom film screening and lectures

The event will start with a film screening and introduction by the filmmaker of the independent film, Legend of the Loom. Sonia Ashmore, author of Muslin, and design historian with the V&A Museum, who will speak about muslin in Georgian England; Mamta Varma (founder of Bhairvis Chikan, a Lucknow cooperative textile centre that empowers women and girls), will speak about chikankari.

   •      June 26 & 27th: Arpillera Workshop with Eloïse Ptito-Echeverria

The history of Arpillera in Chile is inextricably intertwined with that of human courage and endurance under the most oppressive conditions:
      "Translating into 'burlap' in Spanish, the Arpillera is traditionally a brightly-coloured, landscape patchwork picture picture that was most commonly crafted as a means of secret protest during the 1970s military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. Arpilleras were often made in workshops and secretly distributed abroad through human rights groups, all while participants processed their own personal traumas and injustices through the art of picture patchwork-making."

Read more about Eloïse: originally from Montreal, she's now a textile and apparel designer based in Amsterdam. She's studied fine arts, theater and fashion design in Canada and Pre-Colombian textiles in Chile, and her personal style is nothing less than stunningly original.

Join Our Museum

About Us

The Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. We are a unique legacy museum located in Berkeley, California. We host a wide range of hands-on workshops, several galleries of rotating exhibits, and our museum shop carries an extensive supply of vintage goods, craft- and costume-related books, and needlework supplies.
     Our purpose is to:

  •     Preserve lace and textiles of all cultures from all periods
  •     Provide a resource center for research and documentation of these objects
  •     Educate and disseminate knowledge of lace and textiles

We appreciate your patronage!

     For just $25.00, you can become an official, card-carrying Lacis Museum Member for a year and enjoy exclusive benefits! Get your membership via our Etsy shop, or alternatively, contact us in a number of other ways to join this vitally important circle of Lacis friends. We thank you for your support!

  •     10% discount at our Etsy shop for purchases over $50
  •     20% off books purchased at the Lacis Museum shop
  •     Free museum admission for you and up to (4) guests
  •     Special invitation to show openings
  •     Class discounts

A Message from Our Director

A memorable weekend as I watched, via livestream, the high school graduation of my grandson, Josh, from Miramonte High School. As the name of each of the hundreds of graduates was called, each was given a plaque and certificate, this moment recorded forever. Not just another day, but a major step of achievement in a life just beginning. These were no longer children but adults entrusted to face a world with self responsibility.
      Then the realization that our Museum is of the same age. Growth and change are not as obvious, but like all those graduates who came from nothing, we too, are still here. We can reflect back on our accomplishments, but like those graduates we must look to the future in a new world not like any that preceded this one.
      Museum functions shut down for over a year put much on hold. Unseen exhibits remain in solitude, class schedules nonexistent. Treasures of the past, which forms our history, remains our museum's priority. We have our own monuments attesting to this past.
      —Jules Kliot, Director

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The Lacis Museum of Lace & Textiles
2982 Adeline St.
Berkeley, CA 94703