Contents in This Month's Issue
With Spring's return,
our Bird in the Textile Arts exhibit shall be flying away! It closes April 15, so book an appointment to see it while you can.
We will be sad to see our beloved birds go. But we will be elated to open Day's End: Personal Glamour Exposed on April 28. Current LMLT members will be invited to the special opening event. Here are details on the benefits of membership. And, we should add, for your convenience you can join online via our Etsy shop.
Our newest exhibit, Day's End, is a joyful exploration of the special things we wear in our private world, such as nightgowns, robes, and pajamas.
The return to home after a day out in society — the workplaces, public spaces, traveling, subjected to the vagaries of the weather and humanity — is our goal.
Once through the threshold of our abode, we release our burdens, gratefully shedding the layers that protect us from the world. We drop the various masks we wear—and with pleasure, clad ourselves in the things intended for this escape. We cherish this moment when we are home with our families, shedding our public life. We are free to transition into our personal world to celebrate our fantasies, our perception of glamour, and memories of childhood.
LMLT Members will be invited to the opening day event; guided tours by appointment will commence thereafter.
In other Springtime news, the deadline for our perennial favorite, Máire Treanor's 4-Day Clones Irish Crochet Lace Workshop, is swiftly approaching. Every year her students have such a blast working on their gorgeous Irish crochet projects. It's only $50 to secure a spot! Crocheters and lace-lovers, don't miss out on this special opportunity to benefit from the tutelage of Máire Treanor. She comes to us by way from Co. Monaghan, Ireland and will soon be publishing a second book with our friends in the South Bay, The Lace Museum of Sunnyvale (now in Fremont).
We sadly report the passing of Rebecca Jones of South Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.
Also ordained as Reverend Mother Beccan, Rebecca was the author of The Complete Book of Tatting, first published in her home country in 1985 and a Lacis publication dating back to 1992. Her beautiful pieces were on display in our 2016-2017 exhibit Tatting: From Concept to Conceptual Art.
In her essential book for tatters, Rebecca wrote: "Tatting is a great conversation-starter. Start tatting at a bus stop, in the train, in the doctor's waiting-room and before long all eyes will be on you. Someone will either ask you what you are doing or will tell you of her grandma, aunt, etc. who used to tat so fast you couldn't see how she did it! Try it and see! Even if you're not very good at tatting, to a non-tatter you will appear to be."
We could not agree more with her sentiments. She will be missed.
A Non-Profit California Public Benefit Corporation
with Federal 501 (C)(3) Status
PART-TIME WORK AVAILABLE
3 days per week minimum; must include Saturdays.
Love of fiber & textile arts. Interest in costume, lace, sewing, embroidery, beading, etc. Retail experience & computer proficiency.
Customer sales in the museum retail store. Maintaining stock and inventory of shop items.
Store discounts; forum for display and sales of your creations.
We love it when our talented Lacis visitors are working on a project and show us a photo, or even bring in the project itself! Inspiration abounds in this place, and that's in no small part thanks to you. Read our Customer of the Month section for even more amazing work done by our Lacis friends.
Molly Lawless was at Lacis Museum in February taking Catherine Scholar's Late-Victorian Bodice workshop. Not only can she sew, she can knit—she's been doing it for 17 years! First of all, she didn't use a pattern: she improvised. Second of all, look at how the stripes in the torso match the stripes in the sleeves. PERFECTION. The buttons are stone. The fiber content: 100% wool. The yarn: Cascade. Nice job, Molly! We adore it.
Paul the bookbinder put together this amazing book as a personal project that shows exactly how a Japanese carved woodblock print is inked, step by step! He came into Lacis looking for the perfect little awl to pierce the holes for his stab binding in linen—and he found it! As it turned out, the perfect tool for the job turned out to be some vintage plastic darning needles, tools donated by a Lacis Museum supporter.
Hooray! Our talented visitor James Shrieve honored us with an update about his creative endeavors. And boy, were we blown away by what we saw.
"My instrument making is all 'amateur'," he tells us, "but I've been at it for about two years, and mostly just make them for myself and friends. There's an electric guitar made from scratch that I call The Gourd, a refurbished and modified bass (currently nameless), my modified Martin acoustic guitar called Nemo, as well as an electrified dulcimer named Mosey. The Lacis store is a constant source of stylistic inspiration, and I look forward to utilizing [your] incredible materials and staff knowledge in my next instrument builds."
James, first of all, we love that you've named your guitars like this, and second of all, we're just stunned by your gorgeous work. What a productive two years you've had!
Naturally we see all kinds of craftspeople come through our doors, but we've never seen someone employ our reproduction Victorian stampings like this before. It's brilliant. Thank you, James, for giving us a peek into your incredible craft. We're so glad these little pieces found such perfect—and unexpected—forever homes.
Eloise visited us at the end of February on a very important mission to obtain a LOT of Japanese bunka cord! We would only be slightly exaggerating if we described it as something close to a metric ton of bunka cord. (Just kidding, it was more like a couple hundred skeins or two.)
And if you're asking yourself, "Bunka cord? What's that?" — then we remind you of the earrings the marvelous Marta makes that we featured in our last newsletter. Same stuff!
As it turns out, Eloise was getting ready for the Northern California Eggstravaganza next month, and event we were absolutely flabbergasted and overjoyed to learn about. Evidently the bunka cord is used to create those intricate tiny foliage that embellish the eggs shown above (Eloise's own work). Astonishingly detailed and gorgeous. Thank you so much, Eloise, for bringing this art form and exciting event to light for us!
And, folks, if you can get to Sacramento for this special show in March, we think you should consider it. Sounds like it'll be full of a dazzling array of fabulous egg art pieces, if Eloise's are any indication.
This show will be closing on April 15, 2023!
Detail from "6 Fighting Birds on a Buddhist Shawl" 
Our avian friends in literature and on canvas have long held a place of pride 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 flowing 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.
For Katherine Bond of Berkeley, the exhibit was, in her words, "Spectacular!" She was "speechless at the display of time, quality, variety and geography of the works."
Visitor Virginia Davis was similarly floored, enthusing that it was "totally FABULOUS."
Paula and Rob Patterson, who came to visit all the way from Colorado, said that, "As birders, we so appreciated this exhibit. Thank you!"
Lacis Museum member Blair Van Tassel felt the same way: "Beyond amazing details," she agreed.
These pieces from our collection are terrific examples of a number of different lacemaking techniques! Be sure to check out our display that contains these, and many more gorgeous doily specimens—it'll be in a display case on your left-hand side, almost the first thing you see when you come into the shop.
This Robert Four tapestry reproduces a segment of "The Stag at Bay" from the Netherlands.
The original dates back to the late 15th century, and it now resides at the Met Museum.
This copy, however, you can see at Lacis Museum, hanging above our shop floor!
The Aubusson tapestry-weaving tradition has continued almost unbroken since the 1300s, when its small weaving industry was first established. There was a hiatus in the 1700 and 1800s, but its 20th-century revival peaked in about 1911.
The piece you'll see here at Lacis Museum dates from after the 1950s, but the methods used in its manufacture are extremely close to those of the artisans centuries ago. In fact, in 2019, Aubusson tapestries were declared an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
Shown here is the entirety of "The Stag at Bay" at the Met Museum. It's part of a series — southern Netherlandish in origin — called "Incidents in a Stag Hunt".
While the sequence includes Following the Stag's Trail, Rewarding the Hounds, A Hunting Party Leaving the Castle, Preparing to Undo the Stag in the Field, and A Hunter Returning to the Castle, all these pieces are much smaller. "Stag at Bay" seems to be not only the height of the drama, but the decorative focal point.
You may remember our Textile Trivia piece on the Unicorn Tapestries back in April 2022 — but if you don't, and happen to find yourself falling in love with tapestries, we recommend checking it out.
We recently sent an incredible 1930s brown Raschel lace and silk crinkle chiffon palm print dress to Strasbourg, France! On its right is a Victorian evening gown (check out the bustle with that beautiful trapunto-quilted padding)—this went to Utah.
We shipped a pair of black leather gloves from the 1950s off to Laguna Hills, and our customer's wife kindly wrote to us: "These gloves are beautiful and in excellent condition. They're so soft and they fit, well, like a glove. I greatly appreciate the speedy shipping. Thank you for the lovely note as well. It was wonderful doing business with you." Glad to hear it! We dearly appreciate your kind words and support. Partners, take note: well-fitting gloves make a delightful gift.
For St. Patrick's Day, we want to show off our stunning collection of antique Irish Crochet collars. If you should find yourself enchanted by Irish Crochet lace (and we don't blame you—it's gorgeous), consider learning how to make it yourself. We're holding our annual Clones Irish Crochet Workshop featuring the amazing Máire Treanor in April and we'd love for you to join us!
Vintage & Antique Needle Books
As any seamstress will tell you, it's crucially important to always know where your needles are. Losing track of your favorites can be a disaster when the need arises. Pincushions are fine for quickly depositing your pins somewhere safe; small, cylindrical vessels are great for taking your sharps with you on the go; but there's nothing like a needlebook for proper organization of these precious, tiny tools.
These have been facts since time immemorial. That's why antique and vintage needlebooks abound and are so fun to admire and collect. There's a wide variety of styles out there, and many needle books are marketing tools created by advertisers to publicize brands and make them household names.
At the other end of the spectrum, needlebooks are precious treasures, ultra-fancy statement pieces, intended to loudly declare the holder's income and social status—or maybe just how passionately they loved their profession, or how seriously they took their hobby of sewing. Even with the more cheaply-made, mass-produced giveaway needle books, the typography and graphic designs emanate that inimitable old-timey vibe, which makes them invaluable for artists and historians to study.
With home-grown versions, though, often totally unique creations comprised from scraps, made with so much love and concern, you can detect a "Velveteen Rabbit" energy about them—and just observing their patterns of wear can impart a real feeling of the original users from times long past.
Worthpoint's Vintage and Antique Needle Books — history and values — a great resource for the collector
Galt Museum needle book
Don't forget, Lacis Museum Members receive 20% off of books purchased in our Museum shop
"World-renowned artist Kaffe Fassett dives deep into the archives to reinvent his most beloved and classic fabric-based designs through an extraordinary collection of fresh quilt patterns.
"Kaffe Fassett needs no introduction—a master colorist and textile designer, Kaffe is known for legendary designs and fantastic quilts. And now he's back with new images, new patterns, and a new look at his most storied designs. Timeless Themes explores the classic, bold patterns that we've come to know and love from Kaffe. Each chapter focuses on a pattern theme from the Kaffe Fassett Collective—whether stripes, circles, geometrics, and botanicals, or wild paisleys and retro zig zags. An archive of Kaffe's photos, collected over the last 50 years, is presented alongside images of the fabrics they inspired.
"An exciting addition to any quilter's library, Timeless Themes blends the best elements of Kaffe's life and inspiration, resulting in a fresh look at the designer at work—a must-have for readers everywhere."
"Kanthas, embroidered fabrics traditionally created by the women of northern India and Bangladesh, capture culture, history, and stitching creativity in their layers of repurposed old cloth.
"This book reveals the beauty in kantha's simplicity—it is based on simple running stitch—and offers step-by-step instructions that enable today's textile artists to enjoy it. Kanthas were originally created from threadbare clothing to rejuvenate it. The used fabrics were layered, then embellished with motifs and themes from nature, everyday life, and spirituality. This guide leads you through the layering of fabrics, transfer of imagery, and the stitching itself. There are handy motif patterns, instructions on how to begin a personal kantha reference library, and more.
"Both simple and complex projects, appealing to beginners and expert stitchers, get you started, and a colorful gallery of kantha work is included to inspire you."
The craft of producing Irish crochet lace may have saved communities in the early 20th century, but at this present time, Máire Treanor is playing a major role in saving and spreading the art of Irish crochet lace itself. You may recognize her from her many contributions to the Ravelry pattern database and Piecework magazine (like this sweet little purse decked out in shamrocks). Here are some things that you might not have known!
Her birthplace in North Ireland, Armagh, takes its name from the goddess Macha, who is said to be one of the three sisters Morrìgna (perhaps more commonly referred to as the Morrìgan).
She came to Clones in 1988 and was understandably enraptured by its local crochet lace. Ever since then, Máire has labored tirelessly to revive its techniques and tradition, and has brought these secrets to Brittany, France, and many parts of the United States. She has also researched how Irish Crochet travelled to many parts of the world, including Italy, Ukraine, and Hungary.
Máire learned much of her craft from the venerable expert, Mrs. Beggan, "who sat and worked her motifs just as her mother and grandmother had done, with her 'famine hook'—a sewing needle with the eye broken out, stuck inside a wooden handle.
In another anecdote, Máire writes, "Up among the hills of Fermanagh, about 5 minutes drive from Clones, we walked into Eileen Crudden's kitchen. She was sitting edging linen hankies. When we walked in, she put away her work in jam jar, where she kept her handmade hook, with its wooden handle. This glimpse from the past made a lasting impression on me."
And no wonder! How magical is the image of one's work going into a (presumably very clean) jam jar? It doesn't get more cottage-core than that.
We can't wait to see Máire again in April! It's going to be yet another fantastic workshop experience. We invite you to join in on the crocheting and lace-making fun!
Do you have a passion for...
Preserving your cultural textile arts heritage?
For cultivating and educating the textile arts community?
For spreading the love of needle, bobbin and thread?
Do you happen to teach lacemaking (bobbin lace, needle tatting, crochet or knitted lace, etc.) or historical costuming and hatmaking skills? Perhaps you've already led similar workshops, or have designed an interesting textile arts workshop that would complement these fields.
If this sounds like you, we'd love to hear about it. Fill out an Prospective Instructor form and email it back to us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Bust(le) A Move: Constructing a Bustle-Era Skirt
with Catherine Scholar
Two Saturdays: March 18 & 25, 2023 — 10 AM to 5 PM
Come make a late-Victorian skirt from the Bustle era of 1870-1889. We'll start with a Truly Victorian skirt pattern of your choosing, and augment it with authentic 19th-century dressmaking techniques to make a custom gown just for you. We'll cover measurements, pattern adjustments, fitting, period sewing techniques, hem facings, trimming, hand finishing, and much more.
In the first session, you will cover a brief overview of the styles worn in the era, including examining the instructor's collection of antique and reproduction clothing. You will take measurements, choose the correct pattern pieces, cut out your skirt, and start on the hem stiffenings.
In the second session, you will construct your skirt, finish the waist and hem, and add a closure. We'll finish out by concentrating on period details like pockets, internal ties, and hanging loops.
Prerequisites: Students must have made at least one dress or blouse from a pattern and know how to use a sewing machine.
A Ribbon Class: Delightful Daffodils
with Patrice Krems
Saturday, April 8, 2023 — 12:30 to 5 PM
$55 + $20 kit fee (payable to instructor)
Spring will be in the air as you make a delightful pleated daffodil out of French wired ribbon!
You will learn how to transform flat ribbons into a three-dimensional ruffled confection. If there is time, you will learn how to make a beaded tassel cascading from the end of the calyx.
Depending of whether you decide to make the Small or Large Daffodil, this versatile flower pattern can be finished to turn your daffodil into a brooch, pin cushion, a hat decoration or even a drip catcher sitting jauntily on the spout of a teapot!
Clones Irish Crochet: A 4-Day Workshop
with Máire Treanor
Wednesday-Saturday, April 12-15, 2023 — 10 AM to 5 PM
$300.00 for all 4 days (or $200.00 for any 2 days)
Máire is excited to return to Lacis once again!
Lacis is once again pleased to announce the return of Máire Treanor, master of Irish Crochet, for a 4-day in-person workshop of Clones Irish Crochet.
In the first two days, newcomers will work on Clones lace jewelry, learning the basic stitches of Irish Clones lace, before progressing to traditional motifs of wild rose, shamrocks, vine leaves, grapes, and other motifs familiar in Irish Crochet, which use packing cord, as well as the unique Clones knot filling stitch and edging. Returning students are invited to bring a project on which they have been working, getting advice and help on finishing it.
Students will discuss how to read antique Irish Crochet patterns and the international charts used in Ukrainian, Russian and Japanese books, with samples of garments in Modern Irish Crochet.
Prerequisites: For this captivating workshop series, students should be familiar with the basic crochet stitches of chain, single crochet, and double crochet in yarn. During this special workshop, Máire encourages students to work at their own pace, with individual help and encouragement.
Beetlemania! The Art of Beetle Wing Embroidery
with Catherine Scholar
Saturday, April 29 — 12:30 AM to 4:30 PM
$40 + $40 kit fee (payable to instructor)
Beetle wing embroidery, made with glittering gold work embellished with the wing casings of the Jewel Beetle, is an ancient craft technique practiced traditionally in Thailand, Myanmar, India, China, and Japan. It was popular through most of the 19th century and into the 1920s. Notable beetle wing garments include Lady Curzon's peacock dress (1903) and a costume dress worn by the actress Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth, depicted in the painting Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth (1889).
In this class, you will use couched cording techniques to make two simple motifs and learn to shape and apply the wings.
Prerequisites: Basic hand-sewing skills.
A Ribbon Class: The Sunburst Cockade
with Patrice Krems
Saturday, June 24 — 12:30 AM to 5 PM
$55 + $20 kit fee (payable to instructor)
You will be most familiar with the Sunburst Rosette Cockades on military tricorne hats in the Revolutionary War and cloche hats and dresses in the 1920s. The Sunburst Rosette Cockade is a vintage-style favorite that can be modified in countless different ways and give you every opportunity to display or wear your ingenuity.
Among the techniques you will learn is how to make beaded stamens. This vintage style cockade can be also be transformed into delightful dangling flowers twirling like whimsical ballerinas from the ends of the gimp stems.
The cockade flowers look best made out of French wired ombré ribbon, while the Sunburst Rosette Cockade is traditionally made out of grosgrain ribbon. The sample in the picture is also made from French wired ombré ribbon.
Saturday, March 4, 2023 at 7:00pm
Downtown Oakland Marriott Hotel
1001 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94607
You may remember our Monthly Newsletter piece on these legendary Civil Rights activists and textile artists from back in February of 2022.
Now you can come listen to these quilters from Gee's Bend—they're coming to visit the East Bay Area very soon! The event is free and open to the general public. To reserve your seats, please RSVP by calling 510-434-3988. A selection of quilts will be on view at the lecture, which will be further complemented by a larger exhibition of 30 quilts by Gee's Bend quilters at the Joyce Gordon Gallery in downtown Oakland. Can't wait to see you there!
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
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
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Newsletter written and edited by Christine Krause.
Please email any comments or corrections you may have to: email@example.com.
The Lacis Museum of Lace & Textiles
2982 Adeline St.
Berkeley, CA 94703