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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

From bookmark to table runner?

I thought some of you might be interested to see me turn a bookmark pattern into a table runner. I'm at the beginning stages now and will be working with this design:

A little backstory: Ever since I made a magic square, I wondered what other shapes could be tatted infinitely, in one pass. I thought about making a magic rectangle, and drew some possible paths for it. Since a bookmark is rectangular in shape, it seemed like a perfect building block for a magic rectangle.

To get started, I took a birds eye photo of the bookmark pictured above, and digitally spliced it together using an app called Photo Grid. I then drew missing elements using another app called You Doodle:

I soon realized that the magic square path would be too complicated for a rectangular project, and that it was much easier to zig-zag back and forth. Here is a sample of a zig-zag path, also drawn with You Doodle:

If you look closely, you will notice that the zig-zag path is not completable on the tatting pictured above. I have to redesign the midsection to create a continuous path which will allow me to travel from one "bookmark" to the next.

I often work with a lot of digitally altered images, which I keep stored in my iPad's photo album. It gives me a visual roadmap of where to take my tatting, and an idea of how the larger project will look. Next time, I'll show some of the redesigns involved in getting the zig-zag path to work.

Speaking of bookmarks, I've been talking to Dorothy Cochran over on Etsy (link to her shop), and she has sent me written instructions for the Priscilla Bookmark. I've updated the pattern to include these instructions, and you can find it on my free patterns page or directly by clicking here. Thanks Dorothy!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Tiny Tatting

I stopped by Jo-Ann Fabrics to look through their collection of sewing thread. They had some nice colors in the Gütermann Dekor embroidery thread, so I bought one to try it out for tatting. It's 100% viscose and color #9945. I used it to make a heart:

This is the first time I've tried tatting with something other than cotton. I was surprised because it was easier to work with than I thought. It's VERY tiny though. Smaller than size 100 tatting thread, and nearly impossible to see the stitches. The picots don't keep their shape very well (the thread unravels), but the heart pattern doesn't have any decorative picots so it worked out okay.

Here's a photo comparing the sizes. Size 40 Lizbeth on the left, Güterman Dekor in the middle, and size 20 Lizbeth on the right:

Overall a fun experiment, but I'm not sure how often I will make something so small. It's difficult on the hands because the stitches need to be snugged very tightly. The rings were hard to close at times and I couldn't really see what I was doing when I sewed in the ends. I do like how tiny it is though:

Friday, January 26, 2018


Well, I've finally finished the instructions and test tatting for this doily. I know why I don't tat many doilies now. They just take so long to make, and this one isn't even that big!

Instructions for the doily can be found in my Etsy shop (click here to go directly to the listing). I proofread and test tatted this myself, as I do with all of my patterns. I didn't feel comfortable sending out such a big pattern for others to test, so if you find any errors or confusing parts, be sure to let me know.

The doily above was tatted in Lizbeth size 40 thread, White and Wildflower Garden. Here it is next to the all white doily that I tatted as a prototype. (The white doily was tatted in size 20 Lizbeth thread):

It's interesting how the addition of color changes a pattern so much. The medallions are more prominent in the colorful doily, while the negative spaces are more prominent in the white doily.

In size 40, the doily measures 8.75 inches across and in size 20 it measures 10.6 inches across. Both seem to be suitable under a large vase:

I think that will be it for shop patterns until late summer or early fall. A couple of years ago I was asked if I would make a collection of bookmark patterns. I meant to work on that last year, but got distracted by snowflakes. Perhaps bookmarks will be my next project?

Edit: I forgot to add a thank you to those who voted for me on Craftree for best tatting designer! I get embarrassed by these types of things and try to pretend they didn't happen. But Diane has posted about her award and emailed me so I figured I'd better acknowledge it! So, thank you and congratulations to all of the other winners :)

Friday, January 19, 2018


Here's a photo of the design I created while taking a break from tatting my doily:

This pattern is inspired by a lot of classic tatted hearts, specifically designs that use an outline to represent the heart. As such, I've called this pattern "Classic Heart." You can find it in my Etsy shop by clicking here.

The sets of double rings have proven to be a really versatile tatting element. I've used them in several designs, including the doily from my previous post. By changing ring size and join location, a lot of different curves and angles can be made.

I tatted 12 hearts before I got the angles correct and finalized the stitch counts. While I was experimenting, I could see the potential for outlining several other shapes as well. Not that I would do it, but I bet the alphabet could be tatted with ring sets like this. Also spades, clubs, and diamonds to go along with the heart (as in playing cards), but I'm not sure how good those would look as just outlines.

So far, I've only tatted three hearts from the finished pattern:

When I get the chance, I'd like to try a few more color combinations to see how they look.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Round and round...

I've been battling a cold for the past few weeks, which is why I haven't been posting to my blog. I'm feeling much better now and just have a lingering cough.

In the meantime, I've continued to test tat my latest doily:

This round is particularly slow and tedious. I couldn't help but to take a break from it to create a new, much smaller design. I'll write more about that soon.