Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The LACE Fairy - My New BFF

If you've followed my blog at all the last several months, you know that I've been so fortunate to find all sorts of wonderful laces and linens. Sometimes I purchase lace at thrift stores, yard sales, estate sales or antique stores. At bargain prices only, LOL. Other times, the lace seems to find me..... through friends or acquaintances.

Today, The Lace Fairy worked her magic again. I was at work early this m
orning, before the farm office opened, and my friend and co-worker Jennifer walked in and plopped a box of laces down in front of me and said. "Here you go. These are for you if you want them." One look and I nearly started crying. I was shaking, laughing, exclaiming. Then I jumped up and hugged and thanked her. Let me tell you, I owe her BIG TIME.

They went straight out to my car, and when I got home after lunch, I began sifting through them, with camera in hand. Will you join me in exploring the box contents???

These are the boxES (I know I said box, but they were nested...), and our HELPER, Boomer. My dear furkid Boomer is 14 this month, and is still curious when Mom brings home New Things to Investigate. (and isn't he cute??)

As I pulled things out of the box, I laid them out in a rough grouping and began snapping pictures. They are not artfully arranged, the background I used was too light (hey! it was a matelasse bedspread, $4 at the thrift store last month).... and they are REALLY DIRTY.
Polka dots!! On the left part is a really cute polka dot bow. It's gonna look cute on a retro-inspired apron..... Nice purse frame. Don't know if the purse part is worth saving yet....

After I took these pictures, I started soaking the lace. Tonight I've been rinsing, drying and ironing most of it. The worst of the bunch is still soaking. Surprisingly, they are coming out very nicely! I love using tiny doilies or crocheted circles on which to build silk ribbon or ribbon flower arrangements on my CQ's... Now, sit down. Especially you, Allie. I don't think I've ever seen so much rick rack lace at once in my life. Isn't this TO DIE FOR???
And it washed up beautifully! What am I going to do with it all? Teaser: read on....
That yukky looking gray-green mass above actually turned out (after washing) to be a nice soft medium green. It's quite nice!

While many of the laces are really old, some only date back to the 1960's. My friend Jennifer said some of them were sewn onto (and later removed) from her dresses as a young lady in the 1960's. And the following lump was in a large baggie. It is beautifully-embroidered floral motifs on a badly-disintegrated black netting.

But, Oh! The possibilities....

Some of them will definitely be appearing in my work. And they may be appearing in yours too..... (yes, that's another teaser, LOL)
It seems that someone else had the same Motif Preservation Idea that I did. But can you guess what they mounted this on? If you weren't sitting before, please do so now. This is mounted on construction paper (yes, the schoolkid acidic stuff) with glue. HORRORS!!! I. could. not. believe. it.
Of course, I wanted to perform an immediate RESCUE. But the corner I tried to peel off did not fare well when I tried to detach it from the paper it was glued to. Maybe I should try soaking it off? (don't know if it's colorfast). Any other ideas, my friends??
Above: crocheted beaded purse. It's beautiful!

Our Challenge theme for the month of July at CQI (Crazy Quilting International, a Yahoo Group) is WINGS. Look at the butterfly variety above; sequined, embroidered, lace.... all vintage. And below is some butterfly-stamped embroidery cloth (a dishtowel?)

Below in the box is the rest of the lace I didn't photograph, plus some embroidered linen pieces.

Another lace pansy motif, mounted this time on black silk. Plus some salvaged trim (and a couple motifs) from an old pillowcase.

Back to the future..... isn't this still the best way we transfer designs these days, LOL??? (below)

And the last piece, rather poorly (in my opinion) embroidered....

This post has certainly gone on long enough. So, wipe the drool off your keyboard and listen up. When I am fortunate to receive such bounty, I always share. Therefore, I think it's time for another drawing!!!

Let me get these all cleaned up and ironed and sorted. In the next day or two I'll announce a contest. I'll make up two separate prize packages of stuff from this post, and show them when I announce the rules, OK???

I'm off to bed, to dream about lace....



  1. Cathy,
    This is true 'bounty'....the florals on the construction paper are beautiful. I hope you are able to rescue those successfully! They found a good home!

  2. Wow, what a treasure you received...I plan to enter..Have fun...hugs

  3. CATHY!!
    Oh My Gosh... What a beautiful ass't of lace.... I can imagine you will make good use of it....
    I enjoyed looking at every bit and those flowers were gorgeous...
    That Lace Fairy really did it..

  4. It is so friendly from the people around you to give those treasures to you. They come in loving hands and will be used again. Beautiful Cathy!

  5. Wow! What a treasure -- I'll be right over to help you sort it out!

  6. OMG, what a windfall! I'm jealous!!!!

  7. Isn't it a wonderful feeling to know your friends think so much of you, that they will find all this stuff for your stash! I am always delighted when a friend hands me a doiley or cloth she has found in an opshop - "I thought of you immediately". How nice to be loved!

  8. Hello Cathy, I am very sure you had wonderful "Sweet Freams"!! Lucky you. All the laces and motifs are truly beautiful as is the two lace purses. Hugs Judy

  9. This is amazing! What a find! I want to be your new BFF! LOL Seriously, these laces are beautiful and I can't wait to see them in your work.
    Hugs, Donna

  10. Dang... Donna already took the BFF position. Can I be on the waiting list??? :oP

  11. Wow, that boggles the mind! What a find!! The Lace Fairy was indeed working some magic :-)

  12. Bring your lace to the retreat and sit very close to me and I can slide the box under MY chair... What a wind fall... Nancy Larson still has everyone beat... Her friend had a needlework store and closed.. Loaded everything in Nancy's car... A lifetime os silk threads and ribbons.... We both need to sit next to her!!!

  13. What a fun box of treasure! Love all the embroidered motifs! Maybe you should try soaking a small one and see how it does.

  14. Oh Kathy, I wish I could have a Jen, too:)))
    Enjoy them....
    Much Love

  15. Oh Kathy what a wonderful gift. I guess other people think we are crazy but just looking at it all got me so excited. I have never seen rick rack lace made that way. I have a few pair of pillowcases where crochet and RR were joined and edge the bottom of the cases but nothing like that.

    Depending on the fabrics used on the beautiful embellishments you could soak them if you thought they would stand it or maybe try a fairly warm iron on the paper side and see if that would release the glue so they could be seperated. Or you could even leave the paper on them cut very close so once they were sewn down you wouldn't even know it was there. Like in the old quilts we find with the paper still attached.

    I am very happy for you and excited as well. Will add my name when you tell us to.



  16. WOW! WEE! If there was a slot machine for CQ laces and goodies I would say you hit the jackpot! What a beautiful collection to be treasured.

  17. WOW! Cathy, the lace fairy was very good to you!. All the lace is just wonderful. Isn't it great to get such grand surprises!

  18. WOW you did hit the jackpot!!!! Lucky girl! And yes, you owe her big time. Enjoy!

  19. WOW! Those laces are beautiful! I just love that photo with your kitty by the box! So cute! :)

  20. Hi Cathy,
    What a beautiful assortment of stuff. Thanks for sharing so generously. On a personal note, hope you and your family are well. I'm still adjusting to our move to Rhode Island (my heart and my life are still in New Jersey and I'd go back in a heartbeat if I could). I read your blog everyday, always hoping you've had time to post. You really are a renaissance woman!!
    Warmest regards,

  21. What a truly lovely collection of lace. You are elevated to Lace Queen.


  22. Cathy:

    What wonderful treasures!!! You have some really beautiful, beautiful antique handmade laces!!! Some are definitely turn of the century!!!

    As far as soaking your gorgeous embroidered construction-paper-backed flowers, I'd be afraid to soak them because of the construction paper bleeding or staining and damaging the beautiful embroidery. I also think that applying heat might bring stains to the front as well... OMG, they are soooo beautiful.

    I was bequeathed some absolutely gorgeous handmade laces and embroidered pieces, and the biggest problem (some lucky problem, huh???) is that it's so hard to USE them!!!

    These beauties have certainly found the perfect caretaker!!!

    I'm so happy for you!



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