"But, really, why does anyone create? You feel a... a restlessness inside, a need to make something new, something no one has ever seen before. You want to add to the beauty and the richness of the world with a gift, an offering that is uniquely yours. It's an act of selfishness and generosity, all rolled into one."

-- Bruce Coville,
The Last Hunt

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Annalisa Finished, and a New Start

I was working on a crossword puzzle the other day, and one of the clues was "To make lace", and the word was three letters. Well, that one was easy!

I've finally gotten "Annalisa" mounted, and it is now proudly displayed in my living room. While I was working on it, I wasn't too sure for a while how I was going to display it, since ready-made frames are not usually square, and custom framing is expensive. But then I realized that just because the doily is square doesn't mean the frame has to be, and I remembered Flexi-Hoops. I first discovered them in a small, local craft store when I lived in Minnesota; since then, I have never found them from another US supplier. The link above is for a craft shop in the UK, which was able to ship them across the pond in a very reasonable time at a reasonable price.

The Flexi-Hoop consists of two rings that snap together like an embroidery hoop, but the outer ring is flexible-- hence the name-- instead of being adjusted with a screw. Thus you can use it as an embroidery hoop to work on your project, and then simply trim away the excess fabric and voila, it's already framed.

And here's the finished project, hanging in its new home on the door.

Throughout the course of working on "Annalisa", I was completely amazed at Iris Niebach's designing skill. I've tatted several of her designs before, and always marveled at them, but this was by far the most complex. I am astounded that a doily this intricate can be tatted all in one round; frankly, there aren't that many designers who could do it. Thank you to Fox and umintsuru for getting me interested in tatting this!

And I've already started the next doily, too. Ever since getting Jan Stawasz's book Tatted Treasures, I've been fascinated with his doily designs, especially the ones made of small motifs joined together. They all have such interesting secondary patterns where the motifs join.

While I was contemplating how to display "Annalisa", Carollyn suggested a doily could be mounted on a throw pillow. I happen to have one that is badly in need of replacing, so I thought this was a great idea. I thought a doily made of small motifs, as opposed to being tatted in the round, would be perfect for this because it can easily be adjusted to fit whatever size I need. And so I am using the basic pattern for Stawasz's "Table Set", but making a doily that will be larger than his little square placemats; mine will use nine of the larger motifs instead of just four.

These are the smaller motifs that go in between the larger ones. I decided it would be easier to tat them first. I have two more of these to make, then I start on the large ones.

Funny, I'm not usually a doily person at all, and now I'm making two of them in a row for my own home!


  1. Well done! That's perfectly lovely and such a wonderful way to display it. I'll be very interested in seeing your throw pillow.

  2. What an awesome piece to display!!! :)

  3. Oh my, that Annalisa is stunning!

  4. Well done and a lovely pattern and looks lovely framed.

  5. Great way to display a doily! I'll have to look for flexi hoops, if they're still available. Iris's designs amaze me.

    1. If you google them, you'll find plenty of sites that carry them; it's just that they're all in Europe. The place I linked to in the post has very reasonable shipping, and even lists prices in dollars. They come in several sizes, and oval shapes too, so I ordered a bunch of them to have on hand and pay for the shipping all at once.

  6. ONE ROW!!!! Well done. I love Iris' patterns and was also inspired by Fox and umi but I have trouble finding the books. Which book is this one in?

    1. The book is simply called Tatted Doilies. Handy Hands carries it, but for some reason it doesn't come up when you search for Iris's name. It will come up, though, if you search for "tatted doilies".