I had lunch with my cousin yesterday, at her house. Delightful as that was, it was not the whole reason for being there. She’s sorting out things and one of those ‘things’ was a suitcase full of lace. Lace that mostly came from our grandmother. There were bits from her mother, my aunt, and her paternal grandmother, but mostly it was from Nana.
Nana made lingerie, amongst other things. When she came to Australia as a warbride after WW1, there wasn’t much money around. Then came the depression. Nana may have brought some of the lace with her, but other bits she bought here, or salvaged from other garments. There is ‘used’ or ‘recycled’ lace and some new lace. There are bits of lace that would have been inserted into linen or cotton fabric as tray cloths, or table cloths.
We went through bag after bag, exclaiming and trying to explain to my cousin’s daughter (my first cousin once removed?) just why this was such a special collection. There was bobbin lace, Brussels lace, crochet lace and more.
Here are a few samples …
There was a pair of half-sewn brown leather gloves, some soft, soft rich-butter chamois, and these two patterns, should a pair of day gloves or men’s gloves be required.
The ranunculi are in my lounge room. They are bright and messy and gorgeous.
The stories woven into these intricate stitches… Breathless.
They are so beautiful, Claire. And so many intricate designs.
Imagine the conversations as the lace-making was happening! You could write a story for each piece. 🙂
Feels like a story in there Claire.
I hope some of these gorgeous pieces find rebirth in some way, Claire.
I love snippets like this- so much history and everyday need to survive!
Were these the pieces you received?
This has really struck a chord with me, Claire. I have a heap of crocheted lace doilies, collars, baskets, runners etc made mostly by my mother's sister. Every birthday she would send me something and when Mum died I got a share of hers too. So I have about 5 drawers full and use them every day. This has inspired me to do a post too.
It was funny Kat, every new piece we unwrapped brought another gasp. Hard to imagine the work that went into each piece. We did have stories for some pieces…
So fine, they were Sheryl. There's one piece I've photographed that is satin fabric, rolled into a fine cord that is then joined together by thread in an open weave pattern. I think it was part of a collar set.
More than one story I think, Corinne!
Even this sharing is a rebirth for them Chris. No longer locked in a case.
These are my pieces now Lorraine. My cousin kept some, and we divvied up more for the next generation.
I, too, have many cloths of different sizes, wrought by grandmothers and beyond. I kept them for 'best' once, but like the china I also inherited, I now use them always. Better to have them stained/broken in use, than destroyed by silverfish, broken in a cupboard mishap. Or even kept in perfect condition really, if they are never used to share the living.
Oh wow! That would have been such brilliant fun! and such a wonderful gift from history. jx
It was Jen. It's why I was three hours late leaving her place!