We love Etsy, it’s filled with handmade joy. We’ve been allowed to rummage through their blog archives and share our findings with you. This month’s post talks about tatting! Enjoy!
Whenever I enter a thrift store or antique shop, I’m seduced by the siren song of textiles. They call to me across the crowded room and before I know what’s hit me, I’m pawing through stacks of jacquard-woven table coverings, neatly folded floral feed sacks, bark cloth curtains well past their prime, and roughly woven, woolen tea cozies. I cradle elegant linen napkins, their white-on-white embroidered monograms enough to make me consider playing hostess at tea parties where scones with clotted cream and jam are on the menu. I run my fingers over that bark cloth, certain it would make the perfect cushions for my screened porch. I marvel at embroidery depicting kitties washing laundry and ironing on days-of-the-week dishtowels. And usually, I walk away with a piece or two. But when I get them home, those pieces often wind up in a drawer. Textiles sing the same come-hither song to Doris Montag. Her mission, however, is to liberate these treasures from the confines of back bedrooms and closets, giving them the respect they deserve.
Doris spends a lot of time at auctions with her close friend, a serious collector of African-American memorabilia and ephemera. At an auction eight years ago, she was struck by what was left on the last table during the last hour of the auction – boxes filled with tatted and crocheted linens. She knew the embellished tea towels, pillowcases and doilies represented hours of work and was distressed that family members would put them up for sale. “I decided to collect them to honor women who have gone before us,” Doris says. Those first boxes were the beginning of her considerable collection.