In Progress: “Deseret Rose” Altar Lace by Marla

Rose Cloth

This gorgeous lace is from Marla, a tatting and crochet lacemaker in Boise, Idaho, who contacted me recently about patterns.  She found a picture online of what she liked, and recreated it without a pattern.  Saving an older pattern from extinction is a great idea!  She’s calling it “Deseret Rose”, because it reminds her of rosettes.

With older lace patterns, you sometimes can’t find the original.  Often lace patterns in the old days were passed from sister to sister with samples rather than written words.  I have a sample binder in my lace collection that has notes and bits from my previous projects.  It’s a great way to remember what you did before in case you want to do it again.  Writing patterns out can be difficult.  I always save a sample of my laces, that way if the pattern is lost, you still have it.

This pattern is a good one for altar lace because it is light and airy without being fragile.  It has a lot of connections, not a lot of large holes, and it’s beautiful.  It also has a nice gentle scalloped edge which I personally like quite a bit.

Marla’s Deseret Rose Lace is made in size 3o, white thread.  This is her updated photo, now at 71 motifs:

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This is an unfinished lace, when it is washed and blocked, it will be stunning.  It’s already gorgeous.  Beautiful!

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Birds in Flight: From Chicken Scratch to Fruition

ImageI’ve been working on this design for several weeks now. I am really pleased with it. I’ve just had the design cleared to be used for an altar cloth in the Los Angeles temple. Progress!

There are few things as rewarding as sheer creation. It must be human nature, the bit of God in embryo in all of us.

This one is for my children. They all are. Each lace tells a story.  “Birds in Flight” is the next chapter in the story of our lives and our walk with the Lord. So much heartache brought each of our children to us. Each of them is learning to fly.  Free.  Safe.  It is joy to me. So many miracles.

My Loves. My Life.

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Faith, history, family and lace. I captured this shot today after nearly a month of lacelessness. I am finishing up a sample from my last altar cloth to remember the pattern. The Ebenezer Lace project had no written pattern, and I don’t want it to be lost. I’ll put it in a frame eventually with the story that goes with it for my children to read. The story is theirs.

Our family has been going through a growth spurt this last month with the addition of a son. He’s seven years old, and precious. His adoption will be finalized this fall, and we look forward to having him sealed to our family. This will make four adoptions and four sealings this fall if all goes well– three girls and a boy, to add to our existing three boys and a girl. Eight! And Carolyn. Nine.

This time has been nearly five years in the making. So many beautiful blessings.

We took this picture for Father’s day:IMG_469016526402605

Each spirit has a story. Each child is unique. Their paths to our family are all different, but each twist and turn is known to the Lord. How great a blessing! He has remembered his promises to us. My cup truly runneth o’er.

Time to get going on a new altar cloth.

64 Crochet Lace Altar Cloths

altarlace

Gift of Faith: Hand crocheted altar lace for the Lord

I came across this story from LDS.org.  I love the faith!

“I visited the temple in Buenos Aires. Feelings of gratitude welled up within me to know that within the four dedicated temples of South America the fulness of the gospel is blessing the members of the Church.

An example of the marvelous commitment of the Saints of South America was demonstrated by the dear sisters hand crocheting sixty-four altar cloths for the Buenos Aires Temple when only seven were requested.

–Elder M. Russell Ballard, Ensign May 1986, “The Kingdom Rolls Forth in South America”

Ensign Article: Tatting Altar Lace for the San Diego Temple

San Diego Temple, photo by Rickety

San Diego Temple, photo by Rickety

I came across this article from the 2002 Ensign called “Tatting for the Temple”.  I love to hear other lacemaker’s stories.  This is Candace Munoa’s altar cloth story:

“Two years before the San Diego California Temple was to be dedicated, a letter came to my stake Relief Society president asking that she find women in the stake to make altar cloths for the new temple. The altar cloths were to be tatted or crocheted and had to be completed within 10 months. My ward Relief Society president suggested my name. I accepted the invitation to help with much trepidation because up to that point I had tatted only small strips of lace.

I immediately called a cousin who also tats and asked her to send me several patterns she thought would work for the temple. When they arrived, I quickly chose one and began to figure out exactly how much work I would have to do each day in order to have the cloth completed in time. Each repetition in a pattern, or what I call a medallion, takes 30 minutes to make, and I would have to make three each day. I would have to tat for an hour and a half every day, six days a week, for approximately nine months.

I felt I had gotten in over my head. I was already a busy wife and mother of four children, ages 7 through 12. I was also a brand-new schoolteacher and Young Women adviser.

I was about to say I couldn’t fulfill the assignment, but then I thought of the women who had crushed their china to beautify the walls of the Kirtland Temple and the women who sewed shirts for those who worked on the Nauvoo Temple. I wanted to participate as those women did. I didn’t know where I was going to get an extra hour and a half each day, but I trusted that the Lord would accept my sacrifice and provide a way.

The Lord truly blessed me during those next nine months. I took my tatting with me wherever I went. I washed my hands before I touched it and wrapped it in a towel to make sure it stayed perfectly white. I wanted this altar cloth to be perfect. Many times I would find a mistake and have to pick out as many as five or six medallions, thus increasing the time per day I would need to spend tatting. However, somehow I still found time each day to work on the cloth, and what started out to be a sacrifice became a great privilege and joy.”

Read the rest of her story here: “Tatting for the Temple”, Ensign 2002

Tatting Altar Lace: Ann’s Story

Ann's Tatted Altar Lace: a new work in progress

Ann’s “Snowflake” Tatted Altar Lace: a new work in progress

This beautiful tatted lace is from Ann, a lacemaker I featured about a month ago.  She has started another altar cloth lace.  This will be her third altar lace for the Boise Temple!  She’s made one tatted altar lace, one crocheted altar lace and is beginning her third altar lace.

Ann sent me this picture of it, and this story:

“Years ago I thought it might be fun to tat an altar cloth for the temple. At the time I thought I’d just get started and the Lord would know where it was when He needed it. Finally, after I’d mentioned it a few times, my husband directed me past the temple matron’s office, and we asked about measurements. I remember her comment very well, “We’ll see you in a couple years!” Wow! I didn’t know if I could do it that fast.”

This pattern is Ann’s second tatted altar cloth for the Boise Temple. See her finished tatted altar lace here. Tatting takes a long time.  Ann’s first tatted altar lace had over 500 motifs, and took over 600 hours over five years to make.

Ann says:

“I was about half way done with my first tatted altar lace when the temple sent word to our stake Relief Society that they needed altar cloths as soon as possible. I stopped working on the tatted one and made one out of crochet (which is much faster).

Over the years I had plenty of distractions with that first tatted altar cloth… a cruise, two returning missionaries, a wedding, a fiftieth wedding anniversary party, a huge calling in the church, and our temple closed for 1 ½ years. Finally, after five years, I made it back to the temple with the first tatted altar cloth.

I felt like I had nothing to do after finishing the first tatted altar cloth last April, so I got this pattern out, made some adjustments and started fresh. Tatted altar cloth number 2 is underway. Hopefully, it won’t take 5 years to finish it!

The lace I am making now is called “Snowflake.” I love this pattern because it really does look like snowflakes. The large motifs are 4 inches in diameter so I’ll only need to make about 77 of them. I like making both sizes of motifs and connecting them as I go rather than do all the small ones at the end because my hands are rather small. This pattern also has a couple nice sections where only a shuttle is used, and rings are formed on the inside and outside of the row. Since I started this lace five years ago I have learned how to jump from row to row without breaking the thread so I still only have to hide ends once per motif! This pattern had many picots that were what I call “empty,” meaning they weren’t connected to anything. I find that picots don’t hold their shape with repeated washings and I wouldn’t expect every single picot to be pinned out when it is blocked. So I altered the pattern so that all the picots inside the design are joining with other parts of the design. The only picots that are “empty” are around the edge. All the others are “occupied.”

This pattern is called “Snowflake Tablecloth” from Traditional Tatting Patterns, Edited by Rita Weiss, pg. 13″

–Ann

Another beautiful lace in progress!  Ann describes how she makes each motif:

The large motifs have five rows…meaning five places to tie off threads and five places to hand stitch the ends to hide them. I’ve been practicing my skills for jumping from one row to the next. All I have to do is wind enough thread on two shuttles and start in the middle. Then I do a split ring to move to the next row,
Beginning a new tatted motif

Beginning a new tatted motif

Ending the row with a split ring

Ending the row with a split ring

Ending the next row with a split chain

Ending the next row with a split chain

Starting the next row with a split ring

Starting the next row with a split ring

Coming to the end of the frilly row

Coming to the end of the frilly row

Last row

Last row– motif made!

 

Twin Falls Idaho Temple: Crochet Lace Altar Cloth by Kiren

Altar Cloth, made for the Twin Falls Idaho Temple, with love by Kiren

Crochet Lace Altar Cloth: made for the Twin Falls Idaho Temple, with love from Kiren

Twin Falls Idaho Temple-- by Robert A. Boyd

Twin Falls Idaho Temple– by Robert A. Boyd

This beautiful crochet lace altar cloth was made by a lacemaker for the Idaho Twin Falls Temple:

“I’ve wanted to make a temple altar cloth for a long time and was so excited for this opportunity. There are a total of 273 motifs–each one took 20-30 minutes to make (to give you an idea of the time that went into this project).

It turned out beautifully and I’m excited to know that it’s going to a temple near where I grew up.”  –Kiren

Kiren crochets all kinds of things, and also enjoys tatting.  Such a beautiful lace.

Lace altar cloth for the Twin Falls Idaho Temple, detail

Lace altar cloth for the Twin Falls Idaho Temple, detail

Boise Temple: Tatted Lace Altar Cloth by Ann

Tatted Lace for the Lord, donated to the Boise Temple, with love, April 2014

Tatted Lace for the Lord, donated to the Boise Temple, with love, April 2014

I came across a sister who tats lace altar cloths. Many people ask me if what I do is tatting because my thread is fine, and crochet thread is often yarn weight. My lace is almost all crochet, but there are sisters who still tat altar cloths for the Lord.

This is a photo of her tatted altar lace. I’m so excited to find someone who tats temple lace. This altar cloth lace was made by Ann and is beautiful.  This is a mind boggling amount of work.  She writes:

It all started when I was 13 years old. I had appendicitis and while I was in the hospital I shared a room with an older lady. She was tatting almost constantly and I liked the look of it. I was so intrigued that I decided I wanted to learn to tat someday.

Three years later (while I was 16) it was 1980 and we were celebrating the sesquicentennial of the organization of the church. The young women’s leaders in my ward decided that they wanted us girls to learn something new as part of that celebration year. I told them I wanted to learn tatting.

So, they found an older sister in the ward named Ruby who knew how to tat. Three of us went to Ruby’s house to learn. I tied knots for about 30 minutes and then it clicked, and I was tatting. I started out with simple projects such as bookmarkers, and enjoyed the time I spent visiting Ruby and developing a friendship with her. I still have a pansy doily she crocheted. It has always been on display somewhere in my house since the day she gave it to me.

After about nine years, my sister asked if I could tat a baby bonnet. She picked the pattern, and I gave it a try. Up to that point I had never done anything that big. I ended up making a bonnet and matching set of booties, and the rest is history. So far I have made numerous Christmas tree ornaments and bookmarks, about 10 bonnets and a number of doilies. I am currently working on an altar cloth for the Boise Idaho Temple.

Many years ago, it used to be the case in the Denver Temple, that they would only accept tatted altar lace.  Lacemakers who tat have become so rare that they now accept crochet altar cloths also.  The standard is the best.  Whatever we can give, that is the best we can give, that is what is asked of us.  I love the history.

My favorite Ann quote:

The thing about tatting is that it is almost a lost art. Few people know how to do it anymore, but it is so delicate and beautiful. I’ve also learned that you can’t get enough money to make it worth the work. So, I never sell my tatting. I only give it away.

Ann has posted pictures of the construction of this lace also, so you can see how a tatted lace is put together. This one was made in size 30 thread, and now sits in the Boise, Idaho Temple.  What a gift.

Anne's tatted altar cloth lace

Tatted Altar Cloth by Ann, detail

“This altar lace has 527 larger motifs and 64 smaller ones around the edge. The large motifs took up to one hour each to make. The smaller ones took about 15 minutes each. All of them (591) had to have the ends whip stitched to hide them. All in all, I would guess I spent over 600 hours on it. The motifs line up in diagonal lines across the altar which creates an optical illusion with the angles of the altar. The motifs themselves move in and out in a way that I find very pleasing.

I often look at the lace in the temple and try to follow the lines and figure out how it is made. These motifs started on the outside edge and moved in to the center, then back out and back in until it was done. It helped that I only needed to tie off the ends once per motif, too!”  –Ann