The Sister’s Lace project has been in the works for over two years. In all, 20 sisters participated in making this lace. We started with a group of ladies who had never crocheted before, and ended up with an altar cloth. The pattern is simple, but beautiful.
We met once a week for two years. Several of our ladies made it through, start to finish, and are now completely equipped with skills to make their own altar cloths.
See more on this project here: Crochet Class– Granny Squares to Altar Cloths
This altar lace is a beautiful example of needle tatting. It was recently finished and donated to the Gila Valley Arizona temple by lacemaker Barbara Barney. It’s a size ten thread, and took her nearly a year to complete, with approximately 250 hours of labor. I asked her about needle tatting and she wrote:
“I have always had a talent for needlework, crochet and knitting at a very young age. I always wanted to learn to tat and my grandmother knew how. The problem was that she lived in Idaho and I lived in New Mexico and our visits were never long enough for her to teach me. I tried teaching myself from several different sources but it wasn’t until I got a copy of Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Needlework that I figured out how to tat with a shuttle. I added it to my list of abilities and moved on to other things.
About 10 years ago, I was introduced to needle tatting and I gave it a try. Love at First Project!! I can do both methods, needle and shuttle, but prefer the needle for so many reasons; much more forgiving when you make a mistake, it seems faster to me, my work comes out cleaner and I love the uniformity I can get with a specific needle and thread size.”
Barbara already has another two needle tatted altar cloths in progress. Her goal is to make an altar cloth in honor of each of her 9 children.
I am not as familiar with needle tatting as I am with shuttle tatting and crochet, but this turned out to be just beautiful.
This is the pattern from Pinterest:
I went to visit a dear friend of mine a few weeks ago. She showed me the altar cloth lace she’s currently working on for the Mexico City, Mexico Temple. It’s a variation of a pattern she saw on my pinterest crochet lace page. It’s turning out just beautifully! She’s using size 20 lace thread.
This altar cloth was handmade by my Aunt Janetta. Crocheted with size 20 DMC Cordonnet lace thread and her grandmother’s heritage hook, it was a labor of love and took nearly two years to finish. It is beautiful! It has the clones knot from our family heritage sprinkled throughout the design. Janetta was able to finish this altar cloth just before the dedication of the Payson Temple, June 7th, 2015.
It is finished! I made modifications to one of the sides and designed corners for the Ebenezer Lace. This altar lace was originally made a specific shape by the request of the temple matron in order to fit a particular altar. After four months in service, we determined that the corner cut idea wasn’t working well. The lace kept sliding out of position without corners to add stability. So I took it home and have been working on a redesign of the edges, including a fill-in for the missing corners.
I was able to continue the Linnaea blossoms as well as the radiating line theme. The corners are complimentary. I am really pleased with the result. This lace will be turned in Friday. Hopefully it will fit as beautifully on the altar as it looks in a picture.
I’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.
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:
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.
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”
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