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DIY Bobbin Lace Pillow, Part 2: Supplies

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In part one of this series, I discussed my current lace pillows and the tutorials I found which inspired me for this project.

This is a supply heavy project, so this installment is just going to cover the supplies and tools which you will need to get your hands on.

  • 1 Laptop table from Ikea. It doesn’t matter too much which table you get. Make sure it has an adjustable stand and that the surface of the table is large enough for your needs. Some people have made this kind of pillow with the DAVE table but as it wasn’t available here in Belgium, I ended up using the SVARTÅSEN. ( 20 € )
  • A roll of pattern paper, gift wrap would work well too
  • a pencil
  • a coin (for tracing seam allowances)
  • 1 panel of high density styrofoam. This stuff is fantastic. You can buy it in the insulation aisle of most hardware stores. You don’t want the low density white stuff which is used in packaging because it will break down ridiculously fast with use. The green stuff is so dense that it will be mostly self healing for a good long while. ( 8 € )
  • Hot wire cutter for carving the styrofoam to shape. These are hard to come by. I found mine at AVA for 20 € but they can be found on Amazon as well. If there is enough interest, I will see about getting some on hand to stock my Etsy shop so you can buy one from me.
  • Superglue for gluing styrofoam. You have to make sure you get the right glue as the majority of superglues have solvents in them which will cause the styrofoam to liquify before your eyes. (6 € from AVA )

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  • Tie-down straps to vise the foam pieces together without leaving marks
  • 1 old blanket (old polyester fleece works great as it is nice and stretchy)
  • 1 yard of nice fabric for the pillow top. You want something in a neutral tone which will contrast nicely with your lace while being easy to look at for hours on end. Imagine staring at flourescent green fabric for a few hours…yeah, don’t do that to yourself! A solid colored fabric would look nice and utilitarian but if you want something fancier avoid any patterns which are too busy. I had bought my fabric about a decade ago for use in my historical reenactment outfits, long before I realized that it wouldn’t work at all for my time periods.
  • 1 yard of sturdy, contrasting fabric. You’ll be using it to cover the base of your pillow so it has to be sturdy enough to stand up to whatever surface you’re working on. I’ll also show you how to make a pillow cover from it, so don’t grab the most hideous fabric you have on hand either!
  • 1 wooden box which will fit in the back corner of the pillow. I bought a few extra before they went out of season and if you’re quick you can grab one from my Etsy shop.

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  • Sturdy pins for holding the fabric in place on the foam until you can sew it into place
  • Fabric scissors
  • Needle and thread
  • Self adhesive velcro dots
  • A sheet of cardboard (or an old cereal box)
  • A bowl with a 14 or 15 cm diameter

Once you have gathered all of your supplies, set aside a weekend to make your pillow. In part three I will walk you through making your pillow as well as some accessories ( bolster pillow, pillow cover, and a handle to carry your amazing pillow everywhere you go.)

 

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DIY Bobbin Lace Pillow part 1: The Design

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I need a new lace pillow. I have two already but they don’t quite fill my needs and each of them have been damaged by one or the other of my cats. Apparently not even my pets approve of them.

My first pillow was a square tile shaped pillow made using a tutorial which I found online but which doesn’t exist anymore, apparently.
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Advanatages:

  • It was simple and quick to make.
  • It was durable, it has easily survived two years of lace class.
  • It cost next to nothing in materials.

Disadvantages:

  • The square shape meant that I often found myself with a corner poking into my chest as I worked my way around a project.
  • The fabric that I’d used as padding wasn’t well anchored down and started to slip around pretty early on.
  • The thin padding meant that the styrofoam developed permanent holes in the center of the pillow over time.
  • There was no way to attach it to a stand, so I had to find tables of the right height to work at before I could do anything.
  • Bagheera (my oldest cat and a real P.I.T.A.) pissed on it once and I never managed to get the smell fully out.

My second pillow was gifted to me by a lovely woman from England. I’d asked around about pillow tutorials and she told me she had an extra lying around if I wanted it and could have someone come get it. I’ve been using it for a year.

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Advantages:

  • It is a very attractive pillow, more professional looking than my tile
  • It has a wooden base with a hole in it so I could potentially attach it to a stand.
  • The domed shape makes it easy to keep the right tension on my bobbins.
  • It is smaller and more portable than my square pillow

Disadvantages:

  • There is no padding over the styrofoam and the cover isn’t large enough to allow for much to be added.
  • Once again, the lack of padding means the styrofoam is being destroyed in the center.
  • I’m progressing in my lace career and would like to start making long lengths of trim. This simply isn’t possible on a flat pillow because moving the pattern up each time you reach the edge is horribly time consuming.
  • My kitten, Guinness, tried using it as a scratching post one night while I slept. It is still usable but I need to make a new cover and I need to find some kind of product to repair the edges where he did the most damage.

I want to continue learning Torchon but I also want to be able to make lace trim in continuous lengths so it is time to research what is out there.

To learn about the many types of pillows that exist, I invite you to go to the Bedford College of Lacemaking’s website.

Here in Belgium, the two most common types of pillows are the cookies and the bolsters. The one is great for motifs and round projects, the other is better suited to trim. I make both… so I reinvented the French style pillow.

I wanted my new pillow to work like a cookie for motifs and corners but also like a bolster for trim, so it seemed logical that I needed to find a way to add and remove a bolster to a cookie without ruining the benefits of either style.

I found a tutorial on Pinterest which uses a laptop stand from Ikea to make a cookie style pillow with stand.

RodPronar’s Tutorial

They made a very attactive pillow but it still isn’t going to work for trim. Then I found a second tutorial which uses the same laptop stand to make a French style pillow with a bolster.

Evalon’s Photo-tutorial

This one is closer to what I’m looking for. I like the idea of a removable bolster pillow but there are two potential problems for me with this tutorial as well.

For one thing, when they use it in flat mode, the roller part of the pillow is filled with foam. While that’s not a big deal, I honestly don’t think I’ll ever need to pin in that spot. If I have a motif that large I can use my rounded cookie. I have a piece of leather that I slide around under my bobbins so no matter what I put there, so long as it’s flush with the surface of the table then it will work, if I’m going to cut into the pillow, I might as well make sure that space has a purpose.

For another thing, I really don’t like the idea of the pillow being permanently attached to the stand. There’s no way I could take that whole assembly to class with me! I’ve only worked with portable pillows so far and the thought of being chained to one spot terrifies me!

I decided I needed to combine the best parts of these two tutorials while changing things up a bit. My walkthrough will be available in part number 2!

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Carreau à dentelle fait maison, 1ère partie : le design

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J’ai besoin d’un nouveau carreau à dentelle. J’en ai déjà deux mais ils ne répondent pas vraiment à mes besoins et les deux ont été endommagés par l’un ou l’autre de mes chats. Apparemment, même mes animaux ne les aiment pas.

Mon premier carreau était un carreau en forme de dalle carrée fabriqué en utilisant un tutoriel que j’ai trouvé en ligne mais qui n’existe plus, apparemment.

001Avantages :

  • Il était simple et rapide à fabriquer.
  • Il était résistant, il a survécu à 2 ans de cours de dentelle.
  • Il n’a presque rien coûté en matériaux.

Désavantages :

  • La forme carrée faisait que je me retrouvais souvent avec un coin qui s’enfonçait dans ma poitrine en travaillant sur un projet.
  • Le tissu que j’avais utilisé comme capitonnage n’était pas bien ancré et a commencé à glisser autour du carreau assez vite.
  • La finesse du capitonnage faisait que des trous permanents dans le centre du carreau en polystyrène se créaient avec le temps.
  • Il n’y avait pas moyen de l’attacher à un pupitre, donc j’ai dû trouver des tables de la bonne hauteur sur lesquelles travailler avant de pouvoir faire quoi que ce soit.
  • Bagheera (le plus vieux de mes chats et une vraie plaie) a uriné dessus une fois et je n’ai jamais réussi à en enlever l’odeur entièrement.

Mon second carreau m’a été offert par une dame charmante habitant en Angleterre. J’avais demandé ici et là des tutoriels pour fabriquer des carreaux et elle m’a dit qu’elle en avait un de trop qui traînait quelque part et que je pouvais l’avoir si cela m’intéressait et si je pouvais trouver quelqu’un qui vienne le chercher. Cela fait un an que je l’utilise.

002

Avantages :

  • C’est un carreau très joli, qui a l’air plus professionnel que ma dalle.
  • Il comporte une base en bois trouée qui me permet éventuellement de l’attacher à un pupitre
  • La forme en dôme me permet facilement de conserver la tension correcte sur mes fuseaux.
  • Il est plus petit et plus portable que mon carreau carré.

Désavantages :

  • Il n’y a pas de capitonnage sur le polystyrène et la housse n’est pas assez large pour en rajouter suffisamment.
  • Encore une fois, le manque de capitonnage fait que le polystyrène se détruit dans le centre du carreau.
  • Je progresse dans mon art de la dentelle et j’aimerais commencer à faire de longs galons. Ce n’est simplement pas possible sur un carreau plat car faire décaler le motif vers le haut à chaque fois que vous atteignez le bord du carreau fait perdre énormément de temps.
  • Mon chaton, Guinness, a essayé de l’utiliser comme griffoir une nuit alors que je dormais. Le carreau est toujours utilisable mais j’ai besoin de fabriquer une nouvelle housse et j’ai besoin de trouver quelque chose qui me permettrait de réparer les bords du carreau qu’il a endommagés le plus.

Je veux continuer à apprendre le Torchon mais je veux également être capable de fabriquer des galons de longueur ininterrompue, donc il est temps de rechercher ce qui est disponible sur le marché.
Afin d’en apprendre plus sur les nombreux types de carreaux qui existent, je vous invite à aller sur le site du Bedford College of Lacemaking.

Ici, en Belgique, les deux types de carreaux les plus courants sont le type « carreau plat » et le type « carreau rouleau ». L’un est génial pour les motifs et projets circulaires et l’autre est mieux adapté pour les galons. Je travaille sur ces deux genres de projets… donc j’ai réinventé le carreau à la Française.

Je voulais que mon nouveau carreau fonctionne comme un « carreau plat » pour les motifs et les coins mais également comme un « carreau rouleau » pour les galons donc il me semblait logique que je trouve un moyen d’ajouter et d’enlever un rouleau à un « plat » sans qu’aucun des avantages des deux styles ne soient perdus.

J’ai trouvé un tutoriel sur Pinterest qui utilise un support sur pied pour ordinateur portable de chez Ikea pour fabriquer un carreau plat avec pupitre.

 

Tutoriel de RodPronar

Ils ont fabriqué un très joli carreau mais il ne fonctionnera toujours pas pour les galons. Ensuite, j’ai trouvé un second tutoriel qui utilise le même support sur pied pour fabriquer un carreau à la Française avec un rouleau.

Tutoriel photo d’Evalon

Celui-ci est plus proche de ce que je recherche. J’aime l’idée d’un carreau à rouleau amovible mais il y a deux problèmes potentiels également avec ce tutoriel.

Premièrement, quand ils l’utilisent en mode « plat », la partie rouleau du carreau est remplie de mousse. Même si ce n’est pas un gros problème, honnêtement, je ne pense pas que je doive un jour épingler à cet endroit. Le jour où j’aurai un motif aussi grand, je pourrai utiliser mon carreau plat arrondi. Je dispose d’un morceau de cuir que je glisse sous mes fuseaux, donc peu importe ce que je mets à cet endroit, tant qu’il est aligné avec la surface du carreau, cela ira. Mais si je coupe dans le carreau, autant que cet espace ait un but.

Deuxièmement, je n’aime vraiment pas l’idée d’un carreau attaché de façon permanente au pupitre. Il n’y aurait aucun moyen pour moi d’emporter l’assemblage complet au cours de dentelle ! Jusqu’à maintenant, je n’ai travaillé qu’avec des carreaux portables et l’idée d’être liée à un seul endroit me terrifie !

J’ai décidé que j’avais besoin de combiner les meilleures parties de ces deux tutoriels en modifiant les choses légèrement. Mon guide pour cela sera disponible dans la 2ème partie !

 

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Decorating the Hall

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les-jardins-de-la-moligne_17857610764_o

We were fortunate enough to find a gorgeous reception venue in one of the most beautiful parts of Belgium.

The venue was Les Jardins de la Molignée… The gardens of the watermill in the beautiful Route de Maredsous. If you ever have a chance to drive along this road, do not hesitate. It is one of the most beautiful roads I’ve ever driven on since coming to Belgium. I kid you not, the first time I had to take this road to go someplace, I ended up parking on the side of the road until I could stop crying from the beauty of it all.

I wanted to make as many of the decorations as possible. A wedding is expensive no matter how you do it but one of the best ways to not only save a ton of money but to make sure your wedding is as customised as possible is to make as much of your decorations as you know how to make. Here is what I did, perhaps it will give you some ideas.

The first thing that I had to make for the wedding ceremony was the pillows for the wedding rings. Our theme was ‘lovebirds’ so we were very fortunate to be getting married around Easter. At my favourite store, Ava, I found some wicker nests and feathers. I wove and sewed some white feathers into the nest, took my blue and bronze ribbons and made some of the most original ring bearer pillows I’ve ever seen.

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the-brides-ring_18479863815_o

The bird on the tags was made with this Love stamp kit from Heyda (I found it at AVA but it is available through Amazon)

I used some more wicker nests, blue and white feathers and lovely dyed eggshells that were also from Ava’s Easter section to make my table centrepieces.

one-of-the-centerpieces_18479806325_oThe place settings and table linens were provided by the venue but I found these beautiful little feathers at Ava to personalise the tables just that much more.
just-married-feathers-from-ava_17857170874_o
The rest of the decoration went quickly thanks to my sweet sister who had sent us a beautiful handmade pennant banner.
a-pennant-banner-made-by-the-brides-sister_18453406646_o
We set up standing tables on the dance floor for the appetiser part of the evening.
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Maxime helped me decorate the standing tables with artificial rose petals, confetti and candles.
the-decoration-for-the-apettizer-tables_17857141384_oAll that was left was to set up the receiving table with the card holder and guest book.
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Finally, the hall was ready for our wedding and we could go to our best man’s house for a pre-wedding dinner.