Sunday, January 17, 2016

"All Dressed Up"

Last April, 2015, I received an unexpected package from RaNae Merrill ,(a fabulous quilter and instructor), which contained some of the most exquisite and beautiful crocheted lace doilies I have ever seen.  They took my breath away.  I put them in a special basket and took them out occasionally to fondle them.  It finally dawned on me what I could do with them!

I had some beautiful fancy silk fabrics that I purchased from a quilt show a few years back and randomly pieced them together and attached them to a backing of  heavily textured woven fabric that I snagged from Kent's grandmother's collection.

I took my favorite doilies and carefully arranged them on top of the silks.  Believe it or not I'm NOT quilting this!  I want the texture and beauty of the silks and the doilies to speak for themselves.  If you quilt lace you destroy it's texture and beauty. 

I have quite a collection of vintage buttons and all sorts of beads and pearls.  I have the pleasure of attaching each beautiful lace doily to the silk fabric foundation with beads and buttons. 

I always "doo-dee" up the backs of my quilts and decided this would be a fabulous way to create a hanging sleeve for this piece.  I took a piece of taupe-green linen fabric and arranged four more lace doilies on top of it.  I didn't cut them at the top edge..I merely folded them over the sleeve and then stitched my binding down over the top of them.

This was another lace doily in the collection.  At first I had it on the front of the piece but I figured out something better for it.  It was the only square piece in what RaNae sent so I thought it would be the perfect "keeper" for the beautiful letter she sent.  This has been hand sewn down on the back on three sides (the top is open).  I will fold up RaNae's letter and tuck it inside to preserve the history. 

I have to share RaNae's letter with all of you.  It still gives me bumps...

"Going through these today was like falling in love again.  I think you will probably understand when you pick up each one and admire it.  When I contemplate the sheer number of hours of women's patient, painstaking work I am in awe of what this box contains.  And not just the hours--the care, the attention, the friendships, and yes, certainly, the prayer (I was told they were made by nuns).  What a treasure is contained in this box.

They all came from Buenos Aires, where I purchased them on a trip in the early 2000's.  I remember my first trip was in 2001 (I returned just one week before the 9/11 attacks on the World  Trade Center).  I think I went again in 2003 and it might have been on that trip when I found these. 

I think creating more beauty with these would be the best way to honor our sisters who made them".

Yours in quilting~ RaNae Merrill

4 comments: said...

Awe, just beautiful--the letter, the doilies and what you did to show them off!

Karen said...

Each are exquisite in their own way. On silk. Beautiful. Gives me goosebumps.

Megan Byrne said...

I love the way that you can see the art in these linens. Hours of patient work by these women have now been showcased and enhanced for the next generation to admire and imitate. That's what it's all about after all, passing on the passion.

Laceflower said...

You came up with a wonderful way to showcase these beauties.