Hankies, Lace and Doilies

Lace And Hankie Scarf with Doilies.
Lace And Hankie Scarf with Doilies.

I really wanted to make some more Minnie and Chicken Potholders for the Open House this morning, but the idea just weren’t coming.  So I warmed up by filling some potholder orders.  An Independent Hen, Minnie in the Garden a few others.   But when I finished these, instead of more potholder ideas coming to me, I kept glancing at my floor where I’ve had the beginnings of two scarves laid out since last week.  I suddenly knew how I wanted to finish one of them off and knew I wouldn’t be able to concentrate on anything else until I did.  The combination of lace and hankies and doilies, that I couldn’t get to work on Thursday, came together easily.

I’ve been using doilies in my work for years.  For my MFA show I unraveled tons of doilies and crocheted them around stair railing, wove them into carpets and dropped them in squiggly piles on the floor.  I even framed an unraveled doilies, the memory of what it used to be evident only in the kink of the yarn and the tradition of framing doilies.

Most of the doilies I unraveled, belonged to my grandmother.  There was something powerful and cathartic about the action of undoing what she had done and reshaping it.   Like being able to dismantle the past and and rework it into a way that suited me.   I’m not saying I achieved that, but I liked the idea of it.

So, here I am, 25 years later, still working with doilies, I think  the two I used in this scarf are the last of my grandmothers.

To make this scarf, I used a layer of hankies and a layer of lace and doilies and sewed them together.   I had  a couple of people ask me for lace scarves, so I see if any of them what this on first.  If not, I’ll offer it for sale.



12 thoughts on “Hankies, Lace and Doilies

  1. Beautiful. It is nice to see the beautiful things our grandmothers made being lovingly repurposed and used. I think often, they just molder away in drawers.

  2. This scarf is so sophisticated, so delicate. It is absolutely beautiful. I wonder at the amazing variety of your work, everything from a blue jean and flannel shirt quilt from a man’s clothes to keep a man warm and loved to this dainty, lovely scarf. Seeing and reading about your work that has no traditional boundaries has challenged me to confront my own. Thank you, Annie

  3. When I think about your grandmother’s doilies and the hankies that you have collected this past year, I think back on my own Grandmother. She was a little thing, short, but as my cousin said, “A little thick.” She worked hard all of her life, and it was a long one; she lived to be a little over one hundred. In the early part of her marriage, she devoted her life to her children. Later, after my grandfather died, she took over the running of the family business. She was in her late fifties when she began running that business, and it was a tough one. They manufactured wooden crates for shipping produce, and when the shipping industry changed, they made nails for boxes. It definitely wasn’t the kind of business one would expect a little woman to run, but she did it, and did it well. She was admired by men and women alike. Your thoughts about your grandmother created space for me to think back those many years. My grandmother was very feminine and whenever I wanted to buy her a gift, it had to be an embroidered hankie. They don’t make them like that anymore; they rarely even make them. I always chose one with her initials or with flowers. They were all so beautiful. I miss those beautiful hankies, and the doilies grandma put on the table. As a matter of fact, I miss those days.
    Your creative spark has sent me down memory lane. It was a nice journey. Thank you for sending me there.

  4. Maria, I did indeed ask about if you ever make more lace scarves that I would love to purchase one. The first one you posted sold so quickly. I hope I’m not too late again. This is exquisite. I especially love the lace doilies. Just this past week I was using pieces of my Grandmother’s crocheted lace from pillowcases to embellish my flour sack bread bags. I know the feeling of working with familial artwork. I would love to own, wear and care for this gorgeous work of art.

    1. I loved your bread bags Jennifer, saw them on the ‘Fellow Artists’ page. I can let you know when I have another lace and doilie scarf. but it seems to me you could make one for yourself.

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