tatting Newsletter


April 6 2017 Tatting Newsletter

The Modern Priscilla has a treasure trove of patterns for tatting and many other needlework types. It is to be found in the second hand market and with sellers of vintage needlework pubs.

It has a long history. The Modern Priscilla magazine began publication in 1887 with Volume 1 and ceased with the publication of Volume 44, number 5 in July, 1930.  In March 1912, Modern Priscilla absorbed the magazine Everyday Housekeeping and in May 1917, it also absorbed the Home Needlework publication.

collar from Priscilla tatted by Erin Holloway

Besides the patterns which appear in the magazine, there are many books of needle work and three of those were all tatting. The advertising described the books:

"Priscilla Tatting Book No. 1
Contains some of the best work that appeared in THE MODERN PRISCILLA. Full directions for the work are given and the designs include dress garnitures, collars, handkerchiefs, centerpieces, doilies, etc.

Priscilla Tatting Book No. 2
Contains nearly 100 designs, all beautifully illustrated, with full directions for working.

Priscilla Tatting Book No. 3
Contains directions for tatting stitches, simple edges in single and double thread tatting, beading, and medallions, as well as,articles in many unusual varieties of tatting - Knotstitch, Cluny, Lattice-stitch, Twisted, Roll, etc."

antique coronation cord used ina Priscilla pattern

Handy tips for cleaning lace by wrapping the piece around a towel-wrapped bottle and swishing in it warm soapy water were given,too. And one issue gave tips about dyeing the thread.

Priscilla 2, Pattern 14, Bonbon Basket pg. 15 gave these tips for tatters.

If the basket is made very firmly it will not need stiffening, but directions for stiffening are as follows:

One cup of sugar and one-half cup of water are boiled down to a syrup, but not until it threads. The basket is immersed in this while it is hot, the surplus syrup squeezed out, and it is ready to shape.

It is very easy to color these baskets any desired shade by stirring into the liquid the necessary amount of fruit (sic) coloring. A few drops of red ink makes a beautiful pink, while coffee used instead of water gives a variety of brown shades from cream to a deep brown, according to the strength of the coffee used. One can experiment with tea to obtain a still different variety of shades and tints.

Today, our wonderful tatting threads have such body that stiffening is not always necessary. But dampening the lace and finger pressing it into place will tame any unruly picots. And, the sugar method is not as popular as it might once have been. Diluted white glue works and there are several fabric stiffeners on the market as well. All of the Priscilla Tatting books may be downloaded for free.
See: http://www.bellaonline.com/subjects/3137.asp
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