State Fair

Autumn means time for the fair!  For the past 20 years, the Mountain State Fair has been held in celebration of life in Western North Carolina.  The Fair means carnival rides, games, music, competitions, farm animals, food and all the sights, smells, demonstrations and fun that you can have!


For the second consecutive year, Thread Bear members have entered craft competitions.  Competitions can be entered following the link on the left in the Fair’s main web page.  After registering, completing the on line form is easy!  Tatting is an official craft recognized by the fair judges.  Last year, there was only a single piece of tatting entered in the craft categories.  This year, there will be at least 4 and perhaps 5!

This time I wanted to try a doily.  There are lots to choose from, so finding one that would work should have been easy!  Here’s the one I chose:

"Flowery Meadow" from Tatting: Patterns and Designs by G. Blomqvist & E. Persson [Dover Publications, 1967]

“Flowery Meadow” from Tatting: Patterns and Designs by G. Blomqvist & E. Persson [Dover Publications, 1967]

It’s a beautiful pattern.  I thought it would work up nicely in a color trimmed out by white.  Knowing that often it’s a challenge to take on a new pattern, I began tatting not one, but 2 of these designs.  This way I would be able to switch out in the event of a serious error in following the pattern.  On both motifs, the working of the pattern proceeded seamlessly through the inner ring and first 2 rows.

It seems in choosing this pattern, there was one small detail that I managed to overlook.  Do you notice that the design is incomplete?  Yeah!   I failed to notice that too.  And in following the pattern through the 3rd round, the design began to resemble a cap for a baby.  I was perplexed.   Three times the 3rd round was removed.  Three times I reworked the pattern.  Three times the pattern began to bow.  FINALLY  the doily lay flat on the 4th attempt!  But I didn’t think that the doily was quite big enough.  Nor did it have the negative space I thought it should have had.  So I went to another pattern in the same publication and added another round.  This would make the finished doily 11.5 inches across rather than 9.

The end product of the first attempt looked like this:

First Finished Flowery Meadow

While I wasn’t unhappy with it, I wanted to change some elements of the over-all look.  The Inner Ring and first 2 rounds of the second motif were tatted in Mauve Cebelia size 20, rather than the white.  I wanted the effect to be one of color trimmed in white  rather than having the appearance of almost an insert of color.  So it was back to the tatting.  This time the end result was more to my liking:

Finished Flowery Meadow #2

The blue background seems to make the doily “pop” and I’m thrilled with the overall effect!  I’m all registered to enter this doily and a bookmark.

SCMR Book Mark

The bookmark pattern is from Jane Eborall, tatted with Lizbeth Carnival, size 20.

What did I learn from all this?  First, there’s a reason more modern tatters have their patterns tested by others before they publish.  Martha Ess’s work “Playing with Picots” has a preface that thanks her Test Tatters for helping her work out the “kinks” and making the patterns more easy to follow.  Kudos to Martha!

Entries go to the exhibition hall on September 2 & 3.  Here we go!

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