Grandmama’s Embroidery – Two

Grandmama's Tea Cloth

Grandmama's Tea Cloth in needle lace and filet crochet

Grandmama made a lovely linen tablecloth in white-on-white needlelace, but as I couldn’t get any sort of photograph of it, I photographed this small teacloth in ecru shades instead. I think this might have been a practice piece, not in the sense of learning a new skill so much as in the sense of trying it to see whether she enjoyed the technique.  I now wonder – in the light of “Stitching for Victory”  – whether this was another wartime project, and the various shades of ecru were all that was available.

It looks prettier in real life than in the photograph. I used some of the motifs as inspiration when I designed the Jacobean Firescreen.

Grandmama worked the filet crochet border as well. We have a couple of teacloths with Filet crochet edgings she worked using Mary Card designs. There’s also a crochet lace teacloth that was going to be a bedspread – it is the only occasion that any of us know of, in which Grandmama failed to finish what she started! I’ll try to find the photo of that and scan it to put it up another time.

Scattered around the family, there are also examples of canvaswork,  stitched rugs (two quite large ones and a small mat, which is in our hallway), tablecloths, napkins and bedlinen, and a footstool (two footstools, actually!). Not to mention assorted knitwear (I still have, and wear with pride and glee, an intarsia sweater she knitted for me when I was eighteen), and some crocheted work.

She also tried a sort of pressed metalwork, drying flowers and foliage, and Heaven knows what else.

I’ve been told I “collect skills”. Where do you think I inherited that from?


  1. Lady Fi says:

    Well done Grandmama for passing on her skills to you! Must be lovely to think of her as you stitch…

  2. karen says:

    love that description, ”collect skills”, such a lovely idea and a great thing to do aswel!! Helen was dry on her run, she did it in London. It was too warm for her I think but she did it and is very chuffed!

  3. Hi Rachel,

    Thanks for your great site. I love seeing what others are up to. Can’t wait to see the glove project finished.


  4. Janice says:

    I love filet crochet and it’s perfect for finishing certain types of projects without looking too fussy. Your grandmama was a highly accomplished woman indeed!

  5. Wow – you have lots going on. Beautiful work!

  6. Mam says:

    Do tell all we discovered about Mary Card

  7. Rachel says:

    Mary Card was an Australian crochet designer who devised a way of charting crochet. It’s not difficult to find reprints of her books on eBay, whole series of panels showing botanical subjects. We must find Grandmama’s photo of herself with the teacloth!

  8. […] hardly surprising I gave needlelace a try – both Grandmama and my mother had worked needlelace embellished table cloths, so it was in the air, so to speak. […]