Wedding Handkerchief with Inlaid Lace: 30 Days of Heirloom Sewing Annie Laura Sews Day 1

I love writing stories about my family–stories that have been passed down from great grandmother to grandmother to aunts to me. Since I didn’t live during the times these stories take place, I have to imagine myself there. The minute I imagine it, it becomes fiction.  So I don’t write memoir, trying to get everything perfectly accurate. I wasn’t there. I couldn’t possibly know exactly what happened! Instead, I write fictional stories based on the old tales told to me by my relatives.
My first book about the life of my grandmother and great grandmother will be out September 1 of this year from Mercer University Press. You can pre-order here at Amazon, or here at Mercer University Press.

I also love sewing.  My love for sewing is sort of a family heirloom. (Click to continue reading). My great grandmother owned a sewing and notions store back in the early 1900s. She passed down lovely quilts and hand embroidered baby clothes as well as lovely crocheted table cloths and bedspreads. I have them in the hope chest my great grandfather built for her.
During these thirty days, I hope to be able to blend my two passions. I hope to be able to show you modern techniques for some of the heirloom pieces handed down by my great grandmother. I’ll be using machines that my great grandmother couldn’t even imagine–a Janome 15000 sewing and embroidery machine, and an Elna 744 serger. My sewing will never be as lovely as my great grandmother’s, but I love trying!

Day 1: Inlaid Lace Handkerchief

Today’s project begins with a square of cotton. My favorite cotton is from some of the lovely sheet sets you might pick up at Target. With one set of twin sheets, you can create many, many projects! Before I purchase the sheets, I always feel of them to see if they have the right weight and feel for  work well for specific projects. For handkerchiefs, I want the fabric to feel soft and somewhat sheer, but I also want it to be sturdy enough to be able to hold some fairly heavy embroidery. 
The inner lace is created on the embroidery machine (you can embroider this on a very small hoop) and sewing directly on the cotton square in the hoop. The outer lace is attached by sewing machine. I used Digitizer MBX to digitize the inner lace. The outer lace is Cluny Lace made on machines from the middle 1800s at the Cluny Lace factory in England. A PDF with complete instructions can be found here as well as the free downloadable design in both JEF and PES formats. 


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