Bobbinlace Beginners

For all beginners in bobbin lace who need a little help, and for experienced lace makers who are willing to assist.  Learn how to make bobbin lace.  Learn bobbin lace.  Bobbin lace lessons.  Bobbin lace tutorial.  For other bobbin lace tutorials online, and for discussion of bobbin lace structure, look in the next right column for the red link ONLINE RESOURCES.

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Latest Activity: Jan 15

Bobbin Lace Beginner Lessons and Resources


Beginner Lessons

For paintings of the garments worn at the time LePompe was published, see this.  Look about 1/3 down the page. 

Both the 2nd and 3rd and 5th are from LePompe, the oldest known pattern book, dating from the mid 16th century.


The bottom row is from BOBBIN LACE LESSON-CLOTH STRIP.

Bobbin lace basics

Plaited lace lesson 1 

Plaited lace lesson 2 

Plaited lace lesson 3 

Plaited lace lesson 4    

Lesson 5 Tallies  

Plaited lace lesson 6 

Plaited lace lesson 7

Tape lace lesson DMC #47

Tape Lace Mat 


The Circle at right is another way to learn the basic stitches.

Find pattern.

Jo Edkins website with lots of torchon patterns and information for beginners:

Discussion Forum

Home spun thread? 10 Replies

Started by Eva Francis. Last reply by Layne Brosius Oct 9, 2017.

Using a pizza base to make a lace fan... 10 Replies

Started by Jo Edkins. Last reply by Administrator Aug 11, 2017.

Reading patterns 2 Replies

Started by Nathalie G Smith. Last reply by Administrator Jul 21, 2017.

Hello all.... 37 Replies

Started by Dee Dove. Last reply by Dee Dove Jul 5, 2017.

May I have some help please. 8 Replies

Started by Agnes Goyvaerts. Last reply by Agnes Goyvaerts Jun 8, 2017.

Reseau in Pat Earnshaw's Dictionary of Lace query 2 Replies

Started by Jo Edkins. Last reply by Administrator May 16, 2017.

Starting lace stitches with a twist 15 Replies

Started by Jo Edkins. Last reply by Elizabeth Ligeti May 4, 2017.

What is ''punto monja"? 25 Replies

Started by Jo Edkins. Last reply by Veronika Irvine Apr 13, 2017.

Working a stitch in the hands rather than on the pillow 23 Replies

Started by Jo Edkins. Last reply by Elizabeth Ligeti Mar 28, 2017.

Beginning bobbin lace class to be held in Philadelphia, July 19th, 2017 1 Reply

Started by Devon Thein. Last reply by Administrator Mar 20, 2017.

Hi all 10 Replies

Started by Darlene Castro. Last reply by Gina Shillitani Jan 25, 2017.

Hello 9 Replies

Started by Cathy Wesemann. Last reply by Laurie Elliott Dec 30, 2016.

Travel Pillow. 8 Replies

Started by Joseph. Last reply by Rose Maidd Dec 17, 2016.

Got my new roller pillow... 8 Replies

Started by Dawn Ellis. Last reply by Barbara Gordon Nov 5, 2016.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Jenny on June 12, 2017 at 7:06pm

This is my edge Liz. pattern is from Pamela Nottingham's Bedfordshire Lace Making . I have been very slowly working my way through it, and rather than work samples any more, I decided to make something practical. In hindsight, maybe I should have done a small sample. Maybe then I may have realised that I needed a slightly finer thread and I would have been able to practice my flowers. Each one is very individual!

Comment by Jenny on June 12, 2017 at 7:02pm

Comment by Jenny on June 12, 2017 at 6:48pm

Morning All,

Liz, I did start back from the corner a little, though it's a bed's edging and the corners are rounded not square.

Lorelei, I purchased the block pillow just to do this edge, thinking that I could just rotate the blocks as I work. Yes it is working, but what I was concerned with was coming back to join up. After reading  the comments here, it seems that I will just need to re-pin my start as I get closer, ready to do the join. I am sure that is doable.

Thank you everyone for your ideas and advice. I have learnt so much form you all.

Comment by Elizabeth Ligeti on June 10, 2017 at 9:40pm

Jenny, - I am not very good with joins! I get messy ones usually, so avoid making hankie edges usually!!!  No, I don't use the pad when I finish a piece and join up, I pin the start down on the pillow, well before I need to join a new piece of pattern . 

I was advised to start an edge like a hankie edge a short way before the corner, as corners are strong features, and catch the eye, as does the middle of the side of the hankie, so start - and finish, somewhere between - slightly nearer the corner, was what I was told, as this is the place  least likely to be noticed!!

I hope tis helps. Good luck with it all, - and please let us see the edges you are making!

Comment by Administrator on June 10, 2017 at 9:03pm

Hi Jenny, nice to hear from you.

What I do is make a pricking for one full side with 2 corners. The bottom corner only needs enough pinholes for me to see where the change of direction happens. The top of the pricking has a corner plus one or two repeats. When I get to the bottom I take all the pins out and repin those 2 repeats and as much of the corner as I had worked. This means that I can work an edging on a roller insert pillow, and it doesn't matter how long the edges of the hankie are. A roller insert pillow works well for straight/continuous laces, such as torchon, point ground, Flanders etc. Not so good for Bedfordshire or Cluny (because of working some braids backwards.

For a flat pillow, a block pillow would probably be easier to work with than a cookie. On a block pillow you wouldn't have to repin anything -- just rotate the block and go.

I have directions on my website for the roller insert pillows that I made for myself.

Everybody has their own favorite solution to this problem.


Comment by Jenny on June 10, 2017 at 5:37pm
Thank you all. I was at a local lace group yesterday & one of the ladies was doing a handkie edge. She had a whole pricking and a massive pillow. I really like my cookie pillow to work on because of it's finer height sides. I think I'll finish this one on the block pillow, then try another one in sections with the little pad that Liz suggested. I am thinking of making a small covered roll of something like rolled batting or foam that can sit around the edge of my cookie pillow to rest my bobbins on too when they get too close to the edge. Have any of you done this? Would it work? Thank you all for your imput. It's nice to know you ate all here and are willing to share.
Comment by Jo Edkins on June 10, 2017 at 4:24am

Hi Jenny

How about buying a bigger pillow? Or even making one, if you can get hold of the right kind of polystyrene..

Comment by Kate Bainbridge on June 10, 2017 at 3:34am
Hi Jenny
I love making edgings and always have one on the go.
I use a block pillow and keep moving the blocks around. My edgings pillow has bigger blocks so I can make a reasonable length before I need to swap
I use two pieces of the pattern and swap them over as needed. I tend to take the pins out as I go leaving about 3-4inches with pins. I leave the corner ones in as long as I can.
Luckily have not had your trouble with matching the join so far anyway! Perhaps because the piece is relatively narrow.
Good luck and enjoy!
Comment by Jenny on June 9, 2017 at 8:36pm
Thanks Liz, I'll have to remember to try this next time.
How do you handle the join? I am assuming that the beginning will have no pins by the time I go all the way around the square? Do you still use the little pad?
Comment by Elizabeth Ligeti on June 9, 2017 at 7:40pm

I have 2 pieces of pattern - part of a side, corner, and part of the next side, and when nearly at the end of one piece of pattern, I put a small graduated pad under the end, and butt the next pattern up to it, over the pad, and work onto the new piece, then the whole thing can be lifted up with the pins staying in the pad, and the work moved up the pillow.   You just need half the pattern  - in 2 quarters - not the whole big bit!

For the pad - felt cut into about 5 layers,. each one a bit smaller than the previous one, so they form a dome - in miniature, and tacked together! Mine would be 3 - 4 inches square - or at least a bit wider than your pricking.

Hope this helps.


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