Designing Bobbin Lace

For those who want to talk about designing bobbin lace, whatever style.

Members: 107
Latest Activity: May 9



For modern work look at where photos of really innovative work are posted daily.


Uta Ulrich GRUENDE MIT SYSTEM, Verlag Barbara Fay, 2009. 448 grounds


Bridget Cook & Geraldine Stott BOOK OF BOBBIN LACE STITCHES, Branford, Watertown Mass. 1980. 262 pages.  A great variety, but omits some continental grounds.

Cook & Stott INTRODUCTION TO BOBBIN LACE STITCHES. Batsford, London, 1983. 86 pages.  Adds some continental grounds omitted in the 1st book.  I would call these the most basic ground.

Christine Hawken  121 HONITON FILLINGS  "121 HONITON FILLINGS: this a a good book for the experienced Honiton lacemaker who wants ideas for fillings.  Each filling is well graphed and diagramed.  The only drawback is that the pictures of the fillings are not of the best quality.  But that is understandable since the book was published in 1997." review by Cathy Kozlowski, IOLI LIbrarian       IOLI B-298 121 Honiton Fillings


NKO 1983 - 2008 

Discussion Forum

International Torchon Lace Design Competition 1 Reply

Please take a look at the competition rules and prizes as it would be fantastic to see your entries.

Started by Jenny Brandis. Last reply by Jenny Brandis Aug 31, 2016.

How can you design lace when you can't draw? 21 Replies

Paula's Honiton Cowis a good illustration of how one can design a piece of lace without possessing drawing skills.…Continue

Tags: tricks, Design, Lace

Started by Devon Thein. Last reply by Gul'naz Taylor Jan 23, 2016.


   To start here is my analysis of the basic grounds used in bobbin lace.First some basic…Continue

Tags: bobbin lace fillings, bobbin lace grounds

Started by Lorelei Halley Administrator. Last reply by Lorelei Halley Administrator Nov 9, 2014.

Designing something a little different. 9 Replies

 Is there anyone else who likes to find something just that little bit different?ElsaContinue

Started by Elsa Elisabeth van Baaren. Last reply by Selena Marie Joosten Dec 8, 2013.

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Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on October 1, 2012 at 3:11pm


I've done the same thing.  I find it is easier to adapt an existing lace pattern (make changes, add a corner, etc.) than to design something from scratch.  It is a good way to solidify one's knowledge of a particular form.  I've decided not to sell or pass around these adaptations of mine: it is the copyright issue again.  But it is good practice and I use these modified designs myself.

Comment by Simon Purple on October 1, 2012 at 3:52am
I just put together a variation of a Bucks point design from Stott's Visual Guide. I used the Constance pattern, moved a honeycomb ring, added a row, doubled the pattern, added more net with tallies. At first the design was too big, but I've scaled it down and I'm going to give it another try. Too many bobbins first time around.

Thanks Robin for getting us talking. I was trying to think of a way to get it started, but couldn't think of any good topics.
Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on September 30, 2012 at 10:10pm

I agree. I wish more lacemakers would try designing. And tape lace is perfect for it. It is relatively easy to understand what you have to do--the tape must touch itself often enough to make a stable lace without large holes, you must be able to use whatever version of turning stitch you have learned. If they tape changes width you have to know how to add threads, or change stitches, to fill up the wider area.  You have to know enough joinings to put into any largish voids in the lace.  Take the techniques that you know, and figure out a design that uses them.

Of course, I didn't always follow my own advice.  I remember spending my subway time commuting to work, designing a tape lace mat.  Pretty design, but when I was satisfied with the way it looked, I realized that it would require more than turning stitch to get around the sharp turns.  So I had to look through all my books to see if there was a way to do that.  Yup, there was.

Comment by Robin DeSpain on September 30, 2012 at 6:41pm

I started "designing" lace after I made my 2nd piece.  I fell in love with the Idrija tape lace figures.  It's not hard . . .okay I'll admit to having years of art and design classes in college, but I also think that the sooner you take the tools of lace making and manipulate them, the better you'll be. As the saying goes - teaching is the best way to really learn.  Even if you are teaching yourself *wink*

Making hanky edging forever is not my thing.  Taking a edging and turning it into a bookmark or taking a snowflake and turning it into an edging or making a mouse and seeing how you could create a bunny or bird. So many possibilities.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on September 21, 2012 at 1:19pm

Here is a piece which uses Devon's idea of animal lace made of a boundary tape, filled in with grounds:  

Although this one has a very complex boundary tape.

Comment by Paula Harten on June 23, 2012 at 12:43am

Interesting - it looks like the beaded pins actually become part of Bistra's final lace designs.  I always thought it a shame to take out the pretty pin outline of my lace.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on June 13, 2012 at 3:12pm

Here is a creature made in a way similar to Devon's idea.

Comment by Lynn Stiglich on May 14, 2012 at 10:25pm

Wow! Bistra really put so many elements together very nicely - design, color, texture, balance and great technique. Also great photos, thanks for sharing this link!

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on May 13, 2012 at 5:40pm

For ideas on how to turn a very simple drawing into a bobbin lace, look carefully at all the sequential photos in this album of work by Bistra Pisancheva.

In order to do the same thing you need to know:

how to start at a point, at a straight flat edge, at a top curve

how to add and remove threads to make a little bit wider and narrower

How to widen and narrow a motif just be changing stitches or making holes

how to end a motif securely

how to connect the motifs together so the lace won't fall apart

Bruges bloomwork, Honiton, and duchesse all deal with these issues.  So learn the basic techniques in any one of those and immediately start working on your own drawing.  Honiton and Duchesse would be more useful because they can accomodate more realistic effects.  Bruges bloomwork deals with a set of standard motifs with firm rules.  There isn't much room for creative motifs.


Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on May 12, 2012 at 6:40pm

Links to some other animal bobbin laces by our members:

one   two   three  This one could be executed other ways.

reindeer  pony   


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