I spent two evenings last week doing something I've never done before. I made a set of doilies. My great-grandmother was extremely talented. According to my grandmother she was an amazing seamstress, but she could knit or crochet just about anything. She even knew how to tat. I've seen quite a bit of her handiwork and I have some of it too and what amazes me is how much of her sewing was all by hand. No machine. Including clothing. Incredible.
She also made doilies. Some were crocheted and other sewn with cloth and trimmed with her handmade lace. I shared most of her doilies and dresser scarves with my nieces and kept a few pieces for myself and my girls. But I thought it would be nice to make some of my own to use and then pass down as well.
I started out by using some of my scrap paper stash to make a pattern. In fact I made two so I'd have two sizes. I used a dinner plate and a lunch plate to draw perfect circles onto paper and then cut them out.
I used pre-washed white muslin and cut out two circles with my largest pattern and pinned them together. Unlike my great-grandmother did, I used my machine to stitch a scant 1/4" seam all around leaving a small opening to turn it right side out.
I used a chop stick to make sure I had all my seams out, then pressed it well before hand stitching the opening closed. Then I used some vintage lace I had removed from a pair of old doilies that had literally disintegrated and hand stitched it onto the edge of my circle with thread that matched the lace.
This was the part that took the most time, but the result certainly made it well worth it. I was so happy with how it turned out I decided to make another one and use the other piece of lace I had rescued.
I think my great-grandma would be quite pleased with my handiwork. I know doilies are bit old fashioned but too me, that is part of their charm. Wouldn't they look pretty under a pair of lamps? I think so.