Lace Legacy

Kids lace 2My beginning search for a lace teacher in the US yielded many older lace makers. Some willing but unable to teach because of age. Where were the young lace makers? I was old too, being 60 when I began, so that hardly qualifies as young! After a few years I came to Belgium and met the lace making sister at the Béguinage; she is excellent and we spent many happy hours sharing about lace…but she also is not young. The first thing I said to my Superior upon my return was, “Give me someone young.” It takes a lifetime to become an expert lace maker and starting at 60, that left me out. I love lace making and the craft is wonderfully restful; the stress drops away as I focus on the lovely stitches Kids lace 1in front of me on the colorful pillow and watch the designs take shape. But…who will carry this tradition on? This year in my summer Flanders lace class I mentioned I was teaching a class of 11-year-olds in my religious community’s small home school; the teacher invited me to come to the children’s class held once a week in the afternoons at Kantcentrum in the fall, once school started. It was wonderful to see boys and girls learning and loving lace! There were creative and youthful patterns of teddy bears and fish and stars and mice in varied colors on colorful pillows. On my return trip to the US, I saw again all of the young 11-year-olds whom I had taught; the girls had finished bookmarks for their moms while I was gone to Kids lace 3Belgium. Now they were anxious to move on and learn more; a square mat is in the future. So the love of lace making does pass on, down the generations. Lace teachers on both sides of the ocean are thinking of and teaching the young to be lace makers. The beautiful legacy of lace stitches on.

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