How one lacemaker started out… and how you can too!

by Danielle Hayward

They say something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue… and for DANIELLE HAYWARD all four came together when she set out to make something for her daughter’s wedding.

My interest in lace first began when I overheard a colleague many moons ago say how she collected bobbins. I found myself wondering what are they and what are they used for. I am a crafter in many different areas, so I thought I would look into it, however life took over as always…

I had a break from work in 2015, so I was surfing the net and found details about the art of lacemaking. At first my way in was through bobbin lace, and I studied and researched it and felt it could be quite pricey. What if I didn’t like it?

I watched a few Youtube clips on bobbins and I decided to make some home-made ones with skewers and beads which was fun… then my daughter’s wedding plans took over so I had to leave it again. But I had posted pics of my home-made bobbins on my Facebook page and a family friend spotted it. She bought me 24 antique bobbins and a Pamela Nottingham book for Christmas as a gift!

At that point I thought I’m really going to have to find out how to do this craft now, so I read the book. It felt a bit daunting, and I took a while and searched for classes but they were all down south. I felt that wasn’t an option, but knowing my daughter was getting married in October 2019, I knew I wanted to make her a lace garter, so in the February of that year I did a random inernet search with “bobbin lace classes near me” and OMG!!!! Two miles from my holiday home I found a teacher, Frances Bell, and enrolled in her classes.

Well by June I had started my daughter’s garter and managed to make 29 inches and completed it just a week before her wedding on October 12. And from there began my obsession for all things lace, from pillows, to stands, to bobbins and all accessories. I am now a fully paid up member of the East Yorkshire Lace Society.

Then Covid-19 struck and classes stopped. I had left my equipment at my holiday home and was not able to do any lace till after July when lockdown was lifted.

I have now managed to get all my equipment home and I’ve done another garter, this time unaided, as well as a new straight lace with guidance via the telephone with my teacher.

I will carry on learning and maybe one day I may find I can teach it too!!! I love all things lace!!

All images and banner image © Danielle Hayward

If you would like to find out more about a lace group near you, The Lace Guild (based in the UK) has more information at its website. Although many won’t be meeting in person, it could be worth looking up groups local to you, to see if there are activities online.

The Lace Guild has received a Recovery Grant from Arts Council England through the West Midlands Museum Development Programme, with additional funding from Art Fund.

The grant assists organisations looking to reopen and helps with public engagement.