I first learned about Depression Lace (aka chicken scratch embroidery, Hoover lace, Amish embroidery, gingham lace, snowflake embroidery, broderie Suisse) about a year ago and I really wanted to try it but I never managed to find any good cotton gingham so that I could try it.
But last week I went to Ikea, and to my joy, found that they have this nice pink cotton gingham for $6.95 Canadian a metre. Score! (They have some very nice linen as well, that’ll be my next purchase. 🙂 I love Ikea’s fabric department.)
So before trying a nice gingham apron (a la Dorothy and The Wizard Of Oz) or some nice depression lace throw pillows, I thought I would play around and experiment with a sort of sampler. It’s messy but I think it’s not too bad for a first try. These three with black thread were first and are messiest. The next three (below) with the silver thread show some improvement.
Depression lace was very popular from about 1930 – 1950 in North America and then fell out of fashion. I like how it uses cheap fabric and threads along with very simple stitches to create a beautiful lacy pattern. We have a lot to learn about making beauty in tough times from our grandmothers!
It seems to be having a bit of a resurgence lately. Only a few stitches are typically used, cross stitch, double (Smyrna) cross stitch, straight stitch and a few lacing stitches. Traditionally it is done with white stitches on the darker squares of the gingham, but there are many interesting variants out there.
If you are interested in trying it out, I have put some tutorial links at the bottom of the post. Or just do some searching for ‘Chicken Scratch Embroidery’ which seems to be the most well-known name for this style of embroidery.
I think next I will try the Star Pattern from the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service. There are instructions and a large star pattern on the last page. This is a great little instructional .pdf, in case you want to try making some Depression Lace too.
Happy Stitching Darlings!