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Originally published in the 1910s by the Priscilla Publishing Company, this superb Italian Cutwork pattern book contains directions for Italian hemstitching, picots, tassels, fringes, simple cutwork and Gros Venise needle lace.
It would be very much worthwhile if needleworkers were more inclined to hark back to the fundamental ideas which underlie pattern designing. This would make our work more consistently artistic than very often is the case. There is in the old needlework and there ought to be in ours a relation between the method of the stitchery and the style of the pattern. Patterns which can be considered classic are invariably straight line drawings.
All straight line drawings, such as the following pages illustrate, are worked out according to the right angle structure of the fabric. Very fine Greek and Italian laces made on these classic lines would be entirely beyond the skill of the present century needleworker and entirely outside the range of the amateur. However, these beautiful patterns have been popularized and brought within the ability of even the amateur by the versatile genius of the French.
It is really the French who have interpreted this stitchery on a coarse scale, thus producing beautiful effects in heavy laces which have what is termed by lace connoisseurs, depth of quality. The material, that is, the linen thread with which these laces are made is the first step toward success. This is a point which American needleworkers need to learn, namely, that in the production of beautiful fabrics the material plays a most important part.