Using a Bolster Pillow Alexandria Marguccio ©2010 The techniques shown in this document are based on what I was taught during my 2008 lace apprenticeship in traditional Idrija Lace technique by Master Teacher Stana Frelih, Idrija School of Lace Idrija, Slovenia. What is a bolster-style pillow? • A bolster-style lace pillow is made using a cylindrical piece of fabric stuffed firmly with clean sawdust and secured at each end. • This cylinder is then covered by a second, more loosely fitting tube of fabric that is tightened at each end with draw strings. • The pillow can vary in size depending on the size of patterns used on it. Applying the pricking • Position the pillow as pictured in (A) and lay the pricking in the center of the pillow. A • Pull some of the loose fabric from the cover and pin it over one edge with several lace pins. (B) B To Secure a Pricking • With your hand, smooth the pricking flat against the pillow surface. • While holding the pricking in place, pull some of the loose cover fabric over the opposite edge of the pricking and pin. Hanging on Bobbins When using a bolster-style pillow for the first time, one often wonders how to deal with the clump of bobbins that are hanging from the pillow. Anchoring • The typical Idrija pattern uses 5-7 pair of large bobbins. If you work the stitches as you hang each bobbin, you can anchor the discarded pairs by hanging them on the edges and sides of the pillow or using separator pins. • You can use these anchoring methods throughout your working of the pattern. Handling the bobbins • Because of the design of the pillow, you handle your bobbins with palms up. • The crossing and twisting movements are done by manipulating each pair with your fingers Cross Twist Tensioning • Tensioning on a bolster pillow is done using arm movement. • Because the bobbins are held in the palms, tensioning is done with a lateral, sidepulling motion. Positioning the pillow • Positioning of the pillow the basket is also important to the tensioning process. • In addition to the weight of the bobbins, gravity also provides tensioning to your work. Positioning cont’d • • Position your pillow as needed so that your work is always in front of you. • Use the sides of the basket as a means to prop your pillow. Bolster pillow and tape laces • In many ways, bolster pillows are ideal for working tape laces. • Tape laces typically use fewer bobbins, so there is less concern about room on the pillow. • The pillow can be easily positioned to accommodate the turns of meandering tapes such as those found in Idrija lace.
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