Visitors to the august exhibition "Lace that warms" in Spodnja Idrija (Slovenija) could see over 80 lace works on display. Recycling was the main theme of the exhibition. As an exhibit designer Tina Koder Grajzar pointed out, bobbin lace is a sustainable product in itself. It has a long life span and lacemakers throw away very little of the leftover thread in its handmade production. Nevertheless, the members of the Idrija Lacemakers' Association have found many ways to recycle leftover wool from previous projects, upcycle outdated garments, make new products from local sheep's wool, dyed with natural dyes and use patterns for various purposes. The exhibition itself was put together using only leftover materials from previous displays.

The result are mats, cushions, blankets, runners, tablecloths, table lamps, felt book covers, flower pots and bottles, a bouquet of flowers, heart products, brooches, a dream catcher, tapestries, scarves, jackets, a hand warmer, a woolen cape, collars, etc. The photo gallery below from the artists' Facebook profile is a treasure trove of ideas. I highly recommend a look!

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I participated in the exhibition with several products. I particularly like the bouquet, which you can make by yourself. I invite you to download the pattern for making the flower.

I used cotton thread, thickness 30 (3 pink pairs), a thicker cotton crochet (2 white pairs) and double thread wool (3 pairs of dyedwool in different thicknesses). I gradually added more pairs of bobbins, although the pattern is even to the outer circle. I could have made more colourful blossoms in the same way. Alternatively, one could work the same lacepattern with threads of the same thickness. The number of pairs depends, of course, on the thickness of the threads you will be using. The possibilities of combining yarn and techniques are endless and are waiting for you.

You may find some of the following helpful. In the course of trying out different patterns, we lacemakers have learnt that it is wise to choose a thinner and smoother running pair to make the lace easier to work, and that it is a good idea to add cotton yarn pairs of bobbins to the wool between the vertical bobbins, especially around the edges, as this makes it easier to work and helps the lace to stay more firm and keep its shape. We tried many techniques of Idrija lace, but we found out that we made the best bobbin lace from an ordinary narrow tape. With the addition of two or more pairs of wool it became 1 cm (or more) thick. That was a huge time-saver but also means a rougher lace.

I used thicker wire for the stem of my flowers, which I twisted into a circle in the pattern above. I wrapped the wire with thicker cotton thread and sewed the flower to the wire with the same colour of thicker sewing thread.

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I believe you will be delighted with the bouquet. If you would like to share it with us, please send me a photo at I will be happy to publish it.

As you can never have too many patterns, I invite you to look at more lacepatterns.