Go Tatting!


Mary H. McCarthy’s tatted doily. Photo by Joe Coca.

One of the most prolific needlework authors was Anne Orr (née Champe; 1875-1946) of Nashville, Tennessee. According to the Tennessee Encyclopedia of History of Culture, Anne began to produce needlework patterns and booklets in 1915. In the early 1920s, she became Good Housekeeping magazine’s needlework editor; she remained in that position until 1938.

Anne produced patterns and booklets for crochet, knitting, embroidery, quilting, needlepoint, cross-stitch, and tatting.
Tatting designer Mary H. McCarthy incorporated Anne Orr’s “reverse stitch” in her lovely Garden Trellis Doily. Almost all of Orr’s tatting patterns and booklets included this technique. Mary explained in the introduction to her doily project in the July/August 2005 issue of PieceWork: “The technique, which is used in this project, allows tatters to eliminate tying and cutting the threads between motifs as directed in some patterns. Today, the technique is sometimes called the “split ring” because the ring is made in two halves using two shuttles–one to begin the ring normally, the second to finish it using the reverse stitches (last half first, first half last).”

We chose Mary’s Garden Trellis Doily to Tat as our newest PieceWork kit! The kit features a digital edition of the July/August 2005 issue (an early special Lace Issue!) with Mary’s step-by-step instructions, along with the two colors of thread and two tatting shuttles. And the kit includes master tatter Georgia Seitz’s Interweave DVD Shuttle Tatting: The Basics and More! Get started tatting!