Make A Tatted Greeting Card for Someone Special

Tucked inside PieceWork May/June 2012, our 5th-annual Lace issue, are the instructions for a charming tatted greeting card. Making gifts for the special people in our lives doubles our joy; first, there’s pleasure in the making, and second, in the act of giving.

Carolyn Wetzel adapted her design from a bedspread Chester Ross Bentz Sr. (1895–1955) made for his son Chester Ross Bentz Jr., which is now in the collection of the Bevington-Kaser House, Madison County Historical Society, in Winterset, Iowa. Carolyn explains, “Each element in the spread that he made for Chester Ross Bentz Jr. is a pleasing combination of a square central motif surrounded by concentric circles of arcs, and the joined doily-like elements are punctuated with repeats of the center squares throughout the spread. I reinterpreted the basic design to fit in the oval opening of a standard die-cut greeting card. Change the thread color for each round or use a single color throughout.”

tatted greeting card

Carolyn Wetzel’s tatted motif worked in a combination of three colors and inserted in the opening of a greeting card. She adapted a design from a tatted bedspread made by Chester Ross Bentz Sr. for his son Chester Ross Bentz Jr. Photos by Joe Coca.

Chester was an engineer. You might be wondering, how did an engineer become interested in tatting? Chester served in World War I. During the winter following the armistice, Chester was looking for something to keep his hands occupied during down time. He sought a suitable activity from a Red Cross center. Carolyn tells us the story in her article “Chester Ross Bentz Sr. and His Tatted Bedspreads”:

  • “The Red Cross personnel had taken on the task of seeing to the solders’ well-being and had taught many of them to knit or crochet. In Chester’s case, however, an unnamed Red Cross worker showed him how to tat. Tatting is a perfect pastime for a person on the go: The product is a sturdy knotted lace that requires few tools and can be slipped easily into a pocket without fear of dropped stitches. In the hands of an engineer, the myriad ways to make and join the rings and chains could provide hours of analytical entertainment. Chester thoroughly enjoyed tatting and brought his new-found pastime home with him.”

Chester continued to tat after the war. Before his death in 1955, he designed and tatted a full-size bedspread for each of his four sons and crafted a timeless gift cherished by his family.

With only a week until Valentine’s Day, there is still time to make a tatted greeting card for someone you treasure. Download a copy of PieceWork’s May/June 2012 issue to read “Chester Ross Bentz Sr. and His Tatted Bedspreads” by Carolyn Wetzel and tat her lovely motif for a greeting card.

—Elizabeth

Are you new to tatting? This year, Interweave Yarn Fest is offering beginning needle and shuttle tatting classes taught by Daniela Nii. Adding a tatted motif to a greeting card would make a great first project!

Featured Image: Carolyn Wetzel’s tatted motif worked in a solid color and inserted in the opening of a greeting card. She adapted a design from a tatted bedspread made by Chester Ross Bentz Sr. for his son Chester Ross Bentz Jr.


Learn more about tatting with PieceWork!

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