A Victorian Lace Square to Appliqué and Embroider

Captivated by the timeless allure of lace? PieceWork has fallen under lace’s spell since its inception and dedicates its May/June 2018 issue for the eleventh time to lace’s magic. Throughout time, needleworkers have become smitten with lace, and Kathi Rotella’s Victorian lace square is a good example. She was so taken by a sample, that she re-created it for PieceWork.

Kathi explains, “The inspiration for this design came from a vintage piece of lace purchased by a friend from an antiques shop in Missouri. The lace particularly impressed me because it has a delicate visual presence even though it was created entirely from machine-made lace net (tulle) and machine-made tape laces. The tapes formed little flowers upon the net background that mimicked my favorite forget-me-nots.”

Victorian lace

Kathi Rotella used cotton tulle and tape laces to make this sweet lace square. Antique scissors and etui from the collection of Loene McIntyre. Photos by Joe Coca.


  • Lacis tulle, #HE01, 100% fine cotton, 18 hole, 1 piece 9 x 9 inches (22.9 x 22.9 cm), Ecru
  • Lacis princess tape lace, #CN17, 100% cotton, 2 yards (1.8 m), Ecru
  • Lacis Honiton tape lace, #CN14, 100% cotton, 10 inches (25.4 cm), Ecru (for small leaves)
  • Lacis Honiton tape lace, #CN15, 100% cotton, 6 inches (15.2 cm), Ecru (for large leaves)
  • Lacis dot tape lace, #CN18, 100% cotton, 6 inches (15.2 cm), Ecru (for small rings)
  • DMC Brilliant Cutwork and Embroidery Thread, Article 107, size 16, 100% cotton thread, 23 meters (25.1 yd)/skein, 1 skein of Ecru
  • John James Needles, tapestry size 24 (for embroidery) and sewing (for basting)
  • Sewing thread, Ecru (for sewing) and contrasting color (for basting)
  • Muslin fabric
  • Marker, fine point permanent

Finished size: 7½ x 7½ inches (19.1 x 19.1 cm)

Make your own Victorian lace square and succumb to lace’s charms. Download a copy of PieceWork’s 11th-annual Lace Issue, May/June 2018. Read about another Victorian-era lace project in “A Shawl Based on a Weldon’s Veil Pattern to Knit,” also in the May/June 2018 issue.

Featured Image: Detail of Kathi’s Victorian-style lace square.

Learn more about the history of lace in PieceWork!

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