Victorian Tatting the Weldon’s Way: Octagon Medallion

Weldon’s Practical Needlework houses a wealth of information on Victorian tatting. Here’s our 15th installment in this series from Weldon’s Practical Needlework, Volume 4. The following are instructions for how to tat an “Octagon Medallion.” The material is reproduced here just as it appeared in England in 1889. No alterations or corrections were made.

Victorian tatting

Illustrations from Weldon’s Practical Needlework, Volume 4.

OCTAGON MEDALLION.
THIS medallion, like the preceding example [Eyelet Edging], is tatted with the shuttle thread only. Our engraving shows a square of four octagons joined together. Select cotton suitable for the article you intend working. For the 1st octagon—Having a sufficiency of cotton wound upon the shuttle, begin for a large oval—make a loop on the fingers, and work 5 double stitches, 1 picot, 2 double and 1 picot alternately four times, 5 double, and draw up; for small oval, reverse the work, make a loop close, do 6 double, 1 picot, 6 double, and draw up; reverse the work, for large oval make a loop close, do 5 double, join to the last picot in the first large oval, 2 double and 1 picot alternately four times, 5 double, and draw up; * for another large oval, make a loop, and leaving 1/6 of an inch of thread between this oval and the last, work 5 double, join to the last oval, 2 double and 1 picot alternately four times, 5 double, and draw up; reverse, and for the small oval, make a loop close, do 6 double, join to the picot in the first small oval, 6 double, draw up; reverse, and for a large oval, make a loop close, work 5 double, join to the last large oval, 2 double and 1 picot alternately four times, 5 double, and draw up; repeat from * twice, and in doing the last (the eighth) large oval join the last picot to the first picot of the first large oval, and this completes the octagon: join round securely, and cut off the cotton. Make as many octagons as you require for the piece of work, joining each octagon in position as you go along. The method of joining may clearly be seen in the illustration, also the spiders’ web which fills in the space between four octagons, and which is worked in afterwards with a sewing needle and fine cotton.

If you missed any part of this series on Victorian tatting from Weldon’s, you can catch up on all of the blog posts here. Stay tuned for more Victorian tatting from Weldon’s in future posts! Until then, find out more about tatting in our video download Shuttle Tatting with master tatter Georgia Seitz. If you have created any items from this series, we would love to see them. Please email us at piecework@interweave.com.

—Elizabeth Prose

Featured Image: Weldon’s Practical Needlework, Volume 4, offers up a wealth of information on Victorian tatting.


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