Once a month, every fourth Thursday, there is a behind-the-scene lace tour at the Smithsonian American History Museum at 10am. The link will tell you more about it, where to apply etc. because only a limited very small number can do it at a time.
Brace yourself for a long blog. My lacemaking friends might be happy that I could not possibly cut out even more photos then I have already cut.
We had also bought the train tickets a while ago. That way they are more reasonable. James came too. Our train left our station at 6 am. My lacemaking friend Lali was also signed up for this. Since Lali and I sat together and chatted, James took a snooze in the seat behind us.
Let me tell you! the first thing she showed us almost took my breath away. Are you familiar with the Bayeux Tapestry? James and I visited it August 2010 (before blogging). Here are some photos on Facebook (don't know whether this works). Seeing the tapestry (which is really more like a nearly 70 meter long (230 feet) cloth with crewel embroidery made in the 1070s).
What Karen showed us first was a lace cloth re-creating the scenes of the Bayeux Tapestry. My first photo showed the long photo of the whole banquet table cloth. It is 30 feet long and 42 inches wide. It's cotton but otherwise there is not much known about it.
And here is a video which might give you a little better idea. But all this is no substitute for seeing it in person. I highly recommend it!!!
And just when we thought there could nothing else so exciting ... the next drawer!
In this blog I told you about a previous visit to D.C. by Mega bus. The reason had been to see the lace exhibition at the Hillwood Estate. The Hapsburg Veil ... which had also been featured in an IOLI Bulletin. That day was great but everything of course was way behind glass and no photography allowed.
O.k. here it is!!!
We could get as close as we wanted to with our eyes. On the left a photo of the whole thing. Huge. Next to it a photo of the first bride wearing it.
It is rare that info is stitched like this into lace.
But then, there was more. This Honiton lace ... made in Japan! Missionaries taught the art there.
The label said: Reticella and Genoese Needle lace and Bobbin lace in similar patterns
Here is a very interesting article. You have to scroll down a little to the article about the lace industry. I think some of them might also have been commissioned to help out.
Kelli also brought a beginner's pillow for hands-on experience. I had brought my shuttle to show tatting.
It was nice to chat with the interested visitors. Some came very far. I talked for quite some time with a couple from Australia.
After that we looked for the exhibition of the gowns of the First Ladies. It was quite interesting but I am refraining from showing all my pictures.
This is the purple velvet ensemble from Mary Lincoln. It had a day-time top and an evening top. Very frugal.
The Botanical Garden by itself would be worth a visit to D.C. So much beauty. Here a "Golden Passion" Orchid = Spathoglottis Orchidaceae
AWESOME! Just awesome!
Thank you, Karen! Thank you, Mr. Smithson!