Freestanding Lace 1

In one of the recorded webinars, Holly suggested that DQS students might want to wait a while to attempt free standing lace, so of course I jumped in with both feet. I should probably start off by explaining that I can’t draw. At all. Not even a little bit. In third grade, I was the only one not allowed to use a pen because my cursive handwriting was not good enough. In sixth grade, the teacher held my paper up in front of the whole class as an example of how not to do a map. In seventh grade, I got so upset about having to draw a diagram of alveoli (a tiny part of the lung) that my mother drew it. It was the only time she ever did my homework for me. That was fifty years ago, and I still remember it.

I was inspired by the FSL Joy at Artistic Threadworks. This is a monthly subscription site owned by the same people as They have weekly freebies and specials for their e-mail subscribers, even if you aren’t a member of the site. The file was the three letters J – O – Y in FSL, connected vertically by ribbons through hanging loops. It was all in white, with a small amount of satin stitch embellishment. I had seen it in an e-mail several weeks prior and didn’t have it in front of me while I was working.

For my adaptation, I decided to use Arial Rounded MT Bold as the font. This was my first mistake, although I didn’t realize it until later. Since there is no horizontal top on the J, in order for the project to hang straight, the connecting loop can’t be in the center of the bottom. I created my lace base using the Insert Text tool, added a loop to the top and bottom and a 1 mm satin stitch outline. Then I used the Create Free-Hand Line tool to add some scroll work.

Remember the part where I said I can’t draw? Generations has a feature called Adjust With an Arc that allowed me to smooth the curves and adjust where necessary.

I’m not going to share this file with you because I’m not sure of the legality of using the font and because it was heavily inspired by the ATW design, but here’s a photo of the stitch out. It’s not perfect. I can see a couple of places where the scroll work got too close to the edge and a few of the curves could use a little more work, but the border stayed attached and it didn’t fall apart so I’m thrilled.

Letter J with scrollwork

My first attempt at Free Standing Lace

.Lesson Learned: If a piece has several parts, think about the engineering before you begin.


Categories: Digitizing, Freestanding Lace


2 replies


  1. Free Standing Lace 3 – My Digitizing Journey
  2. Freestanding Lace 5 – My Digitizing Journey

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