Tatted Inserts- How to & wisdom through the ages

Remember the time I tatted Norma’s card suit motifs? It’s ok if you don’t, I’ve linked the blog post about it here.  Last weekend I had my sewing machine out to do some mending. I decided to try attaching a tatted insert into a piece of material, in preparation for making the card cloth with the motifs. I love how in the older books the authors give quite thorough instructions to measure and sew the fabric for these effects. I used Norma Benporath’s instructions, as this is where the motif pattern was (I also used the TROVE pattern, but found some inconsistencies- so ended up back with the printed page in this book).Normas bookNow, please remember here that I am not a person who usually sews. I can run straight stitches and can count on one hand the number of button holes I have made – so trying this technique of inserting the tatting into a cloth was an adventure! Also, I have used dark threads through out this practice so I (and you) could see exactly what was happening, how neat it would be and if I wanted to use coloured threads for the ‘real’ table cloth.

First, I needed a test piece of fabric, so a section of an old sheet worked well here.Test materialSecond, I needed a motif to test this on. I used a motif I made a long time ago and never gave away.

Motif to practice withNorma’s next instruction is to trace around the motif onto the fabric, and tack into place.

Trace around with a pencil and tackNow, at this point it took me a little while (30 mins) to figure out how to button hole on my machine. I also learned about width and tension of stitches….and think I may need a service for my machine 🙂 But, here we go…somewhat successful button holes. I also realised at around the 30 minute mark that I really just needed to go in one direction for this attachment, so I didn’t spend any longer fiddling with making an actual button hole.

trying to remmeber button holesI took a deep breath and used my new button hole technique to follow the outside of the motif and pencil line. It is a bit wobbly in places, but all bar 3 picots were caught in the thread. I think with white thread I wouldn’t have noticed the picots that didn’t catch as easily. Then I let out my deep breath 🙂  viola button holed around the motifHere is what the back looked like, decidedly wobbly:

squiggly backingAnd a close up:

better shot of button holing around motifNorma’s next instruction was to cut away the back of the fabric, close to the sewn edge. ( I took for granted I didn’t want to cut through the motif 🙂 )eek starting to cut away the backingHere is the cut back, you can see through the motif 🙂 Insert nearly doneA bit more fine cutting work:

neatening up with my embroidery scissorsAnd from the front it looks pretty good:finished sampleSo I felt pretty happy my first try looked pretty good, and that Norma’s instructions were very easy to follow. Now to the dilemma, here is one of the 2 black motifs for the card cloth. The others are red. The material I envisioned and have purchased is white. I am thinking I should match the thread for the joining to the colour of the motif, not the colour of the cloth. I wonder what you think?  setting up a test for the actual motifAs always,

Happy tatting

Fiona T



Filed under Eye Candy, Tatting Techniques

9 responses to “Tatted Inserts- How to & wisdom through the ages

  1. Yes, I would use a thread color that matches the tatted motif.

  2. Skunklady

    Wonderful instructions. I am glad you tried this out. Yes matching the motif would be nice.

  3. Excellent post. Simply excellent. I have avoided doing inserts because I didn’t “get” how to do them (apparently I don’t have any of the books with instructions, surprising, because I have a gazillion tatting books…) Anyway, thank you for this. 🙂

    Oh, and, like the others, I would match the thread.

  4. Thanks for that detailed view of what you did! You could do small samples using both methods perhaps.

  5. Thanks..I have never done that before. I was just going to sew it on top,but it sure looks a lot better this way.

  6. The cloth should look great, Fiona. Test the red and black threads, as they may run in the wash. I have an inset on my blog: 3d-effects-in-tatting on InTatters.

  7. Pingback: UFO- Tatted Bridge Set | One Mad Tatter

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