Purfylle: Roller to Bolster

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Thursday, 3 July 2014

Roller to Bolster

small bobbin lace roller pillow



A handspan into making my first braid on the small roller pillow I realised it was not the right kind of pillow for the type of laces I intended to make which would be primarily long simple braids.

I didn't have enough bobbins to make the whole pattern, you can see where the pins were stuck in and the parts that didn't get touched. Making the first braid I learnt that sand is not a good stuffing because it will not hold your pins steady, although it does have a nice weight to it which helps keep your cushion from rolling.




bobbin lace pattern pricking

Wait, what about that hair net, wasn't that the goal? Well, I wanted to get the braids right first and the hair net/caul was not my sole source of inspiration to learn lace making. The hair net will need a flat 'cookie' style pillow, but I'm not ready to tackle that project just yet, for starters it's going to need a lot of bobbins.

So back to our braid optimised pillow. If I didn't need a roller pillow what type of pillow did I need? A BIG roller pillow, which is called a bolster pillow and yes it's very much like the bolster pillow on your bed or couch but a lot firmer (so it will hold your pins sturdy).

I wrapped my roller pillow with a woollen blanket and covered that with cloth and got started on another project.

small bobbin lace roller pillow box stand

This pillow wasn't going to be big enough either. I got bit further before I had to stop whilst I waited for the braid to set before I could remove the pins to roll the pillow and continue on, so of course I rushed things and I didn't wait for the braid to set and now I have twisty braid that is nice in some sections and out of shape in others.

twisty braid

I totally forgot to get work in progress pics for both of my first two braids because I was so engrossed in making them and couldn't wait to see how they'd turn out.

I finished my braid and pulled my blanket off, folded it in half again and wrapped it back around the roller.

doubling up the blanket on the bobbin lace roller pillow

It was looking bigger but as I pinned the pricking back on I could see I'd gained maybe 3 inches in diameter. So I took it off again without starting a new project, I had a bit of a feel for how fast I could work and how much I could get done in a sitting which dictated how big my bolster should be.

I had a nice Milo drink whilst I thought about what I could use to get this bolster pillow bigger. It was a nice big new tin of Milo. The old Milo tin!

small bobbin lace bolster pillow

It was big and round and I could wrap my blanket around that. Much better, I also covered it with a scrap of blue silk which is easier on the eyes then the green, using pins to secure it.

silk scrap cover for the bolster pilow

And that is the configuration I used to make my next braid, aaaaand I remembered to take WIP pics!

bobbin lace in progress

bobbin lace in progress close up

I used embroidery floss, metallic thread and DMC crochet cotton to make the braid. I really like the firm structure of the finished braid.

bobbin lace braid

Still bigger would be better.........

towel added to the bolster to increase size

....so I added a towel. The bolster pillow is now almost as wide as the roller pillow was long. And another WIP pic (wonders never cease!) well it's finished, not in progress, just waiting for me to take it off the cushion (now that I've taken a photo).


I guess now that I know a bit more about what I'm doing I should make a proper cushion that doesn't have big surface height differences from wrapping around folded up fabrics, but for now I'm just pleased I have something serviceable.






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