Framing our Treasures

Phyllis Décor, Inspiration 27 Comments

I am so blessed to come from a long line of needle artists. My grandmothers and my mother taught my sister and me to crochet when we were very young. Now, I would like for you to think that I could pick up a pattern and produce incredible work as they did, but I am the scarf queen. They all crocheted beautiful doilies.

I had lovely pieces but had no clue how to display them where I could enjoy them and protect them from deterioration. Since I consider them works of art, I decided to frame them as works of art. In my sewing room I have great pieces of theirs framed so that I can enjoy them every time I go there to sew.


What amazes me the most is the tiny thread that was used to crochet these doilies. While I consider them works of art, they were initially used to protect tabletops. If you have wonderful family pieces but really are not sure how to use them, consider framing them. One piece that I framed is from when I had aspirations of crocheting a tablecloth. After finishing just this piece, I decided that a small, round doily was just fine!

Have you framed any of your favorite pieces? I’d love to hear about it!


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Comments 27

  1. Hello Phyllis,just read this post from you.
    I love how you did this,I have made 30 years ago a lot of crocheted dollies and have safe them,but never knew what to do with these, now that I use them no longer on my tables etc.
    Can you tell me please how you did this?
    Love to hear from you about it?
    So that I can enjoy the dollies again and see my lovely work everyday and not only when I take them out of the cabinet.
    Friendly regards,Anja from the Netherlands

  2. I have 2 dollies my mother in law gave me. Many year ago I had them framed. I covered the background with
    left over frabic from a chair that had been recovered.I hung them in the living room. When we moved i had them redone to match the decor in the bath room. My Mother in law told me who mad the dollies, sadly I don,t remember who it was. She has since passed away ,so I will I never know .

  3. I saw my whole message was not communicated so I wll finish here. Toooooo long. I inherited all their needle work. Beautiful pillow cases with embroidy and lace. Many never been used. Dollies galore. Braided rag rugs. My pride and joy are the vintage aprons about 35 in number. WOW. Some in mint condition. Their magnificent guilts I gave most away to nieces and nephews. Aunt Mary died in her late 80’s and. Aunt Ray passed a few months shy of 91.

    Thanks for letting me share. God bless.

  4. I have been a scriber of Southern Lady for years. Getting your magazine in the mail is like receiving a bouquet of flowers each month. I live in the Ozarks of Missouri. I read about your crocheted work but did not reply at the time. I had two aunts that never married. They crocheted. I have about 75 crocheted snowflakes from them. They also did this for my sister. I decorate my Christmas tree with the snowflakes now and then. They are starched and put away between sheets of blue tissue paper.

    I inherited all the needle work from the aunties. I gave most of the beautiful quilts to nephews and nieces. I have pillow cases that have never been used and the needlework on them is something to be lusted after.

  5. But HOW did you frame them? Is it a cotton background and then they are pinned on? Stitched on? I have some from the 1920s that are beautiful but I don’t know how to do what you’ve done. Can you help with more information?

  6. My grandmother taught me to crochet when I was 11 and I’ve been “hooked” ever since. When my sweet grandmother passed away, she left me her hooks, a pair of scissors, some pattern books and a decorative can which held the small balls of crochet thread – some of her hooks were made from whale bone and have been worn smooth from years of use. But the most beautiful treasures she left to me are dozens of intricate doilies, dresser scarves and pillow cases edged in delicate stitches made of pastel crochet thread. I, too, have framed several pieces of her work and I cherish them all.

  7. I heavily starched several different styles of small doilies and hang them at different levels from the front windows of my house during the winter. …it gives us such a festive feeling of winter and I get compliments each year when people come over.

  8. I also have a piece that my Grandmother crocheted, many years ago! It is framed and I use it in my bedroom. I am also amazed at how small the thread was and how much time it must have taken to do these intricate stitches. I have other pieces that I am going to frame for my children. Love your “Journal” each day. Thanks for sharing with all of us!

  9. My Mother who is 91 years old began crocheting when my Dad was in WWII . Many of her designs can not be found now. I began last year framing them and giving them to my daughters at Christmas and the other Granddaughters as a remembrance of their Grandmother. My hallway is lined with many of them and she tells the story of what design it is and when she did them. I cherish them greatly as I know her time is slipping by. Crocheting is like quilting, it is becoming a lost art. Girls today don’t see the value in passing a tradition on to the next generation. I will always see my Mother in these works of art as she waited for my Dad to come home. Love them.

  10. I have some crocheted doilies and maybe one was my mother’s, but I have a collection of her handkerchiefs and I think I’ll do like Laura and frame them. Then I will give one to each of my sister’s. Laura I just love this blog, your magazines, and everything you do.

  11. Phyllis, I just love all your beautiful stories and this one brought back a wonderful memory of traveling on the train from Boston up to New Hampshire with my best friend and she was crocheting a beautiful doily. I decided that even tho I didn’t crochet I would make one of those doilies. I did it and it was lovely but I certainly wasn’t going to make another one. Too hard. I still have it in a drawer and what a wonderful idea to frame it. Thank you so much.

  12. I LOVE crocheted doilies. Some friends call me the Doily Queen. I never made any of them. They were made by my mother-in-law’s mother and grandmother. They are quite old. You gave me a brilliant idea to frame them. Unfortunately neither of my daughters’ have a like or love for doilies, so I don’t know what will happen to these beautiful works of art, when I pass on. I’m only early 60’s so I hope it won’t be for a while. I am thinking of what young mom or woman I could give some to,who would appreciate them. I even have some in my bathroom to make it look Victorian. Also my craft room.Thanks for the great idea.

    1. Eileen, Don’t despair. Perhaps one day you will have a granddaughter or the wife of a grandson who loves doilies. I would make one suggestion. After framing the doilies, attach some kind of tag or note to the back of the frame explaining who made the doily and a little about the creator. If you don’t know who made it, you could mention when or where you got it. Imagine how fun it would be, down through the ages, to know a little something about the woman who created the doily. Also, perhaps your posterity would be less eager to discard an heirloom if they knew more about it and where it came from.

  13. What a perfect idea. I, too, have lovely crocheted pieces I am protecting in drawers. Pulling them out once or twice a year to admire isn’t doing them the justice they deserve. Framing is a perfect idea. Thanks so much for sharing. You’re crocheted art is exquisite!

  14. Phyllis, you’re so funny! I can identify with your having grandiose ambitions and settling for smaller projects after tackling that monstrous one! Your framed pieces are beautiful. They are not only beautiful works of art, but also you have the comfort of knowing they are protected and will be passed on to other family members.
    I just love your blog. Thank you for taking the time to share yourself in these articles. You really are a multi-talented lady and you inspire so many of us in numerous ways.

  15. My grandmother was a master with a crochet hook, and I have many of her doilies and afghans. I had one of her large doilies in the pineapple pattern framed and then reframed, and it has spent time in various rooms in my house. It is one of my most prized treasures. It makes me think of my darling grandmother whom I loved with all my heart!

  16. What a great idea…I also have many of my grandmother’s doilies and they are just gathering dust. I also have a very pretty one I bought on my honeymoon in the south of France. Now I know what to do with them. Thank you Phyllis.

  17. So pretty! Some look like snowflakes. I have so many dollies just sitting in a drawer. This is such a wonderful way to enjoy them. Love how you framed them – just my style too.

  18. My great grandmother did a lot of tatting, and each year at Christmas my sisters and I would give a handkerchief trimmed with tatting to our teachers. I found a few of them when cleaning out a drawer a number of years ago. I had them all framed, kept one, and gave the others to family members for Christmas. Mine proudly hangs in our dining room!

  19. I framed some old crocheted doilies and have them in my bathroom. They are the same color background of the one’s you show.

  20. These are lovely! I framed a pair of handmade lace cuffs and a collar that my parents brought back for me from Ireland many years ago. They are tacked onto a burgundy velvet background and now hang in our bedroom. ~Michele

  21. I was taught early on all sorts of needlecraft. My mother was an amazing, mostly kit based, needleartist, but after her polio in ’36, they used tatting and crewel and needlepoint and petitpoint to give her back her dexterity. She was a lefty, who was switched, and after the paralysis they “switched” her again with some of these fine motor skill projects. Unfortunatly, switching like this, as it deteriorated in her late 50s as she developed post polio may have been a contributing factor to her early death ( I am now older than she was)

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