An Introduction to Bedfordshire Lace

The Lace Guild’s first basic Bedfordshire instruction book, written by Barbara Underwood and published in 1988, covered the techniques required for the Bedfordshire Assessment at Elementary level, but very few of those needed at Intermediate level. A new introductory book was needed and, once An Introduction to Bucks Point Lace had been published, I was asked to write a similar book for Bedfordshire lace.

One of three butterfly patterns in the book

As in the Bucks Point book, this one also has a series of graded patterns, some traditional and others especially designed to illustrate specific techniques. In an article I wrote for Lace (Number 114, April 2004) about how I went about finding and designing patterns for the book, I said: “The first two patterns, which need only four pairs of bobbins each, concentrate on the basic building blocks of Bedfordshire lace — plaits with picots, and leaf-shaped tallies. The latter have a reputation for being difficult to work, so I have given detailed instructions of how I make them. Following on from these patterns are three narrow edgings (two from the Lace Guild collection) and a bookmark which, while giving plenty of practice for plaits and leaf-shaped tallies, also introduce new techniques. Two more patterns, this time for coasters, cover the remaining techniques for the Elementary assessment. Drafting Bedfordshire patterns, a requirement of the assessment scheme, is also discussed.

The next eight patterns introduce the Intermediate assessment techniques and include a bookmark designed to illustrate the two main differences between Bedfordshire and Cluny techniques, two more edgings from the Lace Guild collection, another coaster, two butterflies, and two patterns with veins in cloth stitch. One of these introduces the different types of veins in cloth stitch, the other uses them in the typical cloth-stitch leaves found in floral Bedfordshire. Finally there are four more patterns without instructions which you should be quite able to tackle when you have worked through the book. They include two more edgings from the Lace Guild collection, another coaster and a butterfly.”

Book details

An Introduction to Bedfordshire Lace
Jean Leader
60 pp, A5 size, Price: £6.00 plus postage
ISBN 1 901372 16 2

Reprinted with minor revisions and additional patterns 2016

Published by and available from The Lace Guild
All profits from the sale of this book go to The Lace Guild.
Sample pages can be downloaded in pdf format.

Errata in the 2004 edition

1. On page 49 the diagram caption should read ‘Right-hand wing working out from the body’.