Tat Days 2007

Tat Days 2007
September 7 & 8

"Flower Garden"

Meet our Teachers

June 25, 2007

Our Distinguished Teacher List
(in alphabetical order)

Hint: Click on ALL pictures!

Mimi Dillman


I've been fascinated by string for as long as I can remember. My favorite schoolyard occupation was hunting for lumps of knotted, discarded kite string and then untangling them and rolling them into balls for later use (in what?? taking up space in a box of course, my very first stash). If I had known about tatting at the time, you know what I'd have been doing with it!

However, I was born in Houston, Texas, into a tatting-challenged family (and despite my best efforts it remains that way). So I had to find out about tatting from books about crafts that added Tatting as an afterthought to more mainstream crafts like knitting. It wasn't until 1982 that I finally was able to find a tatting shuttle while
browsing at Lee Wards. That summer I taught myself the flip, rings, and chains from a Better Homes & Gardens book. For years my only books were those from Dover and DMC. And truth to tell, I got bored, then distracted by bobbin lace (another one I had wanted to make since I saw my first piece of Maltese bobbin lace, which, incidentally, is full of leaves!)

By the time the 90's rolled around, I was living in the Seattle area. As a member of the Lacemakers of Puget Sound, I was fortunate enough to be taught other more advanced tatting techniques by ladies such as Bev Dillon, Mona (Monica) Hahn and Diana Howe. It was Mona who taught me to successfully make a cluny leaf. I haven't done much bobbin lace since!

And how many clunies have I made? I lost count at 1400. I've got my "1000 leaves" bobbin from the Heartland Lace Guild a couple of years ago. I'm probably the only person to qualify by making them with a shuttle instead of bobbins :-)

Besides being a bit fanatical about clunies, I am also a card-carrying member of the T.A.C.T.: Tatters for Alternatives to Cut and Tie. If I can avoid C&T with a continuous thread path, I will. (Thank you Dora Young and Judi Banashek!)

My patterns have been published in the IOLI Bulletin, on the web, and in the newsletters of the Lacemakers of Puget Sound and the Heartland Lace Guild. I have taught on-line for Georgia Seitz' On-Line Tatting Class, to the Lacemakers of Puget Sound, at the Spokane Shuttlebirds Tatting Workshop, and at Bobbie Demmer's tatting workshop in Montana.

Mary Donohue


I began tatting around 1999 or 2000.  I took two tatting lessons from Donna Thompson, our Palmetto Tatters Guild Webmaster.   From the two lessons, I went directly into tatting advanced designs. (Donna adds, "YES...ADVANCED! All I did was strike the match and what a FIRE!")  I joined the Palmetto Tatters Guild around 2001 or 2002 when I was having difficulty reading some of the old tatting patterns. I now enjoy rewriting the old patterns into modern day tatting terms.

In 2005, I began designing, and running the international tatting exchange.  
Website main page:  http://tinyurl.com/2lx368  
Tatting Exchange Guidelines:http://tinyurl.com/3ybk9s  
List of Monthly Exchanges: http://tinyurl.com/2tjvf8

I was presented by Georgia Seitz in her online tatting class as a new designer Feb 2005.  http://www.georgiaseitz.com/2005/shapes/marydheart.html    http://www.georgiaseitz.com/2005/shapes/marydsquare.html

My heavenly heart design has been published in the online Pattern Calendar. 

I am delighted that I have been chosen as one of the 2007 Tatting Teachers for the 2007 Palmetto Tatters Guild Tat Days.

Jane Eborall


I live in Stratford-upon-Avon, U.K and have been tatting since the age of 13 when I was taught by my grandmother (50 years ago). I love bright colours and fun things to make having suffered a deprived earlier tatting life!!!  I was deprived of colour and interesting patterns and found that this was a good reason that younger people were not learning to tat and in the end this prompted me to ‘do my own thing’.

My aim when designing is to always try to make something different and with some challenges to even the most experienced tatter if possible!  I try to avoid too many ‘starts and stops’ and always aim to achieve the end result in one pass even if it doesn’t always end up that way! 

I now have a blog where I like to share the stages that my designs go through from conception to emerging eventually  onto my pattern pages.  Sometimes ideas are abandoned for weeks.  I try to approach each new design from a different angle (mainly using the ‘hit and miss method’)!!  And I am always willing to share my experiences and ideas with anybody willing to listen!

Pam Esbjerg


I learned to tat from a woman who was only here in this area for a very short time because of her husband's employment.  Just long enough for me to learn the basics and then she was gone - luckily, that was about the time that I discovered Palmetto Tatters and became one of the original members of the group.  I took to tatting immediately and have been hooked ever since.  I am a left handed tatter and hold the shuttle in my left hand.  I teach tatting at a local needlework shop - my first love is teaching new tatters how to “flip” and to see the excitement when that happens for the first time. I have always been an avid needlework fan as well.  Anything that has to do with thread, I am interested in and I love the combination of tatting with my needlework.

Martha Ess


When my mother was a little bitty girl, her grandmother showed her an ivory shuttle and told her she could have it if she learned how to tat. Well, she didn't learn. Many years passed until one summer when I was home from college, my mother pointed out the trim on a lady's collar and said I could probably learn to do that since I had already picked up crochet, knitting, and assorted other crafts. I had never heard the word "tatting" before, much less seen any, but I found some books at the public library and a metal shuttle at Woolworths and eventually I got the hang of it.

I dabbled with tatting off and on over the years, including having a few of my patterns accepted by Workbasket magazine. Still, it was just one craft among several that I would take turns doing. The turning point came around 2000, when I was ready to take up tatting again, and about the same time decided to check out that Internet thing everyone was talking about. All of a sudden, there were people to talk to about tatting with such interesting ideas to share and techniques I had never heard of before. Tatting had become exciting. I took up designing again, posted patterns online, and published my own book. Another high point was attending the original Palmetto TatDay in 2003. For the first time in my life I was in the actual presence of someone else (lots of someones!) who was tatting. It was so much fun that I attend each year that I can, "real world" permitting. I have been honored to be chosen to teach there in 2006 and 2007.

Postscript: My aunt has given me an ivory-colored pumpkin seed shuttle that she found in the old family farmhouse. I like to think it is the same one my greatgrandmother had all those years ago.

Erin Holloway


I taught myself to tat at the age of 11 from the Coats & Clark "Learn How" book. Though my various and sundry needlework pursuits have given me much pleasure over the years, I am just as crazy about tatting now as I was when I first mastered the "flip".

Nina Libin


My name is Nina G. Libin. I was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, so my first language is Russian.

I have been designing BEANILE jewelry since 1985. I have been teaching tatting (all levels) and Beanile Lace since 1988 in Russia and since 1993 in New York City and other places world wide.

In 1988 I started publishing magazine articles on bead tatting. My first book "Tatted Lace of Beads, the Techniques of BEANILE Lace" was published by LACIS in 1998. In 2003 I started a periodical called "Lace of Beads".

I learned to crochet and knit at age seven. Started sewing at age twenty. But only in the mid-forties did I discover simultaneously tatting and beads. In 1982, while taking a workshop in Russian bobbin lace, I heard someone mention frivolité, - a mysterious name for a totally unknown needlework, which that lady learned from her grandmother or an elderly friend. Then and there we (about 10 enthusiastic women) decided to revive it!

For resources we had: 1) A very bad photocopy of a few pages on tatting from a 1902 book (it appeared to be a Russian version of Thrésé de Dillmont's Encyclopedia of Needlework), 2) a variety of cotton and linen thread, and 3) NO shuttles, - my first one I made myself out of a plastic ruler.

Reviving frivolité was a challenge and great fun. The participants of that group became the first tatting instructors in Leningrad and Moscow.

The process included: 1) learning tatting hands, 2) digging out all sorts of related information, 3) adapting old and designing new patterns, 4) developing courses and teaching, and 5) writing articles, instructions, and books on the subject.

I am primarily a shuttle tatter but I also do a lot of finger tatting, needle tatting and I cro-tat occasionally.

Sharren Morgan


Needlework has always fascinated me, from the time I received my first little embroidery kit at the ripe old age of 6. Over the next several years I branched out into other needle arts, including knitting and crocheting. It was on a trip to Kresge's, a five-and-dime store chain, that I saw my first tatting shuttle. I knew that "tat" meant "to make lace;" all the crossword puzzles said so, and why would they lie? I made a snap decision and bought the shuttle – a metal Boye with removable metal bobbin. Too bad I didn't know how to use it! I spent the next 20 years working in different needle arts, and every so often I would try to find someone who could teach me how to tat. In the late 1980s, I succeeded, and Learned To Tat in Six Easy Lessons.

I have gone beyond those initial Six Easy Lessons, but it took me 10 years to take the next step! In 1998, thanks to Teri Dusenbury's book Tatting Butterflies, I learned split rings. I found the Palmetto Tatters in 2001, and in talking with fellow tatters, became inspired to search the Internet for as much information on tatting as I could find. Split chains was the next step, and after that, tatting square rings.

I am a self-taught needle tatter; making lace with the tatting needle is something I really enjoy, and I design as much with the needle as I do with the shuttle.

Last year, I was privileged to teach at Tat Days; I feel I learned as much as I taught! I am looking forward to teaching again this year, with patterns I have designed to be equally as easy for the needle tatter as they are for the shuttle tatter. See you at White Oaks Conference Center on September 7 and 8!

Mark Myers


I have always been fascinated by needlework and grew up doing crafts of all kinds. My mother taught me how to do the basics of knitting at age 11 and have tried all those crafts that were popular in the 1970s. But with all things at that age, I never stuck to anything, jumping from one venture to another. I graduated from a liberal arts college with a B.A. in Art Studio and have used many media. As for fine art, my current preference is watercolor, pencil, and pen and ink. But I still had that urge to do some really fine needlework.

It wasn't until later in life I found a true calling with my artwork. I never realized what I was getting into when one day I asked my mother-in-law to show me how to tat. It was 1986, six months before Kim and I were to be married, and was over at their house visiting while helping with the wedding plans. My wife was at work and I was just watching tv, with my mother-in-law busily doing something with her hands flying back and forth. I had to ask her what she was doing. From that point on my life as an artist changed. She showed me the basics and within the same evening I was starting my first project. A snowflake. She was making tatted snowflakes as a Christmas gift for my future wife, and my first project actually made it in the package! We still hang it on our Christmas tree, but in the back ;) From there, my mother in law, seeing my potential, asked me to design the tatted lace that was to go on Kim's wedding dress. I still was not polished enough to put stitches to help in making the lace, but the designing I enjoyed. So there is another factor in my life I didn't realize would make a difference.

I didn't pursue tatting fully for a couple of years, except an occasional small item for a gift. But in 1989 when I finally landed a job as a graphic illustrator at a band uniform company, I found a couple of others in the office that tatted. That sparked some new interest since I have found someone to tat with. During my breaks I would tat and chat along with them. This was all before the company had computers. And when they did, that changed everything. Even my workspace. I was getting into computer graphics and developing skills and now can utilize it to make my diagrams and pictures that I like to do. The computer also opened up a wealth of info when stumbling across Tatchat and other groups online and I got familiar with so many people over the world about tatting. I fiddled around with computer graphics and came up with my own website to showcase and share my knowledge with others (www.tat-man.net). Also have a personal artwork page connected that shows the fine art that I occasionally allow myself to do (www.tat-man.net/marxgraffix/index.html) and also a family website (www.geocities.com/crafts247@sbcglobal.net). I am the webmaster for IOLI (International Old Lacers, Inc.) at www.internationaloldlacers.org.

As time went on and after some encouragement from fellow tatters, I embarked on a large journey of publishing some of my designs that so many have enjoyed from my website. The book project started in 1999 and in 2001 "Tatted Gathering of Angels" came to fruition! It was an experience to learn from and hope to do many more. Currently I am involved in my second book project that I hope will not take two years to develop. But one never knows. ;)

In the many years Kim and I have been married, we both had a love for needlework, before and during marriage respectively. We combined our talents and made a small business out of it and did the craft show circuit, selling craft items and tatting and other needleworks. We finally got burned out of that phase after 10 years and exclusively work on items we love to do. For me it is tatting and bobbinlace and for Kim it is silk ribbon embroidery and quilting. We now only do demonstrations at heritage shows across Illinois and the bordering states. I found publicly that I really enjoyed teaching it. I have taught several over the years, one on one and also to groups at local needlework shops. But with the use of the internet, I am able to take my teaching skills abroad. Still a rooky at the tatting workshops, I have taught at the Hector Tat Day (2003) in NY, at a tatting guild gathering in Ft. Wayne, IN (2003), and the first and second Palmetto TAT DAYs in SC (2003& 2004). And I look forward to coming to the events and meeting many more tatters out there in this big world!

Iris Niebach


My name is Iris Niebach. I was born in 1953 in Freising, Germany, and I live in Prato, which is near Florence, Italy.

Since I was a little child, I liked to work with my hands. I liked to design and to cut and I was only 6 when my mother taught me to knit, at the same time I learnt to crochet at school. When I was about 12, I liked to crochet edgings for handkerchiefs and I also liked embroidery. At 14 I embroidered a round tablecloth for a family in Great Britain, where I spent a holiday to learn English.
At the age of 17 for family reasons I had to leave Germany and go to Italy. I married an Italian man in 1973 and had three daughters. When my children were all at school, I turned to school and then studied German language and history at the university of Florence.

My sister in law already tatted, when I knew her at my engagement with her brother. She tatted a lot of edgings and doilies and tatting has always been her preferred hobby. I learnt it from her in the mid 1990’s. Some years later I attended an embroidery class and taught tatting to the same ladies.
But after having learned, I didn’t know what to do with my new hobby, because the patterns in the magazines available didn’t please me. As my husband is a computer fan, I learned very soon to write with the computer, to make little programs, to work with a lot of available programs, also programs for graphics. This helped me in my studies and work, but permitted me also to find a lot of tatters, tatting groups, free patterns and books about tatting and I entered a new world of talented persons and fantastic tatting. I had made a lot of attempts to design, but was not very satisfied with the results. Then I  participated in the roundrobins of Maus’s site and had to design and give my best. From that point on I continued to design and I now have published 5 books.

I have also two websites, www.iristatting.com, made by my husband, and http://www.tattingonline.com/, made by my daughter.
I’m very happy to meet you all at Palmetto Days.

Karey Solomon


I have been tatting for more than 30 years and received my Teacher Certification from the Great Lakes Lace Group in 1998. Currently, I continue to write tatting books - the latest, "Shuttleworth Cottage," combines a complex tatted art-piece with a spoof of a Victorian novel. I also write and edit the quarterly Tatting Times, now in its 15th year of publication.

Riet Surtel-Smeulders


I was born on the 1st of May in Tilburg, a city in the south of the Netherlands. I learned a lot and that I was a “nice” pupil. You can see in the book Butterflies Migrating.

I started working and still learning when I was 17 years old. At the same time I learned tatting. I did it by myself with a book. I tatted an oval doily for my Moeke (mum) for Mother's Day and that was it. I got a boyfriend and was a scouts leader and my studying took so much time, tatting disappeared in a box and it stayed there until the beginning of the year 2000. Then someone announced that she would start a tatting guild and I thought wooooops somewhere in a box I must still have the shuttles and the book. I found them and started and there was a butterfly. In the same time I got my own pc, didn’t know anything about this thing , but after some weeks, I understood it a little bit and I found the class online. That was A Big Discovery !! There I met a lot of tatters and there were a lot from the south. They tried to learn me the way they speak in SC. We had and still have a great time in those classes.

And the tatting oooooooo that was a total surprise for me with all those new techniques, much more than doilies. I learned so much and in 2003 I was at the first TAT DAY in Columbia, SC.

Now I know a lot more of tatting and am busy with designing. I am also busy with our own guild doing workshops. I have a guildsite at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Frivolitekring/. I also make and translate patterns for our magazine. And I have taught for Georgia Seitz' Online Classes (see http://www.georgiaseitz.com/classes2001/fall2001/riet.html ).

This was what I wrote for you in 2005. There is something more I want to tell you.
As you know I lost my son in November 2005.
I was with you in 2006 and have to say some thing I must say:
THANK YOU, THANK YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The way you treated me in 2006 was so warm and so wonderful I can’t tell you how much it helped me to go on. THANKS!
And then there is as you see in the picture, my Granddaughter-she is so wonderful.
And so I will soon be back in South Carolina, to meet you all again!  

Riet Surtel-Smeulders the B-Engel from Holland
NATA #307

Registration will open in mid-June or first of July.

Tat Days 2007 | Class Schedule | Daily Schedule

Tat Days Classes questions: Joanie and Janice

General Tat Days Questions: Karen and Bonnie

Registration Questions: Sally


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