Crafty Friends ~ Spotlight on Marcella Reyes

Crafty friend Marcella Reyes

When it comes to needlecrafts, I’m in awe of the wide variety of fabrics just waiting to be created. This week, “Crafty Friends” turns its welcoming light on Marcella Reyes! An E.C.E. Specialist here in Toronto, Marcella has been enjoying needlecrafts since her own childhood days.

Marcella: In Santiago, Chile where I grew up, crafts were taught in elementary school. We learned to sew, knit and crochet as part of our education.

Fabulous heirloom ~ crocheted tablecloth

This stunning crocheted tablecloth was made long ago in Santiago by Marcella’s aunt. It would have been typical of a project for the ladies in Santiago, most of whom were highly-skilled at decorative lace needlework.

What a gift for any bride!

Marcella: The women would make all of the lace pieces by hand. They would save the pieces, and when anyone got married, the bride would receive hand-made gifts of tablecloths and other lace items.

Notice the impeccable edge details

Notice the edge-work on this heirloom cloth. Every square inch is filled with attractive detail. On close inspection, you can see how the individual wedges are perfectly fitted together to create the whole table cover.

Marcella: I had 4 sisters. We all had our own hobbies, from needlecraft to painting. One of my sisters still paints. I paint as well, but I also crochet — recently I’ve been making baby blankets as gifts.

Marcella created these at the age of 14

These lovely lace doilies were created by Marcella when she was around 14 years old. At that time, the girls did not use written patterns to create items. Instead, once they learned to do decorative crochet, they ‘counted’ stitches to build the fabrics.

An exquisitely patterned lace doily

Marcella: My children are not crafty. In Santiago it was different: there was time to do these things. Now, everyone is so busy, always racing around.

My tip to new crafters is to be bold. Have fun, and don’t be afraid. If you make a mistake, you can always rip it out.

My personal favourite!

One of the things I hope our generation can accomplish is to spark a new interest among the young people for the joys of hand-crafts. In a coming segment, Thematic Stitchings will introduce a couple of young crafters. We will also ask Marcella to join us again later this year, to share with us a needlepoint canvas she created that depicts her country of Chile as she sees it!

Thanks to Marcella Reyes for sharing!

Meanwhile, it’s been a tremendous pleasure talking with Marcella about her love of crafts. Thank you for sharing your treasures with Thematic Stitchings, Marcella!

If you have questions about this or any other project, feel free to reach me directly through my contact page.

The First Excellence The First Excellence

For all of you out there who love to read, please follow my writer account on Twitter @Donna_Carrick .

However, if you’re more interested in following this crafty bird through the labyrinth of fabric and yarn that we call a life, you can always join me on my Just Knittin’ Twitter site under @DCarrickCrafts . Either way, I’d love to meet you on FaceBook, so be sure to look me up!

Best in knitting and living passionately,
Donna Carrick


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4 responses to “Crafty Friends ~ Spotlight on Marcella Reyes

  1. Beautiful and intricate. As a crocheter, I’m well aware of the amount of time that goes into creating lace. I’m in awe!

    I’m so happy as well, that these pieces were valued enough that they have made it through the decades. Often times, needlework doesn’t elicit the same respect as crafts such as painting or woodwork.

    • Thanks, Eileen! I was completely amazed at the intricacy of this work. Another friend, Gloria Aida, has also done some outstanding lace-art, which I’ll be featuring on a future post. If you get a chance, please tweet me a photo of your work — I’d love to see it! (Or FB if you prefer.)

  2. please tell me where to get the tablecloth pattern

    • Hi, Roxane, these are folk hand-crafts passed down from generations, so I’m not sure Marcela has a pattern written down. I’ll ask her, though, next time I see her.

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