lace | heart | art challenge

The 1st International Challenge is now closed.

Thank you for your wonderful lace|heart|art entries! We look forward to producing our first show.

lace|heart|art online exhibition will open, and winners will be announced, on April 8, 2018.

  1. Story of Barb’s Heart
  2. About  lace | heart | art Challenge
  3. Download the Pattern
  4. Preparing Your Entry
  5. Selection Process
  6. Prizes
  7. Challenge and Exhibition Guidelines
  8. Submission Guidelines
  9. Disclaimer / Legal
  10. Support

Story of Barb’s Heart

Barbara and her mom, Pat, were among the first students who signed up for Adult Bobbin Lace course offered by the New School of Lace, back in 2014. Barb was the youngest in the class, and she came in with youthful energy and an open mind, eager to learn. Her enthusiasm not only allowed her to grasp the lace basics quickly, but also helped others to overcome common beginners’ obstacles. Barb’s great sense of humour, and a beautiful smile that came with it, opened our hearts and made our shared starting steps so much easier. Like any new lacemaker, Barb occasionally made mistakes and mixed up her bobbins,  but there was something very different about how she responded. Instead of being upset and  complaining about her abilities, she accepted mistakes cheerfully, just as another great opportunity to learn. Quite a mature and wise approach for somebody who is 27 year young, we thought! Barb’s positive attitude had of course a very beneficial influence on the whole class. It helped to create a relaxed atmosphere, and encouraged everybody to persevere, enjoy and do their best.

Barb working on her favourite lace pattern

Unlike many young lacemaking adepts, Barb did not leave after the first course to try something else. She took another course and many more. She loved lace and also the challenge of learning the traditional craft well. After working with fibre, she switched to wire and never looked back. With a bright colour palette of the wires and beads, Barb’s lace really started to blossom. Especially when she discovered a heart pattern – a half stitch tape outline with a diamond plait filling – which became her favourite design. She made several hearts, one of them in her favourite purple colour. Barb always surprised us by her creative ideas, that added interest and fun to the simplest patterns. It was a joy to share lace with her, and we all looked forward to our weekly meetings. As we have got to know each other better, we learnt that when Barb was a child, she suffered a life-threatening brain injury. Not only she survived, but she fully recovered, went back to school, and graduated from high school and college. She lived a full life, close to her loving family and many friends. She worked in her community and helped with work on her parent’s farm. She loved nature and animals, and enjoyed travelling, running, swimming and waterskiing. She liked to take photographs that captured all the beauty of her world, as she saw it and lived it.

Realizing the challenges that Barb faced every day, we understood why she would not be upset about a missed cross or twist. She had been used to solving much bigger problems. How she managed to keep her spirits high and her positive attitude intact was nothing short of a miracle. She was simply amazing.

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When Barb’s loving, caring soul left her earthly body in summer 2016, we were all overcome by a deep sadness and our weekly classes became profound healing sessions. Connected by delicate lace threads, we shared life lessons about grieving and healing, about a mother’s strength and dignity, about power of women’s wisdom, and most of all above love.  Love embodied by Barb was so genuine and she shared it so effortlessly, that everybody around her was touched. Loosing her physical presence was very hard and stirred many emotions, but despite this all, we kept lacing, and the weave coming out of our hands was quite beautiful. As if somebody was watching our pillows, guiding our hands, and encouraging us to accept and turn it all in a great learning experience.

About lace | heart | art challenge

And because inspiration is never far from love, the idea of a bobbin lace challenge was born. The “lace | heart | art” international challenge and online exhibition, in memory of Barb, will offer one simple heart pattern every year and invite lacemakers around the world to fill it with colours and love.

We welcome everybody, and especially young lacemakers, to get inspired and create! We would like to invite all of you, lacemakers around the world, to participate, and transform our first Heart pattern into your original Lace Art.

In the inaugural edition, we offer one pattern that can be worked in fibre as well as wire medium. Our Heart design is open to interpretation, and lacemakers are encouraged to fill the given pattern with colours of their choice. The lace | heart | art patter #1 is open ended, and the trail can be finished in many imaginative ways.

The threads flow from the heart, and carry goodness and love. What colours do you see? What shapes? Let your love guide you and inspire you to design your unique lace art piece!

Download the Pattern and Working Instructions

Free pattern with working diagrams and instructions is available here:

🇬🇧 Lace.Heart.Art challenge – complete kit

This .pdf can be downloaded and printed. It contains all information you will need to work on the lace | heart | art project.
Feel free to share the materials with your lace friends. We want the lace | heart | art pattern #1  to reach as many lacemakers as possible!

Thanks to generous help of two wonderful lacemakers, we have now Spanish and German translation available:

🇪🇸 Espanol

🇩🇪 Deutsch – text


Preparing Your Entry

Once your lace is finished, choose the best background for it to be displayed and photographed on. Try several colours, before choosing the best match. Because this is an online exhibition which will be juried from photographs, it is important that your photos are of the best possible quality.

Help in photographing your work can be found here: (Saatchi Online – How to photograph your art)

Please do not alter the images of your lace. No photoshopping! We prefer seeing your mistakes (as they are part of lace) rather than attempts to hide them digitally.
You can submit only one work in each category:
one fibre lace and one wire lace entry (maximum two entries in total) per person.
Submit your images by e-mailing them to: by a submission deadline on Wednesday, February 14, 2018

We will contact you by e-mail to confirm that we received your application. Please add to your contacts (safe senders list) to ensure notifications are received.

Selection Process

While a technical aspect is important in bobbin lace, the prime focus of the of the lace | heart | art challenge will be on creative use of colours, originality and artistic merit. Judges will consider harmony between material, colour and form, and its effectiveness in shaping and delivering idea of the open, giving heart.
Three judges will make a selection and award prizes. If the volume of entries doesn’t exceed available time, we will make an effort to share their feedback and comments with you.


Prizes will be awarded separately in wire lace and fibre lace categories, and all entries will be entered in a competition for the Grand Prize for Creative Interpretation.
Young lacemakers (30 years or younger in 2017) are strongly encouraged to participate, regardless of their skill level. Their entries will be judged in Young Lacemaker category.

Winners will be announced, and online exhibition opened on April 8, 2018 on website

Photos of selected works featured in the online exhibition will be credited with lacemaker’s name and country.


1st, 2nd and 3rd prize in Wire Lace
1st, 2nd and 3rd prize in Fibre Lace
Grand Prize for Creative Interpretation

Young lacemakers – 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize in Wire Lace
Young lacemakers  – 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize in Fibre Lace
Young Lacemakers – Grand Prize for Creative Interpretation

Winners will be announced on this website, on April 8, 2018

Challenge and Exhibition Guidelines

  1. lace | heart | art challenge is open to all lacemakers.
  2. There is no entry fee.
  3. One entry per person per category (maximum of 2 entries per person – one in Fibre, and one in Wire Category)
  4. Young lacemaker must be 30 years or younger in year 2017.
  5. Lacemakers must use the lace|heart|art #1 pattern.
  6. Lace must be handmade by the entrant.
  7. Pricking and working diagrams are provided for both fibre and wire medium.
  8. Lacemakers choose colours, and may add more stitches and design elements, according to their skills.
  9. Pricking size may be adjusted to fit the medium.
  10. One photo of the work and two photos of a detail must be provided for each entry.
  11. Works will be judged from the photos.
  12. If the work is photographed by another person, provide their name to have it listed in credits.
  13. Images of selected works will be used for the online exhibition. Actual works don’t need to be sent.
  14. Judging will be by a panel of 3 judges; their decision is final.

Submission Guidelines

  1. All entries to be emailed by the end of Wednesday, February 14, 2018 (Pacific Standard Time) to
  2. One overall image of the work, and two detail images are required for each entry
  3. Images must be in jpg. format, each not exceeding 3MB in size.
  4. Images may not be digitally altered (improved by photoshop or other image editing program).
  5. Images must be titled with entrant’s name. Here is an example:EvaKral.jpg, EvaKral-detail1.jpg and EvaKral-detail2.jpg
  6. Send all three images together in one e-mail to
  7. In the same the e-mail, include following information: Your Name, Your Country, Your Year of Birth (only if you are entering in Young Lacemaker Category), Materials used to make your Heart, % size of the pricking, if you had to scale the original
  8. We will contact you by e-mail to confirm that we received your application. Please add to your contacts (safe senders list) to ensure notifications are received.
  9. We reserve the right to resize/crop the images to fit the format of our online exhibition.

Disclaimer / Legal

By submitting an entry the lacemaker acknowledges that she/he is the creator of the entered work, and that the photographs truthfully represent the work
By submitting an entry the lacemaker acknowledges that her/his entry will be available for long term viewing (with credit visible) as a photo in the lace|heart|art online exhibition, hosted on this website

By submitting, the lacemaker does hereby acknowledge and agree to all show rules as listed in this prospectus.  The entrant waives, releases, and discharges the New School of Lace, its staff and volunteers or agents, and any exhibition jurors, if applicable, from any and all actions, suits, damages, claims, and demands whatsoever for any damage to art and/or personal liability.


If you have any questions, feel free to use a comment section below, or contact us by e-mail at

14 Comments on “lace | heart | art challenge

  1. Thank you Lenka to give us this oportunity. It`s a pleasure to participate on this loving memory


    • Thank you, Olimpia. I am very happy that the lace|heart|art challenge inspired you to create a unique heart art. I believe that handmade lace is so delicate that it can carry subtle healing energy often better than words… Yours and other lace|hearth|art entries prove it.


  2. I”m a teacher in Idrija Lace School (Slovenija). I work with childrans in school. In the evening I work with adults. We saport your lace/hart/art challenge. Our lace grup will take the healing challeng and we are happy to be with you in the big world of lace.
    Thank you Aleksandra


    • That’s wonderful,Aleksandra, thank you very much for your response and your interest in the lace | heart | art challenge.

      We look forward to receiving your entries, especially in the Young Lacemakers category.

      With kind regards,
      lace | heart | art team


  3. This is a wonderful homage to a person that seems to have been an amazing human being….and it takes another great human being to think about it…..


    • Thank you, Cathy. It makes us very happy to see the positive response in the world lace community 🙂


  4. This is a very nice tribute!
    I lost my 20 year old daughter to cancer.
    I understand the void.


  5. What a wonderful and touching tribute to friendship and love. I will be sharing this with my lace group and hope that we can all dedicate our lace to our own dear ones and carry this healing grace to as many people as possible. Thank you for this lovely opportunity.


    • Thank you very much, Evid, for receiving our message! That is exactly what we wish – that Barb’s Heart will inspire lacemakers to express their love, and through the language of lace and art, share positive, healing energy. We look forward to seeing your lace|heart|art 😌
      If you or anybody in your lace group has any questions about the challenge project, please do let us know.


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