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.

Hello creative lacemakers,

On this page you will find a support for the “lace|heart|at challenge”.

The lace|heart|art pattern #1 was designed to be accessible and enjoyable for every lacemaker, regardless of their skills and experience. The pattern comes with a pricking and working instructions for fibre as well as wire. We encourage you to use colours and your imagination to create a unique heart with the lacemaking skills you have right now. It can be simple, or complex, it can be perfect or have a some mistakes – it doesn’n matter, as long as you made it with love, and gave it your best. We want you to participate in the challenge, and share your lace|heart|art with us!

If you have any questions, feel free to use the comment field below to ask. We will strive to post the answers here along any information relevant to the project. You can also contact us by e-mail at or follow us on Lace Heart Art  facebook page

lace | heart | art – Where to Start?

  1. Download the free pattern with instructions
  2. Choosing medium: fibre or wire
  3. Choosing colours
  4. Practicing tape
  5. Making the heart
  6. Photographing your work
  7. Submitting your entry
  8. Sharing photos of your entry on facebook or instagram
  9. Spreading the word!


1. Downloading the free pattern and instructions

Complete instruction kit, with a Barbara’s Story, free pattern and working diagrams, is in 🇬🇧 English. Additional translations (text only) are available in Spanish 🇪🇸 Espanol-text and German 🇩🇪 Deutsch-text

Once you download the file, you can save it on your computer or reading tablet. It contains all information you will need to work on the lace | heart | art project. You can print the entire file (12 pages) or just the prickings and working diagrams. When you print the prickings, make sure that they are the correct size. Print size check line is included on the page for your reference.

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2. Choosing medium

The lace|heart|art pattern #1 can be worked in fibre or in wire.

Most of the lacemakers work in threads, and the pattern can accommodate cotton, linen or silk. Since the finished project is intended to be framed and displayed as art, there is no need to consider shrinkage due to washing, and therefore different materials can be combined. New School of Lace teaches ‘s why lacemaking in fibre as well as wire, and Barbara liked both. That’s why the wire medium is included in our challenge.  You can see from the samples that when thin wire is used, it accommodates lace stitches well and creates a weave that is very similar to thread lace. Because wire is less flexible than thread, the pattern usually needs slight adjustments, such as fewer passives, or some different stitches. If you study both working diagrams and finished samples, the variance will become quite obvious.

Even if you have not worked with wires before, we would like to encourage you to try! You can find examples of wire lace in the gallery of the Original Lace Art to see what is possible in wire. If you get interested, the New School of Lace offers Patterns and Tutorials for Wire Lace, and also “Wire Lacework: Lenka’s Introduction to Bobbin Lace in Wire”

Sample made in fibre has been made with Bockens Lingarn, NEL 40/2 (1/2 bleached) used for plaits and a tape worker, and 30/2 silk yarn in 4 colours for tape’s passive pairs and a gimp pair. If you choose the to work with the same, or similar size threads, you can use the original pricking (100%).  Those of you who prefer to work with finer threads, will have to adjust the pricking size accordingly.

Sample made in wire has been made with enamelled copper wire size 0.2 mm (approx. 32 AWG): Single wire was used for plaits and a tape’s pairs (in combination of purple, violet and pink gold colours) and 4 wires of the same size were used together for the gimp. Preciosa Czech glass beads in 3mm and 4mm size were threaded on the gimp wires. If you want to work with the same wire size, you can use the original pricking (100%), which should also work for wire .22mm (approx. 31AWG). For wire 0.25mm (approx. 30 AWG), the pricking should be enlarger accordingly.

You are allowed (and encouraged) to submit entries in both mediums: one in fibre and one in wire!

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3. Choosing colours

We encourage you to play with colours and select the ones that are dear to your heart. Sample hearts show examples of colour combinations.

There are of course many other possibilities. You can work with one colour, two, three or many… it is your choice. The colours can be complementing or contrasting, bright or dim, few or many. White is also a colour, as is black. Colours can be added by other means as well, such as beads or other materials you choose to incorporate in the design.

This diagram is showing groups of pairs in fibre design. Each group is marked with different colour, to explain the distribution of colours in the pattern: dark blue – 2 pairs, light blue – 2 pairs, yellow – 1 gimp pair, green –  1 pair worker in the tape, red/pink – 6 passive pairs in the tape. This should give you an idea how the colours weave through the pattern and help you with planning your heart’s colour arrangement.

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4. Practicing tape

The best way to find your heart’s colours scheme is to experiment. Use the practice tape pricking to test the pattern. Start with a few colours and see what happens. Switch the colours around and observe the effect. Add more colours, or remove some, until you find a set you like. Keep in mind that at the end of the heart, the design is completely open to your interpretation. Imagine what you would like to see there. If you need more colours at the end, you can add them there.

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5. Making the heart

Once you decided on the colours, wind the bobbins for the heart. Approximate thread measurements are included in the working instructions. Add more thread/wire if you plan to do longer or more elaborate ending.

Start working on Pricking A.

Work the tape until the connection line (see the matching line on Part A and Part B prickings). If you want to starch your lace, stop here and starch the finished part A. Let the starch dry thoroughly. Remove all pins from the part of lace that will be overlapped.

Attach Part B pricking, matching the crosshair marks for a precise alignment. Prick the pinholes on the Part B now. When working in wire, be careful – prick slowly and if you feel wire under your prickers’s point, move it slightly sidewise to prevent damaging the wire underneath. Continue working the tape.

At the end, create a flowing open design. You can plan it in advance and add another pricking with your own end design, or you can work free form, and see what happens. Shown above are two examples of ending made by two lacemakers. They are good friends, but their lace hearts couldn’t be different. And that is what we want to show in the lace|heart|art challenge :  creative and colourful hearts of lacemakers around the world.
Please join us. Have fun and don’t be afraid to experiment!

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6. Photographing your work

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.

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7. Submitting your entry

You can submit only one work in each category:
one fibre lace and one wire lace entry (maximum two entries in total) per person.

One overall image of the work, and two detail images are required for each entry. Images must be in jpg. format, each not exceeding 3MB in size. Images may not be digitally altered (improved by photoshop or other image editing program).

Images must be titled with entrant’s name. Here is an example: EvaKral.jpg, EvaKral-detail1.jpg and EvaKral-detail2.jpg

Send all three images together in one e-mail to In the same the e-mail, include following information:

  1. A)  Your Name
  2. B)  Your Country
  3. C)  Your Year of Birth (only if you are entering in Young Lacemaker Category)
  4. D)  Materials used to make your Heart
  5. E) size of the pricking in % (if you had to re-size the original)

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.

If your work is selected for the International Online Exhibition, we reserve the right to resize/crop the images to fit the format of our online exhibition.

All entries to be emailed by the end of Wednesday, February 14, 2018 (Pacific Standard Time) to

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8. Publishing photos of your entry on facebook or instagram

We have received several inquiries about sharing photos of your lace|heart|art entries on social media. We have nothing against your sharing of images on Facebook, Instagram, etc. before the results of the International Challenge are announced, and the Online Exhibition launched on April 8, 2018. We leave the decision to your discretion. If you share the pics, please include a credit/link to this website to help other people to find this website:  If it encourages more lacemakers to participate, that would be great!
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9. Spreading the word!

We would like to reach as many lacemakers around the world and you can help us to spread the word:

  • Let all your lace friends know about the ‘lace|heart|art challenge’
  • Like our facebook page
  • If you speak another language, please consider translating the lace|heart|art challenge instructions, so more people can read it. If you want to share your translation with us, that would be great! Please contact us at  and we will be happy to add it to this page.
    Big “Thank you” to an anonymous friend for Spanish translation and Birgit Wolf for translation to German!
  • Are you a member of a lace club, guild or group? Do you publish a bulletin, newsletter or magazine? Feel free to include the ‘lace|heart art challenge’ information in your printed materials, and let us know the publication details.
  • Do you have any other ideas how to spread the word? Please do let us know!

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Happy lacemaking,

Your ‘lace|heart|art challenge’ team

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