My friend Nancy, who lives in San Francisco, sent me a unique card that her mother embellished many years ago with amazingly small flowers made by tatting: Here’s what I saw.
My mother, May, a native Californian, was born in Ballona Township, renamed Inglewood somewhat later, and she graduated in Los Angeles from Manual Arts High School and Teachers Normal School (later UCLA). In 1921 she married Max Elsner, whose parents had immigrated to the US from Prussia and Bavaria in the 1870s and settled in Los Angeles.
In her later years, mother made several new quilts which family members have enjoyed. She also finished others begun by her own mother years earlier after visiting a quilt exhibition in Pasadena. She sometimes used swatches of material in her quilts from dresses we wore in our youth, sometimes even using material from grownups’ apparel. We still have those quilts in our possession and they have been a particular joy.
Although neither my sister nor I learned to tat, my mother did teach tatting to her granddaughters and passed on to them the shuttles she used throughout her life.