Sunday, December 2, 2012

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery...

...or so I've been told!

This image was posted on Facebook. I was intrigued, so I followed the link to Pinterest, and then on to an embroidery site. It looks like tatting, but it's not.

I decided to try and tat the design from the image, and this is how it turned out. The thread is size 20 Lizbeth, Grape Splash #165. For this post, I wanted to give credit to the person who created the machine embroidery, but of course I couldn't find either the Facebook or the Pinterest post, so I Googled and found a tatted image of the same snowflake...

by Birgit Phelps! I hope the person who "imitated" Birgit's pattern gave her credit. I will not be posting a pattern for this snowflake. It's Birgit's pattern from 2002, Kira's Star.

Birgit, if you're reading this, I would love to hear from you. I don't know if this is a pattern that was for sale, or even if it was ever offered to the tatting community. If it is a pattern for purchase, please let me know so that I can compensate you, and thank you for designing such a beautiful snowflake!

Update ~ I just found Birgit's pattern here. My stitch count is different, and my second round is different, but it is still Birgit's pattern. Thank you, again, Birgit!


  1. Hello Diane!

    Here is a link to Brigit's pattern, as published for free:

    I have seen that imitation tatting before and I am annoyed that they call it tatting, and sell templates for the embroidery machine. It does seem we are keeping the community informed of what *really* is tatting.

    Kudos on you snowflake challenge, sounds like fun!

  2. The first snowflake does look like tatting! I would have thought it is if you've not said it isn't. Rather clever.

    Your version is pretty! Love the variegated purple.

  3. Well said, criativasluculencia. It annoys me intensely too that the woman calls it tatting. I've had 'heated discussions' with her in the past over it. In due credit to her, though, she does get permission, I believe, to use people's designs. She'll not get permission to use mine if she ever dares to ask!!! Murphy has a page on Facebook and a few of us have told her repeatedly that she shouldn't call this machine made lace 'tatting' but call it 'lookalike machine made'. Grumpy Jane in a cold UK.

  4. How wonderful to go full circle with your quest!

    And, your tatted snowflake is lovely.

    Brigit is kind to share the pattern with the tatting community.

  5. P.S. I had no idea there was such a thing as machine made. I will have to be more careful with Pinterest, now that I have been informed.

    thx for bringing attention to this

  6. Thank you for bring this to our attention, your snowflake is gorgeous and thank you for giving us the link to the pattern.
    Jane might be cold, but it's raining here again, just to add to the flood water in parts of Somerset. When will it ever end?

  7. I have seen this snowflake somewhere else on the Internet, too - thanks for the link to the original pattern!

    At first glance, the machine-made lace does look like tatting - fooled me too!

  8. Hi Diane,

    I love Kiera's Star. One year (2010) I tatted loads of them for little gifts at Christmas. I added some matte gold delica beads and they looked great.

    Here is a link to a couple of them (a green and a purple one):

    I don't know what I think about that machine embroidery imitating tatting... I remember one tatter (sadly can't remember who!) who was talking about being contacted by the company who does those machine patterns to ask if they could use one of hers... but I don't think she gave permission.

    But certainly, the original pattern by Birgit Phelps is a great one!

  9. Your snowflake is beautiful, Diane. Thanks for the discovery and for sharing Birgit's pattern.

  10. Diane, tu copo es encantador y en relacion al primero, yo no hubiera pensado fuera hecho en maquina. Hasta ahora pense no existia maquina capaz de hacer tatting. Gracias por la informacion y estare alerta.

  11. I'm just seeing this post at 6 pm Sunday 12/2 EST; and before reading the text, I immediately recognized Birgit's design. Then I read the post and knew this would spark a discussion, and sure enough, it has!

    I've been wondering when this "embroidered 'tatting'" subject would come up in Tatland. There seems to be one major website for these embroidery designs. This person seems to have totally zeroed in on 'tatting' (rather than crochet or other needlework) designs for the sewing machine. The scary thing is how 'real' they look and what implications this embroidery might have. The designs can be done on a 'dissolving' stabilizer, and therefore motifs can stand alone, such as snowflakes. And I guess it's possible to link motifs together, as in a doily.

    I'm definitely with Jane on this issue! I'm glad Jane and others have contacted this person and implored her to call it what it is. If Birgit did not give her permission to use this design, it should be removed from the embroidery site, and therefore, from Pinterest. How many of those who sew and who buy these designs will be pawning off (and selling) their 'creations' as real tatting? Very scary.

  12. Thanks for sharing this. And it would adapt so easily to having one of your little ornaments at the center.
    (And, yes, I get perturbed at people who pretend to be doing the real thing when they aren't--and that's true of both tatting and quilting.)

  13. Your snowflake looks really good Diane, I am going to save and print Birgit's pattern.

    I plan to use it with a doodad center. Since you have already done that, how does the stitch count for your center chains compare with her's?

  14. Tatting to embroidery to tatting again! I'm glad you found the original designer.

  15. PS, thanks for the link to Birgit's pattern page, I looked for it on Saturday but couldn't find it! I've added it, I hope, to my blog entry.

  16. Where did you find the lovely dodads.....except for the one you used in the snowflakes, I have searched high and low to no avail....can your share your sources.

  17. Oh I love how yours turned out in that thread!! It's so unique!! :)

  18. I"m such an idiot - had to check this post and compare to your new post to figure out what you had done. Oh my. What a fossil i can be


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