Mary Card's Australian Crochet Lace Designer

Photo of Mary Card's Australian Crochet Lace Designer Book Cover
Anzac Panel

Mary Card (1861–1940) became a crochet lace designer late in life, after deafness forced her to sell her private school in Melbourne in 1903.

She began by repairing Irish crochet lace when it returned to fashion in the early 1900s and continued by creating her own original designs. These were published from 1910 in a lively new magazine, New Idea which was ideal for bringing her work to a large number of crocheters. She quickly became very popular as her designs were fresh and appealing and her patterns easy to follow. Her warm engaging way of writing helped too.

She excelled in filet or picture crochet. Her tablecloths with large flowing designs of flowers, gardens, grapes, birds and even woodland scenes were her best work.

She moved overseas towards the end of World War I to explore larger markets for her work. She lived in America for a few years, then in England until shortly before she died in 1940 at the age of 80.

This 160-page extensively-illustrated book may appeal to many people with a general interest in biography, social history and needlework. The appendices, endnotes and references add to its value for needlework historians, museum curators and collectors.

The filet crochet patterns have redrawn graphs and detailed directions which are easy to follow:

• The Australian bedspread with a cockatoo, emu*, iguana, kangaroo*, kookaburra*, lyrebird, magpie, possum and swan*. Those with an asterisk * are shown on this page.

• Various patriotic designs including the ANZAC panel, the Australian, British and New Zealand Coats-of-arms, the Australian and American flags, the American Legion panel, and the Rose, Thistle & Shamrock lace and insertion.

• The Carnation, Convolvulus and Supplejack insertions, Garden traycloth, Grapevine & Silver-eye and Oriental (willow pattern) mats, Woodland chair set, Wild rose & Pigeon teacosy cover, Spring-time doyley set with cherubs, Blue wren and Swan jug covers, along with an ecclesiastical lace border.

This book won the Cultural Heritage Award for 2003 in the EnergyAustralia/National Trust series of Awards.

Emu, Kangaroo, Kookaburra and Swan
Emu, Kangaroo, Kookaburra and Swan
Photo of Mary Card: Australian Crochet Lace Designer Book Cover

Title: Mary Card: Australian Crochet Lace Designer
Price: $30

Number of Pages: 160