Monday, May 2, 2011

North American Smocking - Correction!

 When I first published this post in March 2011, I mistakenly called this style of smocking lattice smocking. Well, that was very wrong of me, it's actually lozenge smocking.  Thanks to Nona Pontiff for emailing me and telling me about my error! Corrections/additions are in italics.

I haven't been getting much stitching in lately, and probably won't this weekend either, so I will show you a couple of projects from long ago.

This is a small photo album cover done with lozenge smocking, which is a variant of North American or Canadian smocking. I took this class at the SAGA convention in Dallas, I believe (they do tend to run together in my memory) from Nona Pontiff.  Ms. Pontiff is a very accomplished teacher who is a Master Artisan in Smocking from SAGA.  You can find out more on the Artisan program from the SAGA website. What I really liked about this class is that we were able to finish the project in the six hour class, which is very unusual for SAGA classes. Generally we start a project, learn the new techniques and finish (or not) the project at home.

Then last year our local SAGA chapter had a little project to make a needlebook using lozenge smocking. You can see in the photo that the scale of the patterns are a bit different. If I could find the instructions from the photo album, I could tell you why.

Here is the inside of the needlebook, with a few leaves of wool flannel purchased from The Wooly Thread, way up north in Washington State. 

This type of smocking is done on the back of the fabric and does not have the elasticity of English smocking, which is what most of us are more familiar with. There is not a lot of information about this technique on the web, but I did find a tutorial that explains it nicely. Two books to try are: The Art of Manipulating Fabric by Colette Wolff, available on Amazon, and Lattice Smocking by Laura Jenkins Thompson, available from her own website. Ms. Thompson's book has projects and patterns to try, whereas Ms. Wolff's book is more about all the very different ways to manipulate fabric.

I can definitely see using this technique for some nice throw pillows, or maybe drapery tiebacks.

In two and a half weeks we take off for London! So I had better get the taxes done this weekend. No stitching for me.

And I did get the taxes done!

Have a great weekend!


  1. Howdy! Since you seem to be interested, I thought I'd just mention I found a blog recently with six very nice patterns for Canadian smocking cushions, plus some instructions.

  2. Gorgeous! Smocking is something I do not do, but I tried it once! My sister does gorgeous dresses for her girls and darling little flannel sleepwear for babies and bonnets and such. All works of art!


  3. Hannah, Thanks for the posting, it has some very nice instructions. It is exactly what I was thinking about.

  4. Very pretty! This is on my list of wannatries. I am off to check out that link.


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