Doilies and Object Lessons

One of my favorite past times is crocheting. I find it so relaxing and sometimes challenging. When I was little my grandpa taught me how to make a chain and then a single crochet. The novelty of it wore off pretty quickly like most things in adolescence! And then after I had my kids and they grew up a bit and I had a little more free time, I decided to give it another go. I studied crochet books, watched YouTube videos, and practiced…unraveled…and practiced some more (you get the picture)! After 10+ years I have got the hang of it and can almost read about any pattern. I’ve done all kinds of projects but one of my favorites is making doilies.

I picked up a pattern book just recently and decided to take on a new doily pattern I had never tried before. It didn’t take long before I realized it was going to be a little more than intermediate like the pattern said. I started it and was stumped on Round 4, after pulling it out and starting all over about 4 times I decided that maybe this wasn’t the pattern for me. I was so exasperated.

As with a lot of things though I mulled it over going to bed that night…reworking in my mind the stitches and where I might have messed up. I woke up the next morning with renewed vigor and I decided I wasn’t going to quit…I was determined to figure it out and I couldn’t wait to have some free time to sit down and get started. Throughout the day I kept thinking about this doily as well as other projects I had started that created angst in me and I started to form a picture in my mind of how this might be an object lesson for me. For some reason I kept thinking of James chapter 1…you know…”count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds” I don’t think the author was necessarily thinking of crochet and doilies but bare with me.

As I finished each round I just kept thinking how making this doily is a lot like life. Each round of the doily brought new challenges…additions to the pattern that were not expected and sometimes very difficult and frustrating. It took me time to figure it out and sometimes I had to do some research. I wasn’t even past asking a friend that also crochets her opinion on what she thought the instructions meant! Again, so much like life. I would get to a certain stage of the doily and realize, wow, I did it…I’m doing it and I can finish this and it is going to be so beautiful.

God doesn’t promise a perfect life for those that love him. There will be bumps in the road, unexpected issues, obstacles...are you still with me? Times where we feel like we need to stop and re focus. Times where we just want to quit and ignore the problems that keep slapping us in the face day in and day out. In James 1:3-4 it says, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If I were to stop in the middle of my doily it wouldn’t look complete and the beauty of it would not be at its fullest. I definitely wouldn’t feel like I could gift it to anyone.

So I had to persevere…keep going…consulting YouTube and crochet books until the problem was figured out. Just like life…except with life we confide in our confidants and instead of  going to bed contemplating life…we pray to God, and we see what the bible has to say about the things we are struggling with. When I finished the doily…oh my heart…I was so excited! So beautiful and that really is a lot like life as well. Psalm 66:10 says “For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried.” I know for me as I look in hindsight, many trials I have experienced were for my good in a way. They sharpened me, made me more aware of my need for a Savior, and a lot of times made me more compassionate to those who are also struggling with their own ups and downs.

So see, beautiful things take time and work and perseverance. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. Ecclesiastes 3:11

So now that we have discussed seeing doilies as an object lesson…let’s discuss what other ways we might use doilies in our homes.

doily on shelf

I personally have always loved doilies. I think they add a certain artistic feel to a home which speaks volumes about the personality of the homeowner. After all, our home is a reflection of who we are and what we are about. If you do own doilies that have been passed down from generation to generation…there’s an authenticity about them…a feeling of having roots. I don’t know there is just something about owning something so old that either has been handmade or bought in previous generations that brings such comfort…at least to me. For years, I have used doilies on shelves, in my hutches, on buffets, in baskets, and anywhere I can find to put them. With Pinterest being the latest craze in DIYing there is so much more you can do with doilies.

For instance, you can stitch several of them together to make a lovely vintage inspired table runner. How fun would it be to host a dinner party with all of grandma’s doilies and all of your fine china and flatware. Whether it be tacos or something a little more gourmet, this would be a fun way to honor a beloved grandmother.

Another idea is to use your doilies as artwork. Frame your antique doilies as you see in the beautiful picture below. In one of her posts, Sadie Seasongoods walks you though her master bedroom makeover and shows how she used vintage doilies to create a focal point for the room. You can also use colored mat board to make them pop and add color to a room or make them look old and worn by using a navy or black mat board. Use several of them to make a collage or pick just a few to hang in succession, vertically or horizontally.

Framed doilies

Of course if you have open shelving anywhere in your home, this is an excellent place to add several doilies, especially with old chippy wood furniture. Can you picture it? I can and it makes me all giddy.

doily under teapot

Using doilies in conjunction with an old shutter is a fun way to display your collection as well. Also, adding your special doilies to embroidery hoops and making a collage would be lovely.

Lastly, buntings are all the rage. I follow several instagrammers that incorporate buntings in their homes. I have doily buntings as well as burlap buntings and I just love them. This is a simple project that just takes a few items. Old doilies and bias to bind is all you will need. You could use newer doilies too with this project…leave them white or tea dye them for affect, fold them in half, and sew them to the bias. Hang them over a mantle display or use them for special events such as weddings and baby showers.

doily bunting draped over wall arrangement 

I hope the next time you look at a doily you won't just pass over it as just another simple piece of decor but you will maybe think of it as object lesson that can be used in your own life.

What's your favorite way to display doilies in your home? Do you have any vintage doilies and if so do you know who they were made by? Tell us your doily story. We would love to hear from you!


As an extra special treat, we are giving away one of Maura's handmade doilies! Simply follow our blog and leave us a comment about doilies and how you like to use them in your home.

We will announce our winner on April 1, 2016.

If you would like additional chances to win, you can share our blog post on facebook or pinterest. Be sure to let us when you shared in the comments as well!

Win this beautiful doily!

doily giveaway