Nanduti – Paraguayan Lace

Three years ago my daughter came home from serving an 18 month mission in Paraguay.  She loved her experience there!  Learning new languages, learning to live in another country on a different continent, with a different climate and culture, all helped her grow dramatically.  Most of all, she learned to love people.  Knowing me and my love of textiles, she brought home some beautiful pieces of Nanduti, which is Paraguayan lace.

They are stiff and highly starched weaving of colored threads in beautiful patterns.  I love looking at them.  There are so many bright colors and designs.

She brought home a large circle for me and one for her grandma.  We framed them both for display.  I mounted them on white fabric with a few stitches to hold them in place and then we put them in frames.  When I examine these pieces of nanduti I can’t help but think about the woman whose hands wove these together.  I wonder what was going on in her life as she made them?  Are these pieces a tribute to trials, or to happiness?  Both?  I always wonder about the life behind the hands who made art I hold.

As I’ve studied them recently, I noticed similarities to many English paper piecing designs.  It’s interesting how different yet similar design elements can be, especially across miles and cultures.  I’m curious about incorporating these designs into a quilt.

She brought home several smaller flowers as well, and gave one to each of her sisters.  I decided to add mine to a quilt.  I don’t think this Paraguayan lace would wash well, so I sewed mine to my I’ll Never Walk Alone quilt .  It feels appropriate to have the nanduti on this quilt, because sending her so far away was a big event in my story, too.

I hope she treasures her life-changing experiences, so it’s nice to have reminders like this in our home.

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