Make, learn and talk about needle lace.
Back in the 1990, my mom was browsing in an antique shop in a small town in MD. She saw this tablecloth, but it didn't have a price tag. She took it to the man working at the register, and asked for a price. He, too, could not find a price tag on it, so he said, "$65." Mom agreed to the price, and he rang up the purchase. As he was completing the sale, his wife came in, saw what he had done, and got quite upset. She claims to have paid much more for it, having gotten it from an older woman going into an assisted living situation.
I did not know that Mom had the tablecloth, she has never used it. When I told her I was teaching myself to tat, she claimed to have a tatted tablecloth. When I visited her next, she brought it out to show me, and told me the story of how she got it. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was not tatted, or crocheted, or hardanger. I had never seen anything like it before. As I left to return home that evening, the tablecloth came home with me, a spur of the moment gift.
I am currently taking the Thistle Threads class "Cabinet of Curiosities," and they also have a ning site, so I posted photos to see if anyone there recognized what technique it was, and the general consensus was Filet Lace. One women even suggested that it was hand knotted. Having just discovered and joined this site (thank you Lorelei for the warm welcome) I thought I would share the photos with you. If the netting is indeed hand knotted, how do you know the difference between hand and machine made? Lace making is new to me, so any help is greatly welcomed.